- THEBUS ARRIVES
Wow....... Thebus is BIG.
OK I know there are a lot bigger motorhomes on the road than Thebus but he certainly looks big to me.
I thought at first they couldn't get him in through the gates, but it was the high winds had blown one leaf of the gates slightly to. Otherwise I had visions of having to leave him parked up outside the gates
But they finally got him in and he loomed into view to darken the front doors. That was earlier today, and already I am getting more used to his size. It is the height and width that seems the most forbidding - I think that the American rv's are as wide as we are allowed to drive on the European roads. I hope I shall be able to manage him, but the deed is done and its sink or swim now!
At present my head is spinning with all the information given me this afternoon once he got here.
I managed to get Phoebe up the steps though she wasn’t keen at first, and doesn’t like the main floor which is a cushioned vinyl type and which she thinks might be a bit slippery. But I have put a sheepskin rug down, and will see if I can find another to give her a bit more confidence.
The pale beige sofa is now covered with some throws, which have been topped with the sheepskins that helped protected the sofa we shared in the house from Phoebe very strong toenails. After a bit of encouragement she joined me on it, though it is appreciably smaller than the one in the house, and I really felt there wasn’t all that much space left for me. I expect we will work it out in the fullness of time but certainly Phoebe had more that her fair share this afternoon.
As I mentioned before the passenger seat is to be removed and her enormous dog bed fitted in its place, well at least that is the plan. So she may well think that is good enough – I expect as normal I shall fit in with her slightly more than she fits in with my requirements.
The firm who sold me Thebus were here for nearly two hours giving me useful information, which I am sorry to say really just washed over me after the first couple of tips. Anyway – as you will read later, my lack of ability at absorbing information proved a bit of a hindrance.
Whilst they were here we tried to get Phoebe up the steps. Don't forget she is a huge dog. Its rather like trying to get a horse to walk up stairs. OK, it can be done, but most horses don't fancy it, and neither did Phoebe.
It was rather a damp rainy day so everyone had boots on, and someone had left a pair – as far as Phoebe was concerned – in the way. She trembled and hesitated till I realised what the problem was. Boots moved she tackled the five quite steep steps. She obviously feels the bottom two steps, which can retract automatically beneath Thebus and have no carpet on, are too slippery so she is uncertain. The three much steeper steps inside Thebus are carpeted so are fine in Phoebe's thoughts. So Phoebes front two legs are ok. But the back two legs stay on terra firma With the result Phoebe gets longer and longer, but is still not inside Thebus. I think we may sort it out in the fullness of time
Having spent quite a while inside Thebus Phoebe still returned to the house kitchen door and barked to be let in. A whistle got her back to me in the bus. Again, I think it will be time and practice before we are sorted and she begins to think of Thebus as home. I don't blame her. Pretty well the whole of her life has been spent at The Grange.
Mum and I drove “up north” to collect her as a puppy in the XK8 Jaguar I had at the time. For some reason I imagined she would be puppy size, even though I should have known better having kept Great Danes for the greater portion of my life so instead of taking the big Volvo estate I thought the Jag would be fine. Normally the puppies have been handed over to me at anywhere between six weeks old (back in the sixties ) to around twelve weeks old nowadays - but Phoebe was a bit older at around sixteen weeks
Whenever I want a Great Dane puppy (which of course has to be female and black) there is only one available in the whole country! When I first started looking Phoebe was already 14 weeks old and for some reason I decided she was not for me (how wrong can one be)
I continued to look and phone round the country. No - She was the only one. I gave up and said OK I will have her, bring her to me. No - they insisted I went to see her.
I packed aged Mum in the back of the Jag together with a duvet in case of accidents ( puppy - not Mum – and I know she would laugh if she was reading this) and off we set. We arrived at a bungalow and the hooping and howling set up by the resident Danes made me certain we had arrived at the right place
I knocked at the back door, and as it was opened three Danes rushed out. Grandma Dane greeted me by jumping up and putting her paws on my shoulders. A greeting I don't approve of and won't allow with my Danes, but it was gently done. Mum disappeared so I asked where the “puppy” was. I had assumed the third dog was an aunt. but no it was my “puppy” She was much much larger than the average Labrador. When the time came to put her in the car for her first ever car trip the breeder just lifted Phoebe up, shoved her in the back seat on top of my duvet enveloped Mum, and slammed the door on her backside, Phoebe's back side not my mother's And Phoebe only just fitted in nose-to-tail side-to-side in the back of the XK
Her Mum was Champion Black Great Dane Bitch and (at least in my eyes) Phoebe is a really, really good looking Great Dane, and much more important, she is a good and kind dog, who listens to every word I say. And though she doesn’t always do exactly what I am telling her (cheeky little rascal) she gives me great pleasure every single day
She is a wonderful watch dog, not only being aware of strangers around, but judging those who visit, and not always drawing the same conclusions as me as to character. And I think she will be an invaluable companion on my travels. I have had some wonderful dogs over my lifetime, but I have to say Phoebe takes the biscuit........well as long as there is chocolate on it!