5 minutes with……….
Victoria Brown - Kennel Club Public Affairs Manager
What is your dog’s name?
Lieutenant Columbeau Brownlie-Brown
What is their story?
Columbeau was found wandering the streets as a stray when he was about 8 months old so his back story is largely unknown. He had no training though except for (luckily) being toilet trained.
Where did you get them from?
Dog Samaritans Shropshire www.dogsamaritans.org.uk
Why did you get a rescue dog?
I have always had rescue dogs growing up and Columbeau is very much like a smaller version of a dog called Braidy that I had as a child, making him irresistible.
Tell us about their personality?
Columbeau is a funny little thing who prefers the company of people to other animals. He loves being the centre of attention, chasing pigeons and squirrels, nuzzling with my partner Phil and I. He is very Terrier like in that he has his own mind and sometimes just won’t be told – which, although infuriating, is much like me so I can understand better than others!
What is your favourite memory of your dog?
Columbeau makes me laugh most days with his funny little ways but I think one of the fondest memories is when he first went into water unprompted when we were walking around a lake in Arundel last year. Me and my fiancée just looked at each other so absolutely chuffed after months of trying to get him to do it with no success… as soon as we stopped trying there he went bounding around in it by himself without us even having to get our feet wet trying to coax him in! Since then there has been no going back and he loves bounding around in shallow water like Skippy the bush kangaroo!
What is the best thing about getting a rescue dog?
That moment when you know you’ve gained their trust and shown them that you’re not going to desert them – that they can rely on you …that first time they allow themselves to fall asleep on your lap or in your arms.
What is the hardest thing about getting a rescue dog?
The need for absolute patience. Not knowing their background or why they are the way they are. Seeing that they’re damaged but not fully understanding why or how you can fix it or make it better.
What advice would you give to people looking to get a dog?
Owning a dog is a full time commitment – finding ‘dogsitters’ or whatever is fine in theory but what a dog needs is your time AND attention, not just you being at home at the same time. Investing time to play with them when you’ve had a long day at work, taking them on different walks to different places rather than just the same old routine, having your friends and family interact with your dog, keeping their brain ticking over with new little tricks and games, making the effort to take your dog with you where you can, and being consistent with training are all part and parcel of true dog ownership. But if you do put this effort in, there really is nothing like the companionship you get from owning a dog.
What is your favourite breed/crossbreed?
I’ve always loved greyhounds and whippets but really any ‘underdog’ that isn’t your conventional beauty is my pick.
What person or dog, dead or alive would you and your dog most like to meet?
Without even having to think it would of course be Columbeau’s namesake – Peter Falk – aka the original Columbo and his Bloodhound called ‘Dog’.