Over the past 10 years we have rehomed countless Labradors and Labrador crosses from Ireland, that would have otherwise been put to sleep. There are not enough homes for them and large breed dogs are not favoured in Ireland. Help with the over population of dogs has always been given by us and many other UK and European charities. Ireland always had tremendously high numbers of dogs they euthanised because of failure to neuter and shortage of homes, but now the numbers are going to soar.
At the beginning of this year the EU enforced stricter regulations for all dogs travelling to and from Southern Ireland, requiring that they have a rabies vaccination and a passport before travelling to the UK. The impact of this has been devastating, and thousands of dogs, all breeds, all shapes and sizes, both young and old are being euthanised. The cost of vaccinating for rabies and organising a passport for each dog is more than animal charities are able to afford. We would like to point out that Ireland has never had a case of rabies, so this we feel is totally unnecessary for the dogs coming to England. Should any one of these dogs have lived a few miles away in Northern Ireland they would be able to travel to the UK without a rabies vaccination or a passport!
Every day we are getting pleas from Ireland to help save the beautiful Labradors from being destroyed, this is truly heart breaking. Every dog we commit to help will need to be fostered, the cost of food and any veterinary treatment paid for, neutered, vaccinated, given their rabies vaccination, passported and transported to the UK by an authorised dog transporter. The cost of this will be approximately £330 per dog. We are therefore asking for your help to raise as much money as we possible, to save as many Labradors as we can. Please visit our Just Giving site and help save a life of a beautiful Labrador
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for visiting our appeal.
Your donation however small will make a difference.
You can text your donation to Text LABS07 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 to LRRSE and make a difference today.
Here are a few of the beautiful Irish Labs that we have helped to rehome in England.
I just wanted to let you know that Duke is settling in very well. He is getting lots of exercise, to help him get used to his new location, and he has lost a few pounds. He is looking really well with a very shiny coat! He loves his walks and we are doing lots of recall practice! We have started to introduce him to other dogs and its going really well. He has been a little star. He absolutely loves his ball - tennis balls, footballs, anything that he can catch.
I've attached some photos. One shows him carrying his two footballs. He had been trying for a few days to pick up both at the same time and when he finally managed it he was so pleased with himself!!
Best wishes and thank you.
Thought you’d like to know how Clara got on in Wales. Well she had a fabulous time. She spent the week with Dylan and Izzy and Ruby, 2 border collies belonging to our friends. We all stayed in a quiet cottage with a big garden so the dogs could run around outside from the moment they got up! She was really good in the car, sat quietly in the boot with Dylan all the way.
She’s been out walking for 4 or 5 hours most days (so has Dylan much to my surprise - there was no way he was being left behind!) She loved the beach at Aberdyfi where the dogs could run for miles on empty sand. She had her first swim in the sea - and swam in lots of lakes and rivers! We managed to find walks without too many sheep so she was off lead most of the time which she really loved. She had no problems with the hills and proved herself quite a little mountaineer! She caught a rabbit (and unfortunately a tick but there we go!) She’s funny - if Dylan gets a bit left behind she goes and grabs his collar and pulls him along!
The people in Wales are so dog friendly (they seemed to split down the middle between labs and border collies!) She went in her first pub and her first shops!
She’s a bit miffed now we’re back home. Wants to know where all her friends have gone!
I’ve attached a couple of photos of Clara and her doggy friends!
We have had Poppy for a week now and she is settling in well.
You can see she is spoilt rotten.
We have bought her another new bed so she now owns half of the lounge but we love her and kids love her too.
As you can see she has a cheeky smile .
It is almost five years since we adopted Granville (then known as "Levi
Two") from Ireland.
He now lives in a village shop and is a favourite with the customers and he has his own favourite customers who regularly bring him treats and, as soon as he hears them in the shop, he's off the sofa, crashes through the separating door and is by their feet in moments.
He has the usual lab attributes of selective hearing (especially when out on a walk with his dad) and thievery: his booty from the shop so far has included four packets of Atora suet (in one go), eighteen mince pies (yes, in one go), a Victoria sponge and the odd loaf of bread. Fortunately, he has the constitution of an ox!!!
He's lucky that we are both here all day so he is rarely on his own.
Unsurprisingly he has found his way up to our bedroom above the shop where he lies "on guard" in the bedroom doorway. Of course he slept straight through on the one occasion we were burgled overnight!
He shares his life with two cats whom he adores and who are fond of him.
His favourite thing is swimming and he loves to lie in puddles - the muddier the better.
I'm afraid he was expelled from school as, after six weeks, we were still just walking round in circles, sitting, staying etc. which he could already do. The teacher didn't find his proffered paw appropriate for class!
He's the calmest dog I've ever met and is brilliant when customers' children want to pet him, he just lies on the shop floor (don't tell Environmental Health!) and takes it. We love him, the village loves him and he has entertained us and given so much pleasure.
I attach some pictures which show he now lives the life of Riley. He's not normally destructive unless it involves de-stuffing toys or in the case of the picture, a cushion...
Thank you to LRRSE for bringing us together and keep up the good work.
Bridget & Sam
Nana is a beautiful 18 month old border collie/labrador cross, who looks and acts just like a border collie. We fell in love with her photo on the website which showed her lying down facing forwards with her beloved ball perched on her front paws. So sweet! She was originally from Ireland and came to us on April 8th this year. She seemed very depressed and down when we got her and not very interested in much. She didn't understand the telly or household noises and she hated the traffic noise. She was terrified of getting in to the car. It took her several weeks before she would trust us and not cower and run and hide before she would jump in the car herself.
Of course, that's all past history now. Once she realised what wonderful long countryside walks we have around here and how happy we are to play with her ball in the house, she was hooked. She is very lively, bouncy and friendly and has such a lovely temperament and nature.She is very well behaved, apart from pulling on the lead, which she still does! Fortunately, she doesn't stay on the lead for too long before she has the freedom to run around.
She was very keen to get to know our cat, but our cat was not so keen to get to know her. Fortunately now, they are reasonably good friends, even touching noses some times, although our cat is not too fond of having his bottom sniffed but he only has to raise his paw for Nana to realise who is boss!
She has just been spayed and was happy to wear the 'lampshade' for over a week - when whilst playing she managed to shake it off, she just stood there and let us slide it back over her head again. She is doing really well after her op and has been given the all clear by the Vet, so she is back to running around off lead and playing with her ball.
She does little dances for joy when she is happy and we get lots of thank you licks from her. All in all, we love her to bits and life wouldn't be the same without her.
Christine and Allan
I’m sure you get so many dogs going through your doors that you don’t remember all the individuals. But just wondered if you remember a little black Lab Cross called Shadow, who was with you at Dogs in Distress around 18th Feb of this year?
I’ve attached a photo of Shadow, just in case you do remember her and I wanted to let you know that we adopted her from Labrador Retriever Rescue Southern England in early Feb – through Sue Birmingham --and have been very happy to have her as part of our family ever since!
She’s such a sweet dog – really soft and affectionate and loves playing fetch with a tennis ball. She is inseparable from our 7-year-old curly golden Lab, Sunny and , I think, very at home in a house with 3 older kids and 2 parents whose favourite occupation is to go out running in the fields and woods with their dogs. So hopefully a happy ending to Shadow’s story!
You guys do great work -- good luck for the future…
And thanks again, Sue!
All the best,
Just thought we would drop you a line to let you know how Bert from Ireland (was Bart) is getting on. As you can see from the pictures attached he really is a happy chap. We absolutely love him! We got him late January but it already seems like he as always been here! We have worked hard on his lead skills and his tendency to run away after any thing that moves and now he is a dream on the lead, no more dislocated arms and he has been taught to come on recall so all in all he has passed with flying colours. Our holidays now involve finding places that are dog friendly, he's been on two seaside trips so far Wales and Norfolk! He's also keeping me company on my runs with my personal training clients so he really is as fit as a butchers dog. We still find it hard to believe that he's was an unwanted dog, he's just such a great animal, we often wonder what his back ground was so if you do have any info it would be interesting to know! Please would be you be kind enough to forward this to the foster family who cared for Bert before he came onto us.
Many Thanks and keep up your amazing work.
Liz Tinley. Cambridge
Thank you for introducing Paddy (formerly Daragh) into our lives. We never thought we could replace our lovely old Labrador, but Paddy already has a very special place in our hearts. He brings joy to the whole family and is a pleasure to be around -as he is always up for a cuddle. He's very sporty enjoying long runs and bike rides although his swimming technique still leaves a lot to be desired!
We would recommend to others to get a rescue dog because with a little love, patience and understanding at the start, you can have a great family dog.
Thanks again The Twyford Family
Hi Sue, not sure if you will remember, but we adopted a puppy from yourselves in September 2009. She was brought over along with lots of brothers and sisters
from Ireland and was the only yellow fluffy girl in the litter!
I just wanted to email to tell you a bit about her now. I’ve attached a few pics of her as I’m a very proud mum and she’s my fourth child ;-) She is totally part of our family and, we really believe she is special! She has a lovely nature and gets along fantastically with everyone, including our cat Oscar (who secretly loves her too!). she has even charmed many of our friends who are not all dog lovers.
Her favourite walk is around Virginia Water lake which is 4.5 miles.. by the time we get back to the car she will have had several swims and will be covered in mud! She loves the company of other dogs and has a best pal, Barney, a golden doodle! I have to say also that I really enjoy walking her and we’ve made lots of new friends on our walks.
I would urge anyone to go for a rescue dog or pup and not to be put off by a cross. She is just beautiful and so many people stop me all the time to ask me about her.
Many thanks to LRRSE.
It is now 7 months since we adopted Honey (nee Snowy). She has settled into the family very well. She is a delightful dog who enjoys her life to the full. Most days she travels into my husbands school and wanders around with the other teachers dogs visiting lessons, playing with the children and trying to scrounge snacks. When not at work she enjoys long walks and swims in the sea. She also enjoys going and watching our eldest son play rugby and gets very excited with the rest of the crowd. In fact as she loves swimming so much we have had to buy her a life jacket (dog flotation device) as she just goes swims out and joins us no matter how far offshore we are.
These are two photos of Honey involved in two of her favourite pastimes - namely playing in water and resting!
Monkey & Hippo
A quick update on the life and times of Monkey and Hippo (originally Libby and Lewis), both adopted from you having been rescued from Ireland. It's now approaching three years since I adpoted Monkey from you and about 18 months ago Hippo joined us to keep her company in our new home. It took a little while for them to bond but they are now completely inseparable and enjoy nothing more than terrorising the local neighbourhood cats using their pincer movement!
I never believed that I could find a second rescue dog who was so well-adjusted and responsive as the first but Hippo has been a calming influence for us both. He is a fantastic dog and I have not discovered any negative traits in him yet, other than him being a little over boisterous but I put that down to his love for life.
I have enclosed some photos of them together, Monkey is the slightly darker one with the full tail and Hippo lighter with the ever-wagging stump. They would very much like to see themselves on the website or the newsletter.
Thanks again to LRRSE and all it's volunteers for your tireless work rescuing these exceptional dogs that bring so many of us such great pleasure.
Becs, Monkey and Hippo
I attach a picture of Tasha taken today, just over 3 months after we collected her. She is the loveliest of dogs and we both adore her. We have had one to one training with a well respected dog trainer to improve her recall. To be honest though if it comes to a choice between chasing a rabbit or coming back to us then the thrill of the chase wins! She comes back eventually, usually at high speed, from an unexpected direction and full of enthusiasm. Fortunately there is lots of space here on the North Downs so we can give her plenty of exercise. Currently her walks total around 40 miles a week and she is now much trimmer and so are we! She mixes well with other dogs and has made a couple of uneventful trips to our local town, uneventful with the exception of being admired and patted by all and sundry. She has learnt to chase a ball and play with soft toys and is a pleasure to be with. In the evenings when we are watching TV she lies across our feet or puts her head on a knee and looks gorgeous. Our local pub ‘Welcomes Well Behaved Dogs’ and she certainly qualifies and has been with us several times when we go there for a meal.
We think she is a lovely example of an Irish rescue dog and we are so pleased to have been able to give her a loving home.
Good luck with your invaluable work.
Al and Fiona
we've had Saxon nearly 4weeks and it feels like forever, in the nicest possible way. He has settled into our home as if he has been here all his life. The sofa in the study was immediately requisitioned and he spends a lot of time in there sleeping or watching Colin on the computer.
He is a hefty lad and we are hoping to gradually increase his walks so that he can happily walk for an hour or so without having lots of sits and lay downs.
I think one of the cats sensed almost straightaway that he is no threat and walks round him and jumps over him. The other cat still spends 23 hours a day in her bed!
I am attaching a photo of Sax in the snow.
Thank you for letting us have him - he is a gentleman.
I thought I will let you know how we are getting on.
Sam is an absolute fantastic dog. He is well behaved and listens to commands. He allowed us to scratch his tummy and is now barking at knocks on the door. Which means to me that he is already protective of us.
He really is a pleasure to have and just wanted to thank you all.
A quick update on danny who we adopted in Jan.
He has turned into the most loveable dog one could wish for,a bit manic at first but became very easy to train and now is a star.
Every where we take him people admire and comment on his looks.We pass on your details all the time.
He loves the open country around us where he can run endlessly.
He had been boarded out twice and didn't bat an eye to it.
Many many thanks for providing us with a dog that could not be bettered.
Orla (Chola) is doing really well, she is such a super dog and we feel very lucky to have her. We enrolled in dog training lessons today which I think will be really good for her - she seems to have picked up what we have taught her really quickly - she can now sit, down, up, wait and sometimes drop! The dog training lessons will hopefully get her used to being around other dogs and mentally stimulate her. The training school also do agility classes and heel work to music - which I am very keen to do once we have mastered the beginners class! I have attached some photos of her in the kitchen and the field at the back of our house - we certainly all have a lot of fun together.
Wishing you a very Happy 2007.
All the best
We got the email! The email to tell us a bit about Sammy, the golden
labrador we were going to adopt, and a picture of him. He was a beautiful
dog. We had to go and pick him up and Sammy popped his head round he corner of the van and tried to run to me and mum.
We took him for a little walk, so he could spend a penny and then we put Sammy in the car and he sat
nicely cuddled up to mum and before we knew it we were home.
When we got home Sammy went from room to room exploring his new home and
then he found a quiet place and he just slept and slept. At night he jumped
on the bed and lay flat out, he was at home and felt safe. So the next
morning we started our new life with Sammy and before we knew it, it was
Christmas and it was snowing, Sammy loved the snow and lay down in it and
rolled around before running off again and lying down again and kept doing
this for ages as he was having so much fun.
Sammy is feeling right at home now and loves us all. He is very clever and
knows who takes him out at what tiime of the day as he always pesters my
brother, Brad, in the morning when he's getting ready for school as he knows
that he takes him out then, mum at lunch time, me after school and dad in
the evening. We all love Sammy very much and he has made a big difference in
all our lives.
By Josh Bunce Age 12
I have sent some photos of Teddy enjoying his new home, and a muddy walk!
He has settled in well and starting at the Dog Training School tomorrow.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to adopt Teddy.
It's been a month now since we collected him and he is a real pleasure. He has changed considerably over the last 5 days, enjoying his food, yes it has taken us this long to get him to get him to eat more than small amounts. He now chases a ball in the garden and has some really mad moments when no one would believe his age. We always thought his tail wagged but it now WAGS!
We just want to say a BIG thank you to you and the Sanctuary in Ireland for rescuing him and giving us a chance to make the rest of his life comfortable and loved.
John and Pauline
Hi Sue, Just a short note to let you know that Jack has settled in as if he had always been here. He is perfect and the kids adore him & he loves them. He has made friends with the dog next door & they go for walks together along with Twinkle the cat!!!!
Thank again for finding him and placing him with us he is such an affectionate old softee who behaves as if he has always been here.
We have just received the Labrador Lovers News - what a great magazine!
We rescued Wendy - renamed Willow, from the Surrey Centre on 20th March. Sue had brought her over from Ireland.
She was a very chubby 1 year old who sadly did not know how to play or really be a dog! We brought her home to meet our 14 year old black Labrador Bess and we haven't looked back. Bess and Willow slept together within 3 days and she really looks out for our old girl!
In this short space of time, we already know we love her to bits. Willow is the most gentle, loving girl and is so laid back and calm. Her obedience training is coming along well and she is a much slimmer version! She is patient with Bess, wonderful with our children , however, the cat is a working progress!
Willow is still suffering from separation anxiety and by 6 am every day simply cannot wait for a cuddle with her Dad anymore - pass the match sticks please!
She has finally learned to be a puppy and her most favourite toy is 'killing' the naughty red space hopper but look out when she has a mad moment!
I have enclosed a picture of our girls posing and of Willow with that hopper!
Can I also just mention a special thank you to Elsie and Trevor who were lovely and their help was greatly appreciated.
Lisa and Rod, Kelly and Joanna
Update Sept 06
Just thought we send a few more pictures of Willow and Bess. We are loving almost
every minute - as you can see, Willow is rather laid-back!
We've had Willow for 5 1/2 months and she has gone from strength to strength with her obedience improving every week.
She and Bess have never shared a cross word and snuggle next to each other all the time. Bess is extremely doddery now
and Willow is constantly looking out for her.
Willow's greatest achievement by far is allowing the cat to actually walk past her without giving chase - there have been
many a blurry furry cat moments - however, the twinkle in her eye is never far away!
As she has settled in, her character has surfaced - she loves stealing! Books are her favourite and they are
shook vigourisly until they are unreadable. She now has a mad half hour at 4 every afternoon, she will bark and
bark until you finally give up and take her for her walk! Who says dogs can't tell the time?! She has also
finally relented in the morning and will allow us to sleep until 7 or 8 at the weekend before she insists we get up
and lavish her love.
Willow is set to be spayed in October, having just finished her season - and boy did we know it. She felt so sorry for herself!
PMT in a dog is terrible so we are thankful it is over and we have our playful girl back!
Anyway, we are looking forward to the wet months now, yellow lab and muddy puddles are just the job - she is far from a Lady
when we pass by them dirty ditches!
As it's almost a year since Penny brought us Sally we thought we'd send you a picture of how she looks today, hopefully you'll notice that she's quite a few pounds lighter than when you knew her. She's been absolutely brilliant and we couldn’t have wished for more. In fact fellow Lab owner freinds of ours looked after her overnight a few weeks ago said she was so well behaved and got on famously with theirs that they’d happy to have her anytime.
An email from Max's new owner:
Max has his paws firmly under the table! He is a lovely affectionate
dog and a hit with all the family. We are enjoying taking him out for
walks and he is loving all the smells and fresh air. His favourite
thing is watching the frogs in our garden pond, but he hasn't caught one
We just thought you would like an update of how Sally is doing, or probably how we are doing with her!!
She has completely taken over, in a good way. She’s mastered the art of getting all of us to open the back door, by jingling the keys, so she can go out and play (if we don’t move quick enough the jangling becomes a small earthquake), she is very different to Prince in her mannerisms, she loves to dig and bury things, even on the sofa, which then appear at a later date. We have trained her to sit and give a paw. She has learnt to swim, when we walked down by white bridge and across the fields, she stayed in the water for ages and then when she came home had to sleep for at least 2 hours!
Tomorrow we are going to open up our caravan for the summer, so Sally will be having a trip to the new forest and the seaside, with her big "brother" Prince. We will take some photos and email a copy to you. Everything is going well with Oscar’s foods, both Prince and Sally’s coats look great.
three days later.....
You were right, Sally did like the sea, the sand and the caravan, she had a quick trip into the new forest, a bit wet so not too long!!!. She was in the water like a little sea-lion. Absolutely brilliant.
Hi I am Sarah, the owner of Sheeba (now called Angel),Lab X border collie I got from LRRSE in september.
Angel is doing great. she has completed her first dog training class (with a certificate!!!) and is now onto intermediate! We hope to do agility with her as she is a quick learner. We have worked on socialising her with dogs and people and has now made a friend with a dog we meet in the park each morning. She is getting 2 walks a day and loads of attention and has really settled in.
She seems really happy and has made me even happier! She's very funny and loving and I hope we will have many more years of fun together. Thank you to everybody who helped me get my best friend!
We do not know Paddy's original name, however he now answers quite happily to 'Paddy MaGinty'! He was abandoned on the streets of Dublin, taken into the pound, and given just a few days to be collected before he would have been put to sleep. The Ash Animal Rescue removed Paddy, and several other 'death row' dogs from the pound and asked LRRSE if we had a suitable home for him. As we could not ascertain Paddy's history, area co-ordinator Sue Birmingham took him in to her home for assessment ... and he has never left! When he arrived with Sue, she realised that Paddy must have been really loved by someone at some point - and as you can see from the photo, he took no time at all to settle in and bond with his new family! Although perfectly clean within the house, Paddy prefers to spend most of his day in 'his spot' in the garden, soaking up the sunshine and playing with his now vast array of old footballs, before retiring to the house in the evening with his new family.
Just giving you an update on Lottie (who was known as Flo). We adopted
her in early December.
She's still a lively, manic girl who loves to run off lead but is
becoming far better mannered! She walks to heel on the lead (most of
the time!) and even off lead sometimes, comes back when called (again,
most of the time!) and is a happy little beauty!
She's fantastic with the kids who all adore her, and she is currently
enjoying the warm weather - sitting out in the sunshine every day
looking like a princess!
We did have some early problems with her such as chewing but seem to
have overcome that. Training is ongoing as she's a bit dizzy sometimes
but she's absolutely fab and friendly and we wouldn't be without her.
She's brought so much joy to our family.
Thanks ever so much for all the hard work you do to find good homes for
dogs such as Lottie.
We are currently considering adopting a friend for her (and like the
look of Annie who's gone on the web today!) and will undoubtedly come
to you if we do!!!
It is a month now since we came to Chessington to meet Mikey and take him home. The time has really flown by and we cannot believe how well he has settled in with us, and what a change in him in such a short time. When we first got him home he was so stressed, and absolutely terrified that we would leave him every time we just went to another room. Now he is relaxed and happy, he is very affectionate and intelligent.
He has started training classes (which he finds very exciting meeting all the other dogs) and is making really good progress. We are so pleased to have given him a loving home and to see him happy and flourishing. I have attached a couple of photos for you.
Denise and Laurie
Berty is a 'Senior Citizen' Labrador who took the move over to England from Ireland in his stride. His happy new owners are delighted with him, and say he has not put a paw wrong!
Young Lab-cross Holly lived in Cork with a family with young children until she was handed into the pound. She now lives in a lovely Surrey home with a new family and new children to play with.
Handsome young Sam was turned out of his home in Ireland when the 'novelty' of having a new puppy wore off. Sam has now been rehomed with a couple who had recently lost their beloved Lab, who'd been their companion for 15 happy years. Sam has really helped this couple to come to terms with their loss, and has also found himself a very loving home for the rest of his days.
Poor tail-less Jack's Irish family decided that they didn't want him anymore, and so he was brought over to England. He is now delighted to have found a loving new home, where he has become a constant companion for the family's son. When his young master is out at school, Jack sits by the door waiting when he knows it's time for him to return home!
Bingo thinks his number has come up now he's found a great new home in England! His new owner had been recently bereaved of her husband of 40 years, and her previous Labrador of 15 years, so Bingo's arrival has made one lonely lady very happy. Given patience and kindness, Bingo has overcome his difficult past and is now a much loved companion.
Two-year-old Barny was brought over from Ireland when his original owners decided that he was 'too big' for their new house. He has now found a fantastic new home in England through LRRSE, complete with a new 'best friend' in the family's 10-year-old daughter.
Here is a lovely letter from Chad's proud new owner, Barbara Pettet:
We had owned a yellow Lab previously but when he died we thought that we would never find another one like him and decided to have a different breed. Several years on we knew that two of our dogs were getting older and thought this would be an ideal time to get another dog and decided to offer a home to a Labrador. We discussed it as a family and having been through the puppy stage many times decided that this time we would like to adopt an older dog, especially as we were always hearing that no one is interested in older dogs. We contacted LRRSE and were in the process of being vetted when, sadly, one of our older dogs collapsed very suddenly and within a week we had lost him. This left us with two other dogs, one GSD and one Jack Russell-Patterdale cross. Within a very short period of time our co-ordinator, Maureen Saunders, contacted us and said that there was a dog needing a home, an eldery yellow Lab of about seven-years old, would we be interested? It was a difficult time because we had lost Trent so suddenly and I was not sure how my other dogs would cope with a strange dog arriving, but we discussed it as a family again and agreed to give it a try.
Saturday morning we set off to New Malden to collect our new dog from the area co-ordinator's home in New Malden. The house was full of Labradors and there was one walking, unsteadily, around the back garden which I just assumed was another of the family dogs. It was not until I was asked what I thought of him (no name at present) that I realised this was our new dog! Within a short period of time, we were leaving the house and our "new dog" calmly climbed into the back of our car and off we went.
During the two and a half hour journey home the dog was asleep, unsurprisingly as we had been told that he had travelled from Ireland by boat, landed in Wales and had been driven up to New Malden to be collected by us and then we were driving him to Sussex. I had not heard about the plight of Irish dogs until we embarked on this journey of adoption and I have to say that I have become increasingly disturbed by the stories that I am now discovering. Our dog, who we named Chad, had been picked up and put in the local pound, where apparently they are kept for only one week and if no one claims them they are destroyed. He had been collected from the pound by a rescue centre with contacts over here, literally the day before he was due to be destroyed. He was vaccinated and kept for the obligatory ten days and then sent over to become our dog.
Having arrived home with Chad the first priority was a bath and defleaing process. Ideally I would have left this as he had had such a long journey but it was very necessary. What a test of a dogs temperament - the turmoil of the pound, then kennels, then the journey, then to our house and insult of insults - a bath. Did he complain? Never. Chad has not stopped wagging his tail from that day to this! Tracy Lister commented this weekend when she met him that he did not stop wagging his tail the whole time we were talking and that is what he has been like since day one.
His hind legs were very weak, our vet thinks probably from the conditions he had been living in previously. He had obviously spent his life on concrete because of the bare patches and hard skin on elbows etc. He would not come in the house unless invited - obviously had lived out in a cage. He was said to be seven but is probably ten. He had a cyst on his eye which we decided to have removed as it was irritating him dreadfully.
You may think now, problem dog! You would be wrong - he has more than repaid us over and over again. He has never shown any aggression to us or to our other two dogs. Our Jack Russell-Patterdale thinks she is a GSD and is boss dog and he tolerates her all the time. He hears our voices and the tail starts banging on the door and never stops. His hind legs have strengthened with walks and his overall wellbeing is now excellent. He had a couple of teeth removed when his eye was operated on and he had abscesses which must have caused so much pain. He is a typical big hearted, loving labrador.
The other labrador trait he exhibits is his love for food and so far he has managed to run around the garden with a frozen leg of pork, and to reach a box of dog biscuits which he did share with the other dogs and ate most of the box as well.
Thank you LRRSE for our wonderful Irish dog! Anyone thinking of doing what we did - please give the Irish dogs a chance and also especially older dogs.They know it all - been there, seen it and got the T-shirt - no need for toilet training and no chewing. Although time with them may be short lived they more than repay you because they appreciate a loving home. Not a day goes by without Chad giving us a smile and our other dogs love him.
The lovely Benson now lives with a nice family in Oxfordshire. He has children to play with, an old sofa all to himself and all the bones he could chew - what more could an Irish Lab want from life?!