If you read Part One of our feature on Dogs Trust, Basildon (thank you!) you’ll note we touched on how Dogs Trust work hard to break down the physical and emotional barriers often experienced by many of the dogs which arrive at the Rehoming Centres, enabling them to lead happy and healthy lives once they find their new home.
Today we’ll introduce you to a special dog who is benefiting from this additional care and attention and we will also look at a breed of dog which is filling up many of the Centres (and they may not be the obvious one you may initially think of!) So come on, what are we waiting for, let us introduce you to two very special gentlemen!!
Joey is a gorgeous Labrador cross who is approximately 2 to 5 years of age. He has struggled with some aspects of kennel life and has a few behaviour traits which require a bit of extra attention to help him enjoy life even more once he finds the right home. Joey is fortunate as he benefits from Dogs Trust ‘Buddy Scheme’ which enables dogs such as Joey to be given extra time and attention everyday to build up their confidence. Isn’t it amazing Dogs Trust actively work to help dogs feel better?!! They don’t just give up at the first hurdle. Joey may require a muzzle in some situations (e.g. a visit for a vet vaccination) but there’s one problem; he’s afraid of it.
Soooo his Buddy has been working daily with him to show there’s nothing to be afraid of by slowly introducing him to a muzzle via fun games, treats and generally making it a positive experience. He’s not forced to do anything he doesn’t want so it doesn’t become a negative experience. I was lucky enough to observe a huge breakthrough with Joey and his Buddy while out walking with him; the muzzle had been placed around his neck, which they’ve been working on for some time so he doesn’t’ associate it as a big deal. There were some really interesting smells while out walking and as he was sniffing down a burrow on site, he actually placed his own nose inside the muzzle in order to get to the smell…and he wasn’t fazed by the muzzle at all! This was the first time he did this and it was incredible to see, particularly the excitement on the face of his Buddy as it just goes to show the time, patience and enthusiasm Dogs Trust have for every single dog really pays off; even those which may require a little extra work. The outcome? A dog who can leave Dogs Trust and have the best chance of being happy in his or her new home. Perfect!! Joey is still looking for his new home by the way, just in case you may know of a fabulous home for him…
Whilst at the Centre, I noticed there were a number of Lurchers / Greyhounds looking for homes and from speaking with Dogs Trust these breeds are sadly fast becoming one of the most frequent residents of the many Rehoming Centres across the UK. Why you may ask? The honest truth; there are many misconceptions with this breed, such as they need the most exercise or they’ll be too much work compared to a ‘small dog.’ In fact they’re quite the opposite. Lurchers/ Greyhounds are actually one of the most relaxed dogs out there!! They may be big and yes many are sadly used for racing, but actually they’re extremely docile and just love a big warm bed (or sofa!) to lay on and snooze the day away. That’s not to say they don’t like having a good run around (don’t we all?!!) but they certainly don’t need as much exercise compared to a Collie. Many Greyhounds are ex-racing dogs and are sadly dumped and found as strays once they can no longer do ‘their job.’ Luckily Dogs Trust are there to pick up the pieces and start to show these dogs the love and comfort they should experience. So let me introduce you to another delightful chap looking for his forever home!
Jonah is a 4 year old Lurcher and he is gorgeous! Why he hasn’t found a home already is so strange as he has so much love to give! A gentle giant! He just LOVES tennis balls so unsurprisingly when we took him for a run around in one of the exercise areas, he zoned in on a tennis ball immediately! These dogs are so graceful when they run and so gentle when on lead – there were no arms being pulled out of the socket when walking to and from the exercise area, just a lovely quiet stroll. Heaven! Black Lurchers / Greyhounds are actually the hardest to rehome though (and as with all rescue dogs and cats, it seems we as a nation prefer other colours instead, although why, I will never know!) I don’t know about you, but I think there’s something particularly special about seeing a beautiful, sleek, glossy black coat! Jonah here is patiently waiting for his new home still, but hopefully he won’t need to be patient for too much longer (hint hint!) With the cold nights drawing in, I can just see him stretched out in front of a roaring log fire, feeling the warmth from not only the fire but his new family too. Remember, you don’t need huge amounts of space, just a big heart.
AN INCREDIBLE A DAY; AN INCREDIBLE CHARITY
Needless to say there are many dogs looking for their forever homes from the numerous Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres up and down the UK, so you know where to head to if you’re looking for a new addition to your life (and what an addition they would be!) A huge THANK YOU to Dogs Trust for not only being sooooo incredibly welcoming and hosting me for the majority of the day, but also for the amazing work they do (especially as this is all via donations as yet again, there is no government funding!) Dogs Trust never put a healthy dog down and go above and beyond to ensure every dog whose paws cross the threshold of their Centres experiences love, comfort and support, to enable them to leave and live a happy and healthy life. It is clear Dogs Trust are also there to support new owners by guiding them to their perfect match and being available for support even once a dog has been rehomed. Fabulous!! One thing is for sure, if I were a dog without a home, I know where I’d like to go to begin the new chapter of my life…