I haven’t managed to find time to give an earlier update as we have been busy here! So the day following my last update (Harley is now Marley), Marleys new mum and dad came to visit and brought along his new brother Ziggy again. Just before they arrived my friend and his daughter knocked on the door, so Marley was going round everyone getting attention from us all and was having the time of his life getting lots of petting and cuddles. His new dad got down on the floor and started playing with Marley using a squeaky teddy and Marley immediately started playing tug gently with him! This is something I have been trying to get Marley interested in since he arrived but it took his new dad to get him started! I think he has chosen them as his new owners as well as the other way around. Sally (age 10), my friends daughter, came on the walk with us and Ziggy, the dogs seemed more interested in each other, as they do each time they’ve met, and were walking side by side most of the walk. Sally took Marleys lead a couple of times and ran with him, when she stopped running Marley made it pretty clear he hadn’t finished running yet and kept her going! This is a far cry from the dog that first arrived at my door, that would grudgingly go a 20 minute walk and just plodded all the way no matter how fast I drove my mobility scooter, he just plodded a bit faster! Then Sally took Ziggy’s lead, whilst the man took Marley’s. The only minor problem was on the way back, Marley urinated and Ziggy went to cover it with his own and Marley took offence to this and had a little bark at Ziggy but no hackles came up and he stopped himself quickly. It’s great to see Marley becoming more excited about going a walk now, he is so cute when he gets excited as his little bum wiggles!
The next day Marley had his post op check up at the vets, and they were very pleased with his healing. I still can’t believe he never once tried to lick his stitches or his Jew claw. So he gas to return to the vets on the 24th of this month to get his second lot of vaccinations and I’m going to get them to check the back of his neck as there is a lump there that I had presumed was a welt from a previous collar being too tight and rubbing him, but when I mentioned it to my dad on the way home from the vets he said that it might be his microchip coming out, which I didn’t know could happen, but whatever it is it is itchy for him. I spoke to the vet on the phone and she said that the microchip working it’s way out can happen but is unusual. If it gets any worse then I have to take him in to get it checked but if it remains the same they will check at his vaccination appointment.
Later that same day, I took Marley out his walk to an enclosed field and as there was no-one else in the field, I put on his long line lead to let him chase a ball and practice his recall. i hadn’t done this since his operation as I thought he might be in pain so didn’t want to over exert him, but after I saw the vet squeeze his testicle sack without so much as a wince from him I realised that he could do a bit more than I had thought. At first he wasn’t interested in the ball until he had toileted and had a sniff around then he dived at the ball, which was just sitting there so we started playing with it, well more him than me as he’d chase the ball then once got it would lie down and chew it rather than return it to me! When I got to him I said leave and he sat up and left it for me to throw again but after a few throws as I was walking towards him he’d jump up into a sit, leaving the ball before I asked him to. He picks things up really quick. I then did a few recalls with him, which he is fantastic at as long as he is giving you his attention and not the ball, even more so if you talk happy. We then returned to throwing the ball and every time he brought the ball back so the bit of recall training sunk in, which was amazing, he’s so intelligent.
We have also been doing more training in the house on a daily basis as I do normally with my two to keep their minds active and use up some of their energy. The only one Marley struggles with is lie down, everything else he does brilliantly. When his new owners were last here, they put a treat down in front of his nose and told Marley to leave, which he did then when told to get the treat he would try to give kisses first then got his treat. This was the first time I’d seen him do this as I’d never done it with him so for him to pick it up just like that, blows my mind!
His new owners are returning on Sunday and the plan is to take Marley through to their house, to let him get used to it and go a walk nearby so he gets the sight and smells of the area. This is not normal in a fostering/adoption process but as we have this extra time we are as well using it wisely to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. We have also been swapping bedding etc back and forward between us so that Ziggy has something in his bed that smells of Marley and Marley has something that smells of Ziggy in his bed, just do they get used to each other’s smells in the house environment. So I will update again on Sunday evening how the day goes and which will also be 4 weeks since he first arrived here.
If you would love a Staffie smile in your life, there are plenty more available for adoption at Staffie Smiles Rescue ( http://www.staffiesmilesrescue.com ) as they save Staffordshire bull terriers from death row all over the U.K and rehome them in Scotland so they can keep in touch with all the owners they rehome to. They have already taken in more than 20 staffies this year and we are only just half way through February! Last weekend some of the volunteers stayed overnight in the kennels with the dogs to raise money for the care of these lovely animals. Don’t despair if you stay out with Scotland as there are many staffies in rescue shelters all over the U.K for various reasons. Please remember that just because a dog has found itself in a rescue centre, usually through no fault of its own, that they are not broken. I have always found rescue dogs, no matter what breed, to be so loving and grateful to you as they know what it is like to be unloved. How could you not love their wee faces?! They will certainly love yours xx