The old or big or black dogs find it harder to find a home than others. The same applies to the dogs who have been treated badly and who therefore find it more difficult to trust people.
At Mornac, Emma Lee came up with an Advent Calendar to help promote some of the dogs who have been at the refuge for a long time and here are the first six. Each of them benefit for coming with 600€ towards vet fees, excluding vaccinations, as they are over 10 years old and they can be found at the SPA Mornac in dept 16.
Handsome Ufo is Dog Number 1. Six years in the refuge for this handsome labrador.
This boy loves his food! He WILL snaffle through your belongings if he so much as smells the faintest whiff of a treat. He is okay with males but needs a house without cats. He also needs a family who understand he is a big boy and he needs firm rules, otherwise Mr Ufo might be tempted to get the upper hand. He will also need a home with no young children as even after twelve years, he hasn’t learned how big and powerful he can be. He’s certainly on the large size for a labrador, that’s for sure!
Ufo loves water and loves to play. The fact that he doesn’t look or act twelve is probably partly responsible for his long stay, but just because he is as happy and playful as the day is long does not mean he doesn’t deserve a home this Christmas.
Sweet little Tino is currently the refuge’s oldest boy, almost fifteen years of age. He has been at the refuge for four years and there is a real risk that if Tino doesn’t find a home soon, he won’t have the time to enjoy it like he should.
Worse still, Tino hasn’t had much of a life, being found huddled up in fear with his brothers and sisters under a bed when his master died. Over the years, some of his other siblings have found homes, but that day has not yet arrived for Tino.
Although Tino looks like a German shepherd, he is in fact a miniature, standing only 40cm at the shoulders. He is a shy, quiet little boy, still nervous and unsure about things until he gets to know you. Tino is probably not going to be the kind of dog constantly seeking out love and affection and he will appreciate a calm and quiet home where he can finally come out of his shell.
Tino gets on well with some female dogs, but is not a fan of other males (not even his brothers!) He is okay with cats and children, though he will need a gentle family who appreciate that he needs a little space. A quiet home will be just perfect for Tino. He isn’t much a fan of being groomed, but appreciates a bit of petting from time to time. He is in great health for his age.
Behind door number 3 is Paulo, a beautiful labrador of twelve years old.
Seeing Paulo, curious head on one side, coming to see who has come to see him in his home of five years, is incredibly hard. He spends a lot of his time in his kennel, only popping his head out if you stop at his enclosure to say hi. He is always very pleased to see you and to go out for a walk, is gentle and happy to see the world.
So what’s Paulo’s problem? He’s a labrador – often a very hard breed to find homes for, for inexplicable reasons. And who wouldn’t love a big, friendly labrador? There’s a reason they are one of the most popular breeds in the world! Unfortunately, being popular also means they are in large numbers in refuges, where there are many other labradors to choose from. He’s also a big boy, and bigger dogs often find it harder to find homes, unlike the small breeds whose paws often barely touch the ground. Plus, he’s a boy, and boys outnumber girls at the refuge by three to one. For the oldies, boys outnumber the girls by five to one. If only he were a small female Yorkie, he wouldn’t have waited five years for his home.
Paulo is not a fan of other males, nor a fan of cats. He’s currently in an enclosure on his own but that’s not to say he wouldn’t get on with female dogs – he would just need a bit of a try. He loves treats and he loves gentle walks, he is a big fan of kind people and people who want to spend a little time with him.
Being twelve is a good innings for a bigger dog, but there is no doubt that Paulo is going to find a sixth winter in the refuge impossibly hard. He is in good health, although he isn’t as spry as he once was.
Behind door number 4, we have “big bad Wolf” who isn’t bad, although he is big! Wolf is okay with females but not a fan of cats or other male dogs.
Wolf is a big old guy who has a lot of German Shepherd in him, though he is quite a bit bigger. He has the cutest head tilt and a lopsided ear which give him a certain rakish charm. Wolf is the undisputed favourite of many walkers, including all the men who walk him regularly. He is ten years old and is bearing up well for his age, give or take the odd hip pain which you might expect for a dog of Wolf’s age and size, about to spend his fifth winter at the refuge. Surely it is about time this boy found a loving home to keep him warm and to care for him in his twilight years?
Wolf loves his walks, loves being groomed, loves attention and believe it or not is actually a little timid – definitely not a bad boy, just a shy one! He would love a home where he can have a warm spot to stretch out, a comfy bed and an owner who would love a gentle dog to take on rambles or short walks. Wolf doesn’t ask for much but would no doubt appreciate a home that is quiet and peaceful, as well as the occasional bone.
Behind door number 5, we have Usty!
Little Usty is undoubtedly the sweetest little shy boy on the block. He tries so hard to like people and to be social, but sometimes it’s all too much and he goes for a hide under his bed. He is a lovely little guy – only 40cm at the shoulders – and with a look of a German Shepherd, just a miniature one!
Usty has not had the best run of luck these last five years. Coming up on his fifth year in the refuge, he was found with his brothers and sisters cuddled up under the bed when his owner died. You will have already seen older brother Tino as he was behind door number 2. Usty is a little more social than Tino, and a little younger, being only eleven years old. He is bearing well for his age, but a warm bed and a place by the fire will make an enormous difference. He really is the sweetest guy and I can’t imagine he’ll be a stick of bother. He is not fussy or attention-seeking. He is gentle and when he gets to know you, he really opens up.
Usty, like all the dogs so far, is not a fan of other male dogs. It is probably this factor making him hard to fit into a home. He is terrified of cats and wouldn’t feel safe in a home where there were lots of them. A home on his own or with females would be just perfect. He’d really appreciate an older couple or a quiet family where he can finally relax. He is really so deserving – a delightful little guy, loved by everyone – will this Christmas bring Usty the present he so deserves? He’s going to make a very fine companion and who’s to say if finding love won’t be everything he needs to feel secure for the first time in five years.
Our number 6 is eleven year old lab/husky cross,Fairbanks!
He’s a happy, energetic boy who needs an owner who doesn’t mind a 30-minute romp every day. Fairbanks is friendly and outgoing, confident and affectionate. He loves a run, will happily jog alongside you, is just delighted to be out in the fresh air, and heartbroken when you put him back in his enclosure.
So why hasn’t Fairbanks been snapped up after two and a half years at the refuge? Partly because he is – you guessed it! – big, male and old. He also must leave with his brother Alaska (who might well be behind one of the doors of the refuge Advent calendar!) Most people take one look at Fairbanks and Alaska and think they will have their work cut out with these two big husky crosses. During the summer, they were walked regularly by two teenage walkers who loved to take them for a quick run and a slower walk which makes me think these old guys would be just perfect with older teenagers or a sporty family. In fact, I’ve never yet met a teenager who didn’t fall instantly in love with these boys, and vice versa. They love the outdoors and still play together all the time, but they are sociable, responsive dogs who aren’t just fixated on everything but you.
Fairbanks is not particularly interested in other dogs or cats, but he can play rough so a home without cats may well be preferable since they have no idea what cats are. Having had little by way of education, they have not had any rules or boundaries but plenty of exercise, games and time outside in a secure enclosure will mean that when they come inside, they will be much calmer. So why is Fairbanks one of my favourites? Because he is so much FUN! A lively, good-natured, happy, goofy boy who isn’t showing his age and loves to play – well, there’s little in life to bring a smile to your face than an oldie playing like a pup, especially with his brother, who he loves very much. Big, affectionate dogs are just the best.