Portrait Of A Dog – (Lord) Byron

Byron in Grace’s dog bed

When you take a first look at (Lord) Byron, the Gordon Setter that was found in the Neapolitan countryside by my father’s partner in the summer of 2020, you don’t immediately realize how beautiful he is. One is generally too focused on his hyperactivity and playful ways to notice anything else. Only during those rare moments when he’s watching you cook or he’s sleeping on the floor do you see his beauty, as all setters tend to have a regal aura about them.

Byron was very ill when he first arrived home; he was born with meningitis and was saved from the streets after having both his legs broken (this makes me feel extremely angry and sad because there are still too many people around that are mistreating and abusing stray animals); my father’s partner took care of the dog from the beginning, bringing him to an excellent animal clinic in North-East Italy, where they performed surgery on him and managed to give him a good quality of life.

Byron is so funny to be around, he’s like a character actor! His facial expressions are often hilarious, and he is quite mischievous; that’s probably because he is still a puppy, since he turned two in the month of May. We could not having him neutered because his meningitis syndrome prevents him from tolerating anesthetics, as we first discovered when he had to undergo surgery for his broken legs. This resulted in him chasing our female dogs all around the house; the ladies are quite exhausted with his behavior and definitely not very happy about it!

I love Byron because he is the classic dog that will make you crazy with his wanting to eat whenever he sees someone eating (he is the one who’s totally obsessed with eating, like Grace, our Irish setter, so it must be a peculiarity of this dog breed) and loud barking when he wants attention; he is basically a child in that sense! We usually spend quite some time scolding him but it doesn’t have any effect on him, as he finds it amusing; he loves to follow me around the house and play with the other dogs, he is super affectionate, often standing on his hind legs to hug us, which is incredibly sweet and hilarious to see. This is also the method he uses to steal my father’s slippers from the top of a cabinet whenever he’s not home; he has been chewing on so many slippers and flip-flops in the past two years that we finally decided to hide them from his sight!

Byron loves water and will always be comfortable spending hot summer days in one of the inflatable pools we bought for the dogs to cool off in the garden, even though not all of them enjoy being in the water (Ambra, for example, hates being washed and she always runs away from the water hose whenever we have to use it).

Byron is such a good-natured dog, he makes us laugh so much with the strange, human-like noises he makes when he wants to draw attention on himself; he has become an essential component of the dog group, and he generally brings joy and laughter everywhere he goes.

Portrait of (Lord) Byron

All pictures are my own.

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