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GEORGE

 Sadly, despite being loved to bits by Anna and her whole family, they realise George
needs to find a forever home which is more suited to his needs.
In 2015, we believed George to be a neutered, microchipped 2.5 year old purebred
male, Golden Retriever. He was a really big boy and was carrying extra weight
which he needed to lose. He had the veterinary checks and inoculations needed to
obtain his EU Pet Passport.

IRR can, of course, only go by the information we are given and we always rehome
in good faith but sometimes people are less than honest and we now believe this to
have been the case with George who we think may well be older than we thought.
Anna, his current owner, explains “We are very upset but we, clearly, are not the best
home for our lovely boy. 

When we took George on, we were told he was a healthy dog with just a weight
problem. On meeting his foster parents, they commented about his weak hind legs but
assured me they would get better as he lost weight. I was also encouraged to take
him jogging with me. I changed George's diet and he did lose some weight.

George was thought to be around 2.5 years of age when we adopted him which would
now make him 4.5yrs which is exactly the same age as other dog, Mylo, but the
difference in the two dogs is enormous.

Mylo is a very active, strong male, who has been jogging with me for three years now, is
always full of energy and is quite bouncy. George, on the other hand, is a very low energy
dog so we can only do gentle walks. I am not even able to walk them together as George
quickly gets too tired. He is also wary of traffic and sometimes gets spooked”.
Anna has written a full assessment of George to assist with his rehoming.

PERSONALITY

When we met George he was afraid of my husband (and all men) and it took a while
for him to feel safe. We have shown him what cuddles are and he has learnt to enjoy
grooming. He is now much better in himself, enjoys company and is much more calm.

He has a serious fear of storms, fireworks, alarms, sudden loud noises and
movements. On two separate occasions during a storm, he has climbed upstairs and
jumped on top of my 7 year old son. He then started "digging" in his bed and bruised him.

I try to get George to sleep in my bed if there is a storm or fireworks but he is too
nervous, does not sleep, tries to dig and is extremely unsettled. We have an adaptil
plugged in and I use a stress jacket I made out one of my shawls but these things
unfortunately don't help enough.

George is also afraid of the garden hose, balloons and football. I think it's fair to assume
he had a terrible life before we took him on.

I really thought that when he felt safe and loved his stress issues would go away but,
unfortunately, this has not happened.

HEALTH

His tail had to be amputated shortly after he was adopted. His blood test results show he
has not now got a problem with thyroid and my vet has stopped his meds so he has
been declared as healthy. However, he does struggle with stairs.

George showing amputation of his tail
 

My main concern with George is his inability to keep up with Mylo. Quite often George
is stiff and/or lame after a nap and rough playing with a much bouncier dog does not
help. The trouble is George loves playing but, in my opinion, he needs an
older or smaller playmate.

Another problem for us is family outings as we always take the dogs with us but
poor George can't keep up so we have had to resort to leaving him at home which we
feel is not fair to him. All my family are very active so we love to go to the forest and
explore and walk the trails all day on a Sunday but we cannot take George as he is isn’t up to it.

SOCIAL LEARNING
  
 TRAVEL:  He needs help getting in and out of the car and does not like going to the vets. HOUSETRAINING: George is fully housetrained
GROOMING:  He loves being brushed and cuddled, he loves giving kisses and he offers his paw a lot which he does very gently. 
LEADWALKING and RECALL:  George walks well and is quite good on a lead although he can be a little strong at the start of a walk. However, he soon finds his pace and is normally quite happy to sniff about. 

Unfortunately, George’s recall is not good and he should not be let off lead anywhere
that isn’t 100% secure. Although he is usually quite good, he did get spooked once
at the beach and I ended up chasing him for half an hour. I was lucky enough to
have somebody jump out of their car and help me catch him as he would not have
stopped otherwise and could easily have been hit by traffic.

RESOURCE GUARDING:   He is not food possessive  but he loves food and he is not
afraid to steal it. He should not be given food from hand as he is inclined to grab and
has caused us some bruises in the past . 
      
ADULTS:  He takes time to trust new men but, once he gets to know them, it is not a
problem. He is much better than before and it does not take him as long to trust new
people now as it did. Initially, he did snap at a few men without giving a warning but he
has never ever bitten anyone.

He sometimes makes weird noises and people can misread it as growling but it isn't.
When he gets excited he makes the growly noise and barks and he has scared a
few people especially as he can give an odd stare sometimes too but it’s just a
question of needing to learn to read him as he definitely means no harm. We think
it is probably simply because he was not socialised well as a pup and never learnt how
to interact with people properly when he was young.

CHILDREN: He loves children and is very gentle but he does get stressed by the noise
and chaos that young kids produce.
DOGS:  He is very good with other dogs
CATS:  He is fine with our cat, Tayto but I don't know how he would be with other cats.
 
GEORGE’S DREAM HOME

We believe George would make a lovely dog for a mature couple but not with
somebody who is very active. He loves to play with other dogs but he really needs a
calm, older dog that is not very strong as his playmate.

George is a gorgeous, gentle giant who would desperately love a home where
he is the centre of attention and, in return, given the chance, we are sure, he will give
his forever family many years of unconditional love.
                                             
GEORGE’S ORIGINAL HISTORY  
He had been with his second owners for about a year but, not having enough time for him,
they decided that it was best to give him the chance of a more suitable forever home. His owners relinquished him to the fantastic West Cork Animal Rescue who often work in conjunction with Irish Retriever Rescue. 


 PERSONALITY
 Kathryn said “He is an absolute beauty, a gentle giant and he is extremely trusting. He truly has the most endearing personality. This boy is a real humdinger.
George is a happy boy who dances as he walks with his tail swinging from side to side.

SOCIAL LEARNING

Travel:
He travelled well in the car.
Leadwalking and recall: He walks very well on the lead though like many Goldens his
recall needs work.
Feeding: Naturally, as with all rescues, it is advisable to feed them separately.
He isn’t food or toy possessive but it is always wise to guard on the side of caution
until he finds his paws.
Children: George seems good with children, but as his past is not complete it might be
best to rehome with older children.
Dogs: He is wonderful with other dogs so George would be best suited with another
canine companion.
Cats: He hasn’t been cat tested. 

GEORGE’S DREAM HOME
He only needs the chance to show how special he is. Kathryn said ‘the minute I saw him,
I was captivated by that gorgeous Golden smile. He knew he had made an impression’.
George is a wonderful, gorgeous, giant of a boy – truly stunning. Whoever is blessed by
adopting this superb gentle giant will be truly lucky to have him as part as their family
as he will give them many years of unconditional love.

July 2015
George has gone to his Forever Home
GEORGE’S FOREVER HOME (25.6.2015)
  Anna, his forever mum tells us "We brought George home yesterday. He seemed
anxious in the car and grumbled at strangers when we stopped half way home but
there have been so many changes in his life recently, that we thought it is only
natural for him to be stressed.

We assumed George would need a little while to settle but, to our surprise, he only
needed about half an hour!   He made friends with our Retriever Mylo and, very quickly,
made peace with our cat (George has never lived with cats before).  
 
He went on a tour around the house and then settled in the garden for a nap. The same
evening he was playing with Mylo in the garden, giving our kids kisses and frequently
coming to us for cuddles. His tail does not stop wagging.
     
George enjoyed his dinner which he ate quickly ... he gets very excited about food. In
late evening, he decided to join us on the sofa for some tv watching and fell asleep. He
slept well and this morning came in to our bedroom to say "hi". 
          
We went for a walk to the beach, he walked well on lead but was quite strong. To my
surprise he said hello to a few people that we met on our way and let them pet him.

 We are planning a trip to the vet next week as George has a lot of weight to lose. We
will work out a plan for him and stick to it as, at the moment, his extra pounds are
slowing him down considerably"

FURTHER UPDATE JULY 2015
Unfortunately, a lump was found on George's tail so samples were taken and sent off to
the Lab. It was found to be an epithelial tumour which the vets wanted to remove
asap so George was booked in for the following Monday morning.  

Anna was warned there was a very high possibility that the vet would need to remove
George's tail together with the tumour and, sadly, that was the case. The tissue was
then sent off to the lab again to determine if the cancer was malignant. Anna made
sure that George was as comfortable as possible and she gave him the best
of care after his surgery.

Everyone was praying that there would be no spread anywhere else. A few days later
George had a follow up appointment and the wound was found to be healing very well.
They got some more antibiotics but the biopsy results weren't back so it meant a few
more days of anxious waiting. It was a horrible two weeks of waiting and not knowing.
We were also suspicious of George’s enormous bulk so, having waited a couple of
weeks to allow for his immune system to settle down after having had the Rabies
vaccination, we decided to have his thyroid tested. When the results came back, it was
discovered that George did have an overactive thyroid which would account for his
weight issues so the next step would be putting him on medication to get it right. 

After another week, we were all delighted and relieved to learn the tumour George had
was a benign sweat gland carcinomaand he should not have any more trouble from it. The
vet also checked the wound and they got the all clear. That meant Anna was allowed to
give George a nice bubble bath then, hopefully, Anna could try to get the rest of the
matts out of his coat to make George feel more comfortable.  

After going through a bit of a difficult stage, George and Tayto, the cat, are doing
better. Anna says " George really listens to me so that's to my advantage (and Tayto's).
I think it's more of a prey drive thing than aggression and training should solve it.
When George sees the cat ,he will usually look up at me and turn his head away from
Tayto then walk away. We hope things will improve even more when George starts his meds".  





2017 Irish Retriever Rescue