A little over a year ago Moss, our young Jack Russell Terrier, found himself in a dog pound labelled as a stray. We will never know if this was really the case or if he was just abandoned. If Moss was lost then nobody looked very hard to find him. Sadly the pounds are overflowing with discarded dogs and there isn’t enough room for all of them. The clock was ticking for Moss. Luckily the volunteer run charity Rescue Remedies stepped up for Moss and saved him before his time ran out and the dreaded “put to sleep” label was attached to his kennel door. This is how we came to adopt him.
When Moss came to us he was clearly a gentle and friendly dog, but other than housetraining, and a rather embarrassing beg, he had no real obedience training. We were fortunate that Kevin Sanderson was recommended to us by Nadia and Adrian following their success with their handsome dogs Dylan and Jed. Kevin met Moss in our home and gave us lots of clear advice on starting to train Moss. Kevin even gave us advice on the type of play that Moss would enjoy the most, which has proved to be a big factor in reward and motivation in training.
We practiced Kevin’s advice and then the day came for our first outdoor training session with him. Our main concern in the beginning was achieving recall. Kevin quickly assessed Moss, our training and most importantly...us. Within minutes Moss’ training line was trailing along the floor and a few minutes later Moss was off lead, with the back up of Zeb, who is Kevin’s highly trained Springer Spaniel.
We will never forget that first sight of Moss enjoying his freedom and sprinting for joy, but returning to us every time we called him or walked away in a different direction. As you can see from the pictures we have never looked back.
In the summer Moss progressed to joining Kevin’s group class. This has not
only helped with obedience but has been fantastic for Moss’ social skills and
confidence. Kevin has also introduced a few aspects of agility into the class in preparation for the agility group that will be starting in spring 2010. As you can see Moss loves this and it uses the obedience that he has achieved in a fun way.
The basic control that we have with Moss and the bond that has developed means that we have a dog that is easy to live with and we can include him in everything that we do. Moss has lots of trips away with us and is always well behaved in hotels. He is always welcome in the homes of our friends and family, even when these homes include children or other dogs.
In fact his calm temperament means that Moss helps us with volunteer dog walking for Rescue Remedies. Moss has even welcomed a dog from the charity into his home as a foster. This dog was very stressed in a kennel. It has been amazing to see how Benjy the foster dog, and dogs that we have walked, have responded to Moss’ relaxed personality and benefited from his company and influence.
Moss makes us laugh every day and we cannot imagine life without him.
www.rescueremedies.co.uk has many dogs like Moss looking for permanent homes, foster homes, walkers, support and donations.
Kevin's Comments: Firstly, a very big thank-you to Annie and Paul for taking the time to share Moss’ story with everyone. It is a wonderful example of how dogs like Moss can find loving and caring home and enrich the lives of everyone around them. It is very much a case of too many unwanted dogs and not enough people willing to give them a second chance and I would urge anyone who is thinking of sharing their home with a new dog to consider all of the hundreds of dogs who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in hopeless situations in rescue kennels. Some of you may already know that my explosives detection dog Zeb came from a rescue kennel having been abandoned there by his previous owners. I am very happy to endorse the work of Rescue Remedies and indeed, of all the rescue kennels that offer a last chance for so many dogs.
Secondly, both Annie and Paul are totally dedicated to Moss' welfare and training. Moss is a very happy and fulfilled dog and is an absolute pleasure to have in class. He has made great progress and is always a very willing student and this is all due to Annie and Paul's enthusiasm and commitment. I am always impressed by Annie’s determination to succeed with Moss and the results in class speak for themselves. Well done to you both and I really look forward to seeing Moss starting the agility classes in the spring.