Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Two new family members!


Last week was a big one for our household.  These two little cuties moved in with us.

Near the end of last year I talked with my husband about adopting a senior rescue dog, and I started having saved searches on TradeMe (our version of eBay) sent to me of dogs in our area.  Early last week I received an email notification from our local SPCA that they had two little Brussels Griffons, rescued along with six others from a neglectful breeder.  They were paired off and sent to different SPCAs.

I don't know much about them, but Daphne on the left is four, and Chloe on the right is two.  They have been with a foster mum for six months, being socialised and getting healthier.  They are still very nervous and it will take a long while for them to get to trust us (particularly my husband, perhaps the breeder was male), but I have time.

I'm sure they were just left in cages and bred over and over.  'Used and abused' were the SPCA lady's words.

But in less than a week they have changed a lot, so imagine what they will be like in a month, six months or a year.  They are SUCH sweethearts, and already Daphne has gained a lot of confidence.  She sneaks in under my desk and prevents me from doing my writing...

How could you resist a face like that???



I feel so grateful that I came across these two needing a home, when I am here most of the time and we have plenty of space for them.  Not that they need much, they are about the same size as our cats, who, by the way have been total superstars about the new girls coming to live with them.  They tend to ignore them and only seem mildly interested to see small dogs roaming the house.

My husband spent Saturday building a run for them, because even though we live on four acres, there are a lot of places for small, nervous dogs to hide, and I don't want to lose them.  He said to me 'I'm not a builder', but did an amazing job of the run, and it's huge too.  I just hope they can't jump too high! They are on long leashes when out there at the moment, just in case...

View from the dog-run :)  There is plenty of shelter on the other side too.


I feel a bit bad about having pure-breed dogs, as I've always been pro-rescue, but these little guys really needed a good and loving home, where they can have the time to come out of their shells.  A quiet and stable home with a stay-at-home-pet-mum swung it for me I think.

Napping outside in the covered area off their run


So, when I asked the Universe last year to send me a senior dog who needed a home, the Universe delivered :)  They're not quite as old as I imagined, and there are two of them, but obviously we all needed to meet each other.

I'd love you to tell me about your pets in the comments:  type, names, ages, everything!  And if you have a funny story, all the better.  For me, I think the funniest thing at the moment is Daphne exploring the house.  Chloe is much more reserved so still hides away in corners, but you'll be sitting on the sofa and see a little head pop around the corner, then dash off - it's Daphne.  She'll gradually get closer at closer - out and back, out and back.  And once she even hopped up onto my lap.  So cute.

If you have any knowledge, advice or tips on Griffon dogs, I'd love to hear it too!

~~Fiona~~

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49 comments:

  1. Long time lurker, first time commenter. LOVE your new babies! They will be so happy with you for a long long time, I’m sure. I have a little 4 year old Australian terrier named Abbey. She is a bundle of character and cheekiness. One of the cutest things I remember her doing as a puppy is trying to bring a massive palm frond (a couple of metres long) in through her little doggy door. Never a dull moment! They bring such love and laughter. Thank you for your blog - you have inspired me in so many ways - cultivating a more simple and chic style of living, embracing luxurious frugality, and thinking about ‘trying’ to do some writing one of these days! ����
    Susan from Perth x

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    1. Abbey sounds adorable, Susan! We had Aubrey dog many year ago, who was very Australian-terrier like (from the pound). I love all terriers :) Love the palm frond story too! Thank you.

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  2. Congratulations - they are adorable!
    We have a 12 year old black labrador called Kesta. She was re-homed to us at nearly 3 and has been a complete joy. She's an old lady now - deaf, lame and poor-sighted but still enjoys her food and a wee walk every day.

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  3. lovely new family members, Fiona. So much love with our fur babies, and so wonderful that they have a new life of being free and loved. So special

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  4. So exciting! The only advice I have is that if they have a hard time warming up to P , this is what worked for us. Our rescue dog was TERRIFIED of all men, particularly my husband. We were given advice for him to ignore her completely. He did. It took about four months though. A LONG time. But now he is her hands down favorite. She adores him the most.

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    1. That's wonderful advice thank you Kristi. We started it today :)

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  5. Bless you! Time and gentleness and they will come round. Our beautiful rescue dog from the UAE had been so badly beaten it took two years before we could touch her without her flinching. We found a great trainer when we brought her back to Australia and she improved in confidence and happiness so much! (They have lots of info online Urban Dog Training.com.au). We joke that the rescue dog rescued us, she made our house a home. Two lucky doggies! Sam

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    1. Thanks for that link Sam, I will take a look. I agree that rescue pets give as much as they receive. Our home would not be the same without them.

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  6. Hi Fiona, I think what you and your husband are doing is the very definition of rescue! I don't have any pet stories, but I wish you all the best with Chloe and Daphne!

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  7. I'm so pleased to hear this. We have rescued a dog from a breeder, too. She loved the fact that a doggy friend was waiting here for her when she arrived, so I think it is very good that you have two of these poor darlings, they understand and help each other. We have had her over five years now, but she still has her problems. I may not pick her up, she runs away if I reach down my hands to her. Things have to be done her way. In future, we will continue to adopt older dogs. Don't feel bad about their being pure bred. Pure breds need re-homing, too! Both our dogs are pure breds, we have our favourite breeds, Tibetan spaniels and Cavalier King Charles spaniels and intend, if possible, to stick to these.
    Mari-Hélène

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    1. Mari-Helene, I am very glad they have each other too. Happily the SPCA would only adopt them together.

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  8. So happy for you. 5 years ago my rescue was rehomed to me as a 3 month old! She is loaded with personality, smart as a whip and so funny I named her Lucille Ball! Did a DNA test for her and they refunded my $$ because she had so many breeds none stood out! She brings m love and laughter each and every day --- enjoy!

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    1. That is the funniest story about the DNA test, Laura!!

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  9. Such a cute pair of dogs and such lucky dogs to have your home as theirs! They will change so much this first year with you and come to trust both of you. We still have our rescued mini poodle who also had been abused and was 1 1/2 when we got her. She has been with us 7 years now and it took a long time for her not to flinch when we reached for her. Now we ask "may I pet you?" and she comes to us or stands still. Still takes a long time to make a new human friend but then is a friend for life. A very happy dog overall and she has brought us much happiness too. Enjoy your new fur babies.

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    1. Your girl sounds adorable, what a sweetheart Juhli :)

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  10. Love your new additions Fiona. Just be patient with them and they will come around.

    We rescued a pure bred, 4-5 year old Springer Spaniel and she was the light of my life. We lost her in Sept at a ripe old age. Had we not taken her she'd have been put down as she'd already been at the shelter for 3 months. Later we adopted a mix breed puppy who's mama was rescued from a puppy mill operation from our local Humane Society. We still have her and she's also a joy. Almost two years ago we added a labradoodle, not a rescue, to our home to keep the little dog company (knowing our Springer was nearing the end of her life, but she kept hanging in for another 18 months)

    No matter pure bred, mutt, rescued or not, all dogs need a loving and caring home. Enjoy your new family members.

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    1. I have to remember patience every day, Cindy, not because I am a meanie, but I just want them to see how safe they are but can't tell them! I know I will have to let the days tell them that. Your doggie family sounds beautiful, RIP to your lovely springer spaniel.

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  11. Congratulations on Chloe and Daphne! What sweet names - were they inspired by someone or did you just favor them? They are both precious little babies.
    We have a Papillion who recently had his 14th birthday. We love him so. When we are sitting on the couch at night watching tv, he will come and give me a kiss before he hops down to go and sit w/my husband.
    Pets are such gifts - they really do make a house a home.

    Kay

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    1. Your Papillion is a treat, what a sweet boy. Your heart must melt when he kisses you :)

      They were named when we adopted them, but those weren't their original names from the breeder. My mum told me there is a 'Daphnis and Chloe' opera! I'm not sure if that is a coincidence or not. The opera description is: 'a raunchy story of two innocent country youths who are initiated into the art of love by the lecherous God Pan and a horde of rowdy Bacchantes'. Sounds like the opposite of our Daphne and Chloe!! They are loving (or will do) being innocent country youths now.

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    2. So fun to know this! By the way, your mother is beautiful, as you are; loved seeing pictures recently. Also, I purchased "31 Chic Days" and I am loving it. Kay

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  12. They are both so adorable! Congratulations on your new additions. I'm sure they are so happy to be in your home and rescued and also loving all the space they have to run around and feel safe and secure. Loved seeing this!

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  13. How adorable! Good for you to elect to welcome rescue dogs into your life. When I was about to retire, I began a search for a rescue dog to add to our family. It had to be hypoallergenic because of husband and daughter's allergies. I found a rescue that had a Schnauzer about 6-7 years old. We drove to Austin from San Antonio and there we found Sammy who happened to be a pure bred Schnauzer but we think the breeder botched his tail. Sammy had been in several foster cares, prior our adoption. He has been the greatest dog ever! We kept the name he had. He is the funniest thing when it is time to eat, he starts dancing in circles and kicks up his legs like a wild goat, and howls!We have had him for about 6 years now.

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    1. One of the many things I love about pets is how they make you laugh. Sammy's dinner dance is precious!!

      I love how intentional you were about adopting too - finding hypoallergenic, driving to pick Sammy up :)

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  14. We have a husky named Malysh. The funniest thing was when we got our cat as a tiny baby kitten, he used to carry her around in his mouth! He wouldn't hurt her though. It was hilarious!

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  15. Bless you for giving a home to two needy dogs. I am newly retired and therefore, newly at home most of the time, and would love to get one or two smallish rescue dogs but am worried about how our three spoiled and pampered cats will react. I am even more worried about how my husband will react. He spoils the cats more than I do and may not be happy if their tranquility is disrupted. Hearing that your cats took the newcomers in stride gives me hope!

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    1. That was my husband's biggest thing too, Susan. He was happy to adopt a dog(s) but didn't want to ruin the cats lives. We had my dad's rescue corgi to stay for two nights over Christmas, and saw that they weren't really that bothered by a dog being there. She is very placid and gentle though. I think the type of dog is important. I love rescue greyhounds but they chase cats because they've been trained to take off after small furry things - not good for cats! Can you have a friend's dog for an overnight stay, or even an afternoon visit to see how your cats react? Good luck!

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    2. That is a great idea, Fiona! Thank you for suggesting it. I will try to find an opportunity to have a friend's dog visit for a day or two. I think you are right about the breed of dog -- a lot depends on getting one that would be compatable and non-threatening.

      I hope your new little ones are feeling more and more at home. ☺

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  16. I'm a confirmed, card-carrying cat person who loves dogs (we always had a houseful of them when I was a kid), but have to admit I don't really care for small nervous ones -- I like my dogs big & rowdy. Which makes my admiration for you & yours all the deeper & more sincere. These poor little things were in desperate need of a loving home -- giving them the first kindness & affection they've ever known, most likely -- & the fact you've opened your home & heart to them makes MY heart sing!

    My older cat likes dogs -- he's never had a bad experience with them & seems to find them interesting enough. But years ago I had a female cat who hated dogs with an all-consuming passion. An indoor-only cat, she'd sit in the front window & snarl & growl at the (leashed!) dogs going by on their morning walkies. Half were terrified of her, even from a distance through glass & across the lawn, & you'd see them trying to hide behind their owner's legs as they walked past the house. She managed to get out the front door twice & attacked dogs twice her size, sending them howling & bleeding -- I've never been so mortified! Fortunately the owners were more than gracious, refusing my offers to pay for vet care (neither dog was badly hurt but they did get their faces & noses slashed). I never knew what made her hate dogs so badly, but she'd been a stray before I took her in & who knows what had happened to her.

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    1. Susanne, I've always had a soft spot for small nervous dogs, the shakier and more pathetic the better!! I don't know what's wrong with me :)

      Your female cat sounds like such a character, and I'm sure she had a bad experience somewhere along the way :(

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    2. I'm the same way with "troubled" cats. I used to be a foster mom for the SPCA when I lived in Toronto & would get their worst cases, the ones that needed months of socialization before they were adoptable. The scared ones always touched me deeply for some reason, I think because I knew they'd never known much love or kindness, which always broke my heart.

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  17. Hi Fiona !!!! It's great to see you with these two little dogs. I'm extremely sensitive and was crying when reading about their situation. But I'm so happy you've found each other. I'm sure you'll all be very happy. With rescue dogs it's all about patiente. My dog Maya has been with us for 5 years now. When she first arrived to our home she didn't like my husband or me very much. She used to bite me. I was very scared of her. She destroyed one of our sofas. We hired a trainer and she goes to doggy school everyday. Now she's the most lovable dog I've ever had. She's my baby. We're a very happy family of three.
    Congratulations !!!! I'm really looking forward to see these lovely faces on your instagram :) all the time.

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    1. I am very sensitive too, but I guess seeing these two getting a better life helps me blank out their past living situation.

      Maya sounds beautiful :)

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  18. Don't worry about the fact that these little darlings are pure bred. You have rescued two little animals who desperately needed to be given love and nurturing. Their lives before was probably hell.
    Well done for showing them that their lives matter.

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  19. Look at those wild little faces! What sweeties. I love their pretty, girly names too; was that you doing Miss F? They are lucky dogs now........what a splendid place to live. Three cheers for your husband, building such a nice space for them! He did great. Too funny about the kitties; one would think that they would be more outraged. You will really have your hands full now! Thanks for sharing it all with us. Your life is so fun to hear about.

    Erina

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    1. Hi Erina,

      No, I did not choose their names, someone at the SPCA did I believe. Hands full, I know, mum of four!!!

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  20. I love seeing pics of your beautiful cats & I'm thrilled that you have dogs as well! Congrats! We have 2 rescue corgis. Time flies when you're having fun...they are now seniors at 12 and 10 (we got them 8 yrs ago!)! One day my husband was walking them & he lost hold of one of the leashes. Our older girl trotted away, on a mission around the corner to the condo where a friendly cat lived & a nice grandma was visiting. The door was open & our girl went inside! Nice grandma brought her back outside but hubby was mortified once he caught up! Months (or even a couple yrs) later, we were walking by & some visiting relatives of that condo's owner said, "Is that the dog that came into the house once?" We're famous! Lol!

    Our younger dog loves toys. One of our other neighbors had kids who would play on the balcony & drop toys down. One day, our dog decided she liked the little plush monkey finger puppet, picked it up and walked back home with her little treasure. She still will pick it out of her toybox even though it's all mangled up...she loves that thing!

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    1. Your corgis sound wonderful and so much fun :) Love the finger puppet story! One of our cats stole a grey mouse toy from who-knows-where and, like your monkey finger puppet, it's the mankiest toy in the basket, but they dig it out from the bottom of the toys and play with that one more often than any other toy. I checked with our closest neighbours who have cats and they said it wasn't their toy.

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  21. Pure breed dogs can be rescues too! I had two breeder pekingese ...they did not know what grass was! As you can imagine their coats were shocking but when I got the girls life changed - big time. I only have Coco now as Moi died a couple of years ago . Coco was scared of men like your girl but it took her around 2 years to feel safe with my husband .... now she loves him to pick her up etc. It will take time but they will relax and with good food and Vet care your girls will be just fine. I spend alot of time by myself as my husband has a very busy and demanding work and dogs are such great company :)

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    1. What a lovely story, Lady Jicky. Pretty names for your pekingese too :) I won't tell my husband it took two years, he's been hanging out for the girls to like him more but I told him he will have to be patient and ignore them until they get used to him!

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  22. Coco was so scared ... her last puppies all died and that upset her plus I think there was a man who must of stood on her or ... goodness knows what! When they cannot make anymore puppies they are of no use. Coco will still get nervous so its within her but she has improved sooooo much!!! Perhaps get your husband to feed them now and then because Coco loves it when my hubby comes home with bags from the supermarket - hangs around him like a love sick teenager ! LOL

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    1. I will do that, thank you. You think animals can't have emotions, but they do. Soooo cute about the supermarket bags :)

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  23. What lovely little doggies, Fiona! I hope they don't have breathing difficulties as these kinds of dogs sometimes do, because of in-breeding. They are delightful and they've gone to what will be a lovely home for them!
    Margaret P

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  24. I think it might have eaten my comment.

    Sadly, we just lost our sweet Australian Shepherd Skip. He was a totally teddy dog who loved to play ball. Fortunately, my father still has our silly spaniel Daisy to amuse him. We call her the comedy spaniel because she dances for food. She's also his lapdog, and grumbles when he tries to move!

    Don't feel bad about getting a purebred. We've had two rescued Belgian Sheepdogs, which aren't a very well-known breed, yet people still backyard breed or abandon them. Being a purebred isn't going to save you from a puppy mill.

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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