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Please talk to me about rescues

(20 Posts)
countrywalk Sun 17-Mar-19 08:19:34

Hi we already have a 5yo dog who we adore and would like to get another dog - for us and him. We are registered with a couple of rescues and also constantly trawling others to look for one.
A rescue phoned me with an available dog who needs a loving home. She is the breed we want and we went to look at her. I think she is lovely, very sweet and just needs some love and tlc.
My oh had in his head that if she is the dog for us that she would run up to us wagging her tail. She didn't do that, although she came up to me when I called her and lay down happy with me stroking and talking to her. He is also a bit undecided because she does look scruffy and she is very skinny etc. But she is a rescue! So my thoughts are once she feels safe and loved and is on decent food with regular grooming she will be beautiful. Also our dog didn't seem particularly interested in her as in they didn't play together - but they didn't react negatively towards each other at all.
It's such a massive decision because it's her whole life and I am an over thinker so this needs to be right. I think she is adorable and would love to bring her home. He said he is happy to have her but I would love to hear how you felt when you first saw your rescue dog. Was it love at first sight? Did your dogs fall in love immediately? Or does that come in time.

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HennyPennyHorror Sun 17-Mar-19 08:39:05

I find it difficult to compute that your DH was more concerned about her looks and her lack of joy. Is he usually insensitive?

I had a difficult time with mine because he was very reserved...he showed no emotions at all. He looked beautiful but had been kept alone and had no affection.

Took about a year of constancy before his personality showed. He was only young when we got him but already damaged...now he's 3 and the most affectionate and bounding dog you ever met.

He LOVES people to distraction. Anyone...man, woman or child...everyone's a potential best friend.

madvixen Sun 17-Mar-19 08:40:41

The personality that you see in the rescue centre is totally different from the personality that you will see when a dog is in a stable, loving environment. This can be positive or negative behaviour changes, and I've had experience of both.
You need to make more than one visit to see the dog before you make the decision.

Foxmuffin Sun 17-Mar-19 08:42:54

I’ve had a couple of rescues and also fostered dogs. It can take a while for them to come out of their shell. They are often reserved and withdrawn because kennel life is depressing for them.

My DH always believed rescues were unsuitable for children etc until he met mine and my families. We have had some really wonderful dogs who have been brilliant family pets.

I would say don’t concern yourself with looks. Temperament is the most important.

Cafeculture Sun 17-Mar-19 09:08:01

You're right. With tlc she will look beautiful, because she will be happy and healthy. It's a joy to see them blossom.

I've had a few rescue dogs over the years. A couple were totally love at first sight, but others took a little longer, though like you I was fairly confident they were right for me, and they were.

Rescue dogs don't usually run up to you with waggy tails. Your DH is thinking of a litter of puppies. Her reaction to you seems just right to me, and your existing dog seems ok.

I hope you have years of happiness with her!

countrywalk Sun 17-Mar-19 09:20:41

Aww smile thank you for your lovely replies. I think DH probably was likening the situation to getting a puppy because that was one of our considerations if we still don't get a rescue.
We did spend an hour and a half with her and other dogs. We went to the foster house and then all went out so the dogs could all run in the field together. (There were about six of them altogether). I can see beyond the unhappiness she has at the moment and I think he can too but I genuinely think he was expecting this happy dog to come running up to him with a wagging tail. He was also a bit worried that when we went out for a walk our dog wasn't really playing with the others he was running round on his own. But I put that down to the fact he's never been there so all new sights and smells. Also he doesn't know the reason we went there in the first place!! I'm glad that some of you haven't felt that instant 'dog of my dreams' feeling.

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 17-Mar-19 09:30:22

DDog took quite a while to warm to me, and to this day he will ignore strangers out in the park, even those that try to attract his attention. If they try and stroke him he walks off.

We've got a really strong bond now, and he will ask for cuddles, but he is still only interested in 2-3 people in the whole world (though he'll make a temporary exception for anyone willing to throw a ball for him). He'll never be a dog that loves the whole world, but it suits me fine - he doesn't jump up at strangers for attention!

Cafeculture Sun 17-Mar-19 09:46:02

My last dog died only a few weeks ago so the tears come whenever I think of her.
I took her because she was the type I wanted and she and my existing dog (who was a love at first sight dog) were fine with one another. She was a trembling wreck in the rescue, so my heart went out to her, but it was a couple of weeks later that I felt the real strong love and bond. She was a wonderful dog.

Beamur Sun 17-Mar-19 09:47:48

My dog (and previous) is from a rescue. She'd been in kennels for over 3 months and was depressed and sad. She barely noticed when anyone petted her and the rescue gave us tips to help bring her out and bond with her (mostly involved food). She is still very timid but affectionate and waggy when she sees us.
You really can't judge a rescue on first impressions and you can't expect them to behave like the 'perfect' dog - possibly ever. Doing so may set you up for disappointment and failure.

florentina1 Sun 17-Mar-19 09:48:19

The Rescue I applied to did not accept applications until you were able to rehome within 7 days. I could not rehome until after Christmas so spent 5 weeks watching her progress at the Rescue. I was so In love with her and had very mixed feelings . On the one hand I so wanted her to ‘wait for me’ but on the other would be pleased if she found a loving home quickly.

When I saw her in the flesh, I could have cried. She looked nothing like I had seen on photos and videos. She even seemed to be a smaller dog. The reason was because of her fear. She had her head and tail down and was almost cowering. I spent two hours with her, took her for a walk, spoke to the Rescue about her and then took her home.

I think it so hard to judge on first impressions. I did not expect a waggy tail greeting but nor did I expect her to look like a different dog. Every day there were changes in her and she is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Rrxox Sun 17-Mar-19 09:51:08

The reaction all depends on the dog. Obviously a dog who’s been taken into a foster house not a kennel after living a happy family life with a change of circumstances is going to be a lot bouncier/bold in greeting people than a dog who’s been abused/kennels/trust issues with humans in general.

My first rescue was a well loved ex racer, owner had a heart condition so couldn’t exercise them or keep up with the care properly. She was as bold as brass running around tail wagging like mad, she’d never been scared of people so had no reason to be cautious over new humans.
My second (and current) rescue lady came from a puppy mill, she sat and shook anytime a she heard a male voice for weeks. I’m even talking about on the tv. She was fine with me, scared but clung like a shadow to me during that time and didn’t play much with my other dog.. didn’t know how to play to be honest. Now she’s an affectionate mad fur ball that loves men and plays great with any dog she meets, she just needed time and careful introductions with different “types” of men and dogs to show her that not everyone’s the same scary human.

Obviously not every rescue will come out their shell the way you want them to, but with her not being reactive with your dog and willingly coming when called over that’s all good signs.. if the rescues a good one I dare say they’d let you have a few more play dates and possibly have someone bring her to your house to check how your dog is with her on “home ground”

OverFedStanley Sun 17-Mar-19 09:56:47

I actually would be happier that the dog was not really needy and clingy to humans. If the dog showed some interest, no aggression or major stress signals that would be great.

Dog on dog behaviour again look for the subtle signs, did the dogs look away from each other did they respect each others space, did they read each others body language, was the greeting mutual eg not one dog jumping on the other or one dog running away from the other, if both dogs were in a similar state eg calm and ignoring each other that again would be fine if there were no stress signals being shown.

I would visit again and maybe see if you can interact with just your dog and the rescue dog not all of the fosters dogs. Do not encourage interaction - calm being together is much easier to work with than them bundling and playing madly together. Slow and gentle is the way to go take it listen to the dogs smile

OhDear2200 Sun 17-Mar-19 20:54:26

My rescue boy (had his for 2 years) is a very very reserved lad. I was always use to dogs that ran up when the doorbell went, out dog doesn’t even move. Often people don’t even realise that we have a dog.

But he and I have a very special bond, as he does with the whole family. But it is very subtle, for example when we go for a walk he can’t stand it if we all get separated, say someone is going slow, you can see he doesn’t know what to do. Also he constantly watches where I am, he is pretty much glued to my side. He loves cuddles and will protest when you stop.

When I first met him I was not overwhelmed with love, I was more thinking logically about whether he was right for our family.

Now...I adore him!

SavoyCabbage Sun 17-Mar-19 21:06:10

I couldn't believe that I was going to let such a raggamuffin into my home. Now she sleeps on my bed. Here is a photo of her in the rescue place and now someone loves her.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Mon 18-Mar-19 11:47:18

The personality that you see in the rescue centre is totally different from the personality that you will see when a dog is in a stable, loving environment.
This.
My dog was introduced to me by being let into a room at the rescue centre and we (I was with my sister) were left alone with her. She was perfectly pleasant (mildly friendly but in a sort of best behaviour way) but didn't rush up to me and cover me with kisses. She circled the room many times, stopping by us if we offered her a treat then off on her rounds again. She was a bit thinner than I would have expected from a staffie cross but healthy. I liked her and felt sure she was likely to settle into a very nice loving dog but I could at that point see that her behaviour was a result of being in a rescue (we had been told she had been very stressed in their kennels) for 4 months (after being abandoned on the streets) and she was just "getting by" by not rocking the boat but not attaching herself particularly to anyone. She came home with me and was very nervy at first - she didn't know how to relax or didn't feel safe enough to for a while - I just imagine she had not been anywhere safe and settled for a long, long time, if ever before. She followed me everywhere (and now, 2 years on, will still sometimes come to look for me if I am out of the room) but she put on a bit of weight, started to behave in a more relaxed, normal manner. When we didn't think she was "putting on the glad" any more but was genuinely enjoying herself, I felt I'd actually got somewhere with her and that she was relaxing into her home. She's terrific - I have no regrets and, nowadays, she regularly bestows cuddles and kisses daily. I would say, it took the first year for her to slowly evolve into her true self.

countrywalk Mon 25-Mar-19 13:50:54

Well we are 5 days in!! She is so adorable and it feels like she 'just belongs' we have a few teething problems which is completely to be expected and once she is settled and had her second lot of injections I will arrange to take her to puppy training.
It is so lovely watching her and our other dog playing in the garden, there is a little puppyish nipping and her trying to take toys out of his month but its very very early days.
I am so happy that we were chosen to have her 💕💕

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joystir59 Mon 25-Mar-19 14:06:46

Our rescue,whom we love dearly, has been and will continue to be a challenge as he can be hyper and aggressive. My advice would be to really listen to the advice from the rehoming centre. We didn't and we have learnt the hard way.

missbattenburg Mon 25-Mar-19 15:00:03

5 days in and they are already so relaxed together they are sleeping face to face.

This is a breed very close to my heart and both your dogs look like little corkers grin

Of course, the very last thing I needed to see was proof that 2 springers are better then 1...

MattMagnolia Mon 25-Mar-19 20:41:39

I got a rescue dog who ignored our first dog and never played. She never interacted with other dogs but just adored me. I adored her back.
Rescues are even more individual than puppies because of their very different backgrounds and experience.

countrywalk Fri 28-Jun-19 23:25:56

Just thought you would like to see the change in our beautiful girl three months in 💖

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