The last few months I have seen so much negativity regarding rescued dogs, in particular it seems to be frowned on if you have children. Just look at the comments underneath online newspaper stories about dogs.
Well I have a rescued dog, Freya, and I have two children. I am such a bad parent for this, allegedly. I do not understand why people brand all rehomed dogs that have had a bad start as bad dogs. They are not. Some are, most aren’t, but like people you do occasionally get lunatics.
Of course I find it awful when a child is injured or killed by a dog, and I feel so bad for those children and anyone effected. However I really think children are at more risk from crazy people than dogs. I am not speaking factually, and I admit I have not researched this, this is just how I feel.
If a dog is treated right, even rescues, they learn how to act right. There are some exceptions but these unpredictable dogs are not given to families. Most rescue places assess the dogs that come in. When we were looking for a dog the Dogs Trust staff said almost all of dogs we looked at were not suitable for living with children.
One of the dogs was friendly, loveable, calm and quiet – we were told he is not for children. I questioned why and found out he had acted hostile towards staff (and only once) and had therefore been considered a risk. Ok, that makes them harder to rehome but if it keeps people safe it is a great idea.
But not all rescues are hostile. Freya growls, at cats and at a certain breed of dog. She not only treats humans with respect, but she treats children and the elderly with a much calmer manner and is noticeably more gentle. She will not play in a hyperactive puppy way too near a baby or toddler. She offers her paw to elderly folk admiring her in the park, and the way she does it is as though she is asking permission to be stroked and play.
Last night my youngest got his first dog bite, and it was not from a rescue. It was a complete accident, he was bitten by a neighbours dog as they played in the park. Jen had been playing fetch and the dog misjudged the size of his toy or the size of my sons hand. There was not a woof, or a growl, no aggressive body language, and neither my neighbour or I knew anything of it until Jen let out one heck of a squeal. Even Freya was surprised. He was just crying and crying, so I took his hand and looked. A single puncture, and it was bleeding a bit. Of course I went straight home and washed his hand under cold water, then iced it (okay I gave Jen a Jubbly lolly to hold in his bad hand), put Savalon on it and phoned our doctors for advice.
Jen is fine, his thumb will hurt but he’s not scared of the dog who bit him, he gave him a hug whilst crying “it’s okay boy, you didun meeeean it!” and the dog looked at him with a worried face. The dog knew Jen was hurt and sniffed his hand, and licked his face.
Yet I know if I named the breed on social media there would be an outcry as the tabloid media would have us believe this breed are vicious. The accidental hound here is not vicious at all, he’s old and huggable and daft. His motivation in life is walkies, hugs, food and sideways glares at the cat that shares his home.
Whether your dog is from a breeder and some kind of pedigree or from a dogs shelter with unknown heritage what matters most is how you treat them.
At the time I was writing this I heard the shocking news about Manchester Dogs Home. The outpouring of anger on social media quickly became something good. Pet shops and other charities offering overwhelming support, and then there is JustGiving. Just wow, well done the British people, well done.
The Dogs Trust – where our Freya came from. To generally help rescues nationwide.
Manchester Dogs Home – a fire fund started by the Manchester Evening News paper. This is fast approaching a million Pounds.
The PDSA – for pets whose owners can not afford vets.
The RSPCA – the nationwide charity that love all animals, wild, stray, livestock and pets.
Lets spread the love to other pet charities as they will be helping Manchester I am sure.