Who's the Daddy: Happy fifth birthday to Walter
Our sighthound celebrates his scarcely believable fifth birthday on Saturday.
If cats have nine lives, our Walter must be on his 14th. The most accurate way to describe him is 19kg of muscle-bound prey drive. If it moves, given half a chance, he chases after it at 40mph.
It has made for some interesting walks since his “Gotcha Day” in October 2015. Lots of unsolicited advice, threats of physical violence and three big holes ripped in his paper-thin skin from other dogs who have simply had enough of his nonsense.
So much so that for the past 12 months, the boy Walter only goes on lead walks. Soft and gentle around the house (he sleeps at least 16 hours a day) but at the first sign of a border collie or black Labrador he turns into one of those two-can Van Dammes who start fights in pubs after one whiff of a barmaid’s apron.
Honestly, it’s like flying a kite made of bone, muscle and short temper as he stands up on his hind legs, swearing at startled medium-sized dogs.
But for the first four years of his life he was a solid four out of five stars on his walks. The problems began after I smashed my elbow and wrist to bits last summer in a bizarre cycling accident and now he thinks it’s his job to guard me. That’s my theory anyway. Either that or he’s turned into a grumpy middle-aged man. Don’t know where he gets it from.
Our two 10-year-old battle-hardened rescue cats stand no nonsense from him. Both have chunks missing from their ears from turf wars on the streets and, as a pup, they both put the fear of God in him, although a few weeks ago, the boy Walt had Marleyboo in his jaws when he thought no one was looking and was about to shake him until I caught his eye and he let go and slunk off.
There’ll be a day of reckoning at some point. Of an evening, when he’s dozing on the sofa, they glide past him so their tails brush the pads on his paws, just to wind him up. Deep down he’s a wonderful dog who likes to spend the day curled up on someone’s knee. The past five years have been memorable if nothing else. Happy birthday, buddy.