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Emergency photography!

We heard today that Dogs Today magazine would feature a couple of Oldies Club dogs seeking homes if we could supply large high-quality photos of them.  One of the dogs in question was Blue, who has been waiting for a home for well over a year.  

We (ie, the commmittee & rehoming team) are really keen to find a home for Blue, as apart from the fact that as long as he is waiting, he is blocking other urgent dogs coming in, his fosterer has some really steep steps in her back garden.  At the moment he can handle them, but as he gets older he would really be better off in a home where he can walk in and out on the flat, as he's far too big to carry.     We needed to supply photos to the magazine by Friday, and we only had smaller web-quality pics, so I volunteered to dash into Plymouth pronto and photograph him. 

Here he is! 
(you can see the rest of the ones that came out OK if you click through).

I was quite pleased with the results, given that it was a very grey day, starting to rain and the light was appalling. I took a bag of dog treats with me, as you can see from the focussed expression. He's a gorgeous dog, and so unusual to see a rottweiler with that sort of coat.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
2nd Nov, 2011 22:36 (UTC)
Good luck finding a home for Blue! I love the idea of this Oldies Club. Elderly animals are actually my favorites; they tend to bring an air of calm and wisdom with them. If I'm ever in a stable financial position to have a cat or two(or dog, but there are only a few breeds I would be keen on), I want to get an elderly one from the shelter. Even though I know I wouldn't get to spend much time with it, I would appreciate the time I had, and would be helping a pet demographic that many people overlook.
3rd Nov, 2011 09:47 (UTC)
As you say, they are much calmer and less demanding than youngsters!

none of us really intended to start a rescue for old animals. It just sort of happened. It had not previously occurred to me that you could end up running a charity basically by accident!
3rd Nov, 2011 14:11 (UTC)
I'm familiar with finding I've done useful things without intending to. X) Is the story of how it started online anywhere?
3rd Nov, 2011 19:32 (UTC)
There's a bit about it here : http://www.oldies.org.uk/?page_id=2 but that does leave out a lot of the random good ideas, awesome volunteers, nightmare volunteers, flailing, arguing, panicking, running out of money, trying things that didn't work, and bizarre fundraising... :-D
5th Nov, 2011 01:04 (UTC)
That's great, good on you and the others involved.

"Bizarre fundraising." Somehow that phrase just cracks me up. =D Though I imagine it may have involved situations that were perhaps only amusing retrospectively..
(Deleted comment)
3rd Nov, 2011 09:45 (UTC)
Thanks. He is a charming old dog, very sweetnatured. Homes for ginormous lumps of old dogs are not thick on the ground, but I am hopeful!
3rd Nov, 2011 04:55 (UTC)
I would SO take that dog home, if not for the pesky don't-live-in-your-hemisphere problem. Just look at the expression on his face!
3rd Nov, 2011 09:43 (UTC)
Good! That was the effect I was trying to get that photo to convey. Now let's hope someone within adopting distance is sucked in by the Aura of Cute.
3rd Nov, 2011 18:00 (UTC)
how could they not be?

also, do older dogs tend to do well as pets? I am so used to the adopt-a-puppy idea, and I always think that older pets come with all sorts of bad behaviours that can't be trained out, or whatever. But (if and when I get a pet, once I live in a place that will let me, and I can afford the food) I'd love to get one or two of the dogs that don't have anywhere else to go. (I also want a Lhasa Apso-Maltese mix, but that's neither hear nor there.)

in other words, what are the challenges of an older pet? Or is that all covered in the website for the organization you volunteer for?
3rd Nov, 2011 20:10 (UTC)
LOL, I mentioned this in a post a few years back and smirnoffmule (who is trained in these matters) came up with a good line on puppies: they don't have issues apart from the "BIG GIANT ISSUE OF BEING A PUPPY". They are like babies: they don't know how to do anything apart from eat and pee, and therefore you have to teach them everything. And they have loooooooads of energy, which they turn to eating your underpants, because nobody has yet taught them that underpants are not edible. Also they have incredibly tiny bladders and therefore need to pee very, very often...

Puppies are adorable and you do get unwanted ones in rescue - plenty of dogs are handed in pregnant, or by people who had puppy for 3 days and then he ate their underwear so they decided they couldn't cope. And they aren't a bad choice if you want a dog to do dog sport and train with, or if you have a young energetic family and want a dog that can keep up with them. But in general, I reckon it's easier to adopt an adult dog that's already gone through the awkward baby and teenage phases...

Some rescue dogs come in with issues - eg, I had one foster dog that nipped the toddler in her previous home, so clearly needed a child-free environment. But she wasn't a rabid childkilling dog, she just needed a place where the kids weren't right there on top of her and she couldn't get away from them. And we do get a fair number of dogs that don't get on with other dogs, or with cats, and some that don't cope well with being left alone.

But I would say that a majority of rescue dogs are in rescue not because they have major problems, but because their owners have problems. Owner has financial trouble, is working long hours, needs to care for a sick child or elderly relative, has gone into a nursing home, is emigrating, has simply decided that feeding and walking the animal every day is too much trouble. All of these are things we get calls about every day, and dogs that come from these sorts of situations are often quite nice family dogs - maybe they need a bit of guidance and will take a few weeks to settle in, but they will still be less work than a pup.

You can certainly train an older dog - in fact, in many ways it's easier than training a young one, because an older dog finds it easier to concentrate and isn't distracted by finding *everything in the entire world* incredibly exciting. They aren't as energetic, so you have to train in short bursts, but I reckon that's easier anyway.

If you pick a dog that has been in a foster home rather than kennels, then you should find that most of the rough edges have already been taken off. My foster dog Bob, for example : http://www.oldies.org.uk/?p=38565 - he came to stay with me with medical problems, LOOOOOADS of fleas (EWWWW) , and I don't think he'd ever lived in a house before (he was 9) - so by rescue standards, he was a bit extreme. But by the time he left, he was in decent health, house trained and generally a very nice dog. His new owner absolutely adores him, he's a really easy, well behaved old guy, would fit in pretty much anywhere. He just needed a bit of renovation and a jumpstart to get him there.
3rd Nov, 2011 08:28 (UTC)
A very venerable old Rottie, indeed. I hope the publicity does the trick.
3rd Nov, 2011 09:43 (UTC)
New photos seem to be getting shared a lot on Facebook, so I am hopeful they have something the old photos didn't.
3rd Nov, 2011 12:27 (UTC)
Good luck! He looks adorable and I just love the expression on his face.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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