Country Life’s Heather Clark keeps a diary of a first time dog fosterer. In her second instalment, Lenny completes his foster programme and goes up for adoption.
Lenny has been very good at home and you wouldn’t know he was there most of the time – he’s so quiet and spends most of his time snoozing. He’s still very timid and scared though, even around us and especially with any sudden movements or noises. We are trying to feed him up and put on some weight on him but he’s still cautious with his food and needs reassuring that he’s allowed to eat it.
We noticed some changes in Lenny’s behaviour last night and this morning, he didn’t eat his dinner, and has been very clingy. Then I noticed blood in his urine so we called the rescue centre immediately and they agreed he should go straight to the vets. We got an appointment very quickly and Lenny was prescribed antibiotics for a urine infection. Hopefully they will start working soon and he’ll start to feel better.
Lenny seemed much better today. I’ve started watering down his dry food to get some more fluids into him and he seems to prefer it, as it must be easier on his bad teeth too. It was raining all day today but that didn’t put him off his walks – I’ve heard of some picky sighthounds who prefer to stay in the warm, but he was more than happy to step out.
We saw a few cats on our walk today and the sighthound came out in him when they ran away, he did pull on the lead, but he was easily controlled and seems to understand NO! Once they were out of sight they were quickly forgotten about. We’ve also seen ducks and livestock out and about and Lenny didn’t bat an eye at those, which is great.
We took Lenny to visit some family today who own a little Norwich terrier and they got on well. He was not impressed with the hardwood floors though and the fact that he didn’t have anywhere soft to lie down. At one point, Lenny spooked and, leapt up with all 4 paws, landing on the sofa, where he found himself very comfortable and decided to stay for the rest of the evening. Once we got home however, if was a very good boy and didn’t get on our sofa, – we’re keeping it doghair free!
We had to leave Lenny for four hours today, we’ve barely left him before so I asked my Mum to come round and check on him and take him for a walk. He has met her many times now but she said he was very nervous when she let herself in and was hard to tempt out for a walk. He did go in the end but was keen to get back quickly. When we returned he had been good as gold, no accidents and certainly no destruction in the house.
We took him for another visit today, and the funniest thing was finding out that Lenny doesn’t understand glass doors – he walked into the French doors twice trying to get in from the garden, despite the fact the other side was wide open.
Lenny barked for the first time last night, we think at some foxes outside. It’s the first time we’ve heard him make a sound.
Lenny had his operation today. We took him to the surgery first thing, and the good news is he’s put on weight – now 22.5kg – although he could afford to put on a little more. We got a call late afternoon to say they couldn’t remove all the lumps because of the positioning and size of one of them. He also had to have 7 teeth removed and he’s been neutered.
He came round slowly, so they kept him in to monitor him. The veterinary nurse said that his breed take longer to come round due to their low body fat percentage. We went to visit him and he looked very sorry for himself – his mouth was still bleeding and although he was awake he wasn’t fully conscious so we left him to sleep it off.
We picked Lenny up from the vets this morning with his ‘cone of shame’, painkillers and antibiotics. We could tell straight away that he hated the cone, and as soon as we got him home we discovered he had another urine infection. We called the vet and they said the antibiotics he was on should cure that. He continued to eat and drink well.
Lenny had a hard night last night. He couldn’t settle with his cone on so we decided it would be best if one of us stayed up with him so he could rest with the cone off, and we could watch and make sure he didn’t interfere with his stitches. We let him keep the cone off during the day when we could observe him and he’s only been having short walks.
Lenny has been much better today, we left him to his own devices overnight with the cone and he woke us up a few times when he banged into things, but we all got a better night’s sleep. He has however commandeered the spare duvet as his bed which he much prefers.
He had a check up with the veterinary nurse today and they said it was unusual that he was so bruised, but was otherwise recovering well, and that we just need to keep an eye on him. The good news is that the biopsy results came back all clear – the lumps were deemed as skin tags rahter than anything more sinister.
Now that Lenny has had his stitches out, we met up for a sighthound walk with 2 other lurchers. Lenny loved watching them play and showed lots of signs that he wanted to join in, but we couldn’t let him off the lead with them so he had to be content with just watching. It’s lovely to see him coming out of his shell. We think he would really like the company of a hound friend in his new home, to help build his confidence.
We’ve had Lenny for 3 months and now that he is fully recovered, he is going up for adoption. He will hopefully move on to a great family who can really build him up and give him a great life. He is still very anxious so he can’t be the only dog in the household or be left on his own for long periods.
He is absolutely a joy to look after and will make someone a great pet. When he finds his new home we will move on and foster another, giving another poundie a fresh start in life.
Lenny is up for adoption with Hounds First Sighthound Rescue. You can view him here. Hounds First are also looking for more fosterers. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer visit: http://houndsfirst.co.uk/volunteer
We reveal the winner and runners up of our competition: Britain’s Naughtiest Dog in association with Lily’s Kitchen.
Ever thought of fostering a dog? Heather Clark keeps a diary of a first time dog fosterer.