Small step

Tommy is settling in very happily.

Yesterday a potential problem arose when both TOH and I went outside the gate, leaving him on the other side, with Tally. He began yelping and squealing until TOH returned to the other side of the gate.

Today we both had to go to town. At first we left him with Tally, in the garden, but as he saw us leaving he first of all wedged his head through the bars of the gate, and then tried to squeeze himself underneath it, screaming blue murder.

It’s quite understandable from a dog that has been abandoned, tied up and left to die. However, inevitably there will be times when he has to stay at home without us, and anyway it is far too hot in the car for any dog at the moment.

We once had a beautiful German Pointer who suffered from separation anxiety, and tore doors off their hinges and destroyed anything and everything if he was left alone, so with some trepidation we put Tally and Tommy in the house while we went out, prepared for the worst when we returned.

An hour later, when we came back, both dogs were standing at the window, wagging their tails, delighted to see us, and showing no sign of stress. That’s a huge relief. This little dog is coming up trumps. Yesterday we had a short session of walking on a loose lead, which he seemed to pick up very quickly. When we turn off the lights at night he goes straight onto his bed and stays there all night, no fuss, no noise, no mess. Despite having been starved, he is gentle and well-mannered at feeding time, and apart from his own food he has shown a liking for tomatoes, potato peelings and red peppers. He’s only spat one thing out – a black olive. 🙂

He’s chilling at the moment, having made his bed just the way he likes it:


Now it’s time for him to have his first bath – I wonder how he’ll react?





13 thoughts on “Small step

  1. I am absolutely loving following Tommy’s story – I hardly dare share it with my mother (now aged almost 82 she spend half her life rescuing dogs from the most disgraceful human behavior) … but share I will. She will shed tears and she will smile and I thank you for a little by-product of your own super-human act of kindness 🙂

  2. He looks much better already on that pic. We’ve found leaving little one fine with the big dog at the finca, either outside or inside. Bit more difficult in the flat in Gib, lots more noises for him to bark at and more difficult in a block so we keep leaving him without a person to a minimum. But he’s not a year old yet.

    Oh, I’ve seen his collar. I wrote a post on Pippadogblog about harnesses, have you seen it?

    • I’m so pleased that you can notice a difference. Today his coat is glossy – following yesterday’s bath – most of the scabs have come off his ears, and his backbone and ribs are definitely less evident. did read your post on harnies – thanks – but Tommy still has a very horrible condition on his chest, with a large sac of empty skin hanging down, from where he was apparently attached by a harness and it became infected. I don’t know if it will eventually disappear as he puts on weight, or we may have to have it attended to. It does mean that for the time being, a harness is out. I’m hoping to be able to train him to walk on a loose lead, as he loathes the Halti.

      It must be difficult in the apartment, especially if the dog barks and annoys other residents when he’s left. Have you tried an anti-bark collar?

      • When we homed Pippa after months on the street (for some reason we’d never seen him) he had a badly savaged ear, and his fur around his neck was pink from fights. But I bathed his ear regularly with some antiseptic, the scabs eventually fell off, and after even longer, the pink fur went to be replaced with cream.

        The fleece is really good because it is so soft, which is so important for short haired dogs. Don’t know about Vizslas but Podencos don’t have an undercoat so Snowy is the complete opposite to Pippa.

        We used haltis in the past although one dog, cross setter/lab did not like it. We couldn’t get the right size for Pippa so in the end we didn’t bother. Then I read about them not being good for dogs so we moved to a harness.

        I wanted a long training lead for Snows but Dog Games didn’t have them in at the time. I was doing quite well training him in Spain in the campo or at the beach, but it’s not possible in Gib for the most part. And of course when he was off the lead the last time … one broken ankle. I’m not planning on repeating that one.

        When our neighbours upstairs got a Dober pup, she barked quite a lot and they used an anti-bark collar. She still barks sometimes though. Plus, she is a lot more timid now. I would much prefer behavioural techniques, and the collars are not recommended by various RSPCAs, describing them as barbaric. I’ll work on it when I’m mobile. Right now, separation anxiety isn’t an issue 😀

  3. Love that photo…thanks for keeping us posted….glad he was ok when U left…looks like he is settling in nicely and feeling like part of this family…hope U will tell Tommy how much he is loved by his extended family, even those of us in Lafayette, Louisiana.

  4. He has a doggy friend to help him, luckily…who knows you will come back.
    Our tiny poodle still cannot accept that she can be left and that we wil come back though the Alsatian does his best to cuddle her and lick her to reassure her…but she is getting a tiny bit more confident each time.

    • Poor little dog. SO stressful for both animal and owner when you are unavoidably separated. I hope she continues to gain in confidence and trust, knowing that you will be coming back.

  5. Rough Seas, for Snowy, your awful accident has obviously been a godsend, so there is an upside. 🙂 I’m surprised the RSPCA don’t approve of the anti-bark collars, because I understood that they merely released a puff of citronella to distract the dog from whatever was making it bark.

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