My husband Michael and I had Faith in our vet and Hope in our hearts that our 8 year old home-bred bitch Ciara who was suffering from a liver tumour would live pain free for a few months more. Alas! It was not to be, we loved her too much to let her suffer so we did the kindest thing and went on that dreaded one-way visit to the vets. As poorly as she was she even tried to wag her tail when she saw him.
Her poor mother Remy, herself a rescue dog, was waiting at home and wondering where her constant companion, and her eyes and ears, had gone. It was devastating to see. So What next ………. ??
We felt like the bottom had dropped out of our world, there was such a big hole in our lives. Then, one day we got a phone call from Claire and Sue saying they had a young male of 8 months in Welfare that needed a forever home.
“A male” I exclaimed, “We’re really only used to females”. However we did seriously give it some thought, helped by a photograph that melted your heart! (Need I say more) and, as they say …… the rest is history.
As we live in SW Cork we made the trip over to UK and brought this hyper-active boy home. We called him Oscar, (not his original name) and set about trying to teach him some manners. First of all we had to try to gain his trust as he was very wary he may have to ‘move on’. He was constantly defiant and stubborn but maybe this was the only way he knew he could get attention. We think, and have no proof whatsoever, that he was caged an awful lot as he was so ready to crawl into the smallest place. We have never crated him at all apart from to bring him home in the car.
If he was being naughty we would call him over but he would just run around you in ever increasing circles barking at you. Again, and reading between the lines maybe he was afraid of what punishment he may get. Ignoring him was the answer, he wasn’t impressed that we didn’t react to him so he’d try something else until he was totally bored, then he would come to you and we’d give him a love and tell him what a good boy he was. He was now realising he liked this fuss.
Gradually as time went by the circles became less and less and his behaviour improved, he was coming to us more readily, and of course, there was always a treat waiting for him. Patience and kindness was our weapon, maybe actions he’d not encountered before. He also had the example of Remy, to follow and he respected her too as she wouldn’t stand any nonsense!
Very soon his re-call to the whistle was 98% perfect – unless there was something really exciting to make him selectively deaf, but he was, afterall, only 10 months old and had had a very shaky start in his short life. He was starting to put a bit of weight back on and was looking muscular now. We gave him loads of love and trust, and the controlled freedom he needed. In return he’s rewarded us with his love and trust and faithfulness.
We now have another rescue boy, who is only 18 months. This was a private rescue due to the owners work commitments because of the recession here in Ireland. The two of them are good company for each other and romp and play in the fields together.
We don’t regret one minute of our time with the dogs we’ve rescued, quite the contrary, it’s been a wonderful experience knowing you have given a stable home to a dog that was in the wrong place at the wrong time through no fault of his/her own.
In return they repay you with more than their love. What more could you ask for. It is such a great pity that so many need to be rescued. Why? They would be lost without the Welfare/Rescue Organisations.
As for Oscar ……… he’s grown up into the most handsome, loving, hilarious, gentle giant that has exceeded all our expectations and repaid us more than we could have hoped for. I think he knows he’s found his forever home!!
Our thanks and gratitude go to the Hungarian Vizsla Club Welfare Society and all those who work so hard behind the scenes to reduce the sadness of this wonderful, sensitive, velcro breed, by trying to find them a stress free environment, and to live with people who love and understand them.
Pat Cannon (Owner)
There are several ways you can support the charity, and not just by adopting or fostering a Vizsla.