The world of dogs can surprise and disappoint.
For example, a couple of weekends ago Jemima Harrison sent me a link to a site in Ireland. (Jemima often rescues Retriever crosses from the pounds in Ireland).
There was a photo of a sad looking, tousled young Beardie that had ended up surrended to an Irish pound just for apparently digging up the owner's garden.
I was warned that Charlie wasn't in a good place and we needed to move quickly to get him out. Heart ruled over head and I sent some money to a local rescue to get him lifted out of there immediately, vet checked and groomed. Within the hour he was safe!
The lovely local rescue pointed out that if we liked Beardies, there was another one - Archie, and he was five and just adorable!
So two unexpected Beardies in just one morning when I was supposed to be doing my accounts.
The names Charlie and Archie seemed a perfect fit for our existing doggie family and the photos of the beautiful trusting faces had me measuring the car to see if we could all squeeze in! It was probably fate.
It would be a squeeze and a juggle in every way, but if needs must we'd manage somehow.
My husband's face was a picture.
Two more Beardies would probably be two too many.
A call to Southern Counties Beardie Club Beardie Aid made my day.
They had lovely homes waiting for Archie and Charlie and they could manage everything from that point. Not only that, but if either of them turned out to be 'almost' Beardies it didn't matter, the marvelous Bob and Edna Manning had taken a dog on a photograph before from Ireland and when they actually saw it was only Tibetan Terrier size, that was eight years ago and they kept her themselves she was so adorable!
Bob and Edna are iconic pedigree dog owners for me. Tremendously successful in the show ring as exhibitors and judges and absolutely totally compassionate.
Always there to help a shaggy dog in need.
So that's the good.
Regrettably, on to the bad and the ugly.
Got a call today about a toy breed. The breed welfare is wealthy and there's considerable demand for rescue versions of their breed.
Welfare got a call from a family who weren't coping - they had a little dog that was biting them and had taken over the house. It was one big knot as they couldn't get need her to groom. They had little kids. The dog was biting the kids and who knows what the kids were doing to the dog!
It sounds a pretty typical case for breed rescue.
What should be the response of welfare?
I'd expect the dog to be taken away, trimmed off, examined by a vet to see if there was an underlying problem causing the aggression and based on that assessment the dog would either be given some training, veterinary treatment or if all else failed it would be PTS before it put someone in hospital.
What actually happened, according to the rescue's own report, was that the owners were told to sort the dog out as they couldn't possibly take it in the condition it was in.
Is it just me shaking my head in disbelief.
It takes a lot to make a call for help and if rescue are only going to take perfect dogs that need no work then that waiting list is going to get ever longer and those funds in the bank are going to build as they'll not be spending a penny.
My caller pointed out that she'd had a rescue dog in her care that was also biting everyone, it turned out the dog was in terrible pain with a pyometra and when that was dealt with the dog's temperament was perfect.
And what if this little dog bites one of the owner's children badly? We don't need another headline and the breed's reputation as a pet would be forever sullied.
We can all allow ourselves to get frustrated by flakey owners who let down their dogs, but when an owner isn't coping and tries to get help I do think if the rescue has the resources and the waiting list they need to think of the dog and just forget all about teaching the owner a lesson in responsibility!
I'd want that little dog out of that situation ASAP.
If the owner does get around to going to the vet for a check up I suspect that it'll be a PTS rather than a trim. They're probably deeply ashamed of the mess they've got into. They were brave enough to ask for help once, but sounds like they didn't get much.
I'm so thankful Beardie rescue is in such good hands. That Archie and Charlie are probably being spoilt silly already and are no longer at risk.
Can't help but worry about this other little dog and the precious little hands and faces that are still at risk, too.