But I realised that things were getting worse; I was only going out when absolutely necessary, ordering my shopping online and often not even getting dressed unless I expected visitors. I NEEDED a dog and somewhere out there, there might be a dog who needed me.
So I recently contacted The Cinnamon Trust (http://www.cinnamon.org.uk/) and enquired about dogs needing homes. And I heard about Benji. He lived with an elderly couple who couldn't cope with him, were unable to exercise him and didn't want him. He was kept in a small dog crate. I learned that he was fed on unsuitable food - and far too much of it. He needed to be re-homed as soon as possible.
So Benji, a 4/5 year-old Bichon Frise, came to me and I found that cruelty to animals doesn't just mean they have been starved, or beaten. Benji had been given unsuitable food and far too much of it. A male Bichon Frise should weigh about 5 Kgs (11lbs); Benji was weighed yesterday at 17.15 Kgs (38lbs)!!!! That is 2 Kgs more than my son's Staffie bitch!
Obviously, I have already started him on a diet - good food but very much less than he has been used to. It's hard to resist those pleading eyes, but it has to be done for his own good.
He has also been shampoo'ed and had his nails trimmed - he no longer smells like a stale ashtray and his fur is whiter, softer, fluffier and much more pleasant to touch.
He has a sweet nature and loves his walks; he has never been socialised with dogs, children, people or animals of any sort, so our walk on Bodmin Moor yesterday introduced him to sheep, lambs, cattle and ponies. He was amazed - just stood and stared! The sheep were glaring at me; I think they suspected me of stealing one of their lambs!
So here are the photos, the 'Before' photos; I hope to eventually bring you the wonderful 'After' photos when he has been transformed.
Cleaner, sweeter-smelling Benji - he also has a spring in his step and a michievous twinkle in his eye.