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Meet the Crew Part 3: Fergal and Reggie

Since my first Meet the Pack post I have lost two beloved members of the crew. Darling old Amy succumbed to liver cancer and severe arthritis, and more shockingly, my beautiful Harry (below) was mauled to death by a rottweiler while being walked on the lead only metres from home. That traumatic event is one reason I have not been blogging here much recently. Harry was such a special boy and had come so far with his training, and it was a particularly violent and frightening way for him to die. Zen, whom I was walking alongside him at the time of the attack, is still grieving for his friend.

Harry Apr 2014 smaller

But on to happier things. Let me introduce two more pack members, little Fergal (that’s him below) and boisterous Reggie. Fergal came to me as a foster dog three years ago. We think he is a Maltese cross, with perhaps a bit of Westie. Fergal was surrendered to a rescue group with the excuse that the owner’s new boyfriend was aggressive towards him. However, Fergal actually loves men and is happy to sit on their knees and be cuddled. But he is timid – he shrinks from sudden movements or angry voices – so I don’t think his first two years were happy ones. My guess is that he was purchased from a pet shop or backyard breeder as a cute fluff-ball, and the owner was disappointed when he turned out to have complex and expensive health issues. In particular, he has a condition that causes his skin to get inflamed and makes it hard for him to grow much hair, so he looks a bit odd though of course he is beautiful in his own special way. He also has a chronic eye condition and Addison’s disease. My kitchen bench looks like a mini-pharmacy.

Fergie smaller

Despite his frail health Fergal loves a play with his brothers and sister (at five and a half he is by far the youngest in the crew.) They seem to respect the fact that he’s delicate, and they are never rough with him. He’s very affectionate and likes to sleep on the pillow next to me at night.

Reggie on knee smaller

And this is the very pretty Reggie, who has been with me since July 2015. Reggie is ten years old but acts like a far younger dog. He’s either a bichon cross (like Harry) or a poodle cross. When Reggie’s loving owner died he was surrendered to the RSPCA. Very fortunately, RSPCA contacted the wonderful Paws for Thought Rescue in Sydney, and through them Reggie was placed with me. He’s a lovely boy and is working hard to be the next Harry, but he has one big hurdle to cross first. Although he is fine with dogs he knows, he is hysterically reactive towards unknown dogs, especially on the lead. He and I have had a consult with a canine behaviourist and have attended small group classes, but this boy has a long way to go before he will be ready for the sort of obedience training I was doing with Harry. The behaviourist said that Reggie was probably too old to unlearn his bad habits, but I think it’s a shame to waste that energy and intelligence, so I consider him a work in progress. Picture below shows Reggie, Fergal and Zen with their friend Max. PS we do have another dog, an old boy who is a very recent arrival. More on him later.

Boys with Max smaller


Photo of Harry taken by Juliet
All other photos copyright Glenn Ware