Our Adopted Dogs
We have found homes for 100s of dogs. Here are some of our happy dogs heading to their forever families.
Chiara Adopted Feb 2021
Francis Adopted Feb 2021
Kaya Adopted Feb 2021
Frodo Adopted Feb 2021
Latte Adopted Feb 2021
Oliver Adopted Feb 2021
Lily Adopted 2021
Albert Adopted Jan 2021
We love to show happy photos of our dogs going off to their forever homes. But before deciding if you are ready, please do browse some of the stories told by some of our adopters. These will help you get an idea of what adopting a rescue is like. It is certainly an emotional roller coaster of challenges and rewards and patience is always the key!
Please also read the Frequently Asked Questions document which gives some do's and don'ts about adopting from abroad.
This is our adoption story! Dexter, (was brodie) arrived with us on the 5th November 2019. He was 5 months old when he arrived.
Over his first few days he very rarely left his bed. He stayed in his safe space and just took it all in. He adored his food and we quickly discovered this was a good motivator, and also that a slow feeder bowl was needed!!
Dexter was only given the garden to explore in for the first 2 weeks, and during this time we slowly introduced things like the harness, the collar and the lead. We then started taking him out into the street to desensitise him to his new environment. This sometimes meant only taking him out for 5 mins at a time, slowly increasing time and introducing new places, noises, and scenarios.
We were very unfortunate that Dexter was only in our family for two weeks when my son had a nasty trial bike accident, which landed in him having surgery and a stay in hospital, I felt so guilty for Dexter, as I was having to get family members to come over to my house to sit with him, as I was spending so much time in hospital. He coped so well though and he gave me the best greeting when I got home every night!
We slowly introduced crate training by feeding him his meals in there and having his bed all comfy and cosy. We would spend some time through the day throwing treats in and when he went in to retrieve them he was told "bed, good boy"!! It was still a few weeks after this that he would happily go in and sleep without stress all night. We worked on leaving him in there through the day for a few more weeks, just leaving a treat, putting him in, and leaving the room for a few mins, and building this up. We are lucky that we don't have to leave Dexter very often, but when we do, we would always come home to everything in the room that could be shredded, shredded! Because of this it was important to get through the crate training, for his safety and for my house!! We are just at the point the last few weeks where he will happily stay in the crate while we are out! This took almost 2 months for us all to perfect crate training and him not to feel anxious about it!
We have had Dexter for just almost 4 months now. We are so happy with his progress. He goes to "dog school" (a god trainer) once a week for three hours. He now has fantastic recall, can loose lead walk on a collar and lead, can walk past another dog and just ignore it, but also knows how to happily play and socialize with other dogs when its playtime! These are all still new skills and still need perfecting but we are so proud of the progress he is making!!
We have had some trouble finding a food that is suitable for him, he seems to have a sensitive tummy, but through trial and error, we have hopefully found a diet that works for him.
Dexter is now at the getting comfortable stage in his adoption!! Along with reaching an age where dog hormones are coming into play! We are starting to see him pushing boundaries slightly, but just things like ignoring a command we know he knows! With advice from his trainer we are just making sure we follow it through so we can keep on top of it!
I know most people are excited about getting their new dog and desperate to get them out and show them off, but I think the key to our success was defo taking it slowly and doing things in his time!
We love him to bits, we love our walks and exploring!! His loyalty and the love he brings to our family is priceless!
Taking on a dog is a huge responsibility. It is a decision that many spend a lot of time contemplating over, I know I certainly did. Dogs have been in the family for years, most of them happy accidents rather than planned decisions, but it was different for me. I had recently moved into my own flat and for the first time I was allowed my own dog, I just needed to find the right one!
I spent nearly 18 months contemplating my decision, before finally biting the bullet and carefully picking out the right dog from A New Leash For Life Rescue, thanks to their detailed notes on available dogs. I made an enquiry and Marcene was on hand immediately to talk me through the next steps and some helpful advice. She set the wheels in motion and less than 3 weeks later I had a little bundle.
Nala (previously Lori) had been rescued from Romania, having endured a tough time which included having to get an operation to treat a hernia as a result of her neglect. She arrived straight out of the van from her long journey; stinky, shy and confused, but within a few hours she was exploring her new forever home and coming to get the attention she never needed to ask twice for.
Getting a dog was a huge responsibility, but the rewards outweigh the hassle every day of the week. The only regret I have is that I didn’t adopt sooner. Not only has Nala improved my life, but she regularly goes visiting family members for their bit of dog therapy, and she has never failed to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Marcene and her team have always been on hand to answer any questions or help with any teething problems that I may have had as a first time owner, and the Facebook group for adopters and fosters is a great forum to share your experiences and get help and advise for any issues you may have, big or small. Anybody lucky enough to have a little space, a bit of spare time and a touch of patience should consider adopting a dog, it will change your life for the better and you’ll never look back. Adopting over buying is a no-brainer that I don’t need explain, and A New Leash For Life Rescue will go out of their way to find a perfect dog for each home. If those words haven’t convinced you to complete your home with a furry friend (or two!), maybe these pictures will!
It's a little longer than planned, but here is my 'testimonial' of my experience adopting:
I had wanted a dog my whole life, but I knew I had to wait until the time was right. I also knew I wanted to adopt. I fell in love with Luna as soon as I saw her cute little photo. Her fluffy scruffy appearance and her little black eye patch drew me in. When Luna arrived I was beside myself with excitement. I couldn't believe I was finally a dog Mama! This sweet little bundle of fluff was gonna be my pride and joy and I was gonna love every minute of being responsible for her - or so I thought!
In the first few weeks I cried a lot. Not only was I learning to deal with all the usual difficulties of a having a 4 month old puppy (toilet training, chewing, crying at night, crate training), I was also having to deal with some very complex issues she had. I should point out at this point that I failed Luna multiple times, and now that I know more about dogs, I know that I didn't always handle things in the best possible way - but I tried. I knew in my heart no matter how difficult things got, I would love her with my whole heart forever.
I signed her up for a puppy class and took her there within two days of having her. In hindsight, and now equipped with more doggy/rescue knowledge I realise this was a mistake. I put a frightened dog in a very alarming and overwhelming new situation before she had even got the chance to bond with me. It was a disaster, of course. It was overcrowded and Luna felt unsafe, she lunged, barked and bit the other puppies in the class. I went home and I cried. This wasn't how I imagined it would be to have a puppy. We tried to take her for walks and she refused to go anywhere, pulling back against the lead, lying on the ground, freezing on the one spot. Again - not what I imagined it would be like to have a puppy. I felt like I was in over my head. I cried because it was incredibly stressful, but I also cried because I had promised Luna a life of happiness and I felt like I was failing her. I had no idea how to help this frightened little dog. She refused to leave the house, so I often carried her up the park to try and socialise her and get her used to the outdoor environment. In the early days she was aggressive towards every dog we met, and she certainly wasn't interested in being petted by humans either. She would often freeze on the spot or try to run and hide and she was displaying these same behaviours in the house. I later discovered that Luna was very sound sensitive, and this is where her 'freezing' behaviours came from.
After only 5 days of struggling, we decided to get help from a behaviourist. We couldn't understand this dog, someone better qualified could hopefully help us communicate with her. The first lady we contacted was incredibly rude and informed us that it was very unlikely a 4 month old puppy had aggression issues, I felt like banging my head off a brick wall. Thankfully, the second lady we contacted was very empathetic and willing to help and so we arranged a session with her. This was a total turn around point for us, and I'd advise anyone struggling with their rescue dogs behaviours to seek help and advice from a professional as it completely changed the way I looked at things and helped me to communicate better with my dog. I shan't bore you with all the training details, but after 6 weeks of training with Luna 3 times a day, she walked down the driveway and to the park for the first time. I was so happy and so proud that day that I cried tears of happiness, which was a nice change from all the tears of frustration and upset. After only 3 weeks we had a doggy play date in an enclosed field with some friends dogs and Luna had so much fun running around and playing with them. I can tell you that she is now very far removed from the aggressive little puppy - she wants to play with every dog we meet, and in fact meeting and playing with other dogs helped to build her confidence. We eventually took her to a puppy class and she excelled! I realised that this terrified little dog was incredibly intelligent and a fast learner.
In the early days I spent so much time playing and training with Luna, trying to build a bond and earn her trust, and I'm pleased to say that happened very quickly. Every step of progress we made, filled me with such a sense of achievement that it made all the time and effort so worth it. Seeing my girl blossom and thrive was all I ever wanted. For a girl that had to watch a YouTube video on how to toilet train - I learned a lot more about dogs than I had bargained for. She has taught me a lot more than I have ever taught her.
Luna has been with us a little over a year now, and we are still dealing with her sound sensitivity issues, however she no longer freezes or runs and hides. Certain noises still frighten her, but she recovers quickly. I still train with Luna - after realising how beneficial training was, and how intelligent Luna was, we took up "Heelwork to music/freestyle" or "doggy dancing" as you may better know it as. Training stimulates her mind, helps to continue strengthening our bond, and helps hugely with Luna's confidence. She is a little superstar and we hope to compete in this dog sport at some point in the future, but only when I'm certain that Luna is ready. Everyone who meets Luna falls in love with her, she has the sweetest nature, forever wants to come sit on my knee for cuddles, and sometimes the way she looks at me with such human emotions of love and gratitude - in that moment, I forget all of the hard parts. None of it matters, because she is my little fur baby and we have such a special relationship I couldn't even begin trying to explain how happy it makes me. Working with Luna, and watching her transform into a happy dog is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. So rewarding in fact that I decided to do it all over again and recently adopted Merida. Things with her haven't exactly been a walk in the park either and she is still very much a work in progress, but I am determined that like Luna, she will be a success story one day. We have already come on leaps and bounds with her in the 3 short months she has been with us.
If you are considering adopting a dog, I would encourage you to do so, but I'd also encourage you to understand that these dogs have been through a lot, even as puppies they have often experienced such trauma that they already have issues that will require hard work, love, kindness and patience. I wasn't ever prepared to take on a dog as difficult as Luna, but I had promised her love and happiness, and a home forever. I'll never break that promise.
Our adoption story! We had never planned on getting a dog. Our lives were too busy. We already had 3 children. How were we going to fit "something" else in! BUT the moment I saw the first picture of Muka I realised there was a dog shaped hole in our lives! It took very little convincing for hubby to be on board and we started the process of adopting Muka.
The wait between reserving her and her arriving in the UK felt endless for all of us and her day of arrival felt like Christmas! I will never forget seeing her scared eyes when the transport van opened. Scared, unsure, quivering and so tiny. I scooped her up, held her tight and the tears flowed.
It took about 2 days before she left her bed. Too scared to sleep she just watched us all as we quietly moved around the house, reassuring her with gentle words and offering her food and water. It was so rewarding the first time she let us stroke her, the first meal she ate without looking over her shoulder, the first time she climbed on my lap for a cuddle.
It has been 4 months since her arrival. It isn't without a few challenges: socks cannot be left around, now that she has learnt how to play it is an endless game of fetch or tug, she always piddles when she is excited, car trips are still a no go and we still struggle with new faces or not so frequent guests causing her anxiety BUT she is family, she is worth it and we love her.
Taking on a rescue dog, even a rescue puppy, is not without challenges but the reward still outweighs it. It is a commitment, a dedication and comes at a cost but, without throwing another cliche in, it is so rewarding. Our 1:1 dog trainer has been a life saver. You don't go into parenthood without researching and reading and having support. You shouldn't go into adopting without the same. What you put in is what you get out. Muka is still settling and so every walk, every meal, every night is a little different, some easier, some harder but our "Muka Puka" is one heck of a dog!
Once me and my boyfriend got a house, we decided to get a dog and I was looking at rescue's, we always wanted to adopt rather than buy as my mum has her rescue's.... I saw the pictures on many different rescue websites and Facebook pages. We decided on this one called Beanie, looked so cute, had same colours and dots on his tummy as my darling pebbles did.... He was the one for us and we filled out forms and had to have a home check etc.... The only problem the home checker had was that we had not long moved into our new house but the lovely Marcene Lines over ruled and said she’d do the same, so we had passed and had to sort the travel and adoption fee etc.... Had to wait for our baby.... 26th October 2019 was when we were collecting him but didn’t know the time etc.... It was half term so it was good timing for me as I work in a school. The waiting was the hardest thing! I missed the message to collect and had to arrange another stop and it was such a rush, I was in love from the pictures but when I picked him up I was so happy, tired (excitement kept me up) and emotional. We had never had animals together and he was our first but we had had pet separately so we knew what we were doing, puppies are hard work but so worth it... We renamed him Cosmo (middle and bottom right) as we weren't keen on Beanie and felt we wanted to choose a better name and we decided on that one.... From when he was handed to me I knew he was mine and I loved him and would take such good care of him.. He is my baby for sure!
The day we took him home he was so cuddly, small and curious but not much has changed there. He loves to play; food is the best thing in his life he will do anything for it but will also try eat things on the street. From day 1 he knew to sit to get something but other commands are harder and have taken time to develop....
He has recently been neutered and that’s been hard, hearing him ‘cry’ and wine. Not knowing what to do and how to make it better.... I was a mess the first night!
He has to wear a cone and I have suit to put on him to help him heal up but he is doing really well with it all, he always takes things in his stride and not much bothers him for long
This is my adoption testimonial 💙 I have been the mummy to two dogs in my lifetime. My first dog was a non rescue beautifully natured girl Labrador who I got from 8 weeks old. She was such a joy to be with and we had the most incredible 16 years together. One of the most heartbreaking days of my life was having to say goodbye to her and I vowed never again to have a dog due to the sadness I felt at not having her in my life.
Her passing was in 2014. So approximately 2-3 years ago my friend Ellie adopted Jolly through this amazing charity. I could see the mutual love these two have for each other. People would say to me you could give a dog an amazing life but I kept thinking I was somehow demeaning the memory of my Labrador by loving another dog.
I saw a video of my Thomas on the charity website having been saved from the kill shelter and this kind lady was talking to him. He appeared to have a dodgy front leg but this made my heart strings pull even tighter and from then on he was always in the back of my mind. I had remembered the date he was travelling and when he reappeared on the website I filled out the adoption form and never looked back. I spoke to the kind hearted and lovely Marcene and it was in place, I would be Thomas' mummy.
I was so excited. On the day of the meeting point, the dogs came out one by one and taken by either fosterers or adopters it was so lovely. However when they came to take Thomas out he had bitten the driver and he came to me covered in a towel and placed on my lap in my daughter's car. Not the first date I had hoped for however Marcene was brilliant so reassuring to Thomas as he was terrified and I'm sure due to this love shown to him proceeded to snuggle into my jacket.
I could see his front legs looked crooked so I carried him into the house. Everything changed then. He walked albeit with a limp, was so friendly and even wanted to play. He adores his walks, food is one of his favourite things ever along side sleeping (well he is an older chap). He even is not so nervous around men, who no doubt had been the main cause of his anxiety from being caught on the street and put in the kill shelter. Apparently these dogs are not treated well at all.
I have been privileged to be in the company of Thomas for five weeks now and could not imagine my life without him. I know it's not plain sailing for everybody like me but I look at it like this. If a human has emotional and/or behavioural issues they can be communicated and talked through much easier via speech which we as humans understand. Animals are unable to do this in the same way so it takes time, patience and effort to gain their trust and help their worries and horrible memories slowly fade. I talk to Thomas when he's spooked by something reassuring him in a soft, kind voice and with a cuddle that no one is coming to get him and take him back to Romania. I know he doesn't understand but it's the tone in which I speak to him which seems to relax him and he goes back to sleep - standard for Thomas lol. I have been lucky with my two dogs but not all dogs are not the same. Some need a lot of time and effort but the rewards are endless - unconditional love and years of shared memories with a dog that will only want love, warmth and security.
It took me six years to make this leap of faith but remember you have the choice, these poor dogs don't so put your faith in them and they will repay you by putting their faith in you.
This is my testimonial on my rommie boy Harley Bear. He is my third rescue, the first was a collie x, then a chocolate lab that had never been outside for a walk since he was 4 months old (he was 2 when I got him). He had major health problems due to the lack of exercise. I knew he was on borrowed time when he was 10 and started looking for another dog as I knew that it would help when that awful time came, if I had another little soul to look after. I first saw Luna and decided to adopt her but she was still in Romania, then I saw Harley and decided to have him too!
Harley arrived and I loved him instantly, but quickly realised that he was completely feral and had virtually no human handling at all, apart from his wonderful foster mum, where he stayed for a few days! He spent the first few days constantly jumping all over my older dog who was very tolerant with him, so I was forever watching him like a hawk. He didn't care about being stroked or cuddled and would just crash in his crate or take himself somewhere away from us to sleep. Evenings when we sat in the lounge to watch tv, he would have a bit of a mad session then leave the room and crash out!
I found it quite hard that he didn't want to be at my side, as both my other dogs were my shadow! He was very wary of us. He was obsessed with Indy my lab though, as I suppose he had always been in the company of other dogs. Then we hit a spell of bad luck. He had very bad kennel cough and ended up in vet hospital for a couple of days as he wasn't able to fight it off! Meanwhile Indy took a turn for the worse with his cancer, so I had to cancel the other pup Luna as I knew Indy would never cope with two puppies!
Harley got over the kc and we went training at meon. He walks beautifully to heel on a loose lead. He then got attacked by a large tiger-like cat that sits under a hedge waiting for passing dogs! The third time it attacked it drew blood so now we hate cats and bark frantically when we see one! Indy passed away, and Harley seemed very depressed and I so wanted a companion for him, but the time is not right. I persevered with walking, training and handling and spend all my time taking him to different places. We have been to a dog hotel for a few days, taken him on holiday up north, even just to town to do shopping. He is off leash a lot of the time bundling around and wrestling with his rescue buddies, however he is a barker, so I tend to keep an eye open for people or dogs coming towards us as if he hasn't met them before he sometimes scares timid dogs. However, he has never bitten or shown any aggression whatsoever. He barks because he is a bit nervous but I just talk to him and calm him down.
I love him to bits, he makes me laugh every day and I wouldn't be without him. I have pushed him hard (cold hose each day to wash off mud and fox poop lol) trimmed nails, taken bones and food from him and never has he shown any aggression. He loves us all now too, as he is always pleased to see us and wags his tail, which he never did for the first 6 months! He is still wary of everything, I need a medal for getting any meds down him and just to top it all he has broken his toe, so only 3 10 min lead walks a day! Oh and just to finish, he dug up most of my garden, chewed through an electric cable, ate two Xmas decorations, destroyed every soft toy, eats only if he feels like it then walks around whining when I'm cooking, jumps on me at 6.30am everyday even Sundays lol!!!!! But WE ADORE HIM!!!! Patience is the key xx
My rescue testimonial is in two parts and long...😉as my experience with the two dogs I’ve rescued have been very different. Both dogs are Romanian. I’ve discovered that I feel very much more responsible for my rescues than previous dogs I’ve owned!! I would recommend anyone to adopt a rescue – it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done – however don’t expect it to be plain sailing. It takes unending patience, time & love...
I’ve had dogs previously but all pups. I decided to adopt a dog from Romania after reading horror stories on social media about their treatment. I’m also retired and felt I didn’t want the hassle of training a puppy (little did I know)! I adopted Ponta in January 2018 from a rescue which was closed down soon after, so I had no RBU. Ponta was approx 9 months old. Ponta was found abandoned tied to a derelict building. It was fairly obvious Ponta had been a pet. He was beautifully trained, toilet trained, ate from bowls, didn’t mind having a collar and harness on, walked well on the lead and knew basic commands. He also knew what toys were and didn’t mind being left alone for a couple of hours. He was loving and friendly, although unusually for a rescue he liked men much more than women.
Ponta was reticent to come into the house when we first arrived home. He had a covered crate in the kitchen which he went into straight away. He ate some food and then slept for best part of two days in his crate!! We had a couple of accidents in the house but no more. Ponta had problems with a sensitive stomach for the first few months, with bouts of diarrhoea. I finally found food which suited him. I bought Ponta a comfy bed after a few weeks and I haven’t used the crate since.
It was soon apparent that Ponta missed his family, whenever we were out he looked intently at everyone we passed. He also got distressed if he heard a baby crying, especially on the TV which he was frightened of. He was also desperate to look in any baby buggy we passed. I suspect Ponta had lived as a family pet until a baby came along and was then abandoned – it would also fit with his initial dislike of women? He still cringes if I raise my voice for any reason!
Gradually Ponta stopped looking at everyone and into buggies. He still doesn’t like hearing babies cry. I am lucky that I live on the coast so was able to let Ponta off lead on the beach fairly soon. My sister has a dog and we used to walk together most days which helped build Ponta’s confidence and his recall. Ponta is a happy little chappie who goes with the flow and is friendly towards most dogs and people. He absolutely loves to snuggle and adores my brother-in-law! His only faults are he destroys all his soft toys and chews through his leads on a regular basis. Oh and he doesn’t like coming home from the beach, even for treats…
Because Ponta was an ’easy’ rescue I thought it would be ok to adopt a second dog. So we welcomed Flora in November 2018. Flora was approx 2-3 years old and a completely different dog!!
Flora arrived off transport having travelled best part of four days from Eastern Romania. She was covered in faeces, shaking and absolutely terrified. I got her into the boot of my car where she stood shaking for the hour journey home, terror in her eyes. Ponta was on the back seat and looked unhappy too! I struggled to get Flora into the house as she was fighting and biting me. I put her down and she raced around like a maniac jumping up and down on all the furniture including the dining room table and the kitchen worktops. After a while she stopped, squeezed herself behind an armchair and a wall and wouldn’t budge. Ponta was standing looking at me in horror!
I left Flora and got some food for them both. Flora crawled out for the food which she gobbled down, pushed Ponta from his food and gobbled that too. She ran back behind the armchair so I left her. I got some toast ready for myself, but as I picked the plate up Flora appeared, leapt at me, grabbed the toast and ate it. I didn’t know what to do? I spent the evening, hungry, sitting in the room with Flora and Ponta huddled on me. Flora only came out to do an enormous wee on the carpet. I left Flora where she was and went to bed. I lay in bed wondering what the hell I’d done and whether I could cope with this wild dog!!
Next morning I was delighted to find Flora in the bed next to Ponta’s in the kitchen. (Flora has never been crated). She allowed me to stroke her a little and she ventured into the garden with Ponta to toilet. She gobbled some food and seemed to relax. She eventually let me to cut the very tight fitting jumper she had travelled in off and seemed to enjoy a warm bath. Flora was very underweight and had been shaved as she was badly matted. She was constantly cold as well as frightened. I didn’t attempt to take Flora out for a week or so. I spent most of the first week sitting on the floor just talking to Flora, trying to reassure her she was safe. We had a few accidents indoors, but not many. (My sister took Ponta out so that I didn’t have to leave Flora alone). She gradually began to trust me. I think Flora had been abused and beaten. She was terrified of all men to start with and is still not keen. (Having Ponta was/is a godsend as Flora looks to him for confidence and guidance).
I kept both dogs out of the kitchen for a while when I was cooking etc as Flora would leap up and steal any food she could reach. She gradually realised that she didn’t need to steal food and now waits patiently for her food and doesn’t take Ponta’s either.
Flora took a while to learn basic commands and recognise her name. She took months to get into the car willingly although she knew it was to go to the beach or the woods. She still cringes when I shut the boot. She hated getting a harness on but would wear a collar and walk ok on the lead. She was unhappy walking along the roads because the traffic freaked her out. Again Ponta was her role model – bless him!! I quickly learnt that I can only let Flora off lead when she can’t see/hear any traffic, joggers, cyclists or horses! She chases after them at breakneck speed and won’t come back until she feels she has ‘seen them off’. Flora has been lucky not to have been run over/injured/killed or caused an accident which I would never forgive myself for!!
Flora continues to be a challenge outdoors but she has gained greatly in confidence. She has many quirks, including hating flies, and keeps me on my toes. She is the perfect dog indoors. She doesn’t chew anything (except toys, which Ponta taught her) She rarely barks. She is loving and loves cuddles and is a great sister for Ponta. They have become good pals although we still have flare ups over silly things…
Sorry for the essay. Thought I'd share our adopting experience...
When I saw Dennis' photo on the website, that was it. I was in love. I couldn't stop thinking about him. I could feel it in my tummy that he was the dog for us, small, older, his write up was great so we took the plunge & reserved him. We collected him from his lovely fosters Clair & Wayne who had a couple of other resident dogs & a young daughter. When we got him home we gave him his space, let him explore, get used to the smells etc. For 3 days he stayed on his bed, not wanting any attention as such, he kept having little nervous accidents, he wouldn't wee in the garden but we were worried to take him out this early and he didn't eat much...
This was when my panic set in. I cried constantly. Had I made the right decision for this particular dog? I'd taken him from his doggy friends and a family who cared for him? Why wasn't he warming to us? Did he hate us? What were we doing wrong? I read countless blogs & guides all with slightly different advice. My partner just kept saying 'we need to be patient'. That is THE BEST advice I would give anyone adopting a Romanian rescue. BE PATIENT. These dogs have been through trauma, they've not necessarily had a family life and everything is a possible danger to them.
When we first started taking him for walks he would bark at anything and everything, dogs, children, birds, vans, you name it, Dennis didn't like it. Again, we had to think of his life before us. So, we started using various distraction methods and eventually found food was Dennis' biggest love so a little shake of a treat box and nothing else in the world mattered. Almost a year on and we still use that method as well as vocal commands which took time for him to pick up but he got there in the end. After months of recall training, we are now happy for him to be off lead in certain areas which he really enjoys. His recall is outstanding and you can tell that he benefits from a bit of instruction. We've found that putting structure and direction into his day has made things easier for him and us. For example, breakfast and dinner time, wee-wee time.
He has blossomed into the most loving and affectionate dog. He gets on great with my Mum's older dog, Daisy who he spends once a week with whilst we're at work and we often go for walks together to the river. He's best friends with our neighbours little girl, Maddie. They often have tea parties together haha, he is so patient with her which is lovely to see. He loves meeting new people now and even new dogs. He's part of a 'Morning walk group' that Richard takes him to 2 Saturdays a month where he runs around like a lunatic with other dogs, he's grown very fond of Red the whippet & Stan the terrier often playing chase with them which is especially funny as they are much younger than Dennis and his run is equal to their slow jog haha. He constantly wants cuddles and strokes. He has a boxful of toys but only Lobster & squeaky Weasel are of any interest. He has thankfully never tried to chew the furniture, we've lost a few stuffed toys but nothing of any value.
It's taken time and it's taken a lot of training but he has become the most loving, funny dog. We love him so much and wouldn't trade him for the world. As far as advice - patience and structure. This is a whole new world for these dogs. They haven't come from loving homes, they haven't been trained, they haven't necessarily had the luxuries of a bed, constant food and safety.We've found that Dennis has benefited from a praise and reward approach when it comes to training and his advancement was rapid often learning intermediate commands within the week. Its made him a lot happier and he really is the sweetest little doggy. Our perfect little romi 💕
Also, Adaptil plug-in is a miracle in a bottle!!
My adoption and fostering experience
So in September last year I answered a plea to foster a dog that had no home to go to and since then I’ve fostered over 20 dogs for the rescue and only managed to give in and keep one of them 🤦♀️ oh and a cat 🐈.
Prior to this I had taken in other people’s unwanted dogs, cats, rabbits and any other animal that people were giving up on. I had no intention of doing it all over again but sometimes life takes a turn you don’t always expect!!
It’s not been easy, there has been tears of frustration and joy, chewed up electric cables, kids toys, coats, rugs oh and a door and door frame but not once have I ever given up on one of them even on one that bitten. I’ve persevered and worked with each of them so they can find their forever family.
Taking on a rescue dog is and will not be easy, but they are certainly worth the hard work. And I will not ever give up on any of these dogs ever 💙