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Too many Staffies, too many lurchers

On a lovely autumn day yesterday, dad and I (and Billy and Gypsy) joined the walk organised by Swindon's Needy Dogs around Coate Water - the old reservoir that used to serve the Wilts and Berks Canal. I remember Coate Water well - a rural park setting on the outskirts of Swindon; not only a canal feeder way back, but an open swimming pool too in days gone by with an iconic diving board structure that says to me "THIS is Swindon".

I take my hat off to the people of "Swindon's Needy Dogs" - mostly, it appeared, ladies, who were out with their own dogs and a selection of dogs available for adoption. Sadly, the latter group comprising a handful of lurcher / sighthounds and a raft of Staffordshire Bull Terriers - all of them beautiful dogs; some being timid but the majority just wanting to be friends.

The statistics of numbers of dogs who are unwanted is frightening; it's the lucky ones who make it to a rescue such as SNDogs and many, many, many more who are put to sleep through no fault of their own. The fault, in my view, lies with the system and the people who allow for an overbreeding of a domestic animal with supply far outstripping demand. I look into the eyes of that Staffie puppy on the walk and I think "than goodness you are safe, but xx (I was quote a number) are put to sleep every day. Yet as an individual, I can do nothing and I wonder at whether the rescues at times are just putting a sticking plaster on the situation and perhaps even providing a climate in which more dogs are bred than would otherwise be the case.

Dad and I walked slowly and the group was soon ahead of us. Gypsy loves stopping for a sniff, and the autumn made for a pleasant strole. And we caught up with the lady walking the "for adoption" puppy. A mum, and a couple of toddlers with her, were chatitng - "I'm so glad I met you". "I'll go home and have a chat with my husband". Kid with arms around the dog; love at first sight? It seems / seemed almost a barbaric way of doing things - back to the days of putting slaves in the market, and yet what can a rescue do but market the dogs, tug at heart stings. I rest assured, though, that SNDogs do have a house check procedure and that although I may have witnessed "love at first sight", they also know "a dog is not just for Christmas" ... I really hope that what I saw was 3 and 1 coming together, making 6 in love for the mutual happyness of everyone. I hope it works out for them, or is identified as "not in this case" before it's too late to avoid heartbreak. Mum, little lad and his sibling walked on; an initial tear, but then a skip of looking forward as mum said "we'll talk with Dad".

A couple of months back, we fostered Bobby who was in desperate need of temporary - or long term - accommodation in a loving family. Beautiful loving dog. Alas, our Billy was rather jealous and try as we might fur was flying - with the blame on Billy, Bobby being only to blame for his super-friendly, "I want to play" mentality. For the safety of both Billy and Bobby, Bobby is now kennelled at Animal Care (in Lancaster) where they have a policy of keeping dogs for as long as it takes to find the right home.

Bobby is always going to be a hard dog to rehome on a "love at first sight" basis. He's black (and, yes, people do have a bias against black dogs), he's Bull Terrier based (and there's no shortage of those, with an incorrect reputation of 'nasty') with some greyhound (again, there are so many of those).

If on reading this article you think "we would love to have a dog", or if you're looking to add a forever dog to your family, starting at the Christmas period, please take a look at Bobby - [here] - if ever there was a dog wanting to be with someone, loving them and being loved by them, it's Bobby!




(written 2014-11-16)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z203 - Cat and Dog
  [62] Technical Open House - (2004-09-25)
  [96] Variable Scope - (2004-10-22)
  [547] Taking the dog for a walk - (2005-12-29)
  [744] We can offer a room, but we can't operate on a dog - (2006-06-05)
  [771] From cat breeder to Cobol to Perl - (2006-06-21)
  [2029] Also for the eyes of the cat - (2009-02-07)
  [2132] Learning about Lurchers - (2009-04-18)
  [2138] Ski bore ... train bore ... dog bore - (2009-04-24)
  [2140] Beware - giving copyright away when you upload a picture - Dogs Trust - (2009-04-25)
  [2167] Watching the tele - (2009-05-10)
  [2252] Leaping dog, Leaping horse, copyright of old masters - (2009-06-20)
  [2271] Dogs Trust, Dog Show, Newbury - (2009-07-06)
  [2295] The dog is not in trouble - (2009-07-17)
  [2450] Family Gathering at 404, The Spa - (2009-10-11)
  [2451] Gypsy says - (2009-10-12)
  [2456] Bright Eyes - (2009-10-16)
  [2496] A better design of mouth - (2009-11-07)
  [2499] ourdog is Greyhound, Staffie and Ginger Cake - (2009-11-09)
  [2555] Bookkeeping - (2009-12-29)
  [2689] Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze! - (2010-03-23)
  [2787] Sleeping in on Sunday - (2010-05-30)
  [2897] The Land of the Black Labrador - (2010-08-01)
  [3096] Contrast in pictures - (2010-12-20)
  [3324] Rabbit Shelter - (2011-06-12)
  [3338] Return trip - Dogs Trust, Newbury - (2011-06-27)
  [3530] A typical weekend?? - (2011-11-28)
  [3533] No message - just doggy pictures of the new doggy - (2011-11-30)
  [3537] Letting the foster parents know ... too little or too much? - (2011-12-04)
  [3541] I loves Melksham - (2011-12-06)
  [3553] Changes to morning routines - (2011-12-16)
  [3561] Happy Christmas ... a Christmas morning walk in Melksham - (2011-12-25)
  [3606] Gypsy and Billy enjoy the snow - (2012-02-10)
  [3625] An update on Billy the Greyhound and Gypsy the Lurcher - (2012-02-25)
  [3674] Off to walk the dogs - (2012-03-30)
  [3675] Spring 2012 - (2012-03-30)
  [3737] Postcards from Barmouth - (2012-05-20)
  [3906] Taking the lead, not the dog, for a walk. - (2012-10-28)
  [3908] Black dogs at Halloween - (2012-10-31)
  [3920] Challenge for a photographer - (2012-11-10)
  [3936] Lisa is home today ... - (2012-11-26)
  [3943] With us for a year already! - (2012-12-03)
  [4016] Red, yellow, green or pink dog? Yellow Dog Project - (2013-02-23)
  [4130] Soft furnishings up a Welsh Mountain - (2013-07-03)
  [4180] Exceptionally, I sign a petition - on a life and death issue for Irish dogs - (2013-09-20)
  [4189] Who are we - Lisa, Graham, Gypsy and Billy - (2013-10-07)
  [4333] Misty Melksham Morning - (2014-11-30)
  [4417] Crisp morning, fast run - (2015-02-06)
  [4433] Different views of a Welsh Valley - but headed home - (2015-02-20)
  [4507] In favour of adoption rather than puppy purchase - dogs! - (2015-06-07)
  [4517] Black dog day - and Bobby still seeks his new home - (2015-09-26)
  [4526] Day trip to Lancaster - (2015-10-10)
  [4666] Spring at Well House Manor - (2016-03-27)

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Too many Staffies, too many lurchers
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Melksham Campus - how is it going - October 2014
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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