Offering a fresh start to a pet in a shelter is a wonderful thing to do but it can often be challenging due to their previous experiences. For a new owner with patience, it is an opportunity to give a pet the furever home they deserve.
This was the case with Rosie, a four-year-old Beagle with a sorry start in life. By the time Mr Daniel’s adopted Rosie in August 2018, she had already been in and out of Dog’s Trust several times. Rosie was born in Ireland and beyond that, there is little else known about her history. How she came to be in Middlesbrough in the care of Dog’s Trust is a mystery.
As Rosie is a beautiful dog and still in the prime of life, she had many admirers at Dogs Trust. The families who offered her a home with them tried to love her. Rosie failed to settle with her new families. They didn’t have the time to dedicate to her training. Her lack of confidence and her deep-seated fears of people – even those who were trying to help her, brought her back to Dog’s Trust time and again.
Rosie’s story struck a chord with Mr Daniel’s as his dog Zoe, a long-time client of White Cross Vets, had recently passed away. He was fully aware of Rosie’s history and knew of all the challenges that may lie ahead. Nevertheless, he would not be dissuaded from the adoption. Mr Daniels was determined to do everything it took to help Rosie to fit into her new home. He would not let her down.
Our first meeting with Rosie was in the carpark of our veterinary practice as she wouldn’t get out of the car. To be more accurate, we looked in the car window while Rosie barked up a storm! Rosie’s fear aggression at the time was so strong she totally resisted examination of any kind. She disliked meeting strange new people and showed her displeasure by barking, snapping and avoiding.
Our Vet Laura suggested Mr Daniel’s take Rosie along to a weekly Confidence Clinic to get her used to visiting the vet and exploring the nurse’s room without the stress of an examination. With a great deal of love, care and patience, we worked to change Rosie’s perception of people and the vets.
What Happens at Confidence Clinics
As most dogs have a fear of the vet, we usually tend to hold the confidence clinics in the nurse’s examination room. The dog is taken off-lead and free to explore the room, sniff and check everything out. We’ll give them a treat or two for positive reinforcement. The goal is to build up to introducing new experiences at each session. Eventually building up to stroking the limbs and examining the teeth.
Rosie posed a greater challenge than usual as she wouldn’t even leave the car. Mr Daniel’s worked extremely hard alongside our nurses to help Rosie overcome her fears. It was a difficult but rewarding task and Rosie’s progress has been phenomenal.
An Amazing Transformation
Rosie is now a different pet! She is wagging her tail in the air and happy to engage with everyone like a normal 4-year-old Beagle. Gone is the low hanging tail, the snapping and stand-offish behaviour of the past. Rosie has finally learned to trust and love.
The BBC Tees spoke with our team at Coulby Newham to discover what it was like to work with Rosie. Our Nurse Jenny describes the turning point in Rosie’s transformation.
If your dog has a fear of the vet, or confidence issues, speak to one of our team at your next appointment about a referral to our confidence clinics.