Rescue Remedies Diary Feb 2020 - April 2020

A behind the scenes look at our work
xxlynne
Posts: 9478
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:01 am

Re: Rescue Remedies Diary Feb 2020 - April 2020

Post by xxlynne »

Monday morning and the joy as usual as we as a Staff team get down to work. Its a wonderful feeling witnessing the projects on site set live again after a weekend pause. Today we are gutting our little terrier room adjacent to the old walkers room; securing Ferdy's run gate ...its the second one he as forced off the wall in 2 weeks, well he is a big boy, and raising a run wall which is in need of repair anyway.

Had a backbreaking day yesterday doing accounts for 12 hours with a pleasure break in between homing Xena. The phone is going all day as people are desperate to home a homeless. Lots of foster offers but as a Rescue we have to put our efforts into addressing the homing offers as this offers our dogs security and allows us to help the next! Within 20 days we have received 535 Homing Questionnaire and in 12 days we have received 56 fostering questionnaires.

My mother is in isolation and had a tearful day yesterday. It made me appreciate what an optimist I am and I was pointing out all the opportunities and positive aspects she is able to benefit from at this point in time. It is special times with a lovely spring feel in the air and you can see the stress dropping away from the volunteers who visit and give their all. In the background a dark dark enemy rips through the hearts of families and work collegues. Aware that many volunteers would love to come here, those that do are coming daily if not 3 -4 times a week. I can never really mention names as the list then gets longer and longer and its then who don't mentioned that breaks the heart, but we all give our special thanks the Anne and April who are always here and play such an invaluable role with our dogs and support the kennels in the way they work so closely with the needs of the kennel staff too.

Continuing to have to police the site as finding volunteers falling into conversations and stopping and potentially putting themselves and others at risk. The danger being where a person calls a dog over to them or admires the dog and then the dog is physically bringing the walkers close to each other. Most people are conscious of the strict hand washing and distancing rules. We try not to have 2 walkers managing 2 dogs unless they are from the same household. We heard yesterday one of the nurses from our local hospital died of Covid 19 which is a reminder of why we need to protect the NHS and do our very very best.

Over the last 2 weeks we have helped 9 desperate dogs and taken back 2 returns. We have also homings
Layla SR 7 bravo1.gif
Grayson XL 7 positivo1.gif
Raffa TR 8 wheyhey.gif
Chewy TR 8 bighug.gif
Logan RR 9 Kiss of love.gif
Marshall RR 10 roflmao.gif
Alfred RR 11 Heart fill with love.gif]
Alyson RR 12 - 8 love25.gif
Kipp TR 12 love together.gif]
LittleLil SR 13 lol.gif
Skye SR 13 Heart fill with love.gif]
Banjo TR 14 welcomehome.gif
Bailey RR 17 foxes_295.gif
Cassie (Cassandra) RR 17 yougogirl.gif
Bertie (Bear) RR 18 - 15 k2715.gif
George TR 19 mylove.gif
Xena SR 19 - 15 0077.gif

Our approach in the Rescue is very simple and very effective. We are not interested in assessing and labelling our dogs with human interpretations of their behaviours. They are adapting to a completely different lifestyle; regime; diet; significant people in their lives. Their behaviours are transitional and serve them at this particular point in time, and they will change. As humans we carry too much in our heads, we intellectualise everything. Dogs thankfully don't and are very adaptive. You soon learn when engaging with dogs, they are superior to us, freer and far more adaptive than we are as a species. We are aware that during their 10 hours engagement at the kennels every encounter is key, our handling and approaches need to be genuine, sincere and natural: This promotes their trust. A clear open heart is what the dog reads from us. Our volunteers learn from our dogs. You can never be an expert and lay it on a dog... dogs are individuals and everyone has different needs. So people's flexibility to engage and sensitively read a dog's body language is key, but this needs to be more subliminal than conscious. Our dogs have off days like we do, they get tired within a kennel environment and need down time. Each one of us strikes up our own relationship with a dog and gains their trust. When we learn from our dogs, what their needs are, we promote their self-confidence, their healing. They draw on their past, dysfunctional past and also remember the love they first had as pups. I don't seek to use controlling or even training our dogs. Many terms are banded around which try to formalise behaviours which are often far to harsh or prescriptive; They can do more harm that good. Trigger stacking is the most common one banded about far too loosely. A dog can build up frustrations ...so you exercise, and occupy a dog to allow their energy to find constructive outlets. Other common labels are dominant traits or separation anxiety. They are interpretative terms but have broad gradations and a dog will move in, out and beyond these easily. Labels slapped on to a dog make the dog a victim. Personally I am down in there with my friends, not standing above them getting them to do what I want, analysing and judging. We need to see our friend in front of us, not a dog with problems. To train, you need a stable, secure and constistant parameters and personnel. Our dogs don't have these, but they are intelligent and naturally learning with or without our help. We allow our dogs to find themselves, their self confidence, trust with people and around other dogs and regaining their health. Our dogs leave us with self belief; having formed special friends; understanding formal walks on a lead and being securely managed a shared territory with other dogs and around traffic. As we are walking with them we understand their walks are more about smell than sight; they need a slack lead to engage in their walks, privacy to find relief and confidence and support to trust others around them. Our dogs learn to engage in play, cuddles and receive the kind human touch and offer love back. Calibration is a word we use a lot in therapy...so a dog learns how to calibrate so they aren't inadvertently biting you when welcoming you, but having control of strength. Dogs should learn this living within a litter pack, many of them never have this opportunity. Dogs work through their chewing phase ..they learn to use their mouths with the same importance children learn eye -hand co-ordination. So if our dogs bite us, we immediately help them by understanding them e.g. tone their energy down and helping them to keep their energy under their control, and give reassurance. Although I have trained as a therapist and spent many years training other therapists, and naturally use my instincts within the dog sphere, I am very conscious my training with dogs has come directly from dogs. I have been trained by thousands of dogs and still learning. When I see our walkers who have been walking for 6 months or more achieve that gravitas with dogs, I smile yes they have been trained up by the most highly qualified professors in their field.. our darling dogs.
xxlynne
Posts: 9478
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:01 am

Re: Rescue Remedies Diary Feb 2020 - April 2020

Post by xxlynne »

What a week: Lovely homings (Families) just kept coming and coming. A great team, collegiate feeling on site, which makes such a big impact on every dog and person’s lives. To come and give to our dogs and our dogs give so much more back!
The Boys are venturing out of their kennels of an evening
The Boys are venturing out of their kennels of an evening
A few thoughts on Homings:
Approach: First principle is we are DOG centred. We don't fit our dogs to families; we are centred in our dog's needs and exploring the opportunities different families offer with risk analysis in the front of our minds. MOST people don’t get this perspective and instinctively ‘People please’. We people please by getting it right for our dog. We are guardians for our dog's futures with a long term vision into the safety and stability on offer. Our process is an adoption process not a purchase retail process. Antennae tuned and there is an awareness of the fragility of the possible home offer, but also an instinctive sense as to whether the family will rise to the needs and how much we can invest in the family to settle our dog in. Any situation is only as strong as the weakest element.
Loki unlocked!
Loki unlocked!
Matching: You can play it is very safe - always looking for breed experience and testimony on rising to challenges and ability to adjust family circumstance to accommodate the needs of previous dogs, however we aim to open families up to Rescue. We are conscious a family is often about to go through adjustments from an older dog to accommodating a ‘young vibrant’ dog. Sometimes people talk the talk and don’t walk the walk. Breed Trait awareness is key, but ‘what their dream dog’ provides, needs to be thoroughly explored. We do aim to match so well that Rescue is a positive easy experience, even though we have always helped the more complex dogs. Accommodation of our dogs core needs and capitalising on their gifts. We always say if you get a puppy it’s a gamble as to which adult dog you have under your care in 15 months time. With a Rescue dog on the whole, allowing for a 3-6 month settling period (not 36 hours as so many people ACTUALLY expect), a dog’s ‘issues’ can complement the right family’s needs. You know what you are getting. Our Homing Questionnaires has 72 essential questions which we need to really get a feel of the expectations on our dog. Some accomplished dogs can ‘carry’ a family, particularly the older mellow fellows. Most of our dogs need kindness; tolerance and supportive therapeutic measures to gradually gain a strong trust bond between humans and other animals in the home. We have a regular saying in the homing team “Its a big ask for any incoming dog”. So we are very clear on what we are looking for, for each of our dogs, BUT can see the individuality of each homing offer. We see when circumstances are appropriate, in the interests of our dogs. The Homing Team can come across as direct as we explore whether we can match any of our dogs. We turn down a lot of offers basically because we do not have the easy peasy dogs to fulfil the expectations on our dogs. Safety consciousness is also very much in our DNA and we do not compromise on safety. A very early lesson for me was the recognition our dogs have very nearly lost their lives at least once, and certainly have lost at least one home, before coming to us. We have a duty of honour to ensure our dogs receive the assurance we will give them families with gumption, tolerance and stoic qualities to extend out into their future lives.
Chynna doll!
Chynna doll!
Rejection: We are not looking to fit our dogs to family’s needs. Yes I say it again because people have to understand how many families we just can’t home to, who are astounded that having seen walker’s testimonies, wonderful pictures, fall in love with a dog of their dreams, are rejected (kindly). I can give 1,000 examples of how one feature on a homing questionnaire or an interview can rule out a dog, or all our dogs. Life styles that do not meet our dog’s needs. We rarely would home a dog in with tightly controlling families i.e. walk to heel ... we walk to heal! Concerned around use of crates (Cages as I call them) in the house; Furniture on invite; Kitchen living; Dog flaps into garden. Our ’pet’ hates are wrap around gardens so open access to front gardens; Railway lines at the bottom of the garden; Balconies on flats; Swimming pools without secure barriers; Front doors with open access to open plan rooms; Dog walkers who walk in laissez faire large groups or end up having dogs in the vans for 4 hours as they collect and deliver. We not only know horror stories from families but have lived them for our dogs. We receive a lot of abuse; bad reviews on Google as people vent their spleen for not getting the dog they want, quibble our ‘on lead’ policy. The common abuse is ‘you don’t want to home your dogs, who have been with you for years’ indeed our dogs haven’t waited this long for the right family, for us to get it so wrong for them. Few Rescues will stand by their dogs for years as we do and yet people blame us for it. Many Rescues 3 months max. and a ‘decision’ is made. Believe us when we see the right home circumstance for one of our dogs we offer but ofcourse some then decline on age/ size/ colour/ etc. Then the blackmail ‘I can go and get a puppy anywhere’… yes indeed if you have no concerns for ethics of puppy farming or foreign imports. It is a very emotional game within the field of Dog Rescue but we need to stand firm and be the rock that our dogs need us to be.
Ho hey Henry
Ho hey Henry
Quinn-i-essential
Quinn-i-essential
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