Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A-Z Challenge Day 4 - Dog Rescues

Day 4 already. Here are our two resident hairy horrors, Greenpatch Dogs 1 and 2.  We got GPD1, our hairy French Basset, as a pup. GPD2, an equally hairy, if rather more dainty little lady, is a rescue dog. I'll admit, I didn't know much about animal rescues until a couple of years ago, and learning about the terrible lives led by so many dogs, the way that they're so often treated like breeding machines, solely to make money for the owners, kept in squalor, with little food, water or stimulation; then once their 'working' life is over being abandoned, passed over to a rescue organisation (if they're lucky enough) or otherwise 'disposed of,' was a real eye-opener. Such a contrast to when we chose our first dog: we researched breeders carefully, visited, were given the nth degree by the breeder to make sure we were a suitable family for one of their precious pups. If they'd thought we weren't, no way would they have let us have one, however much money we offered them. Their dogs, though some used for show, were primarily bred to go to good, loving families as pets.

So to our little rescue Bichon.  There are umpteen Dog rescue organisations in the UK, where we live. One of the best known is the Dogs Trust, with a branch in or near most major towns and cities.  I'm sure most people have heard of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, now even more in the public eye thanks to the recent Paul O'Grady TV documentary. There also dozens of smaller places, specific breed rescues, all kinds; some good, some maybe not so good. Opinions vary wildly.

Our experience so far has been entirely positive.  Little one came from Many Tears  in Wales. When you hear some of the stories behind the many many dogs that pass through their doors each year, you'll appreciate why it's called by that name. It's heartbreaking. Unlike, I would guess, those back street breeders and puppy farmers without whose trade such organisations wouldn't have to exist, the rescue is definitely not ''raking it in." Instead, they, like so many other  animal welfare organisations, are working flat out many hours a day, seven days a week on a shoestring. Often with animals that because of their backgrounds aren't 'ready-made' pets, which is something would-be adopters have to take into account. However, thanks to a wonderful team at the centre, volunteers and a nationwide network of foster families, they work wonders. We were so  lucky with our little one. She was an ex-breeder, came to us quite shut-down, though her foster families had done so much already to help her gain confidence. She'll never be a show dog (thank goodness), but she suits us just fine. Thank you, Many Tears. This from the woman whose DH swore he would never have a little fluffy dog! Yes, you have indeed worked miracles!

And no, I don't work for them, in case you wondered.

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