(Going to be a sub-page of ARCHIVE)
Vita’s new family were certainly enthusiastic to rehome this lovely natured, brown and tan 4 year old bitch; driving 8 hours each way from the north of Scotland to the south west to collect her from our kennels.
Within thirty minutes of arriving in her new home, she had a new best friend – an 8 year old golden labrador called Kyle – and was totally at ease with him and their young chocolate labrador Zak. Pure delight for all the family has been Vita’s affection and bond with their eldest child who uses a wheelchair.
Vita is sad when Natasha goes off to school in the morning and in a state of excitement and anticipation around 3.30pm when expecting Natasha’s return.
Vita is now the perfect weight, her coat has improved vastly and she behaved like a dream when seeing the vet to start a new course of vaccinations as these had lapsed, and have a general check-up.
On the journey home her excitement became feverish when Vita realised she was not to be moved yet again but returning to her new family. Among her endless list of playmates, Vita has 8 whippets, and a young Rottie.
She has proved an ambassador for her breed when neighbours, who were unsure about dobermanns, met Vita who has changed their whole perspective on the breed, realising what fantastic dogs they are.
Not born to the country life, Vita stepped around every muddy puddle and eyed the local livestock, horses/sheep/cattle with curiosity.
Typical dobe putting her head out into the wet and wind she will run back to her chair and Barry has to pick her up on a foul night and carry Vita out of the back door, which must be very amusing to watch.
They have borrowed a coat for Vita to wear whilst she adapts to the climate! Toughening up now, she loves to run in the snow, bound over ditches and go into the water down by the harbour.
Soon Vita will be going to weekly training classes now that her jabs are up to date and even to local dog shows as her new owner cannot stop smiling since she arrived in his home and longs to show her off.
I can’t believe I’ve only had Barney for 4 months. It feels like he has always been here with us. He was in a sorry state when we first saw him at a Northampton Service station, one Sunday, for the handover. He was thin, ravenously hungry and thirsty and charged round the car park like an elephant. He arrived with a dog bowl, a water bowl, a collar and lead and the most enormous chain I have ever seen (you could have tethered a bull with it!)
After trying to jump over the back seat of the car he settled down and went to sleep for the long journey to his new home in North Yorkshire. At the end of our journey I took him straight into the house to meet Sasha my 10 year old Dobe, who had been desperately unhappy after losing Tara, her Dobe companion of 10 years, who unfortunately succumbed to ‘Wobblers’ last year.
When Barney arrived on the scene she said ‘Hello, who is this?’ And he said ‘Hello, who are you?’ After that first meeting there was no problem with the introductions, and Barney then rushed into the garden and ran round and round like a kangaroo with Sasha hot on his heels, trying to keep up, however she had to give up in the end being a lot older than him.
Food is his most favourite thing of all. I have never seen a dog with such hunger. Nothing touched the sides, and even now he still wolfs his food down at lightening speed.
A trip to the vet on the Monday saw his weight at 29 kilos, a coat with no shine and lots of bald patches, but worst of all he had no hair on his ears. My mother, who lives with us, was most upset about this, as we always use their ears to gauge their warm/cold temperature. A course of one a day cod liver oil tablets has done wonders for his coat, and he now has wonderfully soft furry ears however we are still trying to combat the bald patches.
His favourite room, naturally, is the kitchen, as all sorts of wonderful things go on in there, most of them to do with food. For a while he was known as ‘Barney Fruit Cake’ as I had made and wrapped up a fruit cake for a friend, but had left it too near the edge of the worktop and 2 minutes later all that was left was a few crumbs and a bit of wrapping paper. Not a mistake I have repeated! However I can now at least turn my back and know that whatever I am baking or making will be safe from Barney as long as I don’t leave the room!
He has also learned some excellent manners as now when all the family are at home and we eat at the dining room table, he no longer barks and rests his head on the table, which is a very convenient height, but goes and lies down quietly to wait until the table is cleared. Funny how there is always something on someone’s plate that goes down a treat in his bowl in the kitchen.
I didn’t let him off the lead for a few days as I had been warned that he was not good at coming back, but on day 3 he was so full of energy I decided to take a chance. Armed with tempting biscuits in my pocket we went in the field. He had the most marvellous time running around so fast that he tripped over himself, somersaulted and then came back to me. The rustling bag in my pocket was something he just couldn’t ignore. He must have previously lived in the city as he is in 7th heaven in the fields, but he does have his moments when the rabbit holes are just so much more interesting than a rustling bag and I have been known to wait for three hours for him to come back to me!!! I’m not sure if he’ll ever be instantly obedient at coming back. He always comes back to me in the end but sometimes it’s in his time not mine however he never lets me out of his sight for very long. It is most infuriating to know he will come within 20 feet of me then dash off again. He also obviously expects to be disciplined when I do catch him, as he comes to me with ears down, slow steps and a sad face, but I never tell him off, I tell him he’s a good boy for coming back, reward him and tell him one day I will catch my death of cold waiting for him in the rain!
The whole family loves him to bits. Sasha has taken on a new lease of life and any doubts I had about having a rescue Dobe have all gone. I would do it again tomorrow, and if I had a bigger garden I would have many more. He is still quite stressed and ‘mouths’ his duvet in his basket when he goes to bed, but he no longer tears all his covers to shreds. Instead he’s learned that there is room for another Dobe on my bed, much to Sasha’s disgust, but luckily he only comes up on the bed just before we get up in the morning.
He now weighs 35 kilos, and is a very handsome dog who loves all the attention he gets when we go out. In fact he just loves to be cuddled by anyone, particularly the children in my street, which I am keen to encourage as all my children are grown up and as yet I have no grandchildren.
Jenna came into our lives approximately six weeks ago, and as I write on a lovely evening, dogs have been walked and fed after first hindering me in the garden with their wild games. One minute boxing like hares and the next sounding like the clash of the titans with their growls and dobie sound effects. There were mad games of tag through the trees and round and about the rhodie bushes flushing out unsuspecting, harmless little birds sheltering from the wind. Then they thundered across the gravel drive their ‘paw spin’ sending bits of stone flying in all directions. Will our poor daffodils and snowdrops survive the arrival of Jenna?
I collected Jenna from Kintore where I had a rendezvous with Karen from Pets On The Move – www.petsonthemove.co.uk – who kindly delivered her after a 4 hour drive from the west side of Scotland as a favour to the rescue organisation.
Jenna was accompanied by 2 cats who were being reunited with their owners, both separately caged in the back of a white van fitted out to transport small animals. Jenna emerged from her container wearing an ill-fitting pink collar with a tag. Karen warned me not to be too shocked by her condition as the new arrival was small and skinny. Not only was Jenna slight and poor in appearance she was totally phased by being handed over again to a complete stranger as after a fortnight’s boarding in Karen’s kennel with 3 feeds a day Karen represented security and here I was the fourth change in her short life of 20 months.
As I look across at Jenna curled up on the sofa she seems like a dobie without a care in the world, so different to those first couple of weeks when the slightest sound or movement had her pacing the floor, or barking in a frenzy. Our sleep was interrupted as throughout the night she barked with anxiety calling for our attention, wondering if her new owners had disappeared and there were occasional little accidents as a result of her anxiety.
My partner and I saw Jenna on a welfare site and having recently lost our elderly bullmastiff Emma to cancer decided not to leave the bereft Arnold, our male dobie, without company for too long.
At nearly seven Arnold is the gentlest dog you could wish to meet, kind with other dogs, and people especially children. Maybe not so hot on cats, a dislike both he and Jenna share. Jenna having been returned from her last rehoming when she took an unhealthy interest in the lady’s pedigree bengal cats.
Within 24 hours of arrival our chickens were molested by Jenna who, quick as a mongoose flipping open the wire pen gate out of my hand, and being so small and neat, shot through after them as the chickens fled through the pop hole into their run! Hastening round to the run, chickens and cockerel flying everywhere in panic, I eventually seized Jenna with 2 unfortunate hens pinned underneath her and as we wrestled for possession of the birds only contact with the electric netting fence induced Jenna to let go. Amazingly despite their state of shock after being mauled by one dobermann and several feathers short the chooks were soon back feeding and laying eggs after recovering from the initial comatosed state they stayed in for some hours.
To begin with Jenna’s behaviour was quite unpredictable with Arnold, one minute playing with him and the next turning on him leaving Arnold totally bemused and quite apprehensive as to how he should behave. Manners were lacking as Jenna was inclined to pinch food or articles off any worktop and we had to replace one t.v. remote and my old mobile is now chewed. Initially she thought she was so clever running to present John with the t.v. remote now she greets us with a broad grin, lips drawn back exposing all her fine teeth and then running off to fetch her ragger and rush round the kitchen island proud as punch. Gazelle like bouncing from chairs to sofa without a paw touching the floor and sometimes landing in an unsuspecting lap also had to be discouraged!
It is rewarding to see the two dogs now well settled together. The lovely double greeting in the morning, the relaxed faces and happy eyes has made it well worth adopting a rescue dog.
Taking on a rescue dog is not a cheap option and in Jenna’s case she is easier than many. Unfortunate changes of circumstances led to her being in kennels for over seven months where her litter sister dominated her always having the lion’s share of the food leaving her undernourished and insecure.
After carrying out a home check rescues ask for a donation appropriate to the age and health of the dog and the new owner makes a commitment to either having the adopted dog neutered or spayed if this has not been done. In the event of any change of circumstances new owners undertake to return their dog to the rescue involved if they cannot cope or care for it appropriately. Dobes are high maintenance dogs so even more time and patience is needed when rehoming one, however, their loyalty and companionship certainly make it worth the extra input.