Adopting A Rescue Dog...Getting To Know What You Are Taking On. Part One.

Songbird BStarred Page By Songbird B, 6th Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3irx2bfo/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Adoption & Rescue

Adopting a rescue dog can take courage, patience, and time..but what you get out of it is unconditional love and loyalty from that furry four legged canine, what more could you ask for? With advice from 30 years of personal experience of owning rescue dogs, and also sharing the memories their paw prints leave behind on the heart..

Adoption..

I must enjoy a challenge.
I think this is a mantra I must say every time I sign that adoption form, part with my hard earned cash, and find myself with yet another pair of warm brown eyes looking up at me, and a long pink tongue lolling out which gives my newly acquired dog a kind of goofy doggy 'smile'..
The husband gives me that warning look of 'I hope you know what you are getting us into', without saying a word, and we and the newly adopted hound make our way to the car....

But hang on a moment dear reader, I am getting way ahead of myself here, so let me take you back to the beginning of this doggy tail, oops sorry, that should have been tale!

As some of you may know through my years here on Wikinut, I am one of those soft touches that just goes all mushy over adopting a rescue dog from my local Rehoming Centre here in the UK.

I have shared some of my rescue Dogs here with you dear readers..
Raffles, our present Jack Russell X who's battled with cancer and has come out the other side.
Taff and Patches, my two elderly rescue Jack Russell Xs, and Scoobydoo, who was far too bright for his own good, Bearded Collie.
You have met, or can meet them all through their stories and images here on Wikinut.
Now I would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Shep and later in Part Two of this article Frisco, as although not taken on as a double act, they certainly ended up as one!

First Impressions..Wise Advice.

First however, a little bit of wise advice..

The first thing I would always advise on making that commitment to adopt a rescue dog, is never judge on first impressions. Dogs in kennels are usually highly excitable, and sometimes even in an agitated state.
They all want to be picked, so that melee of ME! ME! ME! in doggy language can be a little off-putting if it is your first time at a rehoming centre. In fact, it can be positively distressing, so be prepared..
I know how tempting it is to want to stroke them but please be careful about sticking your fingers through the cage mesh unless you want to go home without them! Dogs in an excitable state are just as likely to bite and after all, for all they know it could have been a tasty treat.. Yes, I have done it, and luckily I still have all my digits intact, but you can hardly blame the poor dog if they take a fancy to it, swiftly followed by a nasty nip..

First impressions must be put on hold. The environment will be too charged to really suss out what you are taking on. Luckily, the staff usually know their dogs well, and information sheets can be provided to help you decide if the whirling dervish in block B, really is the most suitable dog for you and little Timmy.

Usually, all new dogs that come into a rehoming environment in the UK, are tested on their temperament before they go up for adoption. Professional Animal Behaviourists must give them the all clear before they are viewed by the public.
This helps promote confidence in your selection and it stops the poor dog being bounced back and forth to the rescue centre because it has shown some unexpected less than friendly tendencies towards the new owners. The more times that happens, the more damaged that pet will be, the harder it will be to rehome.

Ok, I have that bit of advice out of the way now, so let me introduce you to Shep..

Meeting Shep..The Whirling Dervish..

Shep was one of those 'first impressions' I mentioned above.
He was a Border Collie, typical colouring of black and white, and he looked adorable.
He was housed within a long narrow mobile unit within the Rescue Home grounds, and though space was somewhat restricted, he had jumped up at his cage and tried to lick my fingers enthusiastically through the bars. I'm sure he wasn't basting them for later..I hoped!
He was a 4 year old neutered dog, and had a really friendly disposition. I made a fuss of him and said I would think about it, and we left.
Having almost reached home, still pondering about Shep, and just as we were about to enter our village, I suddenly told my poor husband that we had to go back. Shep was the one for us! (I need not mention how well that went down)..but my husband, so well conditioned to my odd quirks, turned the car around with a heavy sigh, and we returned to the Rehoming Centre and the dog who had stolen my heart without me even noticing..

Having made a decision, (and not noticing the looks exchanged at the office when I told them the dog we were hoping to adopt), some poor girl was called out to fetch Shep from his cage. We followed behind.
What we witnessed next left us not knowing whether to laugh or cry..

The noise from the mobile unit was horrendous...Lots of banging, barking and yelling..then the metal outer door flew open with a resounding crash that reverberated around the grounds, and there was Shep, on the end of a lead, leaping over the flight of mobile steps without a paw touching them, with the poor girl in mid-flight being dragged out behind him, a look of total panic on her young face..
The husband looked at me with startled eyes and said.. "Oh good grief, what have we taken on???" Guess who took on the whirling Dervish...

A Guide To The Border Collie Breed. Origin and History.

Border Collies are a lively, energetic, enthusiastic and highly intelligent breed of dogs. They are 'workaholics', that need to be kept constantly stimulated, which is why they are such effective farm dogs with their instinctive herding ability.
The herding instinct is so strong, that they will try and round up anything be it children or other pets. To observe a Collie at work is to see a master at his craft. He stays low to the ground, is agile, and has a mesmerizing, penetrating stare when fixed on his purpose.
Border Collies make great Search and Rescue dogs, and have also been used in the field of Bomb and Drug detection, due to the fact they are highly intelligent, motivated and easily trainable. They really are a dog who 'lives to serve'.
Built for endurance, Collies can be traced back through history to Celtic times when dogs used for herding livestock played just as important a part as it does for farmers today.

The Collie name is thought to either originate from the Gaelic word meaning 'Useful', or may perhaps refer to the original Scottish Highland colley sheep, with their black markings, (as the term 'collie' is Anglo-Saxon for 'black').
Whatever its roots, the Collie proved to be an invaluable aid to herding with their amazing tireless agility and fine-tuned intuitive sense.

The pure-bred Border Collie we know today is related to their distant ancestor 'Auld Hemp' way back in 1893. It was said that he participated in every dog trial up until the end of his life, and won all of them, a record that has not been defeated as yet.
Raised in Northumberland, in the UK, and owned by Adam Tefler a Northumberland shepherd, 'Auld Hemp' was naturally instinctive at herding, and teamed with a great trainer and a man who truly understood dogs, Tefler and Hemp were a match made in heaven.
'Auld Hemp' went on to sire over 200 puppies, before his demise in 1903. He is considered to be the Founder of the modern Border Collie we know and love today.
We owe Adam Tefler and his faithful Collie 'Auld Hemp' both a debt of thanks for the legacy they left behind.

Getting Your Adopted Pet Settled.

Another bit of sound advice..
When it comes to taking your newly adopted pet home, make sure you carry a spare blanket and some 'doggy' bags just in case, as dear old Rover throwing up on your nice leather car seats will not help endear him to the master of the house!
Luckily for us, Shep turned out to be an enthusiastic traveller, but a later companion that joined our doggy household, did just that...and no, it really didn't go down well.

Our new furry canine buddy was four years old, so still pretty lively, as are all Collies.
They are a highly intelligent breed, and need to be kept stimulated and well exercised or can turn destructive in the home. (Shep ate a settee and a carpet in ours...!)
Collies are part of the Pastoral group of dogs. This basically means they are Herding animals, helping to move livestock around in fields and over open land, working alongside shepherds and farmers. They have this natural herding instinct inbuilt in their genes, and are tireless and energetic and full of enthusiasm for life. Because they are so bright and easy to train, owners are finding more and more amusing ways to keep their Collie stimulated, and teaching them tricks as this video of Dazzle and Katherine shows, helps build a strong bond between owner and dog.


Before deciding to take on a dog, do a little research about suitable breeds and their traits. In the average Rescue Centre, most of the dogs will be of mixed parentage..Mongrels to you and I..but usually you will get a fair idea from the staff about the characteristics of the chosen pet, and please remember, as so many tend to forget, that the adorable tiny bundle of fur you can hold in your hands will not stay that size for long if you have decided on a puppy! With a mixed-breed pup, you are never too sure just what you will be taking on or how large it will get..Puppies grow surprisingly fast.
Be dog-savvy in your choice. Can you see a Great Dane in a top floor flat?

Once home, let your newly acquired pet settle in without too much fussing. This is particularly difficult if you have excitable children, but let your new dog get used to his environment at his own pace.
Bedding, fresh water, and food will soon help him feel secure. He has to adjust just as much as we do so give him time and be patient. It pays in the long run believe me. This link provides invaluable tips on the first thirty days of settling your newly acquired rescue dog into his new home.

Nowadays, the idea of large foldaway metal crates are proving popular, as this gives your pet a place of his own, a den as it were should he feel insecure or need time on his own. It is also handy for transportation, but should not be used as punishment..
It is where he can go to feel safe and be respected as such. We are seeing a lot more rescue dogs being 'crate trained' recently and there is a lot of advice on the internet regarding this should you wish to check it out.
The most important point here is never to lock your dog in it for hours on end. He should have the option of going in or out at will or on command.

Shep..Our Border Collie Rescue.

Shep, our lovable rogue, settled in at first really quickly. He was a loving but mischievous dog, that always knew how to get himself into trouble. A lot of rescue dogs suffer from separation anxiety, and for a while, our whirling dervish was much the same, resulting in some pretty destructive and naughty behaviour, and often it was a case of trying to out-think him, never easy to do with a bright Border Collie.
As time progressed and his sense of trust and security with us increased, these anxiety traits ceased altogether and he proved to be an affectionate and obedient lad, who was an absolute joy to be around.

It does pay to be patient with your newly adopted dog. Don't judge him too harshly just because he won't conform to the way you would like him to at the start. Trust takes time on both sides. Stick with it, and 9 times out of 10, you will end up with a canine buddy for life.

After a while, we decided that Shep really needed a companion. We had taken him away on holiday with us and he got on so well with another dog we met there, that he pined badly when we brought him home alone. We both decided that he would prefer canine company so it was back to the rescue shelter to find a suitable doggy match, and that is how Frisco, a 4 year old Collie/Setter X soon joined our ever expanding family...This doggytale continues but that is for another day..

Join me soon in Part Two of Adopting A Rescue Dog..Getting to know what you are taking on to read more about Frisco and Shep adventures, and also further advice on rehoming and living with rescue dogs.

Credits:
All photos are copyright of Author and not to be used without permission.
Thanks to youtube and their contributors for embedded videos.

Related Pet links from Songbird B:
Adopting A Rescue Dog And Possible Unknown Factors.
Rescuing Raffles.
Rescue Me.
If I Only Had A Voice.
What It Is Like Owning A Jack Russell Terrier.
If I Followed You Home.
In Doggy Dreams.
The Welsh Legend Of A Faithful Hound..Gelert Of Beddgelert.


Why not have your work published on-line, and earn earn royalties too?
Join us here at Wikinut..

Tags

Adopting A Dog, Adopting An Older Dog, Adoption, Advice, Border Collie, Breeds, Crate Training, Dogs, Pets, Rehoming Centre, Rescue Animals, Rescue Centre, Rescue Dogs, Rspca, Songbird B, Songbird B Articles

Meet the author

author avatar Songbird B
Hi there! I am Songbird B, and I am a semi-pro female Jazz vocalist. I have a huge passion for Jazz music, and I love writing Poetry, which I have done all my life. I am very Spiritual in my beliefs, and love Photography, Music and Garden Design....I...(more)

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th Mar 2013 (#)

how absolutely lovely this dear Bev and the doggies are absolutely adorable...thank you for a well deserved Star page

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author avatar Songbird B
20th Mar 2013 (#)

So glad you enjoyed Carolan..This is a subject very close to my heart..

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
20th Mar 2013 (#)

The border collie is one of my wife's favorite breeds but admittedly she would never consider owning one, she says they are just so smart, but she loves watching them.


Always happy to read a story of pet rescue and adoption.

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author avatar Songbird B
20th Mar 2013 (#)

Oh Mark, how right your wife is, they are really bright and can be a handful too, but they are super dogs, and until I 'downsized' to my Jack Russell's, lol, they were absolutely my first choice of dog. I have such a soft spot for them. Shep was a sweetheart. Thank you so much for sharing this too. I can never have pet adoption promoted enough in my eyes..Thank you for moderating and also the Star merit my friend..Bless you\0/x

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
20th Mar 2013 (#)

Border Collies are amazing. What a great article, Bev. You are to be congratulated for rescuing as many dogs as you have. I loved the videos. Just a beautiful star page from beginning to end.

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author avatar Songbird B
21st Mar 2013 (#)

Bless you Steve, we have had about 11 rescue dogs in 30 plus years as we always take on the middle aged ones or older..It is really lovely to share my pets here on Wikinut, but also to promote rehoming and rescue dogs in general. It is a cause very close to my heart. So glad you enjoyed the videos too my dear friend..Hugs to you and Carol..\0/xxxx

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author avatar C.D. Moore
20th Mar 2013 (#)

Very entertaining, informative and Shep is adorable.Well deserved star, Songbird. I was lucky, my Tucker didn't have any bad habits, and must have been well treated by his previous owners because he loves everyone.
He is my exercise program, being in an apartment, we walk 4 times a day.Well worth it though.

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author avatar Songbird B
21st Mar 2013 (#)

Ah no wonder we get on so well CD, another dog lover too! lol..Yes, Shep was quite a lad, but worth the effort. He lives on in our hearts and memories still. A warm hug to you and Tucker..\0/x

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author avatar Rania, Jamie & Reni
20th Mar 2013 (#)

Dear Songbird, I loved reading every word of your astounding page with the beautiful pictures.

We, too, are animal lovers and have several pets, all a part of our family, one just as dear as the other.

Have you heard of WSPA? They come to the rescue of all animals world-wide and we are members. Perhaps you would like to look them up on the net.

Uthrania Seila

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author avatar Songbird B
21st Mar 2013 (#)

Hello Uthrania, I will indeed look up WSPA, thank you for mentioning them. Rescue animals need all the help they can get..I don't think I could be without my pets, they teach us what unconditional love really is.. Bless you for looking in on me..\0/x

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author avatar Retired
21st Mar 2013 (#)

Inspiring and delightful. Border collies are one of my favorite breeds...and now I know more about why! Thanks for sharing your glowing heart and this inspiring story. Great pics!

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author avatar Songbird B
21st Mar 2013 (#)

Hello dear RD..Yes Border Collies are amazing dogs, and so very bright.. I loved the tricks with Katherine and Dazzle on the video..So clever..Hugs dear friend \0/x

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author avatar Buzz
21st Mar 2013 (#)

You've got such a big heart for dogs, dear Bev. 5 stars for you!

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author avatar Songbird B
21st Mar 2013 (#)

I was brought up with pets as a child and have never lost my love for them dear Buzz..I am very passionate about pet adoption, and hope my articles and experience may encourage others to adopt these loving, loyal pets too..Great to see you dear heart..Hugs\0/x

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author avatar richardpeeej
21st Mar 2013 (#)

A very interesting and informative read Bev. Your article clearly shows that you have a heart of gold my friend. I am sure that all of your rescue dogs must have had a much better life with you and your husband.
A very well deserved star award for another great piece of writing...

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author avatar Songbird B
21st Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you for your kind supportive post Rich.. I know rescue pets can be a challenge, but what you get back in return makes them so worth it..Thank you for looking in on me my friend..Hugs to you\0/xxx

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author avatar Delicia Powers
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

wonderful Songbird...beautiful way to share love... just alovely article, thank you:0)

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author avatar Songbird B
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

I hope you found this informative and enjoyable Delicia.. It certainly stirred the memories for me..lol. Thank you as always for looking in on me dear heart..Hugs \0/x

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author avatar Carol
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

What a great article and wonderfully illustrated. We have recued 2 dog, and they had such wonderful natures, and it was nice toknow we saved them from certain early death through no fault of their own!

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author avatar Songbird B
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

You sound like a lady after my own heart Carol..Rescue dogs just give so much back don't they? Each and every one of them has enriched our lives and taught us so much. It has been harrowing locating videos to embed in these Adoption articles, and I have spent more time in tears seeing the harsh reality of overcrowded shelters and innocent dogs facing death on a weekly basis. Part Two of this topic will be submitted over the weekend. Thank you so much for reading and posting a comment my friend.. Hugs to you \0/x

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author avatar Kingwell
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Loved your article. Each is special in their own way. The pictures are beautiful.

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author avatar Songbird B
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Ah bless you Kingwell, and how lovely to see you here on my page too..Yes, each of my rescue dogs have been so special and unique and have taught us so much over the years. The photos have not the digital quality of modern technology I'm afraid, but they are all the more treasured because of it..I am passionate about dog adoption and hope my articles promote others to think the same..

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author avatar Retired
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you for this informative article. My husband and I have been thinking about getting a dog from an animal rescue and I appreciated the advice.

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author avatar Songbird B
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Hello Carol, your comment is truly music to my ears my friend. Please check out my other Adoption articles that I have published here on Wikinut. All links are on this page. I have been taking on rescue dogs for over 30 years, and though it isn't always easy, it is always worth it. This is the only way that I will take on a dog now. You lift my heart with your comment..Bless you.\0/x

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Mar 2013 (#)

What an in depth share, dear Songbird. I was taking my time, enjoying it part by part, and that explains the delay in my response. Every word is so meaningful, endearing and reflects your glowing heart. And the videos are beyond compare too.Thank you for taking me on a wonderful guided tour. I live in a busy city with limited space and so I have to just dream on for having such loving and lively pets. Hopefully, there is time later! siva

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author avatar Songbird B
24th Mar 2013 (#)

Hello dearest Sivar..In my research to find suitable videos to embed to complete my articles, I have shed tears over what I have seen, but I hope that I have suitably enhanced my message with the end result. I can not, and will never be able to say enough in praise of taking on a rescue pet, and although your circumstances may not allow you to at present dear friend, the day that you may be able to open your heart and home to one of these wonderful pets I know that they will be blessed to have found a secure and loving home indeed. \0/x

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author avatar vellur
25th Mar 2013 (#)

A great article, you are doing a great job by rescuing dogs. You are kind and a generous person with a big heart. Thank you for sharing this informative and useful article.

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author avatar Songbird B
25th Mar 2013 (#)

Bless you vellur..Sometimes I think our rescue dogs rescue us my friend..I hope that despite the fact it has a couple of hard hitting videos in it, you found it an interesting and enjoyable read Vellur. Thank you so much for looking in on me..\0/x

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author avatar Mariah
20th Apr 2013 (#)

Help the cuteness is too much love shep, love the clever clever collie.
Brilliant read for us dog lovers thank you for such great entertainment
Mariah x

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author avatar Songbird B
20th Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you Mariah, I published several of these Dog Adoption articles, because all of my dogs have been rescues, and all a great learning curve.. Raffles is my present rescue, he is a Jack Russell X, and quite the character believe me! Each of my rescue dogs hold such special places in my heart..\0/x

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author avatar Mariah
21st Apr 2013 (#)

Oh bev my daughter and I watched the choose me video together this morning I knew she would be touched shes 11, and we were with in tears then laughing at the reasons to choose me. She's so taken with shep and that star of a collie. She's going to suggest this as a topic for class projects and is taking her iPad in to show your page to her teacher.
Wonderful work you do
Love you loads
Mariah x

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author avatar Songbird B
21st Apr 2013 (#)

h Mariah, you have almost had me in tears over that post! I must admit I spent more time in tears having to go through the various youtube videos to find ones that I felt suited this article, so many show the brutal harsh realities of life my friend for these poor defenceless unwanted dogs..I am so touched that your young daughter felt strongly enough about this subject to suggest it as a school project. If just one dog could be given a new home due partly thanks to my raising awareness of the subject, then this set of Adoption articles was worth the many hours I spent working on them.. If you should wish to check out Part Two of this page, please check the first video before your daughter sees it, as it has rather an upsetting shot towards the end, and I would hate her to be upset over it.. I know that kids of 11 are so much more worldly wise now than we ever were at that age, but parental guidance might be advised just in case. My Jack-Chi is on an article called 'Rescue Me', there will be a link on it through my Adoption series. This post has really touched me dear friend..Much love ..Bev'\0/x

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author avatar James Sirois
30th May 2013 (#)

This is such an amazing, informative article. My daughter is a vets assistant and some of the stories that she tells me about people who adopt and then want to get rid of or put down their new dogs is so disheartening. Your advice is a blessing and a wake up call to all who are considering adoption. We got our Yorkie because a woman just wanted to put him down because she thought that they came already trained. Really? Talk about stupidity and ignorance. So we adopted him when he was 2. It was not easy, but we are a happy Yorkie family now!

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author avatar Songbird B
30th May 2013 (#)

Hi Jim..Oh I am so pleased to see you here on my page. This pet adoption series I have published on Wikinut is a subject close to my heart as you can probably tell.
Thank you for taking on your gorgeous little Yorkie, it is crazy the way some owners have so little respect for pets..I think it says a lot about the person if they can treat an animal badly or just discard when it suits them..Bless you dear friend for showing how brightly your soul really does shine..\0/x

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