It will soon be eight years since I flew to Tennessee to meet Lesley Rankine and bring her home. And on this 8th anniversary, I am feeling more grateful than ever about this very sweet little hound. Not much changes for Lesley. She is lazy, she is sweet, and she is somewhat stubborn. She’s a lot more grey, but that’s about it. Her health is good. She had some skin cancer removed last year and we are supposed to limit her exposure. But this hound lives for sunny spots and it’s hard to deny her her favorite simple pleasure. Her friendship with her brother Harry has moved from tolerance to true companionship. They have become a cute little pair. Lesley, though, always leads the way. For as quiet spirited as she is, she is generally not shy and not afraid. And this is good for Harry who views the world with a bit more skepticism. If Les thinks it’s ok, then Harry’s ok. And after almost eight years, I have accepted that I will not get exercise walking Lesley. She saunters along at her own pace and it forces me to look at trees and plants and things around me much more closely. Perhaps that is Lesley’s greatest lesson: Slow down and just be.

Grietje and Robert

15 January 2018

With a dog like Lesley, there isn’t much to report. She was, is, and will be very Lesley. And that is sweet and lazy. Although, in the past year we have seen an increase in the amount she plays. I think Harry has a lot to do with it. His meathead self just can't help himself. And on lazy mornings, the two of them are in bed pouncing on one another and doing that fake-gnawing thing dogs do. But for both dogs, it involves a fair amount of flopping. And then there is the fairly regular tearing after one another in the yard. Never for very long but enough for a few good laps!

In terms of changes, Lesley is graying more on her muzzle but that’s about it. She seems the most happy at our place on the coast sniffing through the meadow and trotting along the harbor at low tide (then again who wouldn’t). It’s quiet and mellow there which continues to be Lesley’s way.

Grietje and Robert

17 January 2015

We’ve had Lesley almost 3.5 years, and I don’t think I have ever met a sweeter dog. People who don’t like dogs, people afraid of dogs—anyone that meets Lesley—comment on how incredibly gentle and sweet she is. And they are very right. Our "Porkchop" is doing well. She’s as happy as her quiet spirit can be. (I still think the description of her personality as “a thoughtful artist who has seen the dark side of the world” is perfect.) Lesley is almost 5 now and she is healthy; although, we are having challenges keeping her thin. She’s about 2lbs. overweight right now (46lbs when she should be 44). Thing is, Lesley is ridiculously lazy. She hates running and definitely prefers sleeping in as opposed to our normal waking time—around 7am. (On the weekend, Robert and I would be downstairs having gone running or whatever, and Ms. Lesley would make her way down the stairs around 10am.)

As for news, there are two items. First, Lesley lost her big brother, Leonard, in October 2012 (he passed from liver cancer). And for five months, it was just the three of us-- Robert, Lesley and I. Lesley seemed a bit lost. Leonard was a constant and led the way. Being such a quiet-spirited hound, it was a lot for her to assume the role of top dog. Our dear friend said, “Lesley will be happy when you get another dog and she’s not solely responsible for looking after you.”

And the second piece of news: on March 18, 2013, we brought Harry home. Harry is a 1.5 year old Staffordshire/Pit Bull mix and he is a total meat head. Yes, he is quite sweet and sensitive and that part is definitely a match to Lesley, but he is also full of play. So gone are the days of leisure. She is now playing chase—both chasing and being chased. Lesley also has to tolerate Harry’s need to launch himself on her. She’s not much for rough housing, and she has quite a bark when she’s had enough. But we tend find them together—lounging in the sun, patrolling the garden, cuddling on the sofa, sharing a bed. It’s nice to see. And it’s nice to have a full pack again. I think Leonard and Naomi (our first hound) would approve.

Grietje and Robert

21 May 2013

It has been so long since I have provided an update on Lesley. In some ways, there isn’t much to report—Lesley settled in so very well and is just such a gentle dog. There’s been no drama—no neuroses to conquer, no bad behavior to correct. She and Leonard are great friends and she’s a natural addition to our family and lifestyle. There’s just a whole lot of sweetness in this Houndie Pie.

And yet, Lesley has some interesting idiosyncrasies:

· She loathes—I mean really hates—water. Any variation of it. She would sooner go into oncoming traffic that risk being rained on by a sprinkler. With many trips to Sea Ranch under her belt, Lesley is just getting her sea legs now. She will let the waves break on her feet but they have to be small ones.
· She loves the very edges of cliffs and bluffs. She stands on the very edge and then tries to take one step further. Robert and I joke that we should have named her Vista because she sure does seem to love a good view!
· She is a heat chaser like I have never seen. She will seek out the hottest sun and lay directly in it. When she’s had enough she goes in for just enough time to cool down and then goes right back out again.
· When not in the sun, she sleeps on top of pillows. Her 48 lb self tries to curl herself in the tightest houndie ball and balance on an 18 inch throw pillow.
· She has the greatest sigh ever and is quite vocal in her relaxations.
· She never ever licks but she is a big cuddle bug. She makes sure we have a daily snuggle session by following me into the bedroom and jumping on the bed and splaying out when I sit down to change.

Lesley has really touched our hearts with her quiet self. Salem was right when she first described Lesley as a thoughtful artist. That is very much her way. She’s very well mannered and has become a terrific off-lead dog. It’s such a delight having her with us and we just love the Pork Chop (her first and most often used nickname). We’re very grateful to Salem who cared for Lesley and to Jayne who guided us to this very wonderful little hound.

Grietje and Robert

22 July 2011

Lesley has been with us for almost five months and what a difference those five months have made. She has completely settled—not just in her home, but in the fact that Lesley is now embracing the fact that she is a very much loved pet. Her sweetness appears to show no bounds.

She, however, has definite boundaries when it comes to running. She’s got the looseness and energy to do the miles but Mummy’s focus competes with her need to sniff every little thing. I believe 4.5 miles is her no-sniffing limit. On a recent run, she just decided she had had enough of no-sniffing and just stopped. I had to laugh and we're working on finding a compromise.

Lesley is also immensely curious. There’s not a back yard that she won’t go into. She’s also walked right into a swamp; I had to swim across and get her back. Don’t ask—my off-lead hopes were very premature.

She’s playing daily with Leonard and it is fun to watch them. Leonard’s only chance is to bite at Lesley’s ankles as she zooms by. She passed intermediate obedience and shakes and high-fives with the best of them.

Today, our little family lounged by the pool. I thought you’d enjoy these photos, and an earlier photo of how Lesley prefers to use the treadmill.


21 May 2010

We arrived home on Friday and the initial meeting with Leonard went very well. I suspect they will be fast friends. In fact, it’s wonderful to see Leonard playing again. Everyone was quite tired so we kept it quiet that night.

On Saturday we went for a good walk and stopped at an enclosed school and let Lesley off lead to “run it out.” That little hound can move! She responds to her name and for the little training she has, her recalls are quite good—granted, the treat when she arrives helps. Lesley comes barreling at you—full speed and then suddenly slams on the brakes. She also got the chance to meet my parents, who will be her babysitters when Robert and I are on the road or working late. As expected, she charmed them right away.

On Sunday we started Lesley’s running program. We did a run/walk pattern so as to get her used to it. That too went well. Right now, little Lesley is curled up on her dog bed in the den sound asleep. Lesley is quite the snoozer!

I am so glad to have gone to Tennessee to meet Salem who took such good care of Lesley, and to meet Ms. Lesley herself. I knew within minutes of meeting Lesley that she would come home. We also decided to keep her name as Lesley. We were thinking of renaming her Lily because she is such a sweet little flower, as the name suggests. But in tribute to the history of her name and the fact—even with all that sweetness—there is a spirited-ness about her (like a good Scot), we’re keeping the name. It suits her.

I was having dinner with a dear friend and we were talking about Naomi’s passing. She said, “Naomi, in dying, released her rescue halo and it’s floating over the United States waiting for just the right hound to land on.” It was such a nice idea and it has provided much comfort. And, she was right. The rescue halo did land, and it landed on Lesley. Thank you Jayne, for letting us adopt Lesley and thank you Salem (you really are an angel), for sharing your time with us and being your wondrous hound luvin' self. We feel truly blessed.

Take Care and Merry Christmas!

Grietje and Robert

22 December 2009