Posts Tagged With: affection

A wonderful success story – and a happy ending!

SOPHIE – Staffie x – approx 6 yrs – Redcliffe, Bristol

SOPHIE is a sweetheart who so deserves her forever home after everything she has been through. She does need something a bit special, but we know that the right home is out there for her, maybe with you?

This lovely girl would prefer to be the only dog in the home. Whilst she did previously live with 2 other dogs as time went on she began to feel the need to referee their play sessions and this led on to fighting. She is happier without those stress levels around her.

On walks also Sophie prefers to ignore other dogs, although will tolerate them as long as they don’t pester or hassle her. She will play fetch alongside another dog with no incidents, but should still be watched carefully just to be aware of any signs of anxiety or guarding.

Sophie recently suffered a neck injury, believed to have been sustained jumping from a counter. This caused something similar to whiplash and she was on steroids and reduced exercise while the inflammation and pain eased. It caused her to drag her front paws and she wore down her middle two claws to the point of bleeding. Whilst this is improving well, walks of longer than 20 minutes on pavement still cause scraping so she has little booties to wear which her foster Mum is happy to pass on. Although the pain appears to have gone (she was prescribed Tramadol as Metacam made her sick), she should be prevented from jumping heights or jarring needlessly.

As a result of this injury and reduced exercise Sophie gained some weight so is a little overweight at the moment. She gets tired after playing fetch for 10 minutes, but does love it, so play and exercise are important. She also enjoys her walks and manages an hour at walking pace. If a walk is missed due to illness or other commitments she does not pester and simply settles to the changed routine.

On or off lead Sophie is a dream. She walks beautifully on lead and only begins to pull when excited, but stops immediately she is told. Off lead she remains close, never losing sight of you, and her recall is 100%. Obviously in a new home a bond would need to be built before any off lead walking is undertaken, but in the right setting and once she has gained trust in her person she focuses totally on them.

Sophie is not good with small furries or woollies, so sadly we would not be able to home her where there are cats, rabbits or similar small pets or indeed around livestock.

On meeting new people Sophie tends to shy away and prefer to be left alone. She’s a shy girl who likes to make friends in her own time and at her own pace. Whilst she will not show any negative behaviour in terms of growling or lip curling, she will make her discomfort clear by turning her head away or physically moving away if she can. And whilst she has allowed unknown children to hug her without complaint, she is not used to children and has never lived with them, so with these factors combined we would like to find a quiet home with no resident children and no visiting young children where she has the sole company and attention of a gentle and patient Mum and/or Dad and time to bond with them. Sophie’s life before coming through Loving Homes Dog Rescue to her first home was one filled with neglect and breeding, and we need to know that for the rest of her life she will be treated like the special girl she is and her needs always respected.

Although Sophie doesn’t play much, she does love tennis balls, so prospective owners best stock up on those! She also loves her Kong filled with tasty treats, and frozen raw bones. She shows no possessiveness or guarding with people touching these and does not snatch.

Sophie used to suffer quite badly with separation anxiety, but it has improved well in her foster home where she has been left for 4 hours without noise or destructiveness. She also has a crate which has aided in her sense of security and independence, although it is left open for her to choose whether to use it. New owners should be aware however that a change of home and the unsettling of making a new bond may trigger this issue again, and it is important to be prepared to work on building up to leaving her slowly.

In the home Sophie is a very relaxed girl, and will happily sleep for long periods. She does not pester for attention or constant amusement, but does like to be close to you, especially when sleeping. She’s a real ‘cuddler’. She’s also a bit of a worrier, so her snuggling up is her security and reassurance that all’s well. She currently sleeps with her foster Mum in her bed, so prospective owners should be aware of this and consider whether this is something they would accept, or at least be willing to teach her to sleep in a bed alongside theirs. She may not adjust well to being expected to sleep downstairs alone after this time.

In many respects Sophie is a very easy girl. She travels quite well, and although she used to suffer from travel sickness this seems to have improved and she travels easily for a couple of hours. She needs very little grooming and is tolerant of being handled all over. She is good at having her front nails clipped (with the aid of treats), although a little fussier with the back. In the Summer she needs a little sunscreen on her nose, and in the Winter she feels the cold very easily so wears coats and pyjamas.

Sophie is spayed, vaccinated, microchipped, flea and worm treated.

She occasionally suffers from ‘Swimmers Tail’ and the vet has prescribed Tramadol for this. It is usually resolved in a day or 2.
**What is Swimmer’s Tail?
Swimmer’s Tail happens when a dog’s tail gets strained or sprained by activities such as swimming or playing. The tail will be sore and the dog may not be able to wag it or hold it up for a few days. It is most commonly seen in breeds who use their tails A LOT for swimming and wagging purposes 🙂
How is Swimmer’s Tail Treated?
A few days rest is the best treatment for swimmer’s tail. Most cases resolve themselves within a few days. Your veterinarian may prescribe a pain or anti-inflammatory medication if your dog is uncomfortable.**

Anyone wishing to discuss Sophie or be considered for adoption is asked to email enquiries@lovinghomesdogrescue.org.uk with their name, address and contact telephone numbers. Please state that it is Sophie you are interested in.

A telephone interview, homecheck and adoption donation/contract apply.

Loving Homes Dog Rescue Dogs for Adoption's photo.
Loving Homes Dog Rescue Dogs for Adoption's photo.Loving Homes Dog Rescue Dogs for Adoption's photo.
And the happy ending? Megan, who fostered Sophie in the beginning and again this time, has now adopted her and they are both ecstatic! 🙂
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Loving Homes Dog Rescue’s Dog of the Week….

Dog of the Week

Dog of the Week

XENA – Crossbreed – 3 years – Orkney

XENA is a beautiful 3 year old Crossbreed currently located in the Orkney Isles.
She could be homed with a large male dog who is tolerant but robust; Xena plays very hard and needs supervision, correction and ‘time outs’ with this to ensure safe playtimes.

She has never shown aggression to dogs she meets on walks, but has a tendency to be over excitable and domineering and would possibly scare some dogs. Continued work on her manners will be needed.

Xena is high energy and her usual walk and exercise routine comprises of some good off lead run and play time. Her recall is poor though, responding better to a whistle than voice, but still with work needed to be consistent. The occasional missed walk does not cause a problem, but she will need at least one long active walk, or a shorter walk with an off lead play session daily as a rule. Xana is not for couch potatoes wink emoticon

Once on lead Xena can walk well, unless distracted when she will pull hard. However she is responsive to voice command and will need ongoing training to improve her focus and response.

Xena must NOT be allowed offlead around livestock. She has a high prey drive, which is now controlled but will need ongoing training, and cannot be homed with cats or small furries. She will also chase birds.

Whilst Xena does need an experienced and knowledgeable home, she loves people and is keen to greet them. This can be exuberant at times, so she will not be homed where there are children under 12, or elderly/frail residents for their own safety.

Xena has shown no food, treat or toy possessiveness or aggression and has learned to leave, or sit for food and treats and wait when told. This will need continued reinforcement, and she may attempt to snaffle food from a hand if it was in reach, or from a low lying table.

She travels well in a car, crated and harnessed. She has also traveled loose on occasion without incident.

She can be left for short periods at home without problems, although rubbish bins should be well secured away, and is fine when crated. She will sleep alone in a kitchen, or crated, and settle at night without issue.

Xena is a wriggly girl when being groomed but enjoys it. She is ok to bath and wipe her paws, and being short coated needs little in the way of major attention in this area.

All in all Xena is a happy, very bouncy girl. She loves attention and people but she would need an owner very aware of her prey drive (although this is workable) and able to deal with her strength. She would need ongoing training with a confident owner. Could that be you?

Xena is spayed, vaccinated, microchipped, flea and worm treated.

Anyone wishing to discuss Xena or be considered for adoption is asked to email enquiries@lovinghomesdogrescue.org.uk with their name, address and contact telephone numbers. Please state that it is Xena you are interested in.

A telephone interview, homecheck and adoption donation/contract apply.

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Life is good, life is busy!

imageI know I haven’t been here for a while, but that’s a good thing in a way. The dogs have bonded so well, it’s brilliant to see! They still grumble and fight over toys, but it’s more controlled. They are warned if they start to sound too aggressive, and Zeus is given “time-out” in the playpen if he’s overly boisterous. His recall is better and he understands the different intonations of a serious No!, as opposed to a gentler, more persuasive Noooo!

Here they are, sharing the garden! They even dig holes together – naughty!

We  are seeing definite signs that Zeus isn’t a pure Staffy. He’s too big for starters and he’s an amazing guard dog. He also has a different, throatier bark for after dark… We suspect he’s probably got some Rottweiler in him, judging by the photos of Rottweiler/Staffy crosses we’ve found online. That’s fine by me because as always, it’s about how you bring a dog up, not the breed per se.

This is one loveable rogue and a very affectionate boy.

image

As you can see, he’s always trying to kiss you! And, when he barks at someone, or something that’s bothered him, he dashes to one of us, takes our hand/arm and tries to lead us to whatever that is. I’ve never had a dog do that before, so this is very intriguing. I am very grateful that he barks as we really missed that when our old German Shepherd passed. A good bark is a great deterrent.

I have been baking treats for the dogs too… I found an excellent blog with a wide variety of recipes, complete with photos, step by step, and thus far they’ve had liver cake and sardine oatcakes – wolfed down! I recommend this site as the feedback is positive and plentiful and some of the recipes are by a Canine Dietician, which can only be a positive!

I admit, Ambs and Nick are sceptical but the dogs and I are not. It is extremely rewarding watching my baking skills go to making sure my dogs are eating healthily when they get treats, and I like knowing exactly what’s in their goodies. So do try Jamie’s recipes. Go here:

Bishopton Dog Walking Services  www.bdws.co.uk

 

 

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Happiness is…

Having two dogs that play together, eat and sleep together. I can’t believe how far these two have come since January when Zeus first entered our home. I have lots of new footage to share – just waiting on himself (Nick), to edit and upload to Youtube…

Meanwhile, today has been hectic and the dogs have been playing outside in the sunshine for the last couple of hours, getting hot and bothered, calming down and coming in for a drink and a bite to eat, and then flying back outdoors again for more play!

We have been introducing the concept of Tug-of-war as an alternative to just eating each other’s faces when playing, and so far they are having fun – even the growling is occasional and appears to be non-threatening (although we do keep an eye on them, just in case).

Here’s a short video of them sharing a piece of toast…

Zeus & Flake were playing outside together while I was making toast for breakfast. Flake can smell a piece of toast from 50 yards, so she came running into the kitchen – and where she goes, Zeus follows.
We got into the toast habit with our old dog Thor (who passed in December last year), and it has become a routine that when we have toast, the dogs get a piece to share too…
It was Zeus’s first time, outside of his playpen, so he did really well.
It’s amazing to think he’s only been with us since January, as he’s come such a long way!

Sharing really is caring!!

 

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Zeus and his pants!

Zeus is still teething quite a lot, and he loves to chew fabric… We gave him an old flannel, wetted with cold water and he chewed that till I decided it was too bitty not to possibly cause choking.

Now he has a new pair of white pants (well they started off white, lol!), to chew and play with!

Things have been progressing with Zeus and Flake really well this week. They will eat and drink from the same bowl, with no fuss or arguments. They are seriously loving and affectionate to one another too, and simply want to play/play-fight all day long!

Zeus annoys Flake in the late evenings though, especially when she’s rudely awakened by 30lbs of Staffy climbing on her, trying to share her bed! So she’ll play a little some nights, others she simply takes herself off to DD’s bedroom upstairs!

The little man has doubled in size and weight – we have no idea how big he’ll end up. He seems (to us), to be rather longer in the leg than a full Satffordshire Bull Terrier, and he could possibly have some Rottweiler or Labrador in him. I think that will only become apparent when he’s fully grown – possibly at 12-18 months.

However, he has an awesome, loving and joyful personality and we really aren’t bothered – he’s our “Wonder-Dog”!! 🙂

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Unconditional love leads to…

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love

This photo personifies the unconditional these two have for each other.

Thanks to our DD’s adoption of Flake, we adopted Zeus after our old boy passed. We love him to bits, already! We are heavily involved in helping and supporting our friends Chris and Paula who run Loving Homes Dog Rescue, and to that end, DD has become “Foster Co-ordinator”  and we are her lieutenants!

Her role is to keep a check on all the LHDR dogs currently in foster, support and help them wherever necessary. That’s quite a responsibility for a 19-year old – especially as she’s there for them 24/7! We have a Facebook group solely for Fosterers where they can post messages and photos so we can share how the dogs are doing and help with any problems.

So far, so good. This will enable Chris and Paula to free up a bit of their time doing all the other work needed to ensure the safety and rescue of more dogs. We are all also looking at ways to raise much needed funds to continue the work…

There is a Donate button on the website and I’ll advertise any campaigns we come up with here too. 🙂

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Learning to love one another…

So Zeus is now nearly 5 months old, growing beautifully, getting new teeth and developing his own character. He has the worst Staffy trait ever – stubborn as hell, but also the best – total willingness to please you! How to reconcile these two – one day I may discover the secret, but for now it eludes me.

He and Flake are getting to know each for longer periods every day. In the evenings when we sit in front of the telly, he comes out and lays on the sofa, happily chewing on a stag bar. Flake then chooses when she will come and greet him, and how long she’ll put up with his big puppy paws round her face and over her eyes! Last night, she came to play for the first time ever.

It started out calmly, with lots of mutual ear-licking and a bit of nibbling by Zeus. I had a loose (but secure), grip on his collar so that I could pull him away if he stressed her out, or vice versa.

Suddenly, the big girl lay down and rolled onto her back, he leant forward and they played the “Staffy-snarly” game, which looks a bit like mouth-to-mouth with teeth! Once this happens on a more regular basis, we’ll film it and I’ll post it on here – but for now, my hands are otherwise occupied and my senses on high alert!

However, Nick took a couple of pics with his phone…


free-play2

free-play

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Doctor Zeus!

A slight play on words there!! Seriously – our pupster is usually very lively first thing in the morning, but he’s been amazing with me the past 2 mornings. I have had a seriously painful cough for nearly 3 weeks and I really can’t remember the last night I slept through.

I got out our spare duvet and have been sleeping downstairs on the sofa lately, in order to let Nick rest up and get over his kidney infection. So, yesterday was the last straw when I had 3 consecutive bouts of coughing until I was sick – eurgh!

Nick and I went off to Primary Care (GP was closed for inhouse training, wouldn’t you know?!), and 2 hours later, I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and prescribed antibiotics. Thank goodness – I know I’m going to get better now!

Anyway, I was still sleeping this morning when Nick and Zeus came down, so he went outside to answer Nature’s call, had his breakfast – by which time I was awake – and then, instead of dashing around all over the place, enjoying his freedom, he gently jumped up on top of the duvet and lay there quietly watching over me with his big brown eyes…

Doctor-puppyDogs really are amazing, aren’t they? We had a lovely nap together, and he really comforted me when I was down… Imagine what he’ll be like when he’s grown up, if he can show so much love and compassion as a puppy. 🙂

 

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Zeus outgrows his collar!

Today we went off to our local Kennelgate pet store – Zeus has outgrown his puppy collar! We popped him into our friend’s baby Husky Harness and he sat in the back seat with his “seat belt” on…

BeforeThe ladies at the store haven’t seen Zeus since we got him that first day, so they were surprised at how much he’s grown. They said he’s a lot longer, and just as wriggly! We chose him a 20″ Ancol adjustable collar and spotted an Ancol Combat dog lead in Camo colours! That’s absolutely perfect for him, specially for when we go fishing!!

AfterHe’s getting big, strong and very shiny. I’m so proud of his progress. Apart from the odd accident in the playpen, he’s fully house-trained, goes to the door to ask to go out and does his business exactly where he should.

He seems to have learnt these basics, like sitting and giving a paw for his dinner and occasional treats, very quickly indeed. I think watching Flake has helped enormously too – I’ve never had a pup at the same time as an adult dog, so I wasn’t expecting this level of progress! Bonus!

I feel rubbish at the moment – got the social virus cold and cough that’s going round and can’t seem to shake it…. Never mind, eventually it’ll pass!

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After the storm…

Nick was back in A&E again on Thursday – with pain so bad in his lower back he could barely catch a breath. There was more to this lung infection/suspected kidney stones than we thought. After being assessed (within minutes of arriving and checking in), we were transferred to Majors and then more blood was taken, pain relief given, vitals done, 3 x-rays and we were transferred to the Surgical Assessment ward…

I kid you not, I was really worried… I’d left poor DD at home to hold the fort and take charge of the dogs. She was worried sick and pretty tearful (idolises her Dad!) and anxious, as she had a friend coming for the weekend all the way from the West Country, and we were supposed to fetch her later that evening from Newark…

By 2pm, another Consultant had examined Nick and he was waiting for a Cat Scan. We were both hungry and thirsty – neither of us had eaten as we’d been at the hospital since 9.30am… So, I came home to eat, collect night things for him and return to see what time he’d have his scan. The doctor wanted him to stay overnight for observation anyway. DD had made other  arrangements to fetch her friend and I went back to the hospital at 6pm.

Nick had had his scan by then and eaten some of his evening meal. He was also more comfortable as they’d administered morphine for the pain! Turns out he had (or had had), a severe kidney infection, resulting in swelling of both kidneys, causing him distress. He’s to have a cytoscopy in a couple of weeks to check his bladder, in case a passing ‘stone’ has caused any damage. He was to be allowed home the following day, conditionally, if all went well and he was able to manage his pain…

We were both absolutely exhausted. Adjustments to sleeping arrangements have been made and I am coping – just! Zeus continues to grow and thrive, although his nipping causes concern with Flake so still very short bursts of contact are the norm. This is also stressful, as I’d like nothing more than for the pair of them to be mates and play together. It’s just going to take time and he needs to grow before he can hold his own with the Boss Lady.

So this blog is turning out to be much more all-encompassing because all that we are going through is affecting our dogs too. Next week we plan to have some time introducing Zeus to the lead – and to Flake on the lead – in the garden, daily. Once he’s used to that, I can start to walk him properly.

Baby steps… Looking at this photo makes me determined to get it right though.

"I love you Mama..."

“I love you Mama…”

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