Rescue Dog Files…Honey

Hello my name is Honey.  HONEY LARGE

I am an adorable 2 year old Brussels Griffon cross.

I am quite a happy, excitable young lady who loves to play and enjoys going out for long walks.

I really love having company and like to be kept occupied so I would benefit from an owner who has lots of time to give me all the love and attention I need. I really like treats and I am keen to learn so would benefit from some all-round reward based training once I’ve has settled into my new home.

HONEY

I am quite excitable and full of beans so will make a lovely addition to an active home where I can be given lots of exercise and have my mind kept busy.

I would like to be the only pet in the home.

Honey is currently at the National Animal Welfare Trust in Hertfordshire – do get in touch with them if you can offer this lovely girl a home.

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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…

 

 

Can a rescue dog be trained?

Having volunteered at The Mayhew Animal Home for over 4 years I have seen all sorts of dogs come through their doors; Dogs that were abandoned, mistreated or simply no longer wanted. Some of these dogs have never had any form of training – not even knowing the basic commands of sit and stay. So is it possible to train a dog thats had months or years to develop bad habits?

Step in Wallace…

Image

Wallace was brought to The Mayhew at eight months old due to his owners ill health. Wallace had all the energy you would expect from a young German Shephard – he was exuberant and sometimes a little full on but was eager to please. He needed someone that had the time and experience of his breed to explore his potential. Step in Robert – an ex police dog handler. Wallace was in for a treat.

I met up with them both last week to see how Wallace was getting on (a normal part of the post adoption process). To say I was impressed is an understatement. We stood in a field whilst Robert showed me some of Wallace’s repertoire – including search and rescue of items that Robert had left in the field the previous evening (one of which was half way up a tree), heel work, recall and scent trails. Wallace aced all of it.

Wallace has been with Robert a mere 6 months and clearly adores him although I think the feeling is mutual.

Wallace is set to become a security patrol dog as he is getting ready for some very thorough and challenging tests which he will surely breeze through. He is taking these tests far earlier than Robert predicted he would and goes so far as to say Wallace is one of the brightest dogs he has ever trained.

Yes Robert has the skills to teach Wallace above and beyond what most owners usually do (myself included) however the fact remains that rescue dogs are just as trainable and eager to please as any dog you buy from a breeder. It may in some cases, take a little more time and patience but boy is it worth it!

Please note that in this video (which is a little far away as I didn’t want to interrupt) Wallace is NOT on a lead and didn’t need any treats or bribes – just a ball at the end.

For more information on the Mayhew Animal Home and dogs waiting for adoption 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.

Pup Idol – All Dogs Matter

The sun was shining in leafy hampstead on Saturday for the 4th Pup Idol event for the charity All Dogs Matter. They do amazing work saving strays from the pound and helping the dogs of North London find homes.

The Spaniards Inn played host to an array of dogs and their owners all competing for the coveted titles of Mr hampstead / best dressed and cutest puppy (amongst others).

One of the winners of the veteran dogs. Blind but very happy with such a waggy tail

One of the winners of the veteran dogs – Blind due to Glaucoma but very happy nonetheless

Winner of Mr Hampstead

Mr hampstead: Percy

The winner of the hotly contested Mr hampstead was Percy, owned by Angela and Martin Humphery. A win that is absolutely deserved for eight year old Percy. Percy is a rescued greyhound from Spain and only last year would have found the atmosphere of an event like this very distressing. You can find out more about Percy here

We also caught up with one of our favourite competitors, and probably one of Sniffy’s smallest fans, the gorgeous Chanel, pictured here with her owner.

Chanel

We were delighted to be able to give owners some of our tasty treats as they arrived to register for each category and also to the winners in their goody bags. Nom Nom!

One of the winners with their goody bag

One of the winners with their goody bag

The judging team, who had the difficulty of choosing between all the gorgeous doggies (how do they do it?) was made up of some of our favourite doggy people including Marc Abraham, Peter Egan and Michelle Collins.

3 of the lovely judges

3 of the lovely judges

In between judging, Sniffy’s favourite Peter Egan (and proud patron of All Dogs Matter) told us all about his recent trip to Afghanistan – a special mission to one of our favourite charities Nowzad. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post about this very exciting trip!

We were also delighted to meet Coronation Street regular Michelle Collins. Michelle is not only gorgeous, she is also a massive supporter of All Dogs Matter. Her dog Humphrey (pictured living the high life!) was rescued by the charity.

Michelle and Humphrey

Michelle and Humphrey

After Marc Abraham finished getting some pooch kisses, we got some time to chat to him. Marc is a lovely guy and a big fan of rescue dogs – he is a supporter of All Dogs Matter amongst others. He is also the founder of Pupaid – an annual celebrity judged dog show in Primrose Hill highlighting the horrors of puppy farming in the UK. A petition has been launched to stop this awful practice which you can sign here. Pupaid is set to be huge event in September and one we are very proud to support and be attending.

Pooch smooch

Pooch smooch

Although the day was incredibly fun and well organised, we must remember that we were all there to raise funds for All Dogs Matter to continue their vital work. Work such as saving puppies like this tiny little one below – found dumped in a graveyard and covered in a skin disease. He is now on the road to recovery and looking for a new home; somewhere he can enjoy the start in life he deserves.

A saved puppy pictured with All Dogs Matter founders

A saved puppy pictured with All Dogs Matter founders

Thanks to everyone at All Dogs Matter and The Spaniards for a fantastic day – see you all next year!

Thanks also to Dogstar Photos for the brilliant images above – visit their website to see morewww.dogstarphoto.co.uk