We adopted a dog from the RSPCA – 1 year on

It’s 20th March 2021… One year to the date that we adopted out pug, Henry, from our local RSPCA.

It’s been a crazy year (thanks Covid), but we have thoroughly enjoyed every minute with the latest addition to our family. Today I am here to share with you exactly what we have learnt in our first year with our rescue pug.

First impressions don’t mean as much as you’d think

The first time we met Henry, he came running indoors to meet us, puffing and panting and immediately cocked his leg. Not the ideal first impression…

We spoke to the staff at the RSPCA and they explained to us that Henry had breathing issues. They told us that he couldn’t walk very far at all and he nearly passed out while eating his food just days before, as he simply could not get enough oxygen into his lungs. However, Henry was booked in for surgery to widen his nostrils and remove some of his wrinkles. This definitely put our mind to rest…

We very quickly realised how easy going and friendly Henry was. He willingly took us into the meeting room and allowed us to play with him, give him belly rubs and lots of attention. He allowed us to walk him around the grounds (albeit slowly because of his breathing issues) and we were blown away by how well he was handling the whole situation. His happy and friendly nature was what made us fall in love with him!

He did, however, continue to wee on each and every visit.

1 year on…

There was no wee! He has literally had zero accidents in the house since we adopted him. Okay, maybe one or two, but not enough to call it an issue.

The operations worked wonders and his breathing is now incredible. It is actually unbelievable how far he has come and he handled the recovery period so well. One year on, he could easily out-walk us. He pants a little in the summer, but on the whole, there really are no issues with his breathing.

He regularly runs up to strangers that he meets on walks, he would happily go home with anyone and he loves to say hello to everyone! However, behind closed doors, and usually when he is snoozy, he is a grumpster. He likes his own space and cuddles are on his terms.

Rescue dogs don’t come with a manual

There is a lot that you just don’t find out about rescue dogs. Unfortunately when a lot of owners give their dogs to the RSPCA, they just don’t give a lot of information.

Some of the questions we asked when we first enquired about Henry were:

  • Why was he put up for adoption?
  • What is his temperament like?
  • Is he a pure pug or a pug cross?
  • Is he house trained?

They couldn’t really tell us much. It sounded like the previous owner had to move away and couldn’t take Henry with him, but that is all they were told. The staff at the RSPCA shared with us anything they learnt about Henry during his time with them and they dealt with any medical issues before he left their care.

Henry’s past owner did leave Henry with a teddy, but that was it. No paperwork, no images, no notes. We were starting from scratch with a dog who had experienced so much but could tell us nothing about those experiences.

1 year on…

We still don’t know about Henry’s past and probably never will.

We have had him DNA tested and found out that he is 7/8 pug (the last eighth is an unknown mix).

We have learnt a lot about his personality over the past year and he definitely has some issues that we need to work on. From his constant barking in the car, to his grumpiness and the fact that he won’t let anyone put their shoes on or open the door without screaming the house down.

Although we know nothing about his past, we want to give him the best future possible. He has a large toy collection, we have learnt his favourite foods (although he is not picky) and he really does live his best life every day.

The RSPCA really do have the dog’s best interests at heart

When you decide to get a dog, you think about what you want and need in your life. It’s as much a question of the dog fitting into your life as you fitting into theirs.

What breed? What size? What temperaments? How much exercise can you give it? Does it need to be good with kids? High energy? Chilled?

When we spotted Henry at our local RSPCA, we already had a pug, Oscar. We weren’t actively looking for another dog, but we knew that if we were to get another, it would definitely be a pug.

Seeing Henry’s face pop up on our Facebook page seemed like fate.

We went in and registered our interest and eagerly waited for the day when we would be chosen as Henry’s perfect match. Once we were chosen, staff at the RSPCA were keen for us to meet Henry several times alone before we introduced Oscar. Once Oscar and Henry finally met, we were encouraged to bring him in often to allow the boys to bond. We could tell that they really did want Henry to go to the best home.

1 year on…

Henry and Oscar are the best of friends and we have the best little family! We may be biased, but we think that the RSPCA made the right choice in choosing us as Henry’s perfect match. He fits into our family perfectly and is given so much love and attention.

We are so grateful to the Isle of Wight RSPCA branch for looking after him so well!

Rescue dogs have a lot of character

The minute we met Henry, we knew he had bags of character. His big happy face and carefree nature. All of the staff loved him and one had even considered taking Henry home. He made everyone smile and you could just tell that he was a unique dog.

1 year on…

Henry still has bags of character and we have discovered more of his funny ways as time has gone on.

He loves sitting on things – from boxes and washing baskets, to the back of the sofa and of course he loves sitting on the humans, or Oscar! If you ever lose something, like your phone, or the remote control, there’s a 90% chance that it is under Henry.

Henry breaks into anything. Christmas made him realise that fun things come in parcels… So if you leave any box or parcel on the floor, he will break into it and he will eat it all. He is curious about everything and scared of nothing!

I’ve already mentioned that he screams like a weirdo when we leave the house, but believe me, it is crazy! He also sings to us… Overall he is an absolute nutter, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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