<![CDATA[Dogs Walk This Way Rescue - Blog]]>Wed, 20 Nov 2019 10:27:37 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[From a Foster Mum]]>Mon, 07 Oct 2019 14:22:15 GMThttp://dogswalkthiswayrescue.com/blog/from-a-foster-mumLike most people, I try and strive to be the best version of myself and set a strong example for my children. I’m not expecting to save the planet, but I’d like to do more to “help” that extends beyond reducing my carbon footprint. My most recent venture has been so heart warming, far beyond my expectations, & the most emotionally rewarding thing I have ever undertaken– we have fostered a dog.

After losing my beloved border collie of 13 years last year, my family and I were left with a huge hole in our hearts. I had always wanted to rescue a dog, but was not feeling ready to take this step. So I decided to look into fostering. Having worked in the “dog industry” for over 10 years, I felt that I had developed the right skill set to help rehabilitate and re-home a dog that needed my help. A close friend of mine runs a Romanian dog rescue called “Dogs Walk this Way Rescue”, and she was my first port of call.
​For those who don’t know, there is a huge stray dog issue in Romania. Over 3 million dogs roam their streets. A lot were abandoned after the industrialisation of the country began in the 80’s. People had to leave their homes in the countryside and abandoned their pets. Politicians have tried to enforce neutering but people now make money from catching and killing these poor animals and the conditions the dogs live in are unimaginable.

Having assessed that I was going to be able to help her, Rachael very soon offered me a dog, and so my journey with Harry began. I had no expectations when I met Harry. He was nervous, a bit scruffy and smelly, but so so sweet and desperate for some reassurance. Having traveled from Barlad Kill Shelter to the rescue shelter in Romania (outdoor kennels with temperatures reaching -14 degrees) for micro chipping, neutering and vaccinations/ blood tests etc, and then being put in a van to travel over to the UK, only to be put in another kennel over here - Harry was a very scared dog.
Harry, once he'd relaxed and got used to being in a home
​​So we met - and I put him in the boot of my car and we went home. For the first hour or so he didn’t really interact with our dog other than peeing on everything to mark his territory. However, within a day or two he began to come out of his shell and he blossomed into the most cuddly, friendly, well- mannered little chap. He was wonderful with my children but took a little time to come to like my husband. He was quickly house trained; he walked to heel and didn’t bark or chew. I was quite amazed! By Day 7, having established that he would come when I called him in from the garden every time, I decided to let him off lead, and he was perfect with that too! Mr Perfect actually! Other than not liking crates (understandably) and occasionally peeing on a piece of furniture if he hadn’t entered that house before ...he was faultless.

​​I now have my second foster dog with me and she is equally wonderful. She is going to take a little longer to trust us, but she will make someone an incredible friend. She adores my children too and is well mannered. These dogs are constantly so underestimated because of their circumstance, when in reality they just seem grateful for the stability, the love and the roof over their heads. Also, I don’t think you need 10 years’ experience to help these poor dogs - just time, a little patience and a lot of love.
Beau, our second foster girl who has gone on to such a lovely, happy home!

​In conclusion, fostering a dog might not change the world, but for that one dog, their world will be changed forever.

UPDATE: Beau, Sarah's second foster dog has now been adopted. Below is the Facebook post and video Sarah made to help get Beau adopted. 
<![CDATA[Staying Safe During Bonfire Night]]>Fri, 04 Oct 2019 13:59:47 GMThttp://dogswalkthiswayrescue.com/blog/staying-safe-during-bonfire-nightRemember, remember…your dog during fireworks season.

I am not a great fan of fireworks to be fair.  Although I understand that the celebrations can be great fun for people, dogs, cats (and other pets and wildlife) can be left stressed out, confused or, even worse, injured by fireworks.

Apart from the obvious physical damage suffered through accidental contact with fireworks, dogs can be badly affected by fireworks noise and lights.  Possible behavioural problems as a result of fear and stress could include house soiling or excessive grooming, whilst there is also the danger of a dog running away, and never returning home.

The best place to start is to try to find a list of local public firework displays as these can run for a couple of weeks over the 5th November – as we know, fireworks are not limited just to Guy Fawkes Night anymore.
Once you know when to be prepared, a few simple precautions can help you to keep fur babies out of harm’s way:

-  Give your dog decent exercise during the day and then keep him/her in, after dark. Ensure he/she has had the chance to “do their business” before lock-down.  If they do ask to go out during the festivities, try to keep them on a lead in the garden. 

-  Ensure their water bowl is full.  Dogs often pant more when they are anxious and this can make them thirsty

-  Try to reduce outside noise by keeping windows shut and curtains drawn. Playing soothing music or having the TV on may also help. 

-Many behaviourists recommends to try not to reinforce fearful behaviour by soothing and reassuring a dog that is looking anxious.  Try to act happy and cheerful.

-  While many dogs like to be settled in a cosy, familiar territory such as a comfy bed or favourite armchair, when feeling scared they need safe places to hide. Ensure they can exhibit this natural behaviour by providing access to a hiding place, such as a den underneath a dining table (simply throw a blanket over the table to create a hidey hole).  As tempting as it is to encourage them out, let them hide in there uninterrupted for as long as they need so they feel in control of the situation.  Of course it goes without saying that if they come to you for comfort then give it to them

-  Make sure all doors and windows are securely closed to prevent your dog from escaping the home.

-  A Pheromone plug-in diffuser such as Adaptil can be used to decrease anxiety, and can have a beneficial effect in calming a dog during fireworks. However, you must start using it a couple of weeks before 5th November to maximise the benefit. It should be sited in the room/s in which your dog chooses to rest and you may need to buy more than one if you have a big home.

If you are particularly worried about your dog during the fireworks season then always speak to your vet for advice.

If you are having your own bonfire night celebration this year, then why not consider:

•    Buying hand-held cascading fireworks rather than the noisier varieties.

•    Holding a ‘silent’ fireworks display – many companies now offer quiet or almost silent fireworks – giving you the same spectacle without the loud bangs.

•    Keeping fireworks and bonfire displays as far away from homes as possible, to minimise any adverse effects on animals indoors, although bear in mind the effect these displays will have on wild animals.

•    Always check bonfires before lighting them to ensure that no small animals are sleeping inside.
<![CDATA[Mia and Bluebell's Story by Toni]]>Mon, 09 Sep 2019 11:15:10 GMThttp://dogswalkthiswayrescue.com/blog/mia-and-bluebells-story-by-toniOne of our lovely adopters shares her advice, based upon her experience of adopting two pups from Dogs Walk This Way Rescue. If you would like to share your adoption story, email us 
My partner and I, together with our two children, live on a farm as my partner is a farmer. When we first met, I had a dog and he had two, we both also always had dogs in our families growing up. We unfortunately, over time, lost our three dogs due to old age losing the last one Christmas Eve 2018, which was heart-breaking. We discussed getting another dog but said we would wait until after our wedding in October 2019. 
I knew of Dogs Walk This Way Rescue as I know Rachael through the horsey world, plus a few of my friends had adopted dogs from the rescue before. 
We hadn’t really planned to adopt, as such, when we discussed getting another dog but when one day I was looking through Facebook and one of the Dogs Walk This Way post popped up with some beautiful puppies who needed a home and I fell in love!

Here they are when they first arrived in the UK
​I originally went to meet Bluebell, but when speaking to Caz, one of the volunteers, she explained that Bluebell was very scared and the Dogs Walk This Way Rescue team were not sure how she would be with the children etc. When we arrived, we could see that Bluebell was very timid and scared but she had a sister who was a little braver. We sat on the floor and spent some time with the puppies, and after seeing how much confidence over that short period Blue took from her sister my partner and I  decided we couldn’t split these sisters up so we said yes to Mia and Bluebell and adopted both of them!
Once Blue was picked up and handed to my partner, she melted into his arms, and you could see the pain and fear melt away. Mia unfortunately got very scared when we tried to put the lead on her so we knew that we would need to have lots of patience and love to help them. I knew at this point these girls were going to be my babies and between all of us we would help these girls blossom and love life again. 

Settling the girls in

​We knew once we got home we needed to get straight to work so I went and brought harnesses as both hated having a slip lead or having the lead attached to a collar. We bought lovely beds, toys, treats, and really spoiled them.  I then spent around two weeks taking them in the garden every 15-30 mins on their harnesses for a wee and just generally bonding and letting them get used to the lead, this may seem like a long process to some people, but I knew the end result would be amazing. We would all just sit on the kitchen floor for hours with them letting them come to us when they felt ready, which didn’t take long and they started loving their cuddles began to really let down their guard. 

Look at them now!

PictureA sign of a totally relaxed dog
​They have grown from strength and strength and now enjoy all the lovely walks we do, and their recall is coming along really well. They have mastered commands (sit paw etc) and have such great personalities. They are both so very different as well. Blue is a complete nutter (in a good way) which I love because she was my most timid. She loves people and can jump from 3 feet to get on your lap in one jump. Mia is my sensitive one, she loves to please and loves learning new things and loves using her brain. They are such a double act and really have the most amazing bond and we are so happy they got to stay together! 
The best thing about adopting my Mia and Bluebell is seeing the change in them. They were both so scared, when I first met them, especially Blue.    Seeing their personalities come through has been amazing. 

Advice for anyone thinking about adopting

​Adopting wasn't something I had put much thought into before I adopted Blue and Mia, but now I’m so grateful to have my girls and so glad I could help and save them. A lot of people like the idea of a cute puppy but they grow up then people decide they don’t want them anymore.  By adopting you’re giving that dog a chance and the love and laughs they give you in return is priceless. 
My advice when adopting from a rescue or shelter would be to really think it through, have patience and make sure
  • you are ready for any challenges which may arise
  • you have the funds to support the dog in any way needed
  • you speak to the people who are with the dogs every day to make sure you’re the right family for them and they are the right dog for you.

It can be hard work but the rewards for me outweigh it all! 
Our girls really are the centre of our family and we are so glad they gave us the chance to give them the life they deserve! 
Toni and the Beach family 
<![CDATA[FROM THE HEART]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMThttp://dogswalkthiswayrescue.com/blog/from-the-heartPicture
Rachael’s account of a day in Romania

What a long day 😪😴 emotional doesn't even come near to what I experienced today. It's gone 9pm and I'm exhausted. We were driving for 6 hours to get to Vaslui public shelter... the lovely Ana Grasu met me and Anna Mary to guide us in. To say I was anxious was an understatement. We had a row on the way in with the guard at the entrance but this is typical in Romania! They knew we were not going anywhere!

​On the drive way down to the kill shelter we spotted 8 puppies on the road. We stopped and I got  out to feed them some of wet sachets we had. They were starving 😞. Ana will go back and vaccinate them and take them to her shelter over the next few days.

On entering the shelter (I can still hear the cries 😪💔) the noise was horrific, desperate cries for help and before I entered I thought to myself 'I can't do this'... how can I go in and walk out without  ALL of them. Feeling like the blood was almost on my hands was gut wrenching 😪💔.

We walked in and immediately I saw the cries for me to help them. We had already  reserved some dogs but sadly 3 didn't make it, so that left 10 to come with us. The black one was not neutered so she will come next week, but is still under our name and safe. So 10 dogs! How can I walk away and not help more I kept asking? Every thought was going through my mind within moments, how can we re-home all these dogs? How can we afford all these dogs?

We have over 30 dogs reserved with our rescuers under the DWTW name and whilst we have sponsors for some we don't have for all AND in order to help more we need homes for some who have waited almost a year! After shedding lots of tears and feeding them treats one by one I went into each kennel to handle and feed them all. Some were so scared and those images will haunt me till I die. A few I remember touching and people would say 'don't touch they aggressive, they may bite' .... not one was aggressive, just petrified!

​I stroked a few, who if they could have got through the wall to me, they would have. Once my hand was on them gently talking to them and reassuring them I could feel them tremble which meant the tears came rolling down my face, I couldn't hold it in any longer! I was upset throughout but there were a fair few doggies who got me, really, really got me 😞😪💔

We tried to take our dogs out to the van ourselves as the way the workers catch them is horrific, brutal and down right cruel. People wonder why some of these dogs are scarred for life 😞. We took 7 our ourselves but 2 we just couldn't as were so scared they were a little aggressive . Even through desperation of trying as we knew what was coming and if only we could talk to them and say 'come on mate you're better off coming with us by letting us carry you then these bastards doing it'.

We had 9 dogs loaded on to the van and Ana who visits here weekly asked the manager to let her take an old heavily pregnant bitch who was so stressed and biting at the bars, she didn't have long to go until pups arrive and what chance did any of them have? Ana said to the manager she was worried her giving birth in the shelter and luckily as she was old too and no chance of anyone adopting her they allowed her to take her (she isn't one of ours but still a relief knowing she's safe and out of that hell hole!).

As we were loading up, the cry from one particular dog (they were all crying but this one really stood out for us). He was begging us not to leave him so we reserved him too as, well as a further 8 so have 9 in total to get next week after they've been neutered! I could have taken them all BUT we don't have funds to pay for the ones we took let alone more 😞. We already took 10 more then we thought we would have! We are hoping that there is another organisation who will reserve some more this week. On every kennel which you can see is a board of the dogs tag numbers and the date they arrived, they have 14 days after this date then their time is up! Brutally murdered for what???!?!?!?! Being born 😞😪💔

We drove from the shelter to Ana's place where she has over 600 dogs which she's rescued from Vaslui and the streets. Whilst Ana is the most amazing person for doing what she does and all the dogs are very well cared for, what life is it to live the rest of their days in kennels with no real freedom? They need homes in order for her to help more and that's the same for us we need to re- home all of our doggies. We have 50 doggies now and we CANNOT help any more until we have homes for some of them. We will desperately need sponsors for our new doggies as again we cannot help without. Our foster fees will be near on £1,700.00 each month and being such a small charity we just don't have the funds! We have some amazing sponsors already but now need sponsors for all these doggies along with a further 10 who don't have sponsors. 

We off-loaded the 10 doggies at Ana Grasu's and it was such a lovely sight seeing some of them come out of their shells. The little black skinny girl on her own, WOW she was already a different dog within 10 minutes.

We then met our 14 doggies which we rescued from Vaslui about 2 months ago. Sadly some are still very scared, but because Ana has so many dogs it's hard to work with them individually. They all get amazing care and are really well looked after, but the handling is a must so we decided to take 3 back to Anna Mary's with us so we can re-home more easily. I'm hoping once we can re-home 5 dogs from Anna Mary (we have 14 dogs with her already) we can then move those we rescued from Vaslui which are at Ana Grasu's to her, as Anna Mary can give them more handling as she has fewer dogs,

It's getting dark now and we are all exhausted, hardly any sleep the night before and long hours driving, plus emotionally and physically drained so we decided to stay in a motel near the shelter so we could take the 3 dogs back to Anna's in daylight. We are taking Alina (the white with brown patch on face, Dino the husky type who climbed the bars at Vaslui on our last rescue mission (he's my personal fav, and then the small tan doggie from today will also come back with us.

We are 5 min from the shelter and we will get up at 7 and take the dogs back to Anna's and then spend the day at Anna's shelter and take new videos and photographs of all our doggies available for adoption. Anna also found a really sick dog on Thursday which we want to find to take to her shelter so fingers crossed we find him. 

It's nearly midnight so must try to get some sleep as another few busy days ahead of us although all I can hear is loud barks outside my window from the street dogs 😪😞

Sorry I've rambled on and sorry if this doesn't make much sense but I'm exhausted.