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Introducing Bear...

Discussion in 'A Place To Discuss And Show Off All Other Pets' started by Lisa7284, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. JessCheekyMia

    JessCheekyMia Regular Member

    Awww bless him. He does look comfy on his bed. You are a wonderful person @Lisa7284, you have given him a chance in life. He is so lucky he was taken into your home where he will be happy and well cared for.
    Lisa7284 likes this.
  2. plumsmum

    plumsmum Regular Member

    @Lisa7284 you know you said if ever we adopt another . . . . ? Well if now isnt the right time how about seeing if there is a doggy friend out there in the neighbourhood for him? Nothing brings a dog out of himself like another dog to play with?
    Lisa7284 likes this.
  3. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  4. Lisa7284

    Lisa7284 Regular Member

    I agree @plumsmum but Bear is going to need a lot of time and money spent on him at the moment until he is healthy again. Also I want to get to know him and his personality before introducing another dog. Plus introducing a new routine to Alfie is quite stressful for him- I need to be careful I don't trigger his plucking.

    I think I am going to leave it about a year, then we will look to adopt again :)

    @JessCheekyMia he is amazing- he is doing so well. He has learnt to use steps- which is good because he is way too big to lift. He is far more playful today and loves a good tummy rub! He met some dogs on our walk today- they were going crazy but he didn't react at all. Guess that is down to being constantly surrounded by barking dogs at the shelter.
  5. JessCheekyMia

    JessCheekyMia Regular Member

    Way to go bear :aplastao:. You have obviously you the right touch with dogs Lisa. I am gonna call you the dog wisperer x
  6. Lisa7284

    Lisa7284 Regular Member

    @dianaT he is doing very well. Today I have been vacuuming and mopping. He was very curious of the vacuum but was wary of the mop. Alfie keeps whistling for him and poor Bear keeps responding- he stands there looking at Alfie waiting for a treat :lol:
  7. Lisa7284

    Lisa7284 Regular Member

    @JessCheekyMia I think he is just enjoying the peace and quiet. It was so noisy at the shelter. He is eating his 4 small meals a day plus his treats and his upset stomach has gone, so I think he has a little bit more energy. His eye drops are working and his eyes look a lot better and he has stopped the gnawing and licking of his front paws so they are not open and bleeding.
    plumsmum, JessCheekyMia and dianaT like this.
  8. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Dear dear Bear it sounds like he is settling already, do you know his history and how long he had been in the kennels.
    Lisa7284 likes this.
  9. JessCheekyMia

    JessCheekyMia Regular Member

    That is so positive news. X
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  10. Lisa7284

    Lisa7284 Regular Member

    @dianaT the vet estimated he is around 7-8 years old. The shelter said due to the type of dog he is he would have been used to guard either property or livestock. Where he comes from people do not see the large dogs as pets. They said once he got older he was probably abandoned and replaced by a younger dog. He was reported to the shelter just over a year ago as he had been abandoned in the campo. They picked him up and brought him to the shelter. They said he was a little underweight and riddled with fleas and ticks.

    They all said straight away they could tell he wasn't going to do well in the kennels- they are too overcrowded and are only meant to house 130 dogs- not 350+. Even though he is large, he is very laid-back and not dominant so a few of the other dogs would attack him. It is common there- the dog get so stressed that if one attacks another dog, the rest of the dogs in that pen will also attack it (sometimes they even kill the dog). The stress was causing his fur to fall out and he started licking and gnawing at all his legs and then he stopped eating all together and started starving himself. 4 of the volunteers paid for him to be moved to another 'private' shelter where they paid 100 euros a month for him (they were so worried he was going to die and he is such a sweet dog).

    The other shelter doesn't have people there all day as there are only 10 dogs so he was very lonely. His fur started to grow back but he still wasn't putting the weight back on or stopping biting his legs. Susanna (a volunteer) said he had given up and was going to let himself die (she said it happens a lot with the dogs there). That is when Lucia (one of the volunteers) posted about him in a Facebook group I am a member of. She was so worried because he was going to have to go back to the main shelter and they knew if he did he would die. Lots of people liked his posts and commented. A few showed interest but no one came forward to adopt him (I think because of his age and health). The moment I saw his face and read his story I knew I wanted to give him a chance. At his age never to have been in a home or loved as part of a family is very sad.

    They do not usually adopt out a dog who is as underweight as Bear but knew he wouldn't get any better at the shelter so decided to let us have him- we understand the risks we have taken and that this will be a process to get him healthy again. We have found a great vet who will help.
    plumsmum and TomsMum like this.
  11. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    What a sad story not only for Bear but so many dogs too.
    Thank goodness you adopted him he will want for nothing now and be loved and cared for forever.
    I have a feeling it may be the centre that Kendra got Ruffy from?
    plumsmum and Lisa7284 like this.
  12. Lisa7284

    Lisa7284 Regular Member

    They do adopt the dogs out to most European countries so maybe? They have started an education program in the local school and 20 students come once a month to walk some of the dogs. They are hoping that they can make the younger generation view the dogs and how they should be treated differently. The local veterinary university provide the veterinary care for the dogs.

    It is a shame we do not live closer or I would definitely volunteer for them- I have no idea how 10 people are meant to look after more than 300 dogs. The people who work there really are amazing.
    plumsmum and dianaT like this.
  13. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    So glad that Bear is settling in well xxx
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  14. Scarf

    Scarf Regular Member

    Was ugly crying throughout this thread. How is he?

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L31 using Tapatalk
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  15. plumsmum

    plumsmum Regular Member

    Can we have an updated pic of your (teddy) Bear, he is so adorable?
  16. Lisa7284

    Lisa7284 Regular Member

    He is doing really well, thanks for asking. He has now had 2 vet visits and is putting on lots of weight- you can't see his ribs so much and his hip bones aren't so pronounced. When we went to the first vet visit she was quite concerned about some old injuries that had been left to heal incorrectly- the main one being damage to one of his hips. It didn't help that all the muscles in his back legs had wasted away. We have been taking him on a slow, steady walks every day (as advised) and the vet was very happy with the muscle he is building. I can see it myself, he is so much stronger. When we got him it was like he was walking on stilts and could fall at any minute. He now walks steady and can climb on the settee (he is so big he just walks up it). Once he has put some more weight on he can go for his x-rays. The vet said there may be nothing we can do for the healed injuries but it is important to know what they are to ensure he gets the correct exercise and to know if they will cause problems in the future. He had lots of fur loss (they think it was due to the stress of living in such crowded and terrible conditions at the shelter), but it is all growing back nicely- just a little patch left to grow now.

    We are onto shower number 3 and he is beginning to smell better and he looks so much cleaner. I don't think I have ever known a dog smell like he did and to touch his fur was awful- it was so dirty.

    Everywhere I take him the Spanish people stop and tell me "mucho grande,' he is- but then again most of the people around here seem to keep lapdogs :)

    The hardest thing at first was how he would cower and flinch from me when I went to stroke him- especially if I went near his head. However he has had so many cuddles and ears scratches from me he doesn't do it very often now. But if you touch him and he doesn't see you before you do it, he jumps and cowers away from you- but it is getting better. There is a British man who lives across the riverbed who we have seen a few times when we are walking. A few days ago he came over to us to say hello to Bear. Bear was very scared around him but this man was lovely and got down on his knees so he wasn't so tall. Then he let Bear smell him a lot- he was very calm and moved slowly and after a while Bear stood still for the man to stroke him.

    He is adjusting to living inside really well and has learnt to use the stairs. He is much better at walking on rugs and carpet and doesn't take so long to walk through door frames.

    He knows his new name well and always responds to it now. His clicker has just arrived so I will start clicker training with him now. He seems to pick things up quickly and is a smart dog. We are still not getting anywhere with toys- he just doesn't know what to do with them. I did come downstairs to see him sleeping, cuddling his ball and rope. I have got him a KONG and fill it with treats for when we leave him. He doesn't do much with it and I usually end up helping him get the stuff out.

    He LOVES his bed. He sleeps quite a bit, which we have been told is normal for adopted dogs, especially in the first few weeks. Plus he is an older dog and it is quite warm here at the moment (although the house stays nice and cool). He is shedding his winter coat...it's a lot!

    He does suffer from separation anxiety, especially if I leave him. I went out this morning for a few hours but my mum was home. She said he cried and paced the entire time. When I am home he is my shadow. I have been doing some reading on what I can do to try and help him with this. He struggles at night but we live in an old cortijo and our stairs would be a deathtrap for him so he can't stay in one of our bedrooms. He barked all night a few nights ago so the following night I stayed downstairs. I don't want to get him used to this so last night I went to bed. He howled for quite some time but did settle eventually. I am leaving an item of my clothing down with him tonight to see if that helps.

    He is very good with Alfie. They are never allowed out together but Bear walks around Alfie's cage. Alfie loves training him and is doing a better job with the training than I am! When he whistles Bear goes to the front of the cage and sits waiting....I pretty sure Alfie has been feeding him some veggies! But they are peacefully co-existing (which is all I want).

    He is a wonderful dog and is very gentle and loving. I try not to think about the life he had before as it makes me so mad and upset. But apparently dogs live in the 'now,' so I am going to do the same. He is happy now- in fact he is very happy as my mum just gave him a big bone with lots of meat on it.
    TomsMum, Kerin and dianaT like this.
  17. Lisa7284

    Lisa7284 Regular Member

    The picture on the left is a few days before we collected him and is quite a flattering one- he looked much worse in person. The second one I took a few days ago when he was sleeping just after his walk.
  18. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Aww Lisa thank you so much for the update on gorgeous Bear. he is a lucky chap and deserves all the loving care he is now getting and a brand new life. Sadly I know what you mean re cowering away, not knowing how to play with toys and many other things, we had this with Arthur who had been shut away in a barn on his own for goodness knows how long. But...we have finally got there more or less but we cannot both go out and leave him alone for more than an hour and then I give him (and Max) a filled bone each to chew - better than the furniture! It sounds like you are heading in the right direction with lovely Bear, give him a hug from me xx
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  19. Lisa7284

    Lisa7284 Regular Member

    @dianaT it is so sad when you hear dogs are left to live alone- they are pack animals and crave company. It hasn't even been 3 weeks yet and he is improving so much, I am hoping after he has been here a while he will know not to be afraid of people. We definitely need to find something which will distract him when I am gone. Sounds like Arthur got lucky with his forever home too :)
    dianaT likes this.
  20. Kerin

    Kerin Regular Member

    He's a stunning big lad Lisa, I can see the difference just a couple of weeks with you and your mum has made to him! He's really handsome and I'm sure that in time, with your love and understanding he'll gain loads more confidence :) x

    Sent from my Moto G (5) using Tapatalk
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