Tuesday, 2 July 2013

You'll never guess what.....

I was going to write a boring post about how I've pretty much stuck to my guns and have had a dull but respectable 1 lb drop last week. How I'm pleased that I've curbed the excessive eating but there is still a way to go and how I'm pleased that I'm doing more exercise. Blah blah blah

So, that's that bit done. Now I'll drop my latest somewhat surprising news, which has completely disordered my already chaotic life. We've got another dog!!

As at 10am yesterday morning I had no clue that this was on the horizon but by 4pm he had arrived and I suspect life won't be the same in this household for some time to come.

He is a 9 month old black working cocker (quite a bit bigger than my girls). He was bred by some friends of ours and sold as a puppy to a woman who I would now like to hunt down and treat as she has treated him. They got a call from her a few weeks ago saying that he had bitten her and she was going to have him destroyed unless they picked him up. When their daughter collected him he was in the garage by himself with just a cage and a bucket of food. It doesn't look as though he's had much training although he is house trained. He barely recognises his name!

Worse, his collar was on so tightly it had caused an open sore 4 inches long on his neck! She said he was aggressive. Our friends took him away and treated the neck and have been trying to rehome him for the last few weeks. They can't keep him as they already have 5 dogs. He's been to a couple of places but they have reported aggression and returned him within a few hours each time (they both had visiting children and no experience of cockers).

Rich casually asked the bloke whether he'd found a home for this dog on Sunday at the golf club and, predictably, I got a call from his wife the following morning (yesterday) asking if I knew anyone who could take on the dog or it would have to be put down. Although we don't really want a third dog and this will cost us in time, effort and inconvenience, I think all dogs, especially those who have been let down by humans, deserve another chance so I went to see him yesterday lunchtime and find out more about this aggression. After all, if he truly is a psycho, it would be better off to have him put down and not put him and everyone else through any more upheaval. Well, he certainly doesn't seem aggressive. He was gorgeous and friendly with me, fine with the girls and, if anything, a bit submissive, as is right for a 9 month old dog.

I was warned that the aggression manifests itself at night when he settles down with a toy or his lead so I was very careful with him and kept him muzzled last night (typically Rich was out at darts on his first night in the house!). I did see what they meant as, at one point, he took his lead behind the sofa and when I approached him he growled in a fairly bloodcurdling manner (no worse than Minty when she's guarding my socks though). I didn't confront him but talked nicely and approached slowly and distracted him with another toy and it was over in a flash with him coming over to me wagging and licking his lips.

Obviously we have a long way to go before he is a good dog but I truly don't see him as aggressive. He is merely an untrained, frightened and bewildered young dog left alone in our world without being taught the tools to deal with us successfully. That is so cruel. I think his guarding of toys, while a bad habit, is understandable as he has been moved from place to place over the last few weeks. They are all he has. In general he is sweet natured and affectionate, loves having his belly rubbed and squirming under your arms for a rub. He's a bit of a thief which is a pain as he can reach the front of the countertop which Shelagh and Minty can't!

We're going to let him settle in over the next few days, taking it slowly with the training until we can trust him a bit more. But, in the meantime, we're using his name a lot, calling him over and rewarding him (although he doesn't really understand the concept of treats!), getting him to sit for food and the lead and hoping that what little training Minty and Shelagh have will rub off on him.

I didn't take any pictures of him last night in case it was a disaster and his last chance saloon was a one-way ticket to the vets. But, I'm hopeful that he is healthy and can be brought back from the brink so I will be posting  a picture of him very soon.

His name you ask??? (I had hoped you wouldn't....)


What sort of person calls a dog Gordon? (She named him after her recently deceased husband apparently which just makes it worse!) This is also Rich's father's name. Hmmmm

Worse, we now have dogs called Gordon and Shelagh. They sound like an aging couple from the golf club, all blue blazer and floral dresses. As he doesn't really know his name we're evolving it to Gordie. 

UPDATE - I typed this up earlier and he's been pretty good today.  A total handful but still sweet and loving.  I saw the naked aggression that has been talked about but it lasted a second and he was easily distracted.  I'm not minimising the importance of sorting it out but now I've seen it I hope it is sortable. 


Seren said...

What lovely - news especially for Gordon! ;-) Thank goodness for people like you and Richard who can provide safe and loving homes for poor animals. Looking forward to seeing pictures of the new addition.


(Oh and PS - great going with the weight loss, a pound off is fab!)

Amanda and Paul said...
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Peridot said...

Good for you! Poor thing, I'm glad he has a second chance with someone who knows what they're doing.

And who calls a dog after their dead husband? We had to change Lily's name - she was called Milly but the chav-in-law objected to a dog being called the same thing as her daughter (my niece was thrilled). Easy enough to do if you can just make a small subsitution but Gordon doesn't really offer that! I think Gordy is the best solution. (Mind you, my aunt adopted a dog called Lipstick and clearly, you can't call a dog Lipstick. She's Molly now.)