Rescue dogs are not evil 11


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.

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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.

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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.


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11 thoughts on “Rescue dogs are not evil

  • Sarah Bailey

    My Sal is a rescue – she is the most beautiful, loving and kind dog you will ever meet – I don’t have children, but I’ve stood in horror as children have run up to her and thrown their arms round her and she’s just sat there and let them do it.

    Most rescues are thoroughly vetted for personality traits as well, as are the people adopting them – more than can be said for many animals sold via other means.
    Sarah Bailey recently wrote… Tips on regifting.My Profile

    • JulieRoo Post author

      Entirely agree a pet breeder/trader would be unlikely to match us up, just take the money and hand over the pup.

      What I love is even though I never completely explained my MH and phobia issues to The Dogs Trust the young man at the centre judged my personality spot on. He phoned me and said “I think you need to come to the centre as soon as you can, we’ve got a new dog in and I think she is your perfect dog. She seems so similar to you, and she loves little children”
      Until then we had so many “no, this one is not suited to your boys” meaning politely Jen is too hyperactive and will freak the dog out.

      She is scarily similar to me. We BOTH are afraid of heights, fear of abandonment/being alone, both afraid of the dark (Yes, I said that publicly), We both are afraid of big dogs, and men in the shadows, we are shy but kind, and both quiet.
      I can’t sleep alone in a bed, she wants me to hold her paw as she sleeps. If rescue charities were only about money like dog dealers, pet shops and puppy farmers I very much doubt I would have a dog that helps me as much as I help her. She would count as an “assistance dog” in the states, as she enables me to go places and do things I previously could NOT do. I love her, even when she pee’s on the floor straight after refusing to pee on a walk, I love her when she throws her food bowl at me in disgust that it’s empty occasionally. I love her when she woofs and growls at big dogs, because I understand she’s not trying to start a fight, shes just trying to keep bad things away from her and me. I even love her when she pounces on to the bed and hides under the duvet because it is stormy outside. She is so like me, even my mum says she is a canine version of me. It is weird as I was frightened of dogs so long that I managed to bond so fast with Freya. She IS family, and I am so glad I ignored all the “cute puppy only £100″ type adverts in the local papers.

      • Sarah Bailey

        OMGosh you just completely described me and Sal as well, she is just the same with helping me get out and get up even.

        While she was actually rescued by an ex that then decided he didn’t want to look after her (I taught her to jump out the window so she could go to the loo while I wasn’t around) – I’m sure she came that way for a reason, as I wouldn’t have ended up with her otherwise. I dread the day she leaves for a while (until we meet again) as I look at her and see her ageing now – the dogs home thought she was 5 when she went home with my ex, that was over 8 years ago so at the very least she is 13 – vets put her as probably older.

        It took me a while to bond with Sal, I couldn’t cope at first, but she knew best, wouldn’t leave me alone even when I told her to go away ;).
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        • JulieRoo Post author

          The very first night she was home with us she jumped onto the foot of our bed and crawled between Blokey and I, and promptly kicked him out of bed. He woke up moaning that he now lives with 2 bed hogging females.

          About Sal, age is but a number. My bunny Patch for example had a life expectancy of 6 years, we were told his type lived 4-7 years depending how you looked after them, and my previous “oldest” bun had been 7 years at the time he died. Patch is 10 to 11 years old. I wish I had written it down somewhere his dates so I knew for sure, but my now 12 year old son was a toddler. Every day I wonder how long he’s got left, no one believes he’s that old!

  • Claire

    So true. We don’t have a dog in our own family home yet but we were both brought up with rescue dogs (that sounds wrong but you know what I mean!). Both grandparents have always had rescue dogs who the kids love to bits too. They have always been lovely. I know there are also dogs who need one to one attention due to previous issues so aren’t best suited to families but you cannot judge all rescue dogs. So pleased you found such a great match dog too. My mum really wanted a smaller dog this time but fell in love with Toby Dog. Some things are just meant to be. xxx
    Claire recently wrote… Silent Sunday.My Profile

    • JulieRoo Post author

      Indeed, I had actually requested a small breed like a spaniel or a Jack or a mini poodle. So when I got the phonecall suggesting a big hound I hesitated a bit. But I figure Dogs Trust had listened to us and assessed us as a family, we should at least go and meet her.

      So glad I did! I am honestly frightened by most large dogs, but there was immediately *something* about Freya. She was very nervous and refused to see us whilst in a kennel but when she was out of the kennel she behaved on her lead like she knew us, like we were her family already, but we had only just met. She gave me her paw and lay down and both the boys just stroked and hugged her. Mum we really want THIS dog. I had already decided though!

  • Lauranne

    I couldn’t agree more. I can’t help but feel that a lot the time people forget that dogs are animals, who get the blame for sometimes human error. Neither of my dogs are rescue, but BD is fear aggressive and reacts when anything invades his ‘space’. I get round this by muzzling when we see another dog and by making sure I tell everyone to be wary around his face. I’ve lost count of the times people have let their dogs get in his face whilst shouting at me ‘it’s ok mines friendly’ to which I scream back – ‘yeah well mine isn’t’. The number of times I have had to intercept someones lunatic dog, once I ended up carrying one back across a field to the owner as they refused to come get it.
    People need to be taught how to respect and read dog body language. Children have to be taught how to correctly interact with both strange and familiar dogs. And we need to remember that they are dogs. Do I leave my dogs unsupervised around small children NO.
    Is one type of dog more dangerous than another NO, is a rescue worse than a pedigree Hell NO! If there is an incident the fault is with the owner not with the dog.
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    • JulieRoo Post author

      In this case there was no “fault” it was just a clumsy accidentally bite. Yes it hurt and bled but he clearly didn’t mean it, the body language just didn’t show any malice.

      I had to tell school he was bitten and then explain NO it wasn’t our dog, and NO it doesn’t need reporting.