By Trevor Dace
Chat to any dog lover and they’ll sing the praises of these amazing animals. Completely devoted to their master,they ask so little and yet offer so much. I could write pages about thestrengths of the humble canine, I could advise why so many people prefer thecompanionship of a dog rather than another member of the human race or how apet can replace a deceased loved one. But I’m not going to, instead my story isabout one very special dog, my dog, Murphy.
We’ve had a pet dog in the family just about allof my life. There have been a Bassett Hound (Bertie of course), Greyhounds(Blackie and Bill Teal), a Great Dane (Toddy) and a Springer Spaniel (Bill).Every one left a massive void at the time of their departing and each time wevowed never to have another one, it was just too traumatic to say goodbye.
The year was 1993, the pain of Bill Springer’sdeath some 12 months previously had eased and the possibility of looking for anew puppy was mooted in the household. Naturally everyone agreed, who canresist a puppy dog ?. My sister had a copy of a magazine detailing just aboutevery breed of dog available, their temperament, their traits and habits etcplus a list of breeders. Even before looking through the book I had some strongopinions about what type of pet I wanted to look at. Medium sized, neithersmall nor big. Short haired, I had neither the time nor the inclination togroom my pet for an hour a day. Maybe a gundog, not that I’m into hunting but Idefinitely prefer that style of dog to the herding or terrier type and I’mdefinitely not into the “my dog’s harder than your dog” breeds suchas Rottweilers or Staffies, so beloved by certain sections of our society.Browsing through the publication I noticed this amazing chestnut coloured dogthat caught my eye.
I’d never heard of the Hungarian Vizsla andwasn’t aware if that the breed could be found here in England. I rang one ofthe breeders mentioned in the book and had an extended chat, enquiring aboutthe characteristics of the breed in general and their suitability as a familypet. The breeder was enthusiastic and mentioned that I might like to go alongto a huge dog show taking place in Windsor in a couple of weeks time. It was awonderful show with dogs of all shapes and sizes and there was a class just forVizsla’s. The rest, as they say, is history. I fell in love with the HungarianVizsla breed and wanted one !!.
Wanting a Vizsla was completely different toactually finding one for sale. There was only a handful of breeders in thecountry, the web and email were only a glint in the eye of a bunch of geeks, soit was all down to snail mail or the telephone. All existing litters had beensold and several of the breeders seemed unwilling to sell a puppy as simply apet dog. They were looking for people who wanted to compete in dog shows orworking dog trials with their puppies. I guess that they were trying to carveout a reputation for the dogs they had at stud and selling pet dogs wasn’t onthe agenda. The long wait began. There was no shortage of German Shepherds,Labradors or Spaniels but my decision had been made, and my next dog was to bea Hungarian Vizsla.
The breeder that I had originally contacted andhad subsequently met at the Windsor dog show was Peter Harper and his”Pitswarren” Vizslas had a tremendous record in the show ring. Hischampion dog, Pitswarren Levi, had won more best in breed prizes than any otherVizsla in the UK. On one of my regular calls to Peter, he told me that he andhis wife had kept a bitch and a dog from the last litter for showing. Thesepups were now 4 months old they had decided to keep only one, so would Iconsider a 4 month old boy dog. I was in Andover as fast as 4 wheels couldcarry me. I was introduced to “Pitswarren Murphy Himself” andnaturally he was lovely and soft and wonderful and sweet and everything elsethat a puppy should be. As is normal with most reputable breeders, I was toldto come back in a weeks time and I could pick him up. During that week theHarper’s phoned a couple of times and there were one or two silent calls. I’msure that each one was just the breeders checking to make sure that we were whowe said we were, and that the pup wasn’t about to be left on his own all daywhilst everyone went to work. We must have passed that examination becauseexactly seven days later we were able to pick up Murphy, our very own Vizslapuppy.
He’s now fourteen years old, and sadly he’scoming to the end of his time on Earth. He is, and has been, the best dog inthe World. He’s my best friend and has been my constant companion and I praythat we’ve given him as much love and affection as he has so willingly given tous.
This article was penned by TrevorDace. He has many years of experience working as a claims adjuster with anumber of UK insurance companies. His website http://www.instant-online-insurance.co.uk offers UKpet insurance with online quotes and secure onlinepayment.