The story starts on Monday last, 15th December. A posting was made on one of the forums run by the Dogs Trust, UK rehoming charity, that a dog was threatened with destruction. Now this happens every day in this and a load more countries. But something was different. We couldn’t have more dogs – the campsite we go to has a limit of two dogs per pitch. No way could we help.
That situation lasted for less than 24 hours when we learned that the reason that the dog was being put for destruction was that he wagged his tail too much and was in danger of harming a three year old. One phone call to my wife, her phone call to the campsite to see if they’d bend the rules in the circumstances and we said we’d have him. This was on Tuesday 16th December.
Now here’s the insane part. Not only had we not seen him, the person rescuing him (in Lancashire, a hundred and twenty miles away) had not seen him either. The only description was that it was a collie cross. Some frantic e-messages and one phone call and we’d arranged to collect him on the Thursday evening. So why were we doing it? We don’t know.
So Max (the dog) duly arrived at the house of sanctuary and was temporarily assimilated into that household of family and two border collies. Thanks to the web we had some photos to look at by Wednesday evening. Thursday came, brought a meeting forward and set off.
In the rush hour.
And discovered that there was an accident blocking the motorway.
And followed the route that everyone else was following to try to avoid the blocked motorway.
And it took more than four hours!
So then in a Lancashire village a knock on the door was answered by multiple dogs barking. I’d arrived. And an hour later following refreshments and loads of talk we were off again. And at midnight arrived home with a dog that we didn’t know. He’d not have been here had he not been taken in.
We’ve had the expected dominance issues with the other two which are being resolved. He’s an older boy – needs his rest and peace.
Max, the furry footwarmer (he’s taken up residence in the dog basket that lives under my desk) is OK. He’s obviously been traumatised by the events of the past week for him – having been moved twice. He’s not eating very well – certainly not dog food, so we’re tempting him with sausages and roast chicken. We think he’s holding out for this, sometimes. The person who rescued him found that he wouldn’t eat much, either, so we have progress.
When we went to the vet to have him checked over and microchipped she said that if owners have made the decision to have a dog put down then they withdraw from it, just giving food and shelter, rather than interaction and attention as well. The dog then reacts to this by putting themselves on a care and maintenance basis, just eating what is necessary to survive. In Max’s case this may have been going on for some time. Sue, who rescued him, was told that he only ate a small amount and only in the evenings. We’ve introducing him to our routine which involves breakfast and a certain number of treats during the day. We’ve got to build him up a bit as he’s quite thin.
He’s got a heart murmur, leaky valves probably, but he’s ten and some sort of medical condition was expected. However many dogs have such a murmur – and if he contracts a cough we’re to get him back there sooner rather than later. Medication for things like that can help immensely.
Sandy, the top dog, is being a little possessive of tennis balls, and is showing it. However we’re working on it. Kerry, on the other hand, wants to play. Max is still very unsure, as apart from two days in Lancashire he hasn’t lived with other dogs before.
Our Christmas preparations, which were ahead of plan last weekend, have now descended into an almighty rush, much as usual. The dust can wait. The dog is more important.
Why have we done it? Still don’t know.
But we could not see a dog put down because its tail wagged too much. We’re very glad to have him.
Link to Max’s Kennel on Doggysnaps
Link to Max just after Rescue