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July 2006

As part of our move to York Cottage (and giving up holidays to pay for it) we were in a position to get a dog, which I would now be able to take to work with me having bought our own Business Unit. It didn't take long before we found a rescue dog called sascha at the RSPCA centre in Leybourne. It was her second time at the centre because previous owners could not get on with her due to their existing dogs. As looked at her we heard another couple beside us saying how they really liked her too. Karen poked me in the ribs and we hurried to reception to put a reserve on her, 5 minutes before the other couple arrived to do the same!

As part of the review process the RSPCA send round someone to inspect the property where the dog will live and one of their criteria is "a dog proof garden". Great, 2 acres of garden joining on to fields containing sheep and cows with run-down fences that wouldn't stop any dog from escaping!

So my first job, before we had even moved into the house, was to take 2 days off work and erect a 100' fenced off area to keep the dog from getting out. The two hottest days on record were when I nearly died hammering meta posts into the solid flint ground. The metal meta-posts would not go into the ground without twisting and bending like bananas. I drank so much water that I flushed all the salt out of my system and I just couldn't quench my thirst. When it was finally completed we waited for the RSPCA to come and inspect the house, only a couple of days later. A quick "that's fine" was all I got for my hard work before the inspector checked the rest of the house and gave the "all clear". Sascha arrived a week later and then we felt like we had truly moved in.

November 2006

We were told that a second inspection would follow in about a month so we left the fence up but by November nothing seemed to be happening so we began the task of taking down the fence. On the whole this was fine but some of the metal spikes were very difficult to move so I had to arrange a leverage mechanism using some posts. One particular spike was so stubborn that I had to arrange this "lever" using Karen as ballast. When I took the run up and jumped on it Karen flew up into the air like a circus performer and ended up on her backside. After realising she wasn't hurt we were unable to stop laughing. The inspector did eventually come back after about 6 months.

September 2007

Since then Sascha has become faster and faster and has now mastered the art of catching pheasants and rabbits, her first kill in September 2007. It is in her nature to chase them and there is nothing we can do to stop her when we aren't around.