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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".

Coate Water Diving Board, 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!


Bobby looks for a home


(written 2014-11-16)

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

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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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