Tuesday 14 January 2014

Re-homing a Rescue Dog

Some of you may not be aware that Alfie and Tilly are in fact both Rescue dogs. I have been talking about our new addition a lot recently, but I thought it would be important to let you know where this pair came from too ♥

After growing up with my child hood (canine) best friend, Megan, her passing came as huge heart ache to all of us in the family, and wanting another dog took many years to get to that decision. 
We found Alfie at The Dogs Trust in Newbury, I can not recommend Dogs Trust enough, both as from an owner point of view and from a Nurse point too. He was 9 months old, and a total wild fire! I actually wanted a lurcher called Pickle, but some how we can home with our handsome Alf instead. He is a Collie X Springer Spaniel, so his energy and need to learn took us all by surprise, after having a laid back little Cocker previously. At one point Mum even said she'd take him back, which I wasn't ever going to stand for as our bond has always been very tight. From the first night he came and slept in my room, and even now, and even when we have little man, he comes to work with me on every night duty. If you don't have dogs, it will be very hard to understand, but my love for Alfie is so so strong. 
With lots of training, both private and in classes, we got him on track and started to realise his needs and wants. His breed(s) mean that he is very energetic and could run and run after a ball, all day if needed, but with both the dogs when they get inside they're now very settled and will happily snuggle down on the sofa with me and relax. 

 We ended up rescuing Tilly from a local small charity dog centre, I was now working at the Vets and an RSPCA puppy came in. She needed a home and I fell in love (it's not hard!) sadly this some how fell through, but I then seemed to be on the case for a new woofer love, from then on. We found a whole litter that had been handed in, apparently Mum had some sort of Spaniel in her, but that's all we know and all we still know now. I think Tilly is very much a Heinz 57, some times I think Jack Russel, or whippet-type, but she's just beautiful and healthy- so that's all that really matters. She was a baby when we first got her, but learnt quickly from Alfie, which made the whole puppy process seem easy and stress free. Tilly also started to go to obedience training with Alfie, and only in the last few years have they stopped. I think it keeps their mind working well, and is great for socialising with other dogs too. 
Tilly utterly adores Alfie, and always has done from the start. She's very lost without him, and together they're such a lovely pair. Tilly is the perfect little sized dog, she has the attitude of a big one though and gets on with almost all woofers. She loves her cuddles and sleeping in the bed (who would let her do that!?) Where as Alfie is more of his own man, he puts up with all of us very well though, as I know we can be annoying. He always seems to know when you need a cuddle, and will greet you with a waggy tail and lick on the cheek. 

Tips for Re-Homing

* Research re-homing centres and charities around your area, most put all the pets available on line so you can see what they have to offer.
* Know your breed! Most will be cross breed's, of which you'll find some beauts, but understanding what they need and want is important. Knowing what you can give is also very important, with time and effort (for walking etc)
* Be sure! It's okay to say no, rescuing a dog is a big step as many come with problems and troubles, don't take something on that you'll regret.
* Visit the dog a few times, with as many people as possible. If you have children then be sure they come along too, most places will let you bring your other dog along to see how they get on also.
* They may be lots of work, but they'll be worth it! You may need to work on certain things a lot more with a rescue dog. They may not like men, other dogs, or children, I think it's important you know these things so you can work on them and know how to control them.
* Get them insured, if they're a x-breed and not pedigree, this will usually be cheaper anyway. I recommend this highly, even if you're super anti insurance, for the first 2 years or so, just in case something crops up- after all, you won't know their full history.
* Get prepared. Read up and look into anything you may need to know, from dog walkers to training classes. Buy everything ready for the new pooch, the move should be as easy and stress-free as possible, so don't panic and buy in advance. Look into food, both what they're already eating and what's the best diet you can afford. 
* At the end of the day, they just want to be loved, and they really are mans best friend ♥

Leaving home was so hard because I knew I had to leave these two, we try and have them for Weekends and Alfie to my work buddy every week for my night duty too. Alfie is almost 8 years old, and Tilly is 5, how time flies when you're having fun with the loves of your life!
I can't wait to introduce Severus into my special gang, and although I'm so excited about starting our own little family, these two will never be forgotten and probably spoilt even more! 
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