Friday 29 June 2018

Love and Time is All They Need

All they need is love and time..... when you give a rescue dog these two things you will see an amazing transformation. The changes that happen are profound, and you will be amazed how you will feel knowing you were part of that. Once you take a dog from a place of sadness, fear and often confinement, and give them love, praise and freedom, they will thrive.

Yet, so many people cannot seem to work this simple equation out, and demand trainers, and behaviorists, when in reality all your new dog wants is you. Over the years I have learnt that dogs are not that complex, and love, and time are amazing healers. If you take the time to look beyond the surface, and be compassionate you will surprise yourself.

You need to spend the time unlocking the puzzle of their past, and think about the journey that brought them to you. Every dog is different, some adapt quickly, others take time, but very few are broken beyond repair. I spend the time to get to know every dog, and work out the best way to rehabilitate them. Affection is never forced, and the dogs can take it at their own pace.

Many dogs have never experienced love, or the touch of a human, therefore, it can be a shock to the system. When they are ready to trust, then I am ready to help them on to the next stage of their life. Even the small changes are reason to celebrate, and when these happen it is a great feeling. Your new dog will look at you, and their eyes will tell you everything you need to know.

They are saying "Thank you for believing in me, and loving me"

Monday 25 June 2018

It Is Not The Hilton

I often wonder what people expect when they hear the word kennel, as when they see photos of mine, or other kennels for that matter they are mortified. Now I know there have been some amazing "doggy hotels" appeared over the last few years, however, I am kennel not a hotel. I would love to provide the dogs with sofas, and flat screen TV's, however, the reality is they would destroy them in minutes.

The dogs that I rescue have come from the streets, or from pounds, therefore, all they care about is food, and a warm, dry bed. We give our dogs the basics, they all have beds, bedding, toys, in a clean, dry warm environment.

This is in my mind a step up from their life before, ok not all, as some have come from homes, however, for many of the dogs that come through my kennels these things they have never had before.

The harsh reality is that the dogs are in cages, big metal cages. Trust me anything less, the chewers would escape and cause chaos. I never lie about where the dogs are, or what they have, yet some people are shocked, even disgusted by this fact. A lady the other day messaged me to tell me that one of my dogs was living in squalor, and needed rescuing straight away. When questioned what caused her to say this, she directed me back to this photo.....
 Ahhhhhhh, the good old transport box for a bed debate..... she thought that this was disgusting and that our little Tiger Lily was going to die at any second. Apparently, that is squalor! She is not alone as fungus claims that my kennels are a hell hole, where dogs have to sleep in..... god forbid plastic transport boxes that we recycle when they cannot be used for transport any longer. 

Oh well, I personally feel that recycling is a great thing, my dogs have a clean, safe environment to adjust to the world, where they are loved, played with and fed. To be honest they don't ever seem traumatised by their experience here, and to me that is all that matters. 

Friday 22 June 2018

Home Checks!

Home checks are a huge part of what we do, and the main reason why we do them is because we are expected to by everyone else. There is now a whole network of homecheckers available, which you would think would make my job easier, when in fact it causes more headaches. My opinion is chatting to a potential home, asking questions, is far more effective than sitting having a cup of coffee on a designated day.

The idea of a home check is that you can see the home, the environment that your dog will be placed in, however, I believe that if you tell someone you are arriving at 10am on a Monday morning, at 9am they will be tidying, and ensuring that everything is just "perfect" Some will argue that a home check enables the rescue to "double check" things, but surely everything can be staged.

I in fact like the home checks that are not perfect, where the resident dogs bark all the way through or pee up the home checkers leg. These are the homes where things are "real" and where life is just what it is. Sadly some of the home checkers, are like robots, they simply read the form, tick the boxes, and make stupid recommendations.

The other day one of the foster mums had a home check done for a potential home, the home checker made some strange observations, and her "opinion" was that the woman was not suitable. Now this is unusual, so when asked to look through the forms, i was expecting huge issues. Nope it was the most stupid reasons, including that the woman only fed "cheap brand" dog food.

WTF, these dogs often have been starved, they don't care what brand of dog food they are fed, as long as they get a meal. She also observed that the resident dogs barked whilst she was there, would she have preferred they were hog tied and gagged out the back. So, needless to say I dismissed the home checkers opinion and I had a chat with the lady.

In my world people lie, they tell huge lies, and little white lies, you simply need to establish which ones they are telling you, and why. Chatting to people, asking questions, and getting to know the person who I am trusting with my dog is the best way to decide if they are right. Many aren't, therefore, if you have one of my dogs, think yourself lucky, as you are one of the "chosen ones"

Sunday 17 June 2018

What Your Dog is Asking?

I often see the studies on the internet regarding dogs and what they are really trying to tell us, and I hate to say but I think so many are a complete load of rubbish. Recently scientists spent their time studying dogs every day and then analysed what they "said" to their owners. They got dog owners to record hours and hours of footage of their dogs, for the men in white coats to look through. This apparently would determine that dogs are in fact having deep and meaningful conversations with people.

Now, after weeks of studying, and a lot of money the results were in, and the scientists were delighted with their findings. It seems that a dog rolling over means scratch my tummy, however, it can also mean I'm hungry, the same as if a dog puts its head forward it means, I'm hungry or scratch me. Pressing their nose against something means, they want you to scratch them, or that they are hungry. Turning their heads means they may be hungry, or they want their head scratched.

Are you seeing a pattern here, basically every single thing your dog does means it is hungry or they want scratching. Now I am no big scientist but surely that could have been determined without spending loads, and wasting everyone's time. Everyone knows that dogs love two main things, food and attention.

Your dog is trying to tell you that all day every day, give them love and food and you have a winning combination for a friend for life. No scientists needed, just basic common sense and an understanding of how your dog thinks.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Starting With A Clean Slate

I believe that every dog should be given a chance, and that when they enter my rescue they are given a clean slate. I don't want to know their history, and their faults, I want to get to know them, and learn about what makes them a great dog, and maybe even not so much of one. I do believe that people judge, even if they have never met the dog, it seems it is human nature!

Every dog has some form of history, good or bad, but when they are handed to me, I sort of zone out, as I don't want to know that they barked, or that they chased the neighbours cat. I feel that from that first day I am giving them the chance to change, and improve their lives. If they work with, then they will have a great new life, in a home that will not know their old quirks and habits.

Of course if these continue, then the new home is told, however, dogs like humans, can change their behaviour. Sadly too many dogs are dismissed due to their past being disclosed, and people will read only the bad, and not the good. Why do we judge so quickly? Why do we not look at the whole picture, yet another human fault which annoys me.

I personally never look at a photo of a dog and read some history and think "oh this one is trouble" I think how can we improve this dog so he becomes an amazing dog. Although some dogs never change, and some cannot be helped, why should they not be given a chance. Only one, don't get me wrong, I'm not one to keep trying and trying when there is no hope. However, there are very few occasions when a dog does not want to improve.

So, when you adopt from me, you will get my assessment, you will be told what I know, what I have seen, not what I have heard from another person. You wont get rumours, or hearsay, you will get facts, and information that will ensure that the adoption is a success. then you can decide whether to adopt the dog, with it's clean slate and new outlook on life. 

Friday 8 June 2018

Counting Down The Days!

I honestly have no idea why people find puppies appealing, and I am delighted when they leave and go to new homes. When we have one puppy come in on its own, and it is small they tend to end up in my house. Which is where Cruella is at present, causing mass puppy destruction, as puppies do, and I am counting down the days for her to leave.

It always amazes me how much chaos one small bundle of fluff can cause, she is like a weapon of mass destruction, small but deadly. Now my house is not exactly what you would call calm, however, every animal knows that when I dump myself on the sofa at the end of the day, to back away and leave me for a while to chill.

However, Cruella has other ideas, she has mastered the art of leaping on the sofa, bouncing on every cushion, sending numerous cats and kittens into orbit. These kittens usually end up in the path of a big dog, which results in hissing, snapping, and shouting.

She has recently found the outside world, which means every twig, rock, and bit of garden debris is now brought in, thrown around, and discarded after 15 seconds. Resulting in me having to pick up said debris, throw it out the door, and of course the pup then simply repeats the process, thinking it is the most amazing game to play with the human.

Thankfully she does sleep through the night, as disturbing me at night and waking me up is a crime punishable by death. However, she may not disturb me, but she does have a habit of leaving little packages on my route to the kitchen. Now anyone that has stepped in dog poop will agree there is nothing worse.

It is the moment of sleep filled panic, when you know what it is oozing between your toes, and there is nothing you can do about it. You slowly lift your foot but the damage is already done, so you have to hop to the sink, or grab the wet wipes. then extracting dog poop from in between your toes is an art, and the smell lingers with you for a while.

So, needless to say I wont be missing Cruella when she leaves, and every puppy that we have reminds me why I would take 10 deaf, old, blind dogs over one hyper active, kitten chasing demon. If her new home is reading this, honestly, all of the above is untrue, she is adorable..... honest!

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Summer is Here!

For many people the summer months are a time to enjoy, longer days, better weather, and endless bbq's. However, summer months for me mean only one thing, more abandoned animals, more heart break, more expense. Every year we brace ourselves as the summer months mean thousands of unwanted kittens and puppies are born, and often dumped.

They are loose everywhere, which means many end up dead hit by cars, or they simply starve to death. My phone does not stop with calls from people who have seen puppies running down the road, or kittens by bins. I have to repeat over and over, I cannot save them all. However, a small number do end up here, as there is one thing saying to a caller I cannot help, but leaving an animal that I see is never going to happen.

So, yesterday was Monday, I hate Monday's if chaos is going to happen, it always happens on a Monday. The day was ok, not too many disasters, only the usual, and even the vets went well, so driving home I was happy that things had been a "normal" but non disastrous day. Then I saw the cage, sat on the side of the road, in the baking heat, my heart sank.... I knew there were animals inside.

The cage was an old bird cage, and inside were many kittens, far too many for the space, all covered in poop and pee, stinking in the heat. I will never understand any human being that can simply leave animals there to die. They didn't leave them to be found, as not many people drive that road, and the one's that do would not stop.

Into my car they went with my other favourite saying...... "what's one more"

Hurry up winter months, before either my bank balance, or my heart breaks through the summer months.

Friday 1 June 2018

Locked Away!

There is something incredibly powerful about a set of bars, it puts up a huge barrier that can change the personality of the dog inside. Imagine if bars were all you could see, day in day out, where people would shout for you to stop barking, when all you want is for someone to give you attention. Where people stop, look at you, maybe even touch you, speak to you, give you hope then walk away.

Some people laugh at you because you are frantically trying to get their attention, and others will cry because you look sad and alone, but still they carry on walking. Browsing at you and the other dogs like pieces of furniture in a huge department store... imagine how you would feel?

Dogs that are in pounds behind bars, are so vulnerable and scared, which often leads to their personality changing. Some are depressed, others anxious, and many simply give up on all hope that they will get out. Cages and bars can turn the friendliest dog into an aggressive, broken dog that appears to be un able to be rehomed.

This is why I often choose the dogs that no one else will, the ones that hide at the back of the cages, or under feeders.
The ones that growl, or look un appealing, the ones that are deaf, or blind, or have physical issues. Not to make money as people will claim, but because they will be left behind, forgotten, and eventually killed.

These dogs are the ones that need saving, these are the ones that are screaming for help. Their world has been turned upside down, they are terrified, and have been let down so badly by humans. I want to give them a chance to forgive, to realise that we are not all bad and that one day their life will be better.