Ali has kindly written a piece for the Bonaforte Blog about Presto. Fortunately for all of us Presto was a singleton, and thank goodness for that. Don't get me wrong he is adorable, one in a million, very kind minded, very loving, but as Ali says just everything happens to him, he is a walking calamity. This is the story of Presto so far, and without doubt there will be more to come. Thank you for sharing your journey to date!!!!

Whilst chatting to a friend at the IWS Limit Show on Saturday I suddenly realised that many people are unaware that we have ‘one of those dogs’. Let me explain further; as most of you know, Hector is our first ever Wolfhound, but we have owned other giant breeds for nearly 20 years, particularly St Bernards and Neapolitan Mastiffs. We lost our beloved Bernard, Gandalf (AKA Goose) in 2011 very unexpectedly and so when Presto arrived a few weeks later it seemed like fate and he ended up coming to us. The first few months with Presto (more commonly known now as HP) were great, if a little noisy as he loved playing with Hector and Mack (our remaining Bernard), but he began to grow into a lovely looking puppy and we were delighted with our new addition. However, HP rapidly seemed to develop a knack for being ridiculous and for being clumsy and so we had quite a few bumps and scrapes with him as a youngster. His trend for chaos and destruction seemed to grow on a par with his legs and so by the time we got him into the show ring he had already notched up quite a few minor illnesses and collisions. Naturally, we tried desperately to keep him safe and well and he has always been extremely well looked after and received the best nutrition, exercise and medical care. I should also say at this point that his breeder (and her husband) has been superb in her support and utterly amazing in every respect and we have become very good friends (largely due to us needing to support each other through HP’s antics, I think). By the age of 8 months it became apparent that Presto is indeed ‘one of those dogs’. We all know someone in our lives who seems to have the most terrible run of bad luck and whom things happen to on a regular basis that just seem to be totally unfair. Well the same is also true in the canine world and every so often (hopefully just once in your lifetime) a dog comes along that falls foul to all sorts of medical conditions and whose run of bad luck appears never ending – we have HP! I always refrain from actually listing Presto’s dramas as it makes such depressing reading and there have been a few occasions along the way where we all were holding our breath to see if he would recover (I am keen not to dwell on those occasions and to keep moving forward for my own sanity, more than anything else). HP also has a taste for the exotic and so some of his issues are quite rare and worth putting down on paper. Carla and I will certainly do that through the website blog [http://www.bonaforte.com/blogl-irish-wolfhounds], if nothing else it may just help somebody else should they be unfortunate enough to be going through something similar. At the time of writing this article Presto has upped his game plan recently and we have had quite a run on medical stuff the last few weeks including: affected movement from ongoing results of HOD (a condition he developed at 8 months where an infection got into the top of his femurs), Orchitis (one testicle swelled up due to trauma, but has now shrunk to the size of a walnut), a nasty bout of gastroenteritis (after he ate something that he and Wally dug up in the garden) and a nasty upper respiratory tract infection (that we managed to get to in time to prevent it developing into full blown pneumonia). Remember, this is just the recent stuff and by no means an exhaustive list! At this point you’re probably thinking one or several of the following: 1) That dog is a walking disaster and a complete jinx 2) It must be down to bad breeding
3) The dog must look like a train wreck by now 4) Bet that has put you off Wolfhounds for life 5) Your vet bill must be horrendous Well in reality, none of the above are true, but we are very grateful to Presto’s insurance company as they have never quibbled over anything and also have not put his premium up dramatically this year. HP still looks absolutely lovely and we have recently added Wally to our household, so he has not put us off – well not yet! As for the ‘bad breeding’ comment, well that would be a cop-out on our part (and completely bogus) to attribute Presto’s medical issues to his parents or indeed his DNA and none of his illnesses or injuries can in any way be caused by his breeding. All of Presto’s dramas could have easily happened to any dog and I’m sure they have happened to other dogs owned by other people, it’s just that HP likes to have more than his fair share of them. Depending on your outlook on life in general, you could deem us to be some of the unluckiest people on the planet in owning such a dog and certainly, at times, we do end up on an emotional roller coaster with Presto and it can be exhausting. However, without Presto, we would not have learned so many things about him, the breed or indeed ourselves and so we are grateful to him for that. Presto has taught us an awful lot in the last 13 months and there may come a time when he doesn’t pull through and bounce back with his usual zest and determination, but we will deal with that too, if and when it happens. Just writing little articles about some of the medical stuff and also writing this helps enormously and at least it puts HP’s antics to some use? So next time you see us out and about or at a show just smile and put a friendly hand on my shoulder and say that you understand that ‘we own one of those dogs’! By the way, goes without saying, that if you ever want to know anything about any of his medical conditions, just drop me an email or give me a call – we’re always happy to help. Ali

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