After 10 years, the dog shelter staff thought would never get adopted is finally going home.
Long-haired German shepherd Floyd has become like a member of the staff over his tenure at Freshfields Animal Rescue in Liverpool, England. Floyd watches over everyone — animal and human alike. He’s even a mentor to young dogs having difficulty adjusting to shelter life.
“He is fantastic with other dogs and has shared his kennel with lots of dogs over the years,” Debbie Hughes, grants and PR coordinator at Freshfields, told The Dodo. “He has helped many dogs settle in to rescue life, which has helped them find their home eventually.”
Floyd has seen numerous kennel-mates come and go over the years, unsure if he would ever find a family of his own.
Credit: Freshfields Animal Rescue
Things were not always easy for Floyd, whose happy demeanor hides a painful past. Before Floyd came to Freshfields, he lived in a house with eight children. Shut outside in the backyard all day, the kids would pull on his collar and use him for target practice, according to Hughes. After being constantly tormented, he began to show signs of aggression, and when he went in to be neutered, the family decided not to pick him up, Hughes said.
At Freshfields, Floyd was finally safe, but that didn’t make the adjustment any smoother for him. “He made friends with the staff here quickly but he soon became protective of us,” Hughes explained. “I think he had to accept us — he had been taken away from the only environment he’d ever known, even though it was a bad one.”
Credit: Freshfields Animal Rescue
Still suffering from the experiences of his puppyhood, Floyd was scared to be touched, and slow to trust new people. He had never been walked on a leash before, but with care and patience, the staff and volunteer dog walkers helped Floyd become more comfortable.
Though Floyd grew to be an affectionate, playful dog, his trust issues made adoption tricky. “He stayed here for so long because it took time to introduce him to new people. Most people didn’t want to take the time to get to know him, as it meant visiting many times and taking things slowly and gradually,” Hughes said.
Lucky for Floyd, his long-time dog walker Louis had already started thinking about what it would be like to take him home one day.
Credit: Freshfields Animal Rescue
“Floyd was extremely protective of Louis, so much so that none of the staff, who he loved, could approach them when they were together,” Hughes noted. “Louis would have loved to adopt Floyd earlier, but didn’t know how it would go if he had to introduce him to his partner. He also has a cat and Floyd was not good with cats.”
As Floyd mellowed over the years, Louis began to slowly bring his wife along on their walks. It was a slow process, but eventually Floyd became comfortable with the two of them. When Louis’ cat sadly passed away, they knew it was time to introduce Floyd to his first real home.
“The day we drove Floyd to Louis’ house we stood back and let Louis take him out of the van, he trotted off down the large garden and never looked back,” Hughes said. “From then on, it was perfect. He loved it in the house, got on the sofa and welcomed Louis’ wife when she came home from work. He has amazed all of us!”
“It goes without saying that we will all miss Floyd. He was always so happy here and enjoyed a good fuss and romp around our field with his doggy friends, but of course nothing compares to a home,” Freshfields wrote in a Facebook post.
Credit: Freshfields Animal Rescue
It may have taken a decade, but Floyd finally found the right home. The dog who lived behind bars for years, scared to even sit on a couch, has even taken over his new dad’s favorite armchair.
“We can’t stress enough that rescue really is the best breed,” Hughes added. “The love and companionship they bring, and the impact they make on the lives of their new families, is profound.”
Maltese Dog Breed Health Problems
The Maltese is a lovely puppy with a bold personality, which has become very popular. If you want a very small and intelligent dog to run your home, then this is the perfect breed for you. Maltese puppies are designed to love and to be loved. In general, the Maltese is a healthy puppy, but he can develop certain Maltese dog breed health problems.
Maltese dog breed health problems and life expectancy
Maltese dogs are generally healthy and have a lifespan of 12 years or more. However, the breed can be susceptible to suffer from several health problems.
Maltese puppies, like any other dogs, have the potential to develop genetic health problems. But not all Maltese health issues are hereditary. If you buy a Maltese dog from a breeder, you should ask for a genetic history to avoid hereditary diseases.
Many Maltese illnesses are related to their size. Some are genetic, some acquired. Tiny puppies like Maltese are fragile and they can suffer from different diseases. If you are thinking of getting a Maltese, there are a few Maltese dog breed health problems that may affect this breed. Not all the Maltese will be affected by these common diseases, but you should know that they are more predisposed to these illnesses.
Maltese are prone to retinal atrophy, a disease that affects vision in dim lighting. The symptoms are bumping into objects or becoming disoriented. Other Maltese puppies’ health issues related to eyes are conjunctivitis, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers. Corneal abrasions and ulcers are caused by scratches.
Many small breeds suffer from tooth and gum diseases caused by the overcrowding of teeth in their mouths. They can suffer from tartar and plaque buildup, which untreated, can cause periodontal disease. Regular dental care is essential for Maltese puppies.
Hypoglycemia is one of the most common health issues with Maltese dogs. A hypoglycemic dog has an abnormally low blood sugar. Signs of hypoglycemia are: lethargy, weakness, restlessness, and tremors.
Liver shunt is one of Maltese illnesses, meaning that the dog’s circulatory system doesn’t develop correctly, affecting the liver. Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, disorientation, pacing and general unthriftiness. Maltese puppies with this condition are usually weaker and smaller in size. This disease can be corrected by surgery.
Luxating patella is a congenital disease, with the main symptom being an intermittent hopping on the limb when the patella pops out of place. Sometimes this Maltese illness may need surgical correction.
Another health problem with teacup Maltese is colitis. Colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine. Symptoms include diarrhea, painful elimination, constipation, vomiting and mucus or blood in the feces.
One of the Maltese dog breed health problems are collapsed trachea. This condition occurs also in breeds like: Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Maltese, and Toy Poodles. Tracheal collapse means that the tracheal rings do not possess normal rigidity. resulting in the collapse of the trachea wall as the dog inhales.
How to prevent health problems in Maltese dogs?
A loving Maltese owner should do everything possible to keep his dog healthy by giving him preventive care, healthy food and proper exercise. To keep your dog healthy and happy, you should establish a routine, which is very helpful not only for your dog, but also for you.
You should also do a daily health check to be sure that your Maltese does not have any illnesses. Does your dog look tired, has he any allergies, are there any changes in his appetite, is he losing weight? Any of these problems and many others should be a signal or a warning for Maltese dog breed health problems and should send you right to the vet.
Author Bio: This guest post is by Doug of Norcal Pup. Doug has been a pet owner for his entire life and has enjoyed every minute of it. Doug’s family and the animals they care for are his absolute passion in life. He truly enjoys caring for puppies and takes pride in doing so daily. He has made it his mission to provide care for the best puppies to the best customers. Doug enjoys sharing his pet knowledge and experiences in hopes that others will learn from them.
A QUESTION FOR YOU:
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To see Part 2, please click Dr. Karen Becker Shows How to Choose a Good Dog Food.
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