News 2012 - January - March
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What a depressing week.......
In the last three days we have been offered 4 dogs - one of 8 years, three of ten years old. All from different homes, all for really quite spurious reasons. The eight year old bitch was "rescued" by the family five years ago. Now the kids are adults and have lost interest in the dog. Mum and Dad don't want the responsibility....then why did they let their children convince them to have a dog in the first place? Two of the ten years old dogs are not wanted any more because the couples have now had a baby. Although neither dog has done anything wrong in the whole of its 10 years, the couples "can't risk their children". The other 10 year old dog's owner is working long hours. On top of these calls, there are the usual "my dog is chewing can you take it", "I am moving to a flat", "I am going though a marriage break up" calls. Another call - from a man who has a five year old dog that lives outside. It has a wonderful pedigree, is a good dog but he is selling his land. He told me he could sell it for hundreds of pounds, but would prefer us to take it! Then we have the call of the week.........A man phoned who wants a rottweiler. He sounded fairly well educated. He said he was in his fifties. He has never owned a dog before, but his wife grew up with collies. I asked "why a rottweiler"? It turns out that the dog is for his....wait for it......12 year old daughter!
I GIVE UP!
Had this email today from Diane and Michael - staunch supporters of RRT (they have 4 RRT dogs, and have had two other old RRT dogs from us in the past. An update on the naughty but totally adorable Audrey!
Hi Shelley and Peter
Just thought as it's been nearly a year since we adopted Audrey we thought we'd better give you an update on how she's doing. She is awesome!
When we first brought her home, as you know, we had her attached to me pretty much every waking moment. She actually learnt very quickly that it was me that went through the door first etc and we moved when I moved not when she wanted to, which was a lot!! That we had rules that she had to abide by. She is a very intelligent, strong minded girl and for a while it was just a battle of wits and determination. To date I haven't lost an argument with her, as I think we both know that it would be a slippery slope from there on in if she was to win. So long as it's handled respectfully she will respond to you, if you attempt to discipline whilst angry then more fool you!
She is the most affectionate and loving dog anyone could hope to have but it comes with many rules and regulations bless her. You can't just 'love' her, that has to be last on the list. Without calm respectful discipline and exercise she would take over and run the household! She still tries to push her way through the other 3 dogs to get attention and is very vocal to get what she wants.
She no longer has food aggression issues, Lulu, not being the sharpest, learnt very quickly that Audrey's was not one of the bowls she could lick out! But she does still get so excited when it's feeding time. We are continuing to work on this daily but she looks so damn cute sitting there waiting, every part still, except her tail which is practically at warp speed.
She still has issues with small dogs, but now it's only if they bark at her first. We're now at the stage where she can be distracted with a treat where as at the start she was like a self taught assassin! She would literally scream and lunge at them in such a frenzy the minute she saw them, and there was nothing you could do with her at that point, just hold on for the ride and wait it out.
The rabbits are a constant source of enjoyment for Audrey! Especially now the weather is good and they are out on the run daily. We did have to raise the fence as she was over it many a time at the start but now she sits and rests her head looking through the gaps, occasionally whining if the rabbits are very active. She did get through the gate recently and was very excited but to be fair she sat when caught, not looking at them and her whole body shaking but she knew she had done wrong and walked away calmly which was a massive turnaround for her. We had to have some babies inside recently, which were kept upstairs, and to her credit she didn't go upstairs once, we don't have a stair gate, and she just stood at the bottom sniffing the air.
She is a dog that you have to give time to. Whatever situation you find yourself in she has to come out the other side having learnt from it however long it takes.
Some days we both mess up but then we move on together.
Finally can I say a huge thank you for letting us have her, even at her worst we haven't regretted it for a second. She is the most interesting, intelligent, confusing, loving dog, granted not for most people, but I love her 'make me' attitude. I have to work at being better myself everyday to continue to help her.
We're looking forward to bringing her to the Dog Show and sponsored walk again and miss seeing you all.
Diane and family
We are not getting many people who have had rotts coming back for another when their old one passes away. For many people the adverse publicity and the "stigma" attached to owning a rott are too much. Many of our best homes are getting an "easier" breed so that they can walk their dog in the park without getting abuse.
Last night Peter and Frances Reynolds, Peter and I all went along to the Race Night event held by Rachel, Steve and Val. This event was to raise the money to pay for the Higham Show rosettes, field hire, and all the other associated costs of putting on a show. As always, Rachel Steve and Val did us proud. There was a very good turnout of people, who were not afraid to put their hands in their pockets. Steve ably managed the bar, while Rachel organised the games. Val sat with her raffle prizes, strongly encouraging people to buy lots of tickets. The evening raised the great sum of £330.42. Our thanks to the Hodges family and everyone who made this such a good night.
Hi Shelley and Pete,
It is with great sadness that i write this mail to let you know that we had to put Grizzly to sleep yesterday. This is one of the hardest things I have had to write.
Whilst he was on his usual morning school run walk, he suddenly stopped in obvious pain and could not move any further. Claire rushed back to get the car and we immediately took him to our vets. They gave him an anaesthetic to put him out of his pain and then x-rayed his front left leg which turned out to have a massive fracture. We were shocked as to the severity of the break as he had only been walking normally beside us at the time it happened. Upon further investigation they diagnosed the cause to be a bone tumour. We were offered a front leg amputation followed by chemotherapy treatment with a maximum further life expectancy of 9 to 11 months, or to take the decision and end the pain he was in. Claire and myself made the hardest decision to make, and agreed that Grizz should not go through anymore suffering.
We are all in shock at the speed that this has happened, and at the moment keep expecting to see Grizz wandering around the house as usual. He was our best friend and words can not explain at the moment what he meant to us as a family. He was a true ambassador not only for Rottweilers but for all dogs. He honestly did impress everyone he met with his gentle nature.
Our family would like to thank you for the opportunity you gave us to bring Grizz into our lives - you could not have chosen a better dog than our Grizz, and for this we will always be grateful.
We were honoured to have owned Grizz and selfishly wish he was here with us now. In time I'm sure we'll reflect that his life ended with the minimal amount of pain - though this seems little comfort at the moment.
He was loved so so much by us all and will never ever be forgotten.
I can only hope that we gave as much to Grizz as he gave to us in the 13 months we shared our lives.
I have attached one of my many favourite photos taken only few weeks back when we had the heavy snow fall - These are one of our fondest memories, seeing him revert back into a puppy when confronted with the strange white stuff that covered the ground.
Finding this a bit much to write at the moment, probably should have left it for a few more days but felt you both should know.
Will keep in touch and thank you.
Darren and the rest of the 'Major' family
Our thoughts are with Darren, Claire and the children at such a sad time.
No saying "I Love you" today, only to say "Sorry, but goodbye, later".
Have had a nice update from Martin and Sue, who rehomed Duke last year ;
Sorry we have taken so long to send you an update on Duke but life,entertaining and spoiling two rotties takes up all our time!
Duke has settled in great, as if he has always been here.He had a few health problems at first with an old cruciate ligament injury, and unfortunately there is not a lot the vet can do, so we have had to cut back on the really long walks and try to stop him chasing the rabbits ( not easy I can tell you). Consequently he has put on a few pounds and try as I might to stop spoiling him he has a way of wrapping me round his little finger with his puppy eyes.
I have attached some photos for you of Duke and Missy and I hope you can see how laid back and chilled out he is, Missy thinks he is great although he knows she is still the boss, and how the sofa is now taken up by two dogs and we all sit on the floor
Well bye for now
Sue and Martin
A lady phoned me a couple of days ago. She was giggling as she said "my dog has been a naughty boy". I asked what he had done. This is what she told me, between giggles. Apparently the 20 month old uncastrated male has been living half out, half in as her husband does not trust the dog with their grandchildren - even though they have had the dog since a pup. She decided to try and rehome the dog. She asked her friend, who is a "Dog Expert" and has two rotts and two great Danes. He started to take the dog out for walks as he was going to take the dog from her. His bitch was in season, so he took the dog home and tried to get the dog to mount the bitch. When it wouldn't, the man squeezed the side of the dog's face. The man was still in hospital 5 days later. The man had phoned her to say he could not take the dog, but not to have it euthanaesed as it "is a good dog". She rang to say she doesn't trust it, and could we take it as her friend the dog expert does not want it put down. WORDS FAIL ME!
AN OVER THE TOP APPROACH TO RESCUE - OR A CAREFUL ONE?
I was reading a newspaper article on the way over to Australia which really made me stop and think.
The journalist had written that she and her family had recently lost their old Labrador, that they had originally bought as an 8 week old puppy, with an inoperable tumour. She then went on to write that “the children clung to him and wept” when they knew he was going to be put down – the same children who had “swung from his neck, covered his nose with Buzz Lightyear stickers and attempted to ride him like a horse round the garden”.
After a few weeks, the journalist started investigating buying another puppy and discovered that they don’t come cheap anymore (between £650 and £800 for a KC registered puppy).
This lady then thought that she would “help a homeless mutt”, and that she would be welcomed with open arms by a grateful rescue centre. The lady goes on to say that if she had known the “ridiculous hoops she had to jump through” and the often high-handed and patronising manner of the rescue centre’s staff, she would have gone out and bought her kids a goldfish and told them to bond with it.
The journalist then states that she has four children, one of whom is a toddler, and did not want an older dog with behavioural problems, but she objected to the intrusion of a home check to ensure that the property was securely fenced.
She then says that the majority of the dogs in rescue centres are of “dodgy parentage” and she would not risk her children by having a cross breed no one wants – Rott/Dobe/Pitbull cross etc!
Her family then found a rescue centre advertising six Rhodesian Ridgeback-cross-Boxer pups, 12 weeks old. They were refused by the rescue, as this particular rescue does not rehome with children under 8 years old as they “cannot guarantee that the pup will not bite the child at some point in the future”. Instead, they were offered an older dog that had been assessed as suitable to live with small children.
At this point, the journalist called back the next day pretending to be someone else, and “forgot” to mention her toddler. Her family was invited to the centre for an interview, and then a home visit was done, where once again all evidence of a toddler living in the house was hidden. Then there were further visits to the centre (3) to ensure that the whole family bonded with the dog. The journalist complains that this made things difficult as she had to get childcare for the toddler (that she had not told the rescue about) and also pay expensive train fares each time. The centre also insisted on a letter from their landlord confirming that they had permission to keep a dog at the property. During one of their visits they also fell in love with a Husky-cross of about a year old. They decided to take both dogs, but were made to pay for a complete set of training classes before the rescue would let them have the two dogs.
The journalist then writes - “we are clearly a nice, middle class family trying to do the right thing by giving not one, but two strays a loving future with our family”. She also complains that the dogs are micro-chipped back to the rescue, and that the family is not allowed to give the dog to friends or family if they cannot keep it – it must go back to the rescue.
I have so many things to say about this article (Daily Mail, Tuesday January 3rd 2012).
- To hide the presence of a child in your home to get what you want is absolutely irresponsible. That the rescue was hoodwinked is not their fault – they tried very hard to make sure the dog/s went to a stable, secure, caring home.
- Just reading how her children were allowed to treat the last dog, I think possibly her understanding of the relationship between children and dogs is somewhat “off key”.
- The journalist made no secret of the fact that this was, for her, the cheap option.
- I have to say I do feel that the rescue made a couple of mistakes…….rehoming two dogs together is not something that most rescues do, particularly when both are very young dogs. I would also consider a pup for someone with a young child, but only if the person had plenty of time and experience to train and socialise the dog. I do feel that asking the family to go to the centre three times was a little over the top – but at least they care about where their dogs are going……..
WHAT DO YOU THINK ?
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