Sara is a 18 month old female Rhodesian Ridgeback cross Ibizan Hound (Podenco). Sara was dumped in a bin before she was weaned. Found by a youngster will call Eva, inexperienced in rescue, she did her best. |Soon after rescue Sara she was homed in a less than appropriate home, of which we have few details. But we do know she was not fed well, and allowed to roam on the street at 3 months. Sara has always had an home. Not particularly good homes, but homes nevertheless. When Eva found Sara wandering she took her back, and tried again. This time she was given to students. But the students disappeared at the end of term, didn’t want to or couldn’t take her so left her on the streets.
Eva was told that she was scavenging, raiding bins, and trying to attach herself to anyone who showed her any attention, and she was still barely 4 months old. At this point another kind individual got involved and took her off the street and put out an emotional plea for a foster place, to save her from the killing shelter of Almeri. A temporary placement was found until other arrangements could be made.
This is that foster Mum’s story: Sara came to me at 4 and a 1/2 months. “Sara is such a brave and special girl with a big heart, sometimes you come across a dog in your life that just steals your heart. Sara is that dog. Over and above all the rest, much as I love all my dogs to pieces, Sara has carved a place in my heart and it will always be hers”. Sara was just over 4 months old when she came to me. She even had painted toe nails (!!), she was resource guarding, she was dragging her back leg. The vet said it was weakness from malnutrition. She was skinny, undernourished and terrified of men. The Vet told us she was suffering malnutrition (fed but poor diet or wrong diet) so she was a scavenger. On a proper diet her leg recovered completely. She lived with me, my husband, 3 dogs, and 2 cats, and was excellent.
She had a few issues which we addressed successfully including separation anxiety. I crate trained her and she was happy to be left for reasonable periods. She never soiled in the house. She was obedient and affectionate. A little timid of strange men at first. She was a bit of a barker/ a guarder. When she first came she was possessive over her food and bowls, with the other dogs, but we overcame that and she learned not to be over protective around food. I had her vaccinated and then spayed (around 8 months, 2 months after her first season).
Sara got along fine with all my other animals and was a pleasure to be around, she was an exceptionally loving dog (loved cuddles on the sofa). She is a really affectionate loving dog. The most cuddly dog I’ve ever had. She would romp around with my youngest dog Bella. This is the reason we could not keep her because Bella injured her leg, and needed permanent, gentle exercise and rest to heal, crashing around and wrestling was a big no. We were finding it impossible to keep the dogs apart to maintain ‘low impact exercise’ for Bella.
Sara was always very playful and, very responsive. Full of enthusiasm and the joys of life yet soooo chilled when we chilled. She loves cuddles on the sofa, she was so traumatized when she came to us that we encouraged her to cuddle up on the sofa to help boost her confidence, and feeling of belonging. She learned very quickly. Her recall was perfect. We have had her off the lead on the beach and in the fields. She was wonderful. Sara is house-trained, and has basic training so understands basic commands. She needs more lead work but is doing really well. Her recall is good but on transfer to a new home, would need to bond with her new family before being allowed off the lead.
One of her little foibles is that she barks. I don’t mean all day and night, I mean that she has a loud bark and she is a protector so she likes to alert us to intruders but in her mind that includes birds, tortoises, hedgehogs, anything she heard. This lessoned as she became more secure. She sounds fierce but she’s a softy. She isn’t a nuisance but does likes the sound of her own bark! She is good-natured, intelligent, a bit mischievous, good fun. She has still a way to go before she reaches adulthood.
Sara needs a 6 ft fence, as she has been known to clear our (lower) fence if the dogs next door invite her to play. She is coming to the end of the chewing stage in her life but small items such as children’s’ toys may be too tempting if they are on the floor. She would assume that they were hers without a shadow of a doubt. She might steal teddies and dolls if she had half the chance but she is intelligent and a good learner. I would hate to think that a chewed up precious toy would result in her getting her marching orders.
We have only seen her with children out on walks on the beach. We encountered 3 children ranging in ages from 12 down to toddler with the middle one somewhere between. The children were playing in the sand and Sara was running free. They were running and playing and throwing sand and buckets and making lots of exciting noises as children do. So Sara was curious and went racing up to them, stopping a few feet away, bowing and wagging. When the youngest threw his bucket of sand at her she thought that it was a great game and ran circles around them. Returning, bowing and wagging. When they chased her she thought it was a game and ran away wagging as pups do, returning for more. So my conclusion is that she isn’t afraid and wouldn’t be aggressive. But, depending on the children, could be a bit giddy if they were over excitable. Sara is not a dog that would be aggressive with them, more likely fearful if they were brutal with her.
Would Sara benefit from a playmate. I can only say that yes, Sara loved to play with my youngest and she is great with all other dogs that she meets, very friendly and waggy. Never aggressive even when attacked by other dogs (runs away). But, and a BIG but, she didn’t like to share her humans. She always pushed the others away, even the cats, if they came near. She wanted me for herself. She couldn’t have me to herself and she wasn’t aggressive because of it (aside a bit of resource guarding in the first few days which was probably my fault because I gave her too much attention) but she did make it clear that she felt ‘miffed’ about sharing her humans. We used to think that she would be very happy as an ‘only dog’ provided that she went to socialising classes and puppy playtimes”
Our opinion: We can confirm that everything Sara’s foster mum has said is correct. She is a fabulous dog. She is a delight to live with. Sara does push the others out of the way if she wants affection, and shouts at them to back away from the door if we are coming through, oh and she takes the blankets outside, sometimes pulling them out from under another dog. She also travels well, loves to run, has a super recall. She is already a bit of a globe trotter having lived in Spain, France and the UK and hence has a valid Pets Passport.
Sara is currently living with Fionna at the Sanctuary, near Kidwelly in South Wales.
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