2 lovely dogs from Black retriever X

2 more dogs rescued by black retriever cross that need a home, contact details at the bottom, as usual. 🙂

Dear all

As some of you will know, we rescued Apollo and Achille from Italy earlier this year. These two dogs had been incarcerated in an Italian “canile” – a kind of state-funded shelter – ever since they were 9-wk-old puppies. They had been there nine years – in a small bare and draughty concrete enclosure, with no heating and only a battered wooden pallet to sleep on. They had never been groomed, never petted, never walked… a truly desperate existence.
We had no idea if it was possible to rehabilitate them after such a long time, but felt we had to try. And so at the end of January, with the help of Loudi, someone I know from rescue in Ireland who now lives in Italy, we moved them to where Loudi lived in Tuscany and she started to work with them.
Their progress was astonishingly quick…they learned to take treats; they began to love the comfy beds we’d bought them; they learned to walk on a lead and they began to explore the world around them.  Amazingly, within just a few weeks, they even began to play with other dogs.
The finally arrived with us three weeks ago and are currently in foster with Andy and Lesley in Derbyshire, where they are learning to live in a house. They are housetrained, get on really well Andy and Lesley’s other dogs and, following a professional groom, are now transformed from the desperately sad creatures they were.
We are now looking for a follow-on foster or possible forever home for the boys – somewhere more rural as they are quite nervous of traffic (they don’t run, just quake), and somewhere with more room than Andy and Lesley, who don’t have a huge garden.  It also needs to be a home with another dog or dogs to help guide them.
Other than being scared of getting into cars, the boys are genuinely easy – fantastic with other dogs; very happy to chill outside during the day; and very good indoors in the eves/night. They are still wary of people – happy to take treats and follow you on a walk, but not very comfortable being touched.  It is still, of course, very early days – less than five months since they were in the “canile” – and it could be some time before they learn to trust enough to actively enjoy human company. (Although Achille is just beginning to show signs that he likes being brushed!)
We are keen to keep them together for now – and very likely for ever. Although we think Apollo would be OK separated, Achille definitely looks for Apollo if he is not there.
They really are are two beautiful souls and a real testament to dogs’ ability to heal despite going through hell. And they don’t have huge needs – just somewhere to chill and just “be” without too much pressure. What they need more than anything else is time.
Apollo and Achille’s amazing story (so-far…) will be featured in the July issue of Dogs Today Magazine.
If you would like to be part of the next chapter , please get in touch asap – and please feel free to pass this on to anyone you think may be able to help.
PS: if you haven’t seen it, you might like to see the video of the day Apollo + Achille arriving in the UK… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98kb2V-Js2g
Jemima Harrison
Black Retriever X Rescue
01672 811851


About Mick C Gorman

Slightly damaged old bloke who is plodding on with more than a little help from a great wife. I have been married for 36 years and have 2 grown up children. I did the usual thing and replaced children with dogs when the nest became empty, best thing I ever did (apart from getting married of course). Life has taken a few interesting turns so far but this Epilepsy thing beats the lot! I love lots of things but in the past have never really stuck with them long enough to be good at them, I am trying harder to be better at a few things rather than okay at loads of things. There is still plenty of time. :-D
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