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Mr Squiggle’s Story

In 2010 my husband's alter ego , "The Amazing Sam the Clown" was looking for a dog to incorporate into his children's show. We wanted a whippet because we'd had one several years ago and knew their wonderful temperament and sense of fun. Our previous whippet, 'Arrow'  died of old age in 1992 and we hadn't had the heart to 'replace' him.

We were offered a whippet puppy by friends of ours from Central Victoria who were letting their bitch have one litter of pups before being spayed. She ended up having six healthy pups who all found loving homes quicker than you could blink - we had first choice, and boy, that was hard!   We came up with the name Mr Squiggle because we had both loved that classic Australian Children's show featuring the puppet that drew with his nose and because he was to be a clown's dog.  Also, the pup had a small white 'S' shaped marking on his grey back. As with many pets, his name was soon shortened and he answers to both ' Squiggle' and 'Squig'. He was a fast learner, soon following me around like a shadow although he was supposed to be my husband's dog!  He learned to jump through a hoop after only 5 tries.  Mind you, the liver treats were a great incentive! Sadly, my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in his leg in Oct 2010 and despite treatment and a major operation, he died in March this year at age 53. I nursed him at home until the last two weeks of his life and Squig would lie on the bed next to my husband on a special 'Squig' blanket. We even took the blanket to hospital so he could lay next to Steve there. I slept in a recliner chair next to the bed. ( I don't know if this is allowed in city hospitals - we live on a small acreage near a country town which has small hospital with 4 acute beds) Squiggle has been a source of great comfort and joy to me. He is affectionate, placing his velvety head on my knee, speaking volumes through his eloquent eyes or pressing close to my legs when he senses I'm having a bad moment. I think he believes he's still a puppy because he climbs up on my knee when I'm watching TV - all elbows and angles, but I don't mind. You would know about the whippet's fun-loving nature and Squig is no different - he loves to chase and jump up high to catch his ball and play tug-o-war with his rubber toys.  If he feels I've been sitting at the computer too long he brings his ball to me and drops it at my feet very decidedly. If I don't react quickly enough, he'll also bark once or twice to tell me it's time to come out and play now At night he comes to fetch me from the computer when he reckons it's bedtime (he sleeps in my room) because I tend to sit up 'til the wee small hours. He is an excellent watch dog and has a special bark to tell me there is a car coming up the drive although, as you'd know - he doesn't have a vicious bone in his body and wouldn't dream of biting anyone. He has another bark to let me know there is a snake in the yard. I've never been greatly phased by them until we got Squig but I'm terrified he'll get bitten, so call him away immediately. Mostly he's very obedient but, asyou know, anything that moves and looks like it might be running away is fair game in a whippet's mind!  So I'm  not really looking forward to summer with the same anticipation as my pre-whippet days.......but I wouldn't swap Last week I was told that there are still whippet 'races'/fun days at Mt Gambier S.A. which is just over an hour's drive away, so I'm going to take him there to help socialise him a bit more.  He doesn't mix with many dogs because I only go in to town twice a week. Sometimes he has a 'sleepover' at my sister's house and plays with her little terrier but there are no pets at the farms closest to us. Their working dogs are always tied up unless they're actually working. Anyway, I just wanted to say that coping with the loss of my darling Steve would have been so much harder without our faithful little Squiggle - he's a living link to a fine man and I thank God for him every day. warmest regards, Emmie

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