Thursday 6th August: Checking out the newbies

There are two breeds of dog which are abandoned more than any others, and returned just as often.  These are English cocker spaniels and schnauzers.  Why?  Well both are small/medium size and extremely cute as puppies, particularly the cocker with its long ears and big eyes.  Many people fall for their appealing puppy looks, and mistakenly think that being smaller dogs they will be easy to look after and won’t require much exercise.  Wrong on both counts. 

Cocker spaniels are sporting dogs which require hours of daily exercise to keep them sane.  They are also prone to ear infections because of their long ears, and need regular grooming to keep their fast-growing coat under control.  “Good” cockers can be lovely pets, but many are hyper from being under-exercised, and end up as unpredictable and uncontrollable.  It’s not their fault, it’s simply that they’re not being allowed to be what they are.

 Last week cocker Tofu was adopted, and returned for “having a funny smell”.  Yesterday cocker Patsy, adopted only on Sunday and one of the “good” cockers, came back.  The reason given was that the adopter had a bad back so wasn’t able to bend down to pick up the poo!  What can you say to that?  It’s gone straight to the top of the “Most Ridiculous Reasons for Return” list, a clear winner so far.

 Schnauzers are terriers but are treated like toys.  Terriers are feisty and territorial, so while being loyal and loving to their owners they can be aggressive to outsiders.  They look like teddy bears, but act like grizzlies.  They’re abandoned faster than they can be homed, and there is always a schnauzer or two at AFCD at any given time.  They can be great dogs, funny and smart and cute as buttons, but a schnauzer is still a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Aaron has just joined our gang of schnauzers at kennels.  Opal came recently, and Woody has been adopted and returned a few times.  Howie and Delia are living on Lamma, a home for delinquents.

 What’s apparent when dogs come to Lamma is that it’s not the dog that’s the problem.  Dogs for the most part don’t have problems, they develop behaviour issues because of their environment and treatment.  I’ve mentioned cocker Derek a few times, mad but lovely and with absolutely no behaviour issues except his love of swimming which means he never wants to leave the beach when it’s time to go home.

Teddy the labradoodle was surrendered for being unpredictable and aggressive. He’s two years old and was imported from Australia as a young puppy.  His owners unfortunately employed an old-fashioned trainer who still believes in the choke-chain-and-punishment method, which inevitably results in a dog that responds to commands through fear, not a willingness to please (we’ve dealt with many casualties of this particular trainer).  I brought Teddy back to Lamma to assess his behaviour, and since the moment I took him from his owners he has been nothing but a great dog with no behaviour issues whatsoever.  Volunteers who come over to Lamma from time to time to walk and help groom the dogs, had no trouble washing Teddy and giving him a haircut, while his ex-owners said it was impossible to do without being bitten.  Teddy has an adoption interview on Saturday, and I hope that he will be off to a new home and that he will continue to be the lovely dog he really is.


The cutie sisters

The cutie sisters

The two cuties who came yesterday went to have their health check and vaccinations today.  Rebecca, who is the bigger of the sisters, has a heart murmur but is otherwise fine, and Lillian passed her examination with flying colours.  They are so close they won’t be separated, so while one was on the consult table, the other had to be lifted up to see what was happening.  They’re like Tweedledum and Tweedledee, one dog in two bodies.  If they could speak, I’m sure they’d talk in unison.


Beautiful Erica, still a puppy

Beautiful Erica, still a puppy

Erica, the Neopolitan Mastiff, is incredibly beautiful and sweet, but she was shaking like a leaf after he desexing operation and had to be carried back to kennels. At only eight months old she’s got a lot of growing to do, and will develop the jowls and extra skin as she does.  How on earth does a dog like this end up at AFCD?

I thought I’d add this photo of Wanda surveying the results of last night’s games.  Minky and Sparkle obviously had a great time with the now-massacred cushion and a bunch of newspaper ……..

The result of night time games

The result of night time games

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4 Responses to “Thursday 6th August: Checking out the newbies”

  1. Tina Yau Says:

    Dear Sally
    You have done a good job. Thank you for all your care and love to the little one. Hope that they’ll have a new home soon!


  2. Zoe Says:

    Erica looks like a lovely dog. How is she coping with other dogs?
    We have English Mastiff neighbours, you need strong legs to walk her. I wonder if she was a cute puppy who got too big.

  3. Lorna Effler Says:

    The two sister Pekingese are “wonderful”!!

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