Newest Review: ... life long condition. We would not have been able to afford this so we called the Dogs Trust to see if they had any advice. They suggested... more
Man's Best Friend.
Member Name: elysia2003
Advantages: A friend for life
Disadvantages: A lot of hard work - just like the kids!
Dogs Trust - give an abandoned pooch a home.
If you have read my introduction that says a little about me and my family, you will know over the summer we 'adopted' a border collie cross from our local dogs trust centre.
My daughter (now 7) had been asking for a dog since she was two, but she was deemed to young at that time. She pestered us for months and years, she just never gave in. She even had a name - Bubbles.
Probably about May time, we felt the time was right, that the children were old enough and responsible enough. We decided July would be the best so we could get it to do it's 'business' outside as the doors would be open (in the heat we didn't get) and access to the garden would be easy while the dog settled in.
On our first visit we had to fill in a form giving details of our home. Whether we had a garden, how tall was the fence, and how many children we have and their ages. They also needed to know whether we worked and whether the dog would be left for any period of time. Within a few days a re-homer came to assess the garden to see if it was 'dog-proof'.
The next stage was to choose a dog. This is the hardest thing I have done ever. They are all so cute and you want to take them all. Firstly, you have to choose what size dog you want. A bernese mountain dog is probably not a sensible choice for a little old lady - so you have to be realistic here. Secondly, the all important costs - you have to feed it, take it for injections, boosters, have savings for unexpected illnesses and accidents. You have to factor for all of these when you have a dog, and don't forget insurance. Walkies - These are important too - you have to choose a dog that will fit in with your lifestyle.
It is impossible to tell at first glance how you will get on so at Dogs Trust you are able to spend time with the dog you have chosen - everyday if need be. You might have taken to the dog but has it taken to you? May advice is go and visit as often as possible, you will build up trust and gain the dogs confidence. After all, who knows what the poor animal has been through? It may have been abandoned or abused or worse still - both.
For next step of the evaluation, you need a meeting with the rehomers. All people who have had their home check and passed, are then invited to this meeting. It is just a genereral, informal chat about how to settle your dog at home, how to teach it manners, after all the things it's original owner may have let it do (ie. sit on sofa, sleep on bed) may not be suitable in your home. It also gave information on what to do to introduce your new animal to other pets in your home - a hamster may not be that worried, but a cat or another dog might!
We chose our dog on the fourth attempt. You may be lucky and find the perfect one for you first go but don't be disheartened if it takes longer. Our first choice had bitten a child, so no-go there. Dogs Trust NEVER put a healthy dog down. That dog be suitable for someone who lives on their own with no children visitors. Number two dog, had agoraphobia - No walkies to us was a no-no. We are quite active as like to be outdoors. Number three was too 'vocal' Non stop yapping and barking. Beware they are not all as sweet and innocent as they look.
Mae, renamed Miley (thank goodness it wasn't Bubbles :0) came home with us after only a week in kennels. We were the first to see her and she was an instant hit with our family. We had to wait a week because she needed to have booster injections and flea treatment etc, because as a stray no-one knew when her last treatment was. We were lucky as she had been spayed, If she hadn't have been, we would have had to wait for that to be done too, as no dog leaves without first having some sort of birth control.
All treatment is paid for by the Dogs Trust, which is how they come to rely so heavily on donations. The vets fees alone would have come to hundreds of pounds, add to that flea treatment, injections, care and feeding. I wouldn't like to estimate the cost. Miley cost us just £75 and we were even sent home with a collar, lead and a bag of food.
The one disadvantage with Miley is, she had no history. We knew she came from Ireland (as most Dogs Trust dogs are) but that's it! We do know she was looked after, as previously mentioned, she was spayed. Lucky her. Most DT dogs come from Ireland - due to religious reasons people refuse to give their dogs contraception too and apparently Ireland is overcome with dogs, and they just breed, and breed, and breed.
Since coming home we have had to alter some unwanted habits, for instance she loved to sit on our brand new leather sofa. I'm sorry to say, she has the run of the house but NOT the sofa. We did have problems at first, she must have lived in the country, as she was terrified of buses, cars, in fact anything that moved. With peserverance, she is able to cope with situations now, she is able to live a normal, carefree doggie life.
Dogs Trust have been enormously helpful, and they were at the end of the phone when we needed it. I love all animals, and support all animal charities but this one is especially close to my heart.
In conclusion - would I recommend a Dogs Trust Dog? Of course I would, with all of my being. Why give puppy breeders the opportunity to breed more dogs with problems, in-bred and psycological? Give a Dogs Trust dog a home and you'll have a friend for life.
If you are not able to give a dog a home, why not think of sponsoring a dog - see website below for further details.
For more information and advise about adopting a Dogs Tust dog please go to www.dogstrust.org.uk/
Summary: A dog is for life - not just for Christmas.
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