Adoption of a dog rewards both parties
This week is national adoption week and although this really applies to all those wonderful people to take on children who need new parents it also applies to those of us who adopt rescue dogs.
Taking on a new dog is a challenge for everybody but if it this is the dog who already has history through no fault of their own then it’s a bigger challenge, I know I’ve rescued over 27 dogs. I thought I’d like to share a few memories about a few of those who taught me so much about dog behaviour.
Khan who was a long-haired German Shepherd from German Shepherd rescue. At the age of two he really hadn’t had much chance to be out and about and so when he joined Katie and Freya, he wasn’t streetwise at all. He fell in the canal thinking he could walk on it and had no idea how to carry the branches through the woods, getting frequently stuck. He loved to play football on his own as he had learnt to entertain himself.
Ben, another rescue had seven homes before we had him and yet became one of the best teaching dogs ever, helping calm dogs and maintaining peace in a group by just being there.
Brooke barked his way through life and loved everyone. He was well known for being more like a collie than a collie. His skanky tennis ball was often dropped at a stranger’s feet in the hope that they would throw it for him. As he got older, he continued to do this on the beach at West Wittering and would go off with a random person who became his new best friend. But the problem was he had become deaf, so when we called him, he couldn’t hear us and so picture one of us running after him to get him back whilst the other stayed with the remaining dogs.
Zytta came from the RSPCA as a young puppy of 16 weeks and wasn’t going to take any prisoners. As soon as Stuart told what she should be doing, and she barked back at him. Sitting in the middle of the lounge, barking back at him and very willing to use her teeth to get what she wanted. Then there was Skye, who became Brooke’s best friend when she came to live with us. At the time we were often boarding dogs for training, so she learnt how to speak dog very quickly. From being number one, she soon realised that she had to share. Then we heard about Barnes, who needed a supportive home after having only experienced cruelty from 8 weeks of age. He still wary of people especially men, but when you win his trust, he is the most loyal dog we have had.
All the dogs have taught and rewarded us so much. Many more have come and gone but everyone has given us much more than we could give them. That’s the thing, isn’t it? An adopted dog teaches us a lot about ourselves too. Go and give your dog a hug today.