Things went well for a while.
Short walks in quiet places helped to steal my nerves for the introduction to a wider world and eventually the forest.
Relationships with our cat Cornelius was a definite no-no as Brin had not had a good relationship with them back in Afghanistan. Feral cats are everywhere, especially around anywhere where food can be found.
Brin had to be tied up during the day, after his rescue from the Taliban, as it was felt it was too risky for him to roam free with the lads while they went on patrol.
Although not ideal for a dog used to walking miles through harsh terrain, his recent kidnap and rescue made him a real target, and also for anyone seen with him.
Brin would sit and wait for the lads to return, but added to his boredom and frustration there was the annoyance of the cats who would tease him by sneaking into the kitchen nearby. He would try to get them away but, restrained by his lead, he was unable to fulfil his mission. So, cats were not on his ‘let’s be friends’ list anymore and Cornelius, who had always been a house cat, retired to the attic room where my husband works.
Our dogs had settled well with Brin, particularly Dennis our youngest, who was always up for a game despite being 11 years old and a bit wobbly on his hind legs.
They would chase each other up and down the garden and all was fine until one day something went badly wrong.
By my backdoor there is a passageway leading down to the lawn and it is quite narrow. Now caring for four dogs it became quite a squeeze when they all wanted to come in at the same time.
Brin, still in his early days of learning, wanted to be at the front and, unbeknownst to me, in amongst all the bodies lay a toy…a small fluffy toy dropped by Brin on his way out.
I had so far kept a watchful eye on the toy situation as this had already caused a few grumbles due to possession issues. Both Dennis and Brin loved toys but for Brin they were his total focus..his treasures.
Without warning a deep growl went up and before I could get in-between them Brin and Dennis became locked in battle. Fur was flying and clashing teeth became a blur. The other two dogs moved swiftly away and I could see that Brin was totally focused on Dennis who was unknowingly still standing over the toy.
I grabbed Brin’s collar, aware that I too could be hurt, but instinct made me want to protect Dennis from further harm. Brin twisted away as I held on tight and in doing so a sharp pain shot up my arm. Dennis moved back as Brin released his grip on him and shouting for help my son came to the door to allow my three collies to enter the house leaving me alone with Brin, who had quickly calmed down.
Releasing him slowly I stood back to shake off the shock as I had never witnessed a battle such as this.
It really brought me down with a thud and, as I stood looking at Brin and nursing my now broken wrist,
I wondered if I had really taken on more than I had bargained for…