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Two whippets and a fox!

Two whippets, a red Kelpie, 2 cats  a fox. Bringing home a rescued fox cub to live with whippets !! Yes...whippets! What were we thinking??? Normally our animals just accepted any rescued creature without fuss but this could be tricky. After seeing the sheer terror in his eyes as he clawed and chewed at his small holding cage we decided he must have his freedom eventually. He was immediately introduced, one by one, without fuss, to the other creatures and son and daughter, then set free in the house  , to find a hidey hole he felt safe in to eat cooked chicken and chokky biscuits and venture out to make friends in his own time. He was neutered in a few days and had various injections and a nice elastic collar with his name, Holly, and phone number on it ready for the day we felt he was ready to be let out into the wider world, being fairly confident he would choose to stay with us and not get into trouble . His being only a few months old was in our favour as he bonded with the dogs and cats very quickly and very soon they were tearing through the house over and under furniture with him up and across the benches and billiard table as quick and agile as only a fox can be, with a very definite smile on his foxy little face .

THEY, had the greatest of fun, WE, had the most chaotic time of our lives. After a fortnight of his unbelievably destructive behaviour and sneaky playfulness we decided it was time he was allowed to go in and out at will with Zoe and Bluebelle. We were slightly apprehensive about  Sarky the Kelpie's reaction to "up close and personal" and not just through the window contact. Holly ran straight up and grovelled around him in his usual submissive way, grizzling and whinging, then they sat together as Sarky nonchalantly chewed on a bone. From then on he came in and out with his brothers the whippets, as he pleased, shut inside as usual through the night, sleeping on chairs with the dogs or on a chosen bed with a cat or two, to be let out in the morning to go and fossick about as foxes do and to sit and watch the goings on from a good vantage spot or sleep for a while in the sun. The three dogs and I, ( sometimes a cat for a little way),  would walk along the river boundary of our 80 acres every morning, the whippies taking off suddenly after rabbits, a duck or kangaroos having the most marvellous time leaving old Sarky and me to catch up later. Holly would start off with us but would shortly go off up the hill a bit to cut through the trees where he felt less exposed and vulnerable. It was a truly good feeling watching him keep pace with us undercover. On the way back he and the dogs would meet up and head for home where they arrived panting and happy, racing to the giant shell under the tap for a long drink before flopping down together on the lawn in complete contentment, chewing on old bones. Life moves on and they are all gone now but it was a truly privileged and unique experience all round, though very certainly not one I would recommend.     Kay Harris

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