Rehoming A Rescue Dog

As many of you who read our blog will know we are big fans of animal rescue and are very passionate about the rescuing and rehoming of abandoned dogs. Living in North London we have two fantastic charities on our doorstep that we work with – The Mayhew Animal Home and All Dogs Matter.

Nacho when he was found

Nacho when he was found

Our first dog Nacho came from the Mayhew – he was found in a bin bag at just a few weeks old. Nacho was our first dog and after getting him at 3 months we were getting used to the toilet training and those little razor teeth. Four years on Nacho is a dream dog and he comes everywhere with us.

Nacho at a past Doggy Sunday

Nacho now enjoying the life of riley!

We have been thinking about getting a second dog for a long time but have always been nervous as Nacho isn’t generally over keen on other dogs. This all changed when little Twiglet arrived at our house. From the moment she walked in Nacho was in love and that hasn’t stopped in over a week.

Around 2 years old and a proper Heinz 57, Twiglet was found wandering by a motorway and taken in by All Dogs Matter. When we first met her she was nervous and very shaky. Well a week on – she’s been on a weekend to Cornwall and now sleeps in bed with Nacho. The shakes have gone, she is great off lead and is eating well. Nacho is very food possessive and they ended up sharing a bowl yesterday! We think she may have been hit previously as she cowers when Sam goes to put a lead on for walks. However this is improving daily and she now wants to sit on his lap.Twiglet

We are big fans of positive reinforcement training and this is working wonders for her recall as she gets used to her name and is also working with toilet training. So far we have only had one accident in a week – pretty impressive I think.

If you’ve ever considered getting a rescue dog but were put off by the possibility of erratic behaviour or past trauma all I can say is give a rescue dog a chance. Twiglet has not had a good start to life but is a joy to have in our home. She settled (sleeping by me right now) in right away, eats her food with gusto and loves Nacho. It’s as if she has always lived in our house. Part of me thinks she is so pleased to finally have a home she can relax in and part of me likes to think she was always meant to end up here.

Over 20 dogs are put to sleep every day in the UK so why buy when you can adopt and save a dogs life? You can get all types of breeds from rescue centres – Ive seen everything from Cockapoo’s, pugs, shelties and chihuahuas. People pay thousands of pounds for a puppy when a perfectly healthy dog that just wants a loving home is waiting round the corner. The myth that rescue centres wont give dogs to people who live in flats, have young kids or work are false. We don’t have a garden, work and have visiting children.

The trend of buying dogs from the internet or in a shop is a worrying one and one that we want to see an end to. Dogs should never be sold in shops – chances are they are from a puppy farm and in poor health (see our previous posts about Pupaid) Something you will never get from a rescue as they will have been vet checked and vaccinated.

I can highly recommend The Mayhew Animal Home and All Dogs Matter, and all the other rescue centres out there saving these beautiful dogs.

Just look how happy these two are…

 

 

Therapaws

My relationship with The Mayhew Animal Home started over 3 years ago when they saved our rescue dog Nacho from the bottom of a bin bag.Traveller pups 007

Since then I’ve become a big supporter of theirs as not only do they do fantastic work for animals, they are also more than just an animal home. They do a lot of work in the community to improve not just animal welfare but also include helping the homeless and working on animal phobias with a variety of people.

Today though I want to focus on one of their projects that is very close to my heart – Therapaws.

Doreen with Sky

Doreen with Sky

This important scheme was set up to give residents in local care homes, residential establishments and community day centres a chance to have contact with the furry residents from the Mayhew. These ‘therapy’ visits provide a chance for the residents to interact with the animals where usually they don’t have the chance. Many residents suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s and often recount past stories of animals they have personally had or worked with. With touch being one of the last senses to be affected by these conditions the animals provide a welcome release.

This video explains all about the scheme…

Apart from the residents having a memorable experience, the animals from the Mayhew get valuable socialisation time away from the home. Kittens are given time and space to have an explore in completely new environments and playtime (obviously in a suitable and safe space), dogs are given lots of contact and (dependant on their size) hugs, and rabbits are often just stroked until they fall asleep!

Wonderful Husky Sky

We love Sky!

This scheme is a winner all round for the residents and the animals, and from a volunteers perspective it’s an incredible experience.

This project that the Mayhew has set up is making a remarkable difference and impact on the local community and has gone on to receive a lot of attention. It will hopefully be adding more homes to its growing database so even more people can enjoy these once abandoned or neglected animals.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the scheme or just want to learn more click here

Doggy Sunday does tennis

Gaucho in Hampstead held one of its famous ‘Doggy Sunday’ events this weekend and it proved to be another success. These monthly events have taken the restaurant by storm and are a regular fixture on Sniffy’s calendar. Each one raises money for a different doggy charity – last month it was Sniffy’s fave The Mayhew, and this month¬†Battersea Dogs and Cats home. Falling on the same day as the Wimbledon final meant that this months theme was tennis and Gaucho don’t do things by halves…

The tennis themed entrance

The tennis themed entrance

Watching the final

Watching the final

One of Nacho’s favourites friends Baxter, head of Baxter’s Boutique in Wokingham, was there showing off his latest fashions including this clever UV doggy t-shirt.

The handsome Baxter

Dogs enjoyed a Gaucho lunch complete with empanada’s (yes they really are spoilt!) and always bring home with them a ‘Doggy done Goody’ bag complete with all kinds of tasty treats. The brainchild of these events is Gaucho Hampstead’s managing partner¬†Jorge Coelho, a wonderful man who is passionate about raising funds for local animal charities. Through these monthly lunches, local residents have had a chance to find out more about their local rescue centres, raise money and have the opportunity to meet lots of doggy people. The atmosphere is always friendly and unlike most glamorous restaurants, everyone talks to each other (and we always have a lot of fun). I think our lunch lasted 6 hours the last time we were there!

Nacho loves Doggy Sundays!

Nacho loves Doggy Sundays!

Sniffy’s will be sampling some of our products at future doggy sundays so do come along with your furry pals and see what all the fuss is about! If you fancy booing a table at the next Doggy Sunday then contact Jorge: jorge.coelho@gauchorestaurants.com for a table. Be sure to say hello to Sniffy’s! Thanks again to Dogstar photo for their amazing photos – do check the rest out on their facebook page.