Friday, 31 August 2012

Saving a Stray

A couple of days ago, I met up with Jean (Oscar's owner) to walk the dogs as normal. As we were walking, Jean mentioned that Oscar had been at the fence between her garden and her neighbour's, sniffing and trying to get into the garden. I said that it was probably a hedgehog and we thought nothing more of it.

The next day, Jean said she'd spoken to her neighbour the day before and she'd said that there had been a little dog in her garden. Jean had then seen said dog on the night, but when she'd gone out to try and speak to it, it had ran off. So on the morning, she walked round that way with Oscar to see if she could see where the dog was, but there was no sign.

She said that each time she'd seen the dog, it was in the same place so it was obvious that it was returning to her neighbour's garden each time. I took her some liver biscuits to leave out for the dog, thinking that it would be attracted to something smellier. That afternoon, they went out shopping and left some biscuits for the dog - some ordinary dog biscuits and the liver ones. When they came back, the liver biscuits were gone and the ordinary ones were still there, lol.

Anyway, this morning, I met up with Jean again as normal and she told me that she'd got the little dog and it was in her conservatory! She said that it had let her pick it up, but it was trembling and shaking like a leaf, bless it. She gave it a quick check over to make sure it wasn't hurt (and to check whether it was male or female), then wrapped it in a towel and left it in the conservatory while she came for a walk with Oscar.

As we started our walk, we met a friend who we often see on a weekend. He's one of Jean's neighbours and he said that he and his wife had been feeding the little dog, but didn't know who it belonged to. So at least we know it hadn't been starving and had access to fresh water.

We went for our walk as normal and met someone else, who suggested that Jean just take the dog to the Dogs Trust in Sadberge and let them deal with it. After we left them, I pointed out that the Dogs Trust centre may be full and that she might have to go on a waiting list for the dog to be taken in by them. In which case, Jean might as well keep it herself!

On our way back, I went up to Jean's house with her to see the little dog and to take a photograph to possibly put into the paper with a 'found' notice. We let the dog out of the conservatory and she went straight to the corner to hide behind a plant pot. It looked like she felt safe there as we couldn't coax her out, no matter how hard we tried.

So we walked away and went into the conservatory so that Jean could phone the dog warden. The number her neighbour had got wasn't in service and she had to ring several numbers before she got through. The woman she eventually spoke to said that she'd pass the details over and the dog wardens would be in touch.

While Jean was on the phone, the little dog - who Jean had named Daisy - had gained enough confidence to come out from behind the plant pot. She pottered around the garden and I took a few photos of her.

As you can see, she wasn't in the best condition, but seemed to be healthy enough. We couldn't work out her breed though - our best guess was Lakeland Terrier possibly crossed with Border Terrier.  She had a collar on, but there was no name tag.

We sat for a while and watched the dogs in the garden. Daisy wasn't bothered about our three dogs at all and even wagged her tail at Pepper, which I think was an achievement. Pepper's a very non-threatening dog so I guess little Daisy felt okay about her being there.

Eventually, she had enough confidence to stay away from the plant pot. Jean called out to her, using the name she'd given her that morning and the little dog came running as though she recognised that as her name! Very sweet!

She let Jean pick her up and was quite happy to lie on the settee in the conservatory while Jean cut out the mats in her coat. She wouldn't, however, turn over to let her do both sides. But she did let me hold her up so that we could get the other side tidied up. Once she was clipped down, Jean gave her a comb through, which helped but she was still scruffy. She was quite happy to lie beside me and let me stroke her and make a fuss of her.

While I was doing this, the wife of the man we'd met that morning came up to see what Jean was planning to do with the little dog. She came in and obviously cooed over the little dog, eventually coming to sit beside me and make a fuss of her. The whole time, she was talking to Jean and saying not to let the dog go with the dog warden as she'd spoken to a friend who knew someone who takes in strays and she'd said that the dog wardens just rehome dogs with anybody without doing any home checks or anything.

As we were talking, Jean was coming round to the idea of keeping little Daisy herself. Then we decided it would be okay to bath the dog. So we trooped in to Jean's house, me carrying Daisy. Popped her in the shower and she stood calmly while Jean showered her and shampooed her. She only tried to get out when Jean washed her face. But once all the shampoo was rinsed out and she was towel dried, she was fine and had a little run in the garden before running back into the conservatory and jumping onto a chair. While she was on that chair, Jean ran the comb over her again. Then the doorbell went again. Oscar ran through the house barking, closely followed by Daisy! It was as though she thought she lived there already!

Jean went to the fence in the garden and looked down the side of the house. It was the dog wardens! Instead of calling back, they'd just come straight out. Daisy, bless her, ran straight behind the plant pot. It was as though she knew that they'd come to take her away. She didn't stay behind the plant pot for long and soon ran back into the conservatory, jumping up onto one of the chairs. Well, me and the other woman looked at each other and felt sure we couldn't let them take her! So we tried to persuade Jean to hang onto the dog for at least a couple of days. Meanwhile, the dog warden had gone into the conservatory and put a lead on Daisy, picking her up. She was shaking like a leaf again, bless her.

Jean eventually came round to our way of thinking and took the lead off the dog and told the warden that we were keeping her. They were quite understanding and went off again, but left a leaflet for the kennels with Jean in case she changed her mind. But once they'd gone, the other woman insisted that her friend would take the dog if Jean didn't want to keep her. So it was decided that Jean would keep the little dog for a couple of days, take her to the vet to be checked over and scanned in case she's chipped, then the friend would come and collect her.

All the while that this was being decided, Jean was combing Daisy through, pulling out a lot of loose hair and generally tidying her up. Daisy didn't mind this at all! And once it was all done, she looked quite smart and very, very cute!

Look at that little face! I don't know how anyone could just leave a little dog like this to fend for itself. And as you can see, she's quite at home in that conservatory! It was at this point that I left to come home, with a promise from Jean that she'd let me know how she got on at the vets.

An hour or so later, I got a phone call to say that the friend had come to collect the dog as they were going to be away after the weekend. They fell in love with her straight away - and who could blame them? - even though they weren't going to keep her themselves. They said they would take her home and settle her before taking her to the vets themselves to be checked and scanned. Jean said that the dog wasn't bothered about going with these people, not like she had been with the dog wardens, so it seems like little Daisy has a happy ending.

I'd have loved to keep her myself, but my parents wouldn't have been happy if I'd brought her home. Hopefully we've done the right thing. The dog wardens have been informed of the dog, as is the law, but were happy enough to let Jean keep her. Ideally, the dog will go to the vets, be scanned and her owners found. But of course that might not happen. If it doesn't, well, she seems to have found a loving home. I hope the people keep the other lady informed so that she can tell us how the dog's getting on.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bank holiday trip to the beach

Yesterday we decided to take the dogs to Redcar beach as my dad had heard that the council had spent a fortune doing it all up.

Well, he was half right. They have obviously spent a fortune, but haven't done it all up yet so there were fences everywhere. But we could still get down to the beach.

We didn't walk too far along as the tide was coming in, but the dogs had a great time racing around. They were in and out of the water - even Ellie - chasing after stones that my dad was thrown. Obviously throwing stones is not ideal, but the dogs were nowhere near them and the stones were landing before the dogs even got into the water so there was no danger of hitting them.

We spent an hour walking along until it started to rain, then we turned and headed back to the car. One problem we always have after a trip to the beach is that Pepper tends to have very, very runny poo after being in the water. Yesterday was no exception and she was leaving a trail as we walked through the town - oops! Not sure what we could have done (apart from not walk her through the town) to clean it up though as it was pure water that was coming out of her. Poor thing.

Anyway, we got our fish and chips for dinner and then came home, calling at Pets At Home for some dog food on the way.

Here are a few pictures of the girls enjoying themselves.

"Omg! It's a wave! Run!" 

"Oh, they're not so bad"

I hid a treat in a hole

Pepper enjoyed the dig

Ellie, not so much!

"This is how it works, ok? I'll wait here..."

" bring me the stick!"

"Yay, stick!"

"Give me the stick, Pepper!" "No!"