Monday, 28 October 2013 20:15
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Snoopy and Jess

Our Rescue Dogs Snoopy and Jess by Heather

Jess's Story

I contacted the Rescue at the beginning of the year and within a couple of weeks got 6 year old Jess, how could you not fall in love with this beautiful friendly girl, she was classed as a white GSD but was more the beautiful colour of a Golden Retriever, she loved cuddles even from strangers. Obviously her previous owners had spent a lot of time training her she was paws perfect although a little headstrong when off lead if there were other dogs about, thought they were all there for her to play with!

I was told she had a tendency to relieve herself in the house on occasion so the first couple of days I was out every hour almost, first night I took her out as late as I could a walked her long enough to make sure she relieved herself, first thing in the morning taking her out again as early as possible, as the days went on I made a little longer between outs and so far, 10 months later I haven't had a single accident in the house, just goes to prove what a little work can do doesn't it?

I decided to take Jess to the vet for a preliminary visit, she wasn't eating too well and we put that down to still feeling a bit out with her new surroundings. I also wanted to find out when I could get her dressed, as dictated by the Rescue and the no breeding policy. It turned out she had pymotra, a womb infection that can kill the dog, the vet said to leave her there and he would dress her next day! Obviously once I got over the main concern, Jess's health, I thought 'how am I going to pay for this?' as getting the dog dressed is not covered by pet insurance. Because it was an unforeseen serious infection that had pre-empted the op I discovered that it was covered, less the excess obviously, thank goodness I had taken out insurance when advised to by Karen from the Rescue. The vet also allowed me to pay the balance in agreed monthly payments, seems a lot of vets do this if you're not well off and they know you, everyone in that position should make enquiries with their local vet about that. Jess got through her op fine but still seemed listless for a while and still faddy about eating, I made a lot of boiled chicken and rice initially, also giving into whims at this stage, anything to get her eating. She's now eating better with less faddiness and a happier looking dog I wouldn't part with her for anything.

Snoopy's Story

When we first got Snoopy just after getting Jess we thought what a beautiful big dog, he was just 4 years old, another white GSD slightly lighter golden than Jess. He was a bit on the thin side, his spine was very prominent. We didn't, as is often the case with Rescue dogs, know much of his history but we took the first day we got him as the start and didn't dwell too much on what had once been, we made our own history for him from that day.

He pulled a lot on the lead and we knew he was going to be a handful. Very strong willed and didn't seem to respond to me or our teenage daughter at first, ok with men though but very stubborn. He was very territorial running around the perimeter of the garden like a guard dog barking at everyone and everything that had the audacity to pass within visual distance. He still does his guard like run around the garden but slowly Ronnie is calming him down by blocking his focus much like you would distract an unruly child that you love. He is totally devoted to his master as anyone would know were they to see them together. If he's off lead he will take off so still working on that one. He also honours my daughter and I listening and responding to orders from us, sometimes reluctantly granted, but hey it's progress so a plus there too!

Since then Ronnie has worked slowly with a lot of patience and love and you can see he's packed out and he's a doing a lot better, he has proved to be a friendly, huggable big teddy bear and great with adults and kids haven't tested him with close proximity cats yet.......... lol! As you can see by the pics he has a bit of a sense of humour, knows he isn't allowed on the bed but still tried to look cute when caught on it, think he succeeded don't you? Once the pic was taken he was told to get off though!

On another plus side, getting Snoopy within a few weeks of getting Jess also helped her get back into eating as she saw Snoopy as competition for the grub. She is a bit of a matriarch with him and he's just so laid back he gives into her, amazing for such an obviously alpha male huh? They have got on extremely well since they first met, although we did take the precaution of meeting them out in the local park gradually bringing them closer and closer then walking parallel, never take a new dog into another dogs territory that's bound to cause territorial problems.

Some things just take time, patience and love but then if you really want your Rescue dog you will work at it same as you would if you have any responsibilities. The reward from turning around these dogs lives to a better quality is truly priceless.
I would advise people to be realistic when asking for a Rescue dog, don't take one for the wrong reasons ie pity or as a trophy, know your own limitations and restrictions in life. That's not to say Karen or Liz won't do that for you, believe me they do check into everything before placing a dog and always try to match owners with as near as right dog for them as is possible. After all they want to get it right first time or the poor dog would have to go through re-homing process more often than any pet should.

You have to be truly committed and understand anything worth having requires effort. Too many people get dogs and once the cute puppy stage is by they lose interest, either that they let the dog away with murder, don't attempt to train the dog beyond give me a paw or roll over then wonder why it doesn't do what it's told when a bit older. There are puppy and obedience classes all over the country look for one near you, most of them are inexpensive and well worth every penny, not only does it help train your precious pet it also helps them to socialise with other dogs thus restricting possible dog fights in the future.

Not all Rescue dogs need a lot of training, nor do they all come from neglectful, cruel previous owners, sometimes owners circumstances just change and they are no longer able to keep a dog and want to to be fair by getting it the life it deserves. I think both our dogs stories proves that to be true.

Little known fact time: Did you know that the dog many of you call an Alsatian is in fact a German Shepherd dog? There is no difference, I know many people who think the short haired is an Alsatian and the long haired a German Shepherd. Help us to put this myth to bed. We were at war with Germany when these dogs were brought over so they were named after the region in Germany they came from, formerly known as Alsace, later changed to Alsatia. This was to make them more acceptable. So there you go, impress your friends with this little piece of knowledge!

I hope reading our story helps someone make up their mind on either getting or giving a dog to the Rescue.

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