Success Story - Minnie's Journey.
Submitted by Minnie's family.
Between September 18 and January 2019 we lost our two dogs, Meg a collie cross from Dogs Trust and Boston Ruby whom we had from a puppy. They were firm friends who lived a long and happy life together. Anybody who has lost a fur baby knows how devastating that is and losing two in a short space of time was heartbreaking. We took some time to adjust to a doggy free life and mourn our two girls, however our plan was always to re home rather than buy another puppy.
I came across UKBTR on Facebook when a friend tagged me into one of their posts..this was the first we knew that there was a rescue specifically for our beloved Bostons !! How excited were we !!
We applied to become adopters..the forms were relatively straightforward, however ask about working hours,experience as dog owners etc and two references, all questions that you would expect an ethical rescue to ask. We submitted the form in June 2019.
We were contacted by the rescue in September to ask if we would like to adopt Minnie, 18 months old who had been surrendered due to aggression towards another dog in her family. We were provided with a comprehensive history about Minnie and knew that she was fostered in Hull and we were happy to travel up there to collect her .
In the meantime a home check was arranged and a fellow Boston owner came to meet us and check out that our home was safe for Minnie. That lady was Tracey and we are now firm friends! We paid our adoption fee and were good to go ! We drove to Hull to meet Minnie's foster mum, again we were given history about Minnie's behaviour whilst in her care. Needless to say ,we fell in love with Minnie !
I am going to be honest here, those first couple of months were tough for us all. Minnie was nervous and unsettled and so were we. We had not had a dog who was reactive to others in such a dramatic way, snarling, growling etc. We avoided walking anywhere there were other animals. She vomited, a lot...the vet could find nothing wrong ..it was put down to anxiety.
We were wrongly advised to take her to puppy classes by a dog trainer...big mistake !! Those sessions were distressing for Minnie and for us, the trainer tried to push her into socialising with other dogs. We realised this was not the way and left the classes.
A friend who owned a reactive dog sent us the details of a local behaviourist who came to assess Minnie ( and us more so !) at home.
When you meet somebody who actually understands doggy behaviour and owner behaviour, it all becomes so simple. Minnie was not aggressive, she was frightened. Our reactions when we encountered other dogs actually fed her nervousness and made it worse.
Our second session with the behaviourist was out walking, off lead with other dogs ...oh goodness our hearts were in our mouths but our little girl ran and played, no reactivity at all. We cried that day but it was the start of a new beginning for us all.
In the last 10 months Minnie has blossomed, and we have grown as owners of a nervous dog. She is no longer reactive, she occasionally has moments where she is uncertain but a cuddle and a word of encouragement puts paid to that.
We have a wonderful, crazy, loving little Boston who has enriched our lives so much ...we can't thank UKBTR enough for their support to us and continuing fundraising for this beautiful unique breed.