My husband and I drove up to the kennels in Stoke to meet Rio. He came rushing into the reception area to meet us, rolled onto his back and promptly did a 'spaniel sprinkle'.
We took him for a walk and were in love. He was just the dog we wanted to share our home with. We took him home and found out what a character he was. He was truly a cheeky dog. We learnt that Rio thought it was his job to investigate every cupboard door that was opened, investigate the sides in kitchen and the dining room table and hoover up anything that was on the floor. He was possessive with food, so we fed every meal by hand, so that Rio could learn that hands were for giving him food, not to be nipped. That helped in his bonding with us. The 'spaniel sprinkle' when we arrived home after being out, gradually stopped. Although he always wanted a tummy rub whenever someone walked in the door.
We worked hard on his recall, in the garden he was fantastic, coming to a whistle and a treat, even when he was woofing at the cats sitting on the fence. Every day he would go the park and my husband would throw tennis balls for Rio to retrieve, mainly those balls which Rio had found in the hedges around our local tennis court, which he would do all day if we let him. In the woods, recall was non-existent, due to abundance of pheasants and deer to chase. However we enjoyed daily walks round those woods on the extendible lead.
Rio was able to tell the difference between a pheasant on the path ahead and a jackdaw. In the summer we filled an old dinghy with water and we would spend lots of time playing splash with Rio, to try and keep him cool, if we were not splashing him with water he would stand inside the dinghy and using one front paw would splash himself. He loved home-made doggy ice-lollies and learnt to recognise the sound of the freezer door.
Rio was one of a kind and we were truly blessed to have lived with him and will treasure all the good memories that we made with him.
Although he was only with us for nine months and the last forty-eight hours were most traumatic, we did sooooo much enjoy having him to stay.
Thank you Di for placing him with us.
Thank you CAESSR, so much for your help, advice, support and understanding in the truly hard decision we had to make, when we had Rio put to sleep.
Vanessa Geoff and Charlie