From being dumped in a field to finding his forever home, how Waffle stole the heart of his rescuer.
Waffle was thrown away like a bag of rubbish. Dumped in a field and tied to another dog and a girl who had been used for excessive breeding. What should have been a gorgeous, fluffy cockapoo coat was a matted mess of dreadlocks that had never been groomed.
By luck and the kindness of a stranger these helpless dogs found their way to the local council kennels. Like many stray dogs those first few nights are often a quiet affair. Dogs who are terrified, often just shut down. With the dedication of the rescue team most dogs start to trust again.
Fiona is one of those who has dedicated her life to showing dogs safety and kindness, sometimes for the very first time. She’s seen hundreds of stray dogs come through the kennels, but Waffle would prove to be that little bit different. As his trust in her grew he would bring out those puppy dog eyes and snuggle in for some comfort. He chose her as his safe space, dogs are a good judge of character! When he was unclaimed after the statutory wait period, Fiona applied to adopt him.
Fiona already had a long term foster dog at home, Lola the boxer and a dog selective springer spaniel, Belle. Belle had come to Fiona after being seized by the RSPCA from someone banned from keeping dogs. Waffle had two more ladies to woo before he would secure his forever home!
Waffle only had one thing on his mind when he was introduced to Lola. Even though he was young, he appeared to know exactly how to act on his one track mind! We suspect that Waffle was used in a puppy farm as a stud dog before being dumped when he was no longer profitable.
With a little redirection he learned that friends were not just for humping and that he could enjoy toys, games, fast running and cuddles with his new found family. Lola and Belle accepted him into their pack.
Surrounded by safety Waffle became the most loving, soft and gentle dog who loves nothing more than a cuddle with his humans or Belle. His cheeky nature means he will nibble at toes and feet whenever he gets the chance and is often found snuggled up with anyone who will have him! It’s a wonderful thing that dogs can forgive humans for such cruelty and seek out close companionship in their new homes.
All the time when Waffle should have been learning about what is safe in the world he was probably locked away in a barn. When he was learning what’s scary he would be surrounded by dogs barking, giving off fear signals and with no comfort. Everything in his early life taught him the outside world and other dogs are scary.
Such traumatic early experiences do leave their marks. Waffle is still scared of the outside world, especially other dogs. When faced with dogs he will bark excessively, spin on the lead and then when he can’t get away, will redirect the frustration to whoever or whatever is nearest. Fiona and Belle have both been on the receiving end of a redirected bite.
Interestingly he will happily accept any new dog that is walked into their home by friends. Suggesting that people walking into his space with new dogs was something that went in the ‘safe’; bucket early in his life. Maybe he was kept in a kennel with dams and that’s why he feels ok with the girls at home.
Because Waffle finds walks stressful, Fiona doesn’t walk him in the traditional sense. He’s not a 6 o’Clock and trot around the block kind of dog. He gets lots of exercise through games, playing and running in secure paddocks. He has time in the open countryside, where he wears a muzzle incase of unexpected events. And whilst he loves training, he does that 1:1 at home where he feels safe.
Like many dogs with poor socialisation Waffle will never automatically accept new things as safe. He’s missed the chance to learn that novel things are not scary and so he will always need a slightly different routine to enjoy a settled and relaxed life. But Waffle has found a safe friend in Belle, a safe home and most importantly someone who loves grooming to keep him as handsome as he deserves to be!