Sunday, 6 January 2008

A special appeal for Prince, the rottweiller-lite...

Just before Christmas, the newspapers reported that a rottweiller in Yorkshire killed a one-year-old baby. It's hard to imagine anything more awful than losing a child in this horrific way. It also further tarnishes the rottweiller's reputation, despite the fact that most rotties are as soft as butter.

We took on Prince last year, knowing he was a young springer/rottie mix. He was clearly such a divine, bright, soft dog and we felt deperately sorry for him. He had once been much-loved, but after a family split-up, he was stuck in a flat in town with a relative who didn't walk him. Prince was very sad - and in danger of being given away to travellers, as the other family dogs had been.

So Prince arrived a few weeks ago, and went into foster with wonderful foster mum Moira and her flatcoat Ellie in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. As he was so terrific (and looks just like a very fit labrador) we thought he'd quickly find his forever home. But there was a hitch: Prince is a sensitive boy and was shaken by the transport over. He arrived very scared. And when Prince is scared, he growls. Five weeks on, Prince has his confidence back. There is still the occasional rumble indoors when he meets someone new for the first time, but outdoors he's fantastic: brilliant on a lead, terrific recall, great with other dogs and friendly with anyone he meets. It's only when confined that there's any problem and we are confident that this will resolve completely soon. (Prince lived in Ireland with several boisterous young children who hung off his ears and he was totally bomb-proof with them.)

Foster mum Moira has worked wonders with Prince and has total confidence in him. But other commitments mean she cannot keep him for much longer and we're now faced with the awful prospect of putting Prince in kennels, which we know he'd find so traumatic.

Many of our retriever homes are put off by his ancestry, but we know there's someone out there who would adore Prince and could offer him the home he needs. Our behavioursit Lez (a retriever gal herself) thinks he is completely stunning and has offered her ongoing support to anyone who takes Prince on. Lez does competition obedience and says that Prince would be brilliant. But he'd also make a wonderfully loyal, loving family pet for the right person. And, really, because he's so perfect in every other way, he's not a big project.

Is there anyone who could offer Prince a lifeline - either as a foster or a forever home? And if you can't, can I ask you all to put the word out for this gorgeous boy who simply needs a bit of love and understanding to fulfil his immense potential?

Thank you!

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