Written By Emily Louie’s Mummy
Where do I even begin with my street dog, Louie….. I guess the only good place, is right at the start. Whilst living and working in Siem Reap, Cambodia Louie came into my life. He was found as a very small pup, in a bush with awful mange and an infection in the bone in one of his back legs and was fostered initially by one of my housemates. My family will say that they already knew Louie’s fate as soon as he stepped foot inside that house, but it took me a few days to realise that this small, scabby, bald, gangly little boy should walk through the rest of his life with me. And me with him. He arrived as Moses (named by the lovely French lady that found him), was called Puppy while fostered by my housemate and was quickly renamed to Louie when I decided to keep him just a week into his stay with us. Louie and I lived happily together in Siem Reap for three years where we quickly settled into a routine. Riding on my moped together around town (Louie would sit calmly in the footwell watching the world go by), attending the weekly doggie social in the local park and daily walks along the river to break up the days in the office where Louie became part of the furniture.
In 2018 I decided that it was time to return to my family and friends in the UK and so began the preparations for Louie’s journey too. Growing up we had many rescued animals and it was always instilled in me that once you take them in, they are yours for life, so to the surprise of some people in Cambodia, I never questioned bringing Louie back to the UK with me. Yes, it was costly, yes it was time consuming and yes it was stressful, but it was worth all of it!! Louie and I set off from Siem Reap and flew to Hanoi where he was in his crate in the animal hold. We changed planes in Hanoi and flew direct to Paris where my INCREDIBLE sister and mum were waiting. They had driven through the Eurotunnel and stayed in a hotel overnight to collect us and drive us home. Within 24 hours of leaving Siem Reap, me and Louie were sat in my parent’s garden in the South West having a glass of wine (that was for me 😉) and eating fish and chips (Louie may have been treated to a little of the fish to celebrate).
Louie and I have now been in the UK for over two years. It took him a while to settle into his new life, but he has, and he loves it. The long walks off the lead, the many doggie friends he has in the family, the family members that care for him when I’m away and the consistency that these family members bring to his life. See, there is one thing that I haven’t told you about Louie yet and that’s that he’s quite an anxious pup. He is like no other dog that we’ve ever owned in our family or like any other dog that I’ve met before. Dogs in Cambodia aren’t domesticated in the same way that your pup might be and that makes them charming, full of personality, but they also keep you on your toes. Louie is a real pack dog, has great doggie manners and loves meeting other dogs. He’s just not so good with strange humans! Who knows what happened to Louie when he was a pup living on the streets but for some reason it takes him a long time to trust new people. Once he does trust you, he’s the most loyal boy you’ll find.
Louie and I have recently moved out of my parents’ house, where I was saving to buy my first property, and into that first house together – yay! We live a few minutes’ walk from the beach which means that twice a day Louie is running freely on the beach and usually getting himself into mischief. I am always aware of Louie’s anxiety so to protect him and other people Louie wears a bright yellow bandana that asks people not to touch him and it works wonders. The majority of people, usually other dog owners, are respectful and don’t try to touch him. Every now and then there is someone who’ll say, ‘don’t worry, I’m great with dogs’ as they go to touch him. I find this incredibly frustrating as I know my boy and I wish these people respected his space and my wishes. I guess I’m mentioning this a note to others, every pup is unique, has a history and its own personality with all of its positives and challenges and people should be mindful of this before assuming every dog wants to meet you or your animal.
Anyway, maybe I’ve rambled on a little but that’s my boy Louie – he’s loyal, playful, loves running (will chase a ball but will NEVER bring it back), takes treats in the most gentle manner, has anxiety with new humans and loud noises, is becoming more cuddly the older he gets, he’s very cheeky and he’s also a proud member of the PG Pack and has loved being part of such a positive, supportive and growing human and puppy dog family!!