Saturday, 26 January 2008
I was up filming at Manchester Dog Show last weekend when I got a call from Maura, who runs an Irish rescue, asking for our help. Maura had sent Tangle, an oldie, over to another UK rescue who had placed him in a home with an elderly owner. But 24 hours after Tangle arrived, his new owner was on the phone complaining that he didn't bark when someone came to the door. Then a couple of days later, she rang to say the dog was vicious. Apparently he'd tried to bite first her and then the vet.
Maura was really upset. She'd saved Tangle (above) from being put to sleep in a local pound (after his owners, who had taken the dog in as a stray five years previously, decided to move back to Germany without him). Tangle had shown no hint of aggression in the five weeks he had been with Maura and had got on famously with her other dogs. It sounded like he must have been traumatised by the trip over (it's rare but it happens). Now, the UK rescue wanted to put him on the next van back to Ireland. No one wants to be landed with an aggressive dog and we rely on the Irish rescues to filter out those with real problems. But poor boy. Something had clearly gone very wrong and my heart went out to him.
I said I would help and managed to get Tangle into local kennels until I got back from Manchester on Monday. Promisingly, the kennels reported that he was no bother and when I went to see him on Tuesday, I was met by a total sweetie. Deaf as a post, though - which explains why he proved to be a rubbish guard dog.
We were warned that he would bite if you touched his ears or feet. But he's been totally fine with us and, indeed, enjoys having his ears ruffled. Absolutely no reaction if you touch his feet, either. Yesterday, we took him out for a long walk with two of our dogs. He loved it and when we stopped and lay down on the grass, he came running back and showered us with kisses.
I have a passion for older dogs and Tangle is such a gent that I am sure we'll have no problems finding him a terrific home.
More about the old fella here