Article by: Esta Williams
Date of Article: 26 January 2017
Esta Williams rescued Parker Junior ('Parkie') from Save & Care Dog Rescue. In the Article below, Esta talks about her experience in having rescued Parkie. However, since rescuing Parkie, Esta has been giving something back to the rescue world and has gone on to home check for Save & Care in Jersey. Esta has set out some advice that she gives to those who may adopt a Save & Care Dog although Admin think the advice is sound advice for any new rescue dog owner.
Save & Care can be found on Facebook:
We started with one big dream: to save poor dogs from a death shelter and bring them to Bucharest in a safe place, until they find forever homes. Their only chance depends entirely on us.
Since October 2012, we saved more than 100 dogs from public shelters (Petrosani, Buzau, Galati, Mangalia).
"Parker Junior my rescue came from Save & Care Dog Rescue nearly 5 years ago. Rescued from the streets with his mother Mama Gala, Sister June and brother Jedi.
Parker Junior was very frightened when he first arrived and reactive to other dogs. One thing that terrified him when he first arrived was bin bags. He would run and hide when I got one out to line the dustbin. It can be any noise that can frighten a rescue.
However, with lots of love, patience and training with Fun 4 Dogs he has become the most loving little dog, full of character and cheek. He still is not overly keen on other dogs but gets on well with my Goldie Summer. Due to his reactivity with other dogs we always keep him on a long line, and there is nothing wrong with that! He is a very happy dog!!
The lady behind Save & Care Dog Rescue is Sandrine. She works hard to save, look after and provide safe and loving new homes for Romanian dogs. From rescuing dogs in need, to caring for them, providing them with food, exercise and medical treatment and rehoming – Sandrine does an amazing job.
It’s hard to comprehend quite how much work goes in to Save & Care behind the scenes – it’s not a huge organisation, but just a bunch of people working together to give these beautiful dogs hope and a fresh new start. The work of rescuers like Sandrine of Save & Care Dog Rescue is so important in giving at least some of these poor dogs a second chance at a better life.
Helpful tips for rescuing a Save & Care Dog:
If (when) one of our rescues steals your heart, the first step is to try to quieten down the heart for long enough to seriously consider a few things…
- Rommie rescues have been through a lot. They need a lot of love, time and patience to get settled into home life.
- Most of these dogs have never lived in a house before, they’ll need to be taught everything, from toilet training to learning recall, sit, stay etc.
- This means normal things to you and I – the sound of a hoover, TV or knocks at the door – can be frightening for them, this is something to be sensitive to.
- Having been through so much, rommies can be frightened creatures until they realise they are safe in their forever home. Security is absolutely paramount – secure fences, kept on the lead until recall is absolutely without question reliable – this is the biggest consideration.
It’s so easy to fall in love with these poor babies, but it’s really important to consider the reality of adopting a rommie rescue. Your newbie may well happily trot into the house and settle on the sofa as if to say “OK, I’m home”. Likewise though it could take them quite some time to settle. It’s so important to go into it with eyes wide open and head ruling over heart.
Lead and harness
As we’ve mentioned, when your new addition arrives home they’ll have been through a lot. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to frighten them. Keep them as safe as possible while they settle and you get to know them. We highly recommend use of a lead and harness for maximum security (you may want to get doggy home first to measure for the correct sized harness).
As above, given that you’ll be on high alert for security particularly in those early weeks, a long line is great for giving your furry plenty of freedom to explore with the peace of mind that they won’t bolt if startled.
You may want to section off the house or control access to certain areas. Dog gates are a worthwhile investment.
Far from the prison or punishment this may be seen as, a crate can offer a place of comfort, peace and security for your new addition. With a comfy bed and the door left open, this creates a special place for them to settle while observing their new family life.
An extra sofa!
We do of course mean dog bed – although lots of Rommies prefer either the floor or sofa/bed – so maybe an extra sofa!!
New Adopters - Useful Info
Your new furry addition is here, HOORAY!!!
Now what…?! The amount of time it takes to settle varies from one dog to another, but we always encourage you to give plenty of time, love and patience. Don’t rush it, let them get their bearings, find their feet and learn that this is their safe and loving forever home.
Take it slowly
It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of your new bundle of joy, especially when you’re a week or two in and everything seems to be going swimmingly. But please, please don’t do too much too soon. Giving them time will pay dividends in the long run.
Let them rest
In the first few days they’ll want to rest. The journey from Romania takes two days, then they have two days in kennels before their journey to you. That’s a lot to take in, and they’re going to be tired. Give them a safe, quiet and comfy place to rest and avoid having guests over while they get settled.
Learning the basics
These dogs aren’t used to home life. They need your help and support to learn the basics – taking them out regularly to use the toilet, lots of praise for positive actions, a steady routine and consideration when it comes to things like loud music or the TV – most of them will never have experienced these things. When you’re confident they are settled, walk regularly with lead and harness.
Security, security, security
As we’ve said a lot, because it’s SO important – safety is everything. Adopted rescues have so much to learn in these early days that all ventures outside must be with harness and lead. They may settle in quickly, but likewise it could take months before you’re confident enough to allow them to venture off the lead.
This doesn’t just mean having a good recall under normal conditions, but is even more about knowing they won’t dash off if they spot something that takes their fancy or get spooked and run. This is something only you can judge, but we trust in you to take the time get this 100% to avoid the all too common stories of disappeared Rommies who have run scared.
Continuing on the subject of security is indoor security – your home checker will discuss with you the huge importance of making sure your four legged friend can’t escape through open doors or windows. An unannounced guest popping in and loitering in the door for a split second too long could see your precious bundle hurtling out the door at warp speed never to be seen again. It sounds dramatic, and chances are your newbie will be fine, but it’s never worth the risk. If you don’t have a porch, secure garden gate or second entrance, consider putting an extra wide pet gate across your hall creating an additional barricade between dog and door!
Harness and lead
Continuing on the theme of security, it’s important to keep your dog on a lead even in your own garden until they’re completely settled. Rommie rescues are renowned for their Houdini skills, with stories of climbing, bolting and even scaling trees to escape! This might just take a few days, but likewise it can take weeks – don’t risk your new baby escaping and ending up in danger or never to be seen again. (Sorry, this sounds dramatic but it really is so important).
Most rescues will never have lived in a house, so they won’t know about toilet etiquette! (so you’ll need to work with dog on lead)
Parkie enjoying life
Thank you very much Esta for taking the time to write this very useful article. We think you have shared some excellent tips. Those around security can't be emphasised enough (we have searched for many a nervous rescue dog!) and we echo your thoughts on the 'take it slowly' front. Really valuable advice. 🐶