An odd week, then. My gentle discussion of E G Swain’s ghost stories, posted not long ago, received 40 or so hits and a few nice comments. Lurchers for Beginners, on the other hand, is now at 17,000 hits and still rising. Not quite in balance, but I can at last claim my place in history: greydogtales – the only website devoted to both occult detective stories and longdogs with equal enthusiasm. From me, anyway.
It must be obvious to all my listeners by now that the whole concept is deeply flawed. My second claim to fame will be: greydogtales – the only website to disappoint two entirely different groups of people at the same time.
And that’s why I shall be carrying on as if nothing had happened. You have to break a few eggs to make a rolling stone hit the people in glass houses, that’s what I say.
I do genuinely want to thank everyone who visited and made Lurchers for Beginners such an accidental runaway success. And I mean accidental. I didn’t think more than a handful of people would bother with it. Here are some of the recent endorsements:
I have received loads of positive responses over the week, only a few of which I’ve been able to fit in the comments section. I wish I could have quoted everyone with lurchers who said “God, our dogs are exactly like that, and brilliant with it.” Instead, I’ll hit a serious note for once, so that no-one idly skipping through this blog gets the wrong idea.
Lurchers are superb dogs, lifelong friends, marvellous with kids and full of fun. Contrary to some people’s vague understanding, in our direct experience they make terrific family dogs, and their house-training is generally impeccable. All they want is at least a couple of bursts a day, some home play time and some affection. You can and should do even better than that, of course. Start there and keep it coming, it will be rewarded.
But… if you rescue or adopt a lurcher, please find out what you’re doing first. Check the topic on the web, ask other lurcher owners, ask a local rescue centre. There are useful books as well.
Lurchers for Beginners is a reflection on how we have to get it right with these wonderful animals. They are a bit different, they do have quirky ways. If I’d been able to read my own article when my partner got our first lurcher from Battersea many years ago, I might have understood Jade, our loony Bedlington x God-knows-what, a little better. And been ready for any problem areas with my sleeves rolled up.
I exaggerate the oddities of lurchers, because I want people to know that they, the owners, have to be willing to step up to the mark. Nothing’s worse than a lurcher returned, a messed-up home and people who no longer want to adopt or foster. On the positive side, so many, many people have contacted me saying that having had a lurcher and experienced some of the things I mention, what they wanted was more lurchers. Now.
They’re the kind of dog that can do that to you.
That’s the message over. As I do have such a large, excited audience waiting for the next amusing longdog piece, I can unveil that tomorrow’s article will be about Flaxman Low, the occult detective created by a rather peculiar Englishman and his mother in the 1890s. With luck I will manage to disappoint lurcher fans and Flaxman Low fans to an equal degree. No, don’t thank me, that’s what I’m here for…
Oh, and don’t forget, the more of my short stories you download, read and/or review, the more you can influence me shamelessly into writing what you want to hear. Did I tell you that I have a very dubious moral compass?