So today we were lucky enough to meet beautiful 'Chewie' the spinone... who came to Quistel this morning to collect his prize of £50's worth of Quistel grooming and health products for winning June's 'Puddy Cat & Pooch' competition.
As you can see from the photos, Chewie is absolutely beautiful and posed quite happily next to all his Quistel goodies... it was a pleasure meeting him!
Chewie's owners... Chris & Heidi Shackleton were good enough to email us over some info about Chewie which we've added below.
We have had Chewie (after Chewbacca from Star Wars….another big, daft brown monster) since he was 13 weeks old and he is now 2 and a half years old- at least physically.
We looked into other breeds as we wanted a dog with a great temperament, a lot of character and who would love long walks. That said, all his daft Dad wanted was a dog that looked like a cartoon, could talk and would solve crimes. He certainly does talk to us but as yet no mysteries have been solved.
Chewie is an Italian Spinone, which is an Italian Hunt, Point and Retrieve dog and he loves to range around forests, hunting and snuffling.
He is a little unusual for the breed as he is quite smooth coated and people often think he is a German Wirehaired Pointer or an Otterhound as many people haven’t seen a Spinone. He doesn’t seem to mind though as they are both handsome dogs too.
He obviously has a lot of the old Italian dogs in him as he is so at home in his natural habitat. He can spend hours, bounding through the trees looking for something he can have fun with. His favourite trick is to get the biggest branch he can, firmly locked in his teeth, and run around showing off.
We have a famous and rare book on Spinoni and we were amazed to see some very old photos in there with dogs that looked just like him!
There is one not necessarily pleasant trait of his hunting past though and that is his love of camouflaging himself….well his scent anyway..... by indulging in a spot of poo rolling! It may mean he is a better hunter but it is certainly smelly work.
I’m not sure he’d be much good hunting at night though as the sound of his snoring would waken everyone for miles, with its resonant rumble. It may annoy the neighbours but, to us, it’s the sound of a happy, snoozy and contented dog.
Chewie is an extremely friendly lad. He wants nothing more than to be everybody’s friend and the only time he gets upset is if people don't say “Hello” to him.
He is great with children, of all ages and loves to play with anyone. All he asks is that you ruffle his fur and give him a cuddle.
He recently paid a local primary school a visit, as my Niece had to do a presentation on her family pets and, as she loves taking Chewie for a walk, she thought he would be much better entertainment than her cat. He was very well behaved and all the children loved him and his floppy ears and made a big fuss of him.
He also likes to go and see my great Aunt who lives in a Nursing Home and when there, he is such a good, gentle boy- happily standing there as the the old folks come for a snuggle.
Quistel was recommended to us as, with all his running through the trees and long grass, his ears have always been a bit troublesome.
Spinoni can quite often have trouble with waxy ears and need a lot of care but since using Quistel he hasn't had a problem. Well, he can have a bout of “Cloth” ears when he is having so much fun and doesn’t want to go home…….
His skin can also give him some problems as he is allergic to some tree pollens- not the best thing when your favourite place is the woodlands- but by using Quistel’s shampoo, this seems to have come under control.
People love his moustache and beard and wherever we go people stop us to say hello, ask what breed he is and comment on his Colonel-like looks. They always give him a good rub under his chin and leave with a smile. It takes us ages to get anywhere sometimes as people stop us and want a photo.
We don't go to dog shows though as we’ve never wanted him to be a show dog, just be a part of the family and a trip out for the day would not be complete without him.
He loves long walks with his friends and we meet up every month for a walk with the Northwest Spinone group and, true to form, he always has to be at the front. He loves exploring and adventuring but this also means his Dad has to keep pace with him and make sure he’s not leading the rest of the tribe into any shenanigans.
There are also a lot of fun events and holidays that we go to, all over the country, which also double as fundraising parties for the Spinone Health Fund and Spinone Rehome- a very important cause to which Quistel have very kindly donated raffle prizes to. He has the best time galloping around with 100 of his pals and is always exhausted!
All in all, we think we made a great choice with Chewie- I say that but it was certainly more a case of him choosing us (sitting on our feet when he was tiny) and there is nothing more to say other than we love him.
Well done again to Chewie, we really hope he enjoys the products and we're also very happy to announce that Chewie will be featuring in Quistel's Calendar for 2014... more details on that will be posted soon!