Wednesday, 16 March 2016

My Rescue Dog - Snapper

Snapper (March 2016)
This is my dog Snapper, we've had him nearly 7 months now, he's 3 years old and we adopted him from the RSPCA last summer. We found out about him through a friend who rescues dogs and runs a dog walking business in Stroud. He saw him advertised on one of those community Facebook pages for things for sale and free in the area and tried to put me in contact.

Jim, on the day I met him.  (Soon to be known as Snapper) (19 August 2015)
The Facebook post was taken down before I could manage to see it, but I had the lady's name, so I found her and sent her a message. Turns out she'd just dropped him off at the RSPCA that day. She told me that she'd had him from a puppy but that she also had small children and that he didn't get along well with them and would bite and snap at them. She loved him but couldn't handle him anymore. She gave me the phone number to the Stroud branch of the RSPCA where she had taken him and said I could call and ask about him. So I did.

I was told that Jim, that was his name, was under observation and evaluation and after that time I could go meet him. In the mean time they were reserving him for me. Before I could adopt him though I'd have to fill out some paperwork and they'd send someone around to inspect where Jim's potential home would be, to make sure it was suitable. The usual type things like making sure we lived in our own home where pets were allowed and had a decent secure garden and that all was safe for a little dog.

Well I went to meet little Jim and of course fell quickly in love with him. He seemed so scared and excited to be outside. He was kept inside and I suspect in a cage. I took him for a nice little walk and he was a perfect gentleman. He even gave me a little kiss before I left. It was so hard to leave him there, but I knew he'd be coming home with me soon.

Snapper comes home, loves his new tweed bed. (21 August 2015)
He bonded with me quite quickly and he's been my little buddy every since. He didn't respond to his name Jim very well so I took the opportunity to change his name. We went with Snapper, for a couple of reason. First off, I'm a photographer, Snapper, get it? :-D  Secondly, if you surprise him or get in his face he will snap at you and might even bite you. So he became Snapper, and he loves it when you call out his name and will come running. :-)

Snapper (21 August 2015)
Snapper is an amazing little fella and he has so much joy and love to give, it's hard to imagine anyone not wanting him. It's also hard to imagine that he will bite you, but he will if he doesn't know you and you don't give him his space. We've no idea what sort of past he's had, but he's not fond of small boys or larger older men. He is mostly OK with girls and women but you still need to take it slow with him. But once he properly meets you he loves you and will hop up in your lap and give you kisses. :-)

Snapper loves bubbles! (22 August 2015)
Snapper really loves chasing bubbles! 
He's the same with with other dogs, he will growl and snap at other dogs if they get in his face, but if we go for a walk together and he gets used to the other dog then he can be trusted to be friends with them. But for that first initial meeting you have to be patient, give him space and give him a chance to figure out that the other dog just wants to be friends.

What happens when you eat too many bubbles.
So, besides being leery of meeting new people and dogs, he's an absolute wonderful little guy and a joy to be around. He's my little buddy and we really enjoy our play time and walks together.

My husband, Peter, and Snapper walking on Rodborough Common. (22 August 2015)
Snapper posing for me (21 September 2015)
He's a great companion for me and keeps me on my toes and gets me out of the house every day. I can't imagine him not being around.
Snapper helping me with my editing. 
Snapper down by the canal in Stroud. (23 October 2015)
We are very lucky living in the area that we do, there are so many lovely places to go for walks. There are also lots of dog friendly pubs and cafes as well.
Snapper in Stratford Park in Stroud. (28 October 2015)
Snapper by the canal near Capel Mill, Stroud. (22 November 2015)
Snapper by the canal lock at Wallbridge, Stroud. (6 January 2016)
He's such a little poser! But not good enough to let me balance a hat on his head while holding a pipe in his snout. So yea, I photoshopped those. ;-)
Snapper Rocking the Cotswolds up on Rodborough Common (18 January 2016)
The other day I was walking Snapper in town and we went into his favourite shop, which happens to be a pet store, and we met a lovely young man who was visiting the shop. He asked about Snapper and he got down on the floor to say hi to Snapper. He didn't approach Snapper but allowed Snapper to approach him. He said that he was a dog trainer and had experience with being bitten by several dogs and that the small dog bites were the worst! So he's always extra cautious with the little ones and tries not to frighten them. By this time Snapper was enjoying ear scratching and tail wagging.

The young man, I so wish I'd gotten his name, told me that he'd done some work with the RSPCA and said that I most surely saved Snapper's life. He said that the RSPCA (and indeed all the other dog rescues as well) receive so many unwanted pets every day that they just can't keep up. So they have this check list and if the animal gets any checks on this list then they are put to sleep, usually within 48 hours of them being brought in, and never put up for adoption. Snapper most definitely checked the biting box and would have been put to sleep as he wasn't rehomable. Which he said was such a shame as Snapper is obviously such a lovely little fella.

It's heart breaking to think of all the animals put to sleep every day, not just here in the UK but also in America and most surely in other countries as well. So please, if you are thinking of getting a pet for your family, think it through first. Do you have the funds? Do you have the proper space? Do you have the time to care for the animal? Does your desired pet suit your life style? Remember a lot of dogs can't be left alone for long periods of time and most dogs shouldn't be left alone for more than 4 hours at a time.

Please also consider looking for your new pet at your local rescue centre, give an abandoned pet a new chance at life. Be it a dog or a cat or a rabbit or any other pet.

Save a life, adopt from a rescue centre. Most of them are there due to no fault of their own and just need a loving home.
Snapper enjoying a nap in his new forever home. (Not spoiled at all!)
Here's a handy link to the local Animal Rescue Centres around Gloucestershire on Google Maps.