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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old)

Post  Administrator on Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:43 am


Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Gino111 Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Gino210Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Gino_w10
Gino is a gentle soul who has had a bad start in life.

He is nervous in new situations but has come on leaps and bounds and is still improving every day. Gino is extremely loving, never showing any aggression even when he is afraid and seems to be curious about meeting other dogs.

Gino needs a calm and patient special person in his life who can continue introducing him to new things.


Last edited by Ria on Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:08 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Change of age)

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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Gino in Foster - the first 24 hours

Post  Ria on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:20 am

Okay, so yesterday we had our homecheck by Mary and Marie, explained our credentials as past fosterers, and offered our home and attention to a dog needing some additional help to make them more appealing to a potential adopter.

We arranged to take Phoebe, our three year old Patterdale, up to the kennels at 5pm to meet some prospective suitors. As we work full time, and the dog would come to work with us, we had in mind a nice, relatively calm, small to medium sized dog, probably a Staffie or a terrier.

Obviously, given the afternoon to think possible suitors through, we were greeted by Mary at the kennels who suggested Gino, the beautiful Belgian Shepherd, who was not thriving in the kennel situation and had been overlooked for a long time. She explained his temperament and his nervous disposition.

With the meeting with Phoebe deemed successful (Phoebe is very laid back with most dogs, and Gino was no exception), we thought why not just bite the bullet and take him straight away?

First major problem - getting Gino in a car! The story of how he had slipped his collar trying to get him in a potential adopter's car, and him running into the road and taking an hour to catch him, set us on edge, and had them closing the gates to ensure we didn't have a repeat of the same situation. We tried the softly, softly approach, with Lisa getting into the car armed with the box of treats. Well, Gino managed to demolish more than his fair share, and we were still without a single paw past the threshold. Fearing the thought of Gino puking on the journey home, and more importantly the thought of not getting home before midnight, we took the bull by the horns, or rather the dog by the haunches, and man handled him onto the back seat. Phil sat alongside him for 10 minutes, giving Gino lots of encouragement, and we decided that it would probably be a good idea for Phil to stay with him in the back for the journey home. By the time we got home, Phil's trousers were soaked through from Gino's panting and drooling!!

Gino was quite curious of his new surroundings, and had a good mooch around. We spent twenty minutes in the garden and he was able to have a good run round. Phoebe is the eternal escapologist, and we have to find ways to keep her within the confines of the garden. Her latest accessory is a jumbo Tesco blue lifetime bag attached to the end of a trailing lead. It used to be a beach ball until our previous foster, Lacey, decided that it would be great fun to burst it and then shred it into a thousand pieces (while it was still attached to Phoebe!). Anyway, Gino decided to start running like a loon in circles, and Phoebe decided to join in. The only problem was the flapping of the bag completely freaked Gino out, and he got faster and faster, and his back legs started overtaking his front legs. Of course, the camera is never to hand at vital moments! He later expressed his loathing of the bag by peeing over and inside it (unfortunately when it was in the conservatory!).

The rest of the evening passed with Gino examing Phoebe's toy box. The funniest thing was him picking up a toy and making it squeak, then dropping it and shooting off behind the sofa in total fear. He was encouraged back and actually started shaking the toys, which was actually quite amusing to watch because he was very gentle.

His other new experience was the television. Good grief, did Eastenders send him scarpering out of the room. Well, in all honesty, who could blame him? Phil wholeheartedly agreed with his sentiments.

Having not expected such a big dog, we were a little concerned what Gino was going to sleep on. All evening he had preferred to lay out on the hardwood floor, rather than the cushions. At bedtime, I took the big dog cushion from the car and covered it with my now redundant fluffy yoga blanket. We popped Phoebe into the kitchen with Gino and went off to bed. Half an hour later we could still hear Phoebe sending out strange little yowls and barks, so I sneaked down the stairs and quietly opened the kitchen door to find Phoebe literally bursting through the door, as if to say, "I'm a lady!! I don't sleep with my date on the first night, thank you!!" and legging it up to the bedroom. I left Gino in the kitchen and there was no further noise in the night.

This morning I got up early to see how Gino had fared. He obviously treated the conservatory as his kennel run, and I certainly felt like a kennel maid as I cleaned it out! A number of number ones and a big number two!!

We have a lovely morning walk along the lane and across Cadmore golf course, then through some lovely wooded area and back onto the lane. Gino was impeccably behaved, walking really well on the extending lead and also on a short lead on the lane. We noticed that he doesn't like to be pulled towards you on the lead - he's obviously had some treatment in the past that makes him very fearful of being brought forcefully forwards. We had the same problem when he had to be lifted over a stile, which ended up being quite an unrefined lift. However, he stands well when instructed to wait. He definitely has some training. We have a skip operator down the lane, and the skip truck always passes us on our morning walk. This was a good test of Gino's skittishness. I think the repetitiveness of this every morning will help him get used to it, and he will be less inclined to become so frightened.

Back home after an hour, Gino was in no mood to have his legs dried off. He tolerated the front paws, but not the back and I ended up chasing him all around the house (and still failed in my mission). He enjoyed his breakfast and was keen to sample the dregs of Phoebe's bowl too. He isn't food obsessed though, and took his time eating his breakfast.

Getting in the car was a lot quicker, but no less delicate than last night. Gino actually travels very well in the car, and gets out without a problem. Just needs work on his entrance! Can't quite visualise us doing it in a crowded car park at the moment as it's all quite undignified!

Gino settled well at work, after checking both floors of the office. He was definitely spooked by the opening and closing of drawers and cabinets, but settled very well. He did, however, sleep with one eye open at all times! At lunchtime we take a nice leisurely walk through town, alongside the river, across the park and back to the main road. The traffic was very busy and he coped well. He was really spooked by a big tractor that passed very close, but otherwise he was pretty chilled. This all went to rat's poo when we crossed the road on the corner of Teme Street and Market Street. We were halfway across when he suddenly puts the brakes on and backed up really quickly, coming clean out of his collar. Phil was already on the other side of the road and I was left in the middle of the road, clasping his lead and collar! Nightmare!! Fortunately, at the point he broke free, the traffic had come to a stop further up the road as a huge lorry was trying to negotiate it's way through the narrow road, and the temporary traffic lights controlling the flow of traffic around the hole in the road, had stopped any traffic coming the other way. However, Gino failed to come to call, and was temporarily confused as to why he wasn't being controlled by me. We tried to stay calm and call him as though nothing was wrong, but the intervention of other people who were trying to 'help' just spooked him and he ran across the road back the way we had just come. Fortunately, Phil managed to shoot across the road before the lights changed, and I was stuck as car after car passed by and made my crossing impossible. By the time I got across the road and back to the footpath, Phil was talking to Gino calmly and had his collar and lead back on. Next stop the petshop where we bought him a better fitting collar and also a lovely bed. We also bought an 18" rawhide bone and a 8" one for Phoebe. Naturally, there had to be an altercation back at the office as Phoebe wanted his bone, and he wanted hers! At one point there was high pitch screaming coming out of Phoebe, although he hadn't actually touched her, he was just chasing after her. She's such a diva!

In the afternoon one of the staff put her hand down to stroke his head and he snapped at her, almost like he was chomping his teeth together. There was no harm done, and I think it was purely the position of where he was and the sudden movement, which made him feel incredibly vulnerable. We'll keep an eye on him. All, no doubt, down to his past treatment.

Another undignified entrance to the car and we were off home. A quiet night - with Gino lying NEXT TO his brand new bed. He's just been let out for a wee and came straight back in and did a nice big poo in the dining room! More training tomorrow!

So, to review the day:


  • we're certainly a lot calmer now than we were 24 hours ago
  • we haven't quite managed a dignified entry to the car
  • we need work on the toilet training
  • we know sit, shake hands, and down (even without a treat)
  • we like being groomed
  • we like sitting face to face when the humans are eating on the sofa
  • we like cups of coffee left on the coffee table
  • we like taking every toy out of the box and leaving them all over the floor
  • we like the floor rather than the new bed
  • we stink a bit and definitely need a bath!

Here's to tomorrow.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty What a difference a day makes

Post  Ria on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:24 am

Gino howled us to sleep. It was quite amusing, if a little out of tune, but hey! I'm tone deaf too!

This morning, despite having a late night wee outside before bed and a nice big poo in the dining room Rolling Eyes , he still managed to spread more ablutions around the conservatory. Tonight we're going to put his bed in the conservatory and see if he keeps his space clean and manages to get through the night.

On our morning walk we were rushed at by Hector, a neighbour's over-exuberant labrador. Gino literally hid behind my legs, being completely spooked by him. After quick introductions he was perfectly fine and we moved on. When we get to a certain open part of the golf course, Gino likes to have a mad few minutes running round and round, with Phoebe in pursuit. The only problem is that with two extending leads and two loony dogs, we soon get tangled up. We decided that Gino could be trusted, so we unclipped his lead and round and round he went, having the time of his life. His stamina was short lived and he was back immediately and put on the lead. A few minutes later we let him off the lead again and he managed another quick burst of mad activity, absolutely loving every minute. It was a real joy to watch him having so much fun.

Back home as we got showered and dressed, it was apparent that Gino was starting to get a bit worried about what was to come - the dreaded car!! He paces when he's anxious and also pants a lot. As we approached the car, he put the brakes on and quickly walked backwards, slipping his collar again. We spent five minutes while he paced round the garden. Rather than approaching him, we sat on the low wall and he was quick to return to us. Back on the lead, we tried again, but it was a good few minutes before we had to resort to picking him up and manhandling him into the car. Once in the car, he settles very quickly.

Gino was much more relaxed at work - so relaxed that he had a leisurely pee against the recycling bag of paper in my office. Rolling Eyes He was very good on our lunchtime walk and we had no problems crossing the road. We met a number of different dogs of all sizes very nicely. We walked over to the vets to weigh him, but although he walked nicely into the surgery, there was no way we were going to get him on the scales. He is also very reluctant to pee on his lunchtime walk, so it was a matter of repeatedly taking him out in the afternoon, mostly unsuccessfully. He did attempt to cock his leg against the desk, but was stopped in the nick of time and taken outside, and he finally had a pee with lots of praise. Towards the end of the day, he came and gave me that knowing look, and so I took him out and he pee'd straight away. He's getting the hang of it.

During most of the day he snoozed on and off, but spent a good couple of hours chewing on his rawhide bone this afternoon. He still gets quite spooked by unexpected noises, but there's definitely an improvement.

At lunchtime we bought him a harness, thinking it would be a much easier way of controlling him when getting him into the car. We put it on when we were getting ready to leave for the day, and clipped his lead on. Outside, we opened the car door and told Phoebe to get in, and before we'd had time to position ourselves for the onslaught of backwards and forwards, and struggling to get him in the car, Gino shocked us by just following Phoebe and jumping in and settling straight down. We were speechless!!!!

At home tonight Gino's had loads of fun playing in the garden with Phoebe. He is really excellent with his food, and waits patiently, although excitedly, for his grub. We had a really fun play fight and he was starting to show his mischievious side. This boy is such a joy, and despite his lack of confidence he is starting to get a bit bolder and show his personality. He's very entertaining when he ambushes Phoebe, but she can be such a strict disciplinarian, despite her height disadvantage, and soon puts him in his place. It won't take long before he's giving as good as he gets.

So, let me finish with some photographic evidence of Gino's great day...

Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Dsc00710Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Dsc00711

Now, go on, admit he looks just the sort of beautiful boy you'd open your heart and home to!!


Last edited by Ria on Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Well he certainly looks settled

Post  Natalie on Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:47 pm

Laughing Great progress report Ria, he sounds like a gem. Hopefully won't be to long before he finds his forever home xxx
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Great progress continues

Post  Ria on Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:37 pm

Gino is doing so well.

The new bed is an overwhelming success..... for Phoebe! Laughing She loves it! Flat out, right in the middle of it, snoring her head off. Gino prefers the floor along the wall. He does, however, like to use his bed for playfighting and rough and tumble, and as I love to play fight with the dogs we have some great fun. He and Phoebe play brilliantly together, despite the difference in size. Being a terrier, Phoebe is very vocal and at first you think that she is beating poor Gino up, but they're pretty equally matched despite the size difference. Gino is incredibly light of foot, and ducks and dives with incredibly grace. They are so funny to watch, although it puts you on edge when they start chasing each other round and round the lounge. I sit there laughing my head off, and Phil is the one that loses patience first (usually because he can't hear the telly for all the rat tat tatting of paws on the floor! Laughing ). Speaking of the telly, Gino is completely cool with it now, and even last night's Blade at full blast, with all the horrendous shooting and shouting, didn't freak him out at all.

Gino loves to run in the garden, usually either being chased or chasing. His stamina is improving. You can tell that he's a bit out of condition because it starts with him well ahead of Phoebe as she's chasing him, and after about 20 seconds, she's caught him up, overtaken him and he can't keep up.

We had no accidents in the office or the house yesterday. cheers He does need keeping a close eye on when he gets up and walks away, but he's definitely getting the message of when and where to pee and poo.

On our walk yesterday morning, we thought we would try him off the lead - the route is safe and without livestock or traffic. He was very good, keeping close. I don't think he's been a country dog, because it's all quite new to him and you can see him watching Phoebe for guidance of what he should sniff and will readily follow her lead. When we're in a park in town, he knows what to sniff. He's not a marking dog at all, and will generally just have one big pee and not a hundred little ones (unlike Phoebe who, although female, is definitely a dominant girl and has to put her mark on everything). When we approached Cadmore Lodge we tried to put him on the lead, and he plays this little circling game. The best way to get him back on the lead is to either sit down or crouch and wait until he comes up to you. Once past the front of the hotel, we let him off again and noted that when you are in an enclosed space, like a tight country path, he stays very close. Once in the open fields, he loves to run round and round. He soon tires, and is easy to get back on the lead. He does, however, need training to come to heel, but he doesn't run away at all and at the moment it just takes a little patience. Getting him over the stile is another matter altogether. He doesn't like being picked up for something he's frightened of, and will thrash and show his teeth. I can pick him up in the office and walk him around the room without a problem, but when he knows it's for something he's scared of, he doesn't comply. After ten minutes stuck at the stile, trying to pick him up, and him refusing to go under the fence, we started to walk away from him, thinking he might jump the stile, but he dug and pushed himself under the fence instead. We'll get there, it just takes patience and encouragement.

He loves being groomed and will readily give himself up for a bit of pampering. The birds definitely will do well with the fur out of the brush I threw in the garden. Within an hour, most of it had gone, and I can just visualise all these little chicks in their posh fur lined nests Laughing

His biggest achievement, in such a short space of time, is getting in the car. I guess his previous experience of cars was to the pound or to the kennel, and now he knows that it's not all bad destinations, then he's happy to just jump in as soon as you open the door and say, "In you go!" That makes such a difference.

I took him to meet mum yesterday. She's 80, registered blind (AMD and glaucoma, although she has a little peripheral vision in one eye) and has early stage Alzheimers. She lives in sheltered accomodation in Leominster, and the other residents always look forward to my visits, because they never know what dog (other than Phoebe) I will have with me. As a child we had a number of alsatians and GSDs (as guard dogs), and I was interested to see if she recognised the breed. She was in love with him straight away. She told the story (for the 100th time in the last few months) of when she was a security guard delivering wages to the companies in the docklands of Liverpool. She used to have a little van with a very vicious GSD in the back, which they would keep extremely hungry to make it more aggresive (cruel, I know). Anyway, the other staff would always ask why this dog loved my mum so much - it would make such a fuss when she was on duty and would sit right up behind her licking her neck. She never told them, but the first stop she would make was to the fish and chip shop to buy him a steak and kidney pie. "Well, how wicked to keep the dog hungry," she said. "And he always knew when we stopped at the chippy, what was in store!"

Gino met a few of the other residents and staff well, although a little hesitantly at first. He backs away at first, but then quickly comes forward when he gets a few encouraging words. He also meets other dogs very well, although there was a bit of lip curling and teeth baring with Buster, a friend's Golden Retriever, through their gate. I wasn't too concerned, because another foster, Ben, a very laid back old Staffie, didn't like Buster either and was the only dog he ever showed any aggression to. There are just those dogs who, although people friendly and seemingly very nice, other dogs don't like. Bit like people and cats really - you can't get on with every one. Speaking of cats, Gino was very curious about the two feral cats that I feed twice a day outside. He was loose in the front of the house as they were tucking into their grub by the garage. He went up cautiously, and they stood their ground and hissed at him and he took it no further. We've had cats cross our path during the morning walk and he hasn't shown any interest. He did half heartedly chase a squirrel that crossed our path, but more in a playful way than aggressive. The swans on the lake at Cadmore he gives a real wide berth to. He definitely doesn't like them, but the male is extremely confrontational at the moment because his mate is on the nest, so he comes up fluffed up and angry.

So, again, let me summarise his good points:

  • good in the car
  • good with other dogs
  • seemingly good with cats
  • seemingly housetrained
  • quiet and unassuming
  • loyal and loving when you have his trust
  • great on the lead with a firm hand (needs encouragement in heavy traffic, but fab in the country)

This is such a wonderful dog, and I believe he is totally ready for his forever home, although he does need gentle TLC to get him settled. He is a dream dog.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Re: Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old)

Post  jesses mum on Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:48 pm

Oh what a handsome boy Ria & what a turn around, shepherds of any kind hate kennels however kind & good, they are people dogs & Gino will make someone very happy when he finds his forever home, can't wait to see you all soon

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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty What a great weekend for Gino

Post  Ria on Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:27 am

Lots of car journeys have given Gino the ability to practice his entry to the car, and he has probably scored around 90% overall. It seems if there are too many distractions or people, he is a little unsure of getting into the car, but on the whole he has been really good. Overall we did 90 miles in the car yesterday and he was excellent.

Yesterday we spent an hour in Queens Wood near Hereford, and Gino was superb off the lead. He stayed close the whole time, and met other dogs really well. Shows great patience when you're speaking to people - he just settles down and waits for you to finish. Lots of admiring glances from people, and he was not spooked by any of them.

We took him back to the kennels to see everyone and it was clear that he was showing a big improvement. He was so pleased to see Lisa and Kim, and they both said how much they've missed him.

We then set off to mum's - a journey of around 25 miles, and he just lay down and slept. Behaved impeccably at mum's and, once again, he was the star of the evening. He is just so calm in the house, and despite his size, you would hardly know he was there.

Just one accident in the house yesterday, which was the first for a couple of days. We have been letting him sleep in the bedroom to get him in the habit of not peeing or pooing during the night, and he has been really good.

Today we joined the search for Paddy in Ludlow, and Gino had lots of practice of walking on the road, with lots of stops for passing cars. He was an absolute star, and reacted well to each command. Off road on the public footpaths he was let off lead, and again was so well behaved. We walked with Sarah and her GSD Jessie, another rescue with a poor background, and they were friends in no time. By the end of the 5 mile walk, Gino was so calm and collected. Natalie's young son was a good test of his reaction to being approached very quickly, and he was very well behaved, taking as many pats on the head as Nath could give him. He was just so chilled, it was like a completely different dog to the one we picked up on Tuesday evening.

On the way home, we stopped at the Salway Arms in Wooferton and sat outside for an hour. It's right on a very busy junction of the A49 and A456, with lots of massive lorries, tractors, and cars passing in a never ending stream. We were within 10 yards of the road, and even when a group of very noisy motorcycles passed, he was completely chilled out. The manager of the pub gave him lots of fuss, and Gino was completely without fear. The manager did say that once he was settled he would probably be looking for a dog, having lost his 17 year old dog last October, so I'll definitely keep him in mind. I am sure that Gino will be in his forever home before that though.

We're now sitting out on the deck at home. Phil is snoring his head off in the lounger next to me, and Phoebe and Gino are spark out too. I think we're all going to be incredibly sunburned in the morning, but what the heck - we've had a great weekend. Just wish that we could have found Paddy and it would have been just perfect.

So, let me just say how ready Gino is to find his forever home. I really don't think you could go wrong with this dog. He is absolutely beautiful. Good manners, excellent on the lead, curious, handsome, friendly with dogs and people, not a burden in any way. Interested in the cats, but not in an aggresive way at all. He is definitely getting bolder now that he's experiencing different noises and situations. He's an absolute gem.

Please give him a chance to light up your life and he'll be the best companion you could wish for.


Last edited by Ria on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Re: Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old)

Post  jesses mum on Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:26 am

Somebody with gentleness & time please please offer this lovely lovely boy a home, he is just a STAR, we were on a sad mission today, however I think we can be forgiven for having a good time as we were helping a beautiful dog to have a second chance.

Gino is fantastic, Jess my girl is nervy as well but Gino put up with her slight grumble on meeting & then they decided they were going to be buddies & had a lovely time in the woods with Phoebe, never far from us but sure enough to have a mooch about.

I wish my house could accommodate 4 dogs & that my OH didn't take up so much room!!!!

Gino is one special boy & anyone lucky enough to adopt him will be getting an absolute gem, He is just waiting for his special people.

How lovely to hear that even though he has suffered such hardship he is still able to lavish such affection on those who have shown him kindness & taught him to trust us humans again.

ps he even gives Kisses

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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty It was wonderful to finally meet Gino

Post  Natalie on Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:48 pm

Yesterday was a huge day for Gino. My son who is 6 and slightly autistic thought he was wonderful. He is a very hyper child bounce and although Gino was a little frightened of him to begin with he was soon very relaxed around him (possibly as he is quite treat orientated at the moment) and Nath would just give and give all day if he was allowed to. He went off on the search with Ria, Phil, Sarah (Phoebe and Jess) without problem. They walked miles with him and upon his return to search meeting point looked like a different dog altogether.

He seems to pick up things very quickly especially when he has met new people. He remembered us and just flopped down on the floor near Rias feet. There is a train line close by and he did look a little confused as one went rumbling past but stayed settled confused

All in all I felt that it was an excellent day for him. He will make a wonderful companion for somebody special out there. He is a beautiful boy who just needs some loving. The improvements he has made with Ria and Phil in such a short space of time are astounding. He is a quick learner, treat orientated, good with the other dogs, basically an absolute gem to be around.

I hope and pray he finds his forever home soon. He is an angel I love you xxxx
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Poster for Gino

Post  Ria on Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:57 pm

Thanks for much Sarah and Natalie for your feedback on Gino. It's great to get independent comments because I might just be that teeniest bit biased!! Laughing

We have just walked Gino and Phoebe through town and Gino has been sporting his I Need a Home coat. We were stopped a number of times to chat, which is brilliant, because it gets the name of the rescue out there, and people can learn about the work of the rescue. I'll need to start handing leaflets out next and shaking a tin Laughing

Gino has been a naughty boy this morning and has marked around the office, so he is confined to my room for the time being.

He demolished his pig's ear in record time and then thought he would take Phoebe's. No chance!! A deep growl soon put him in his place!

I've attached a poster to this update - please feel free to download and print or forward. The more exposure Gino gets, the better his chances of finding a wonderful forever home. You will need to register to download.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Re Gino

Post  Mally1 on Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:54 am

Hi Ria Its nice to read that Gino is settling in so well with you. I do hope he finds his forever home soon. Is he a purebred BSD ? I have a Malinois and a Gronendael x Samoyed he looks nothing like either of them and yes they're incredible dogs intelligent, beautiful and very faithful I did a lot of research before I got my Malinois and most owners describe them as the Ferrari of the dog world. Have you thought of contacting the Belgian Shepherd rescue to assist with your search for a suitable home ? I found Pam to be very helpful whenI was having some quite significant problems with my Malinois Julie

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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Purebred or crossbreed?

Post  Ria on Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:00 am

Very good question!! I tell him he's purebred, because I don't want to give him any hangups! Laughing Of the four different breeds he looks most like the Turvuren. It's not a breed I'm at all familiar with. Sadly, when he was tied to a fence with his paw pads bleeding, there was no pedigree attached to him, but no doubt his rotten owner probably labelled him disposable.

Thanks for your advice on the Belgian Shepherd rescue. I will definitely look into it and see if I can contact Pam. I will also start to cross post him soon to get as much exposure as I can for him. He so deserves a loving home where his strengths can be developed.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Gino

Post  sparky on Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:18 am

What an adorable face, he could be ideal for us I love you

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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty He is adorable!

Post  Ria on Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:20 am

Hi Sparky,

Would you like to PM me your details, and I can give you a ring if you would like to meet the gorgeous Gino and hear more about him.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Gino's progress

Post  Ria on Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:02 am

Gino continues to make great strides in his progress from a frightened and jumpy boy to a fine, confident young man. His morning walks are superb. He is great off the lead, staying close on the paths, and enjoying sweeping runs around you in circles in the open space. Never out of sight, and good on recall with a treat.

The car is a doddle now. He is even first to jump in while Phoebe takes her time. Once in the car, he lies low and settles really well. Occasionally he will get up and look where we're going, but if Phil's driving and taking corners like he's driving a getaway car, Gino knows that he needs to lie back down if he doesn't want to taste his food a second time No

He is marking more now, although he did it in the office on Monday but hasn't repeated it indoors since. His number 2s are definitely outside now, but he still has the occasional slip with the indoor wees. I blame myself for not being quick enough, as he can very subtly slip out of sight particularly when you'r otherwise engaged. He needs close supervision until we've cracked it. It won't take long. What we have is a dog that's probably never lived indoors, so he needs time to learn the right way to do things. He's a smart boy, and he will learn.

His play fighting with Phoebe is a sight to behold. They absolutely crack me up. Phoebe can stand up underneath him. He will down Phoebe, and will allow Phoebe to wrestle him down too. I must catch it on video and post it - it's just so funny. Phoebe had the advantage of being higher on the sofa tonight, but then Gino climbed up too. I wouldn't mind, but I was lying down on it at the time, and it's no joke having a combined weight of 36 kilos and eight paws stomping all over you! lol!

The most progress Gino's made is walking through town with heavy traffic passing close by. We were waiting on the corner of the street where just a week ago Gino slipped his collar. The biggest Spanish artic came bouncing along the street, with air brakes screeching as it negotiated the corner. With lots of verbal encouragement Gino sat and waited until it passed. A week ago he would have been rearing up and thrashing around in total fear. He still has the odd moment when he's spooked, but I am purposely very noisy around him, particularly at feeding time, and he is definitely less sensitive to noise. A week ago you would touch his tail and he would shoot up into the air. Today you can give his tail a friendly tug, and he doesn't react at all.

He is getting a little cheeky finding treats in my handbag. He's a bit dim though, because he trots into the lounge with his booty in his mouth for all to see, and it's easy to get him to drop them before he's managed to snaffle them out of the bag! He's also getting very cheeky when we're out walking at lunchtime. Tenbury is full of tourists at the moment (must be the shortest guided tour possible!), and a lot of them are sitting on benches on the burgage eating their packed lunches. Gino goes right up to them, sniffing their hands. A little old lady nearly lost her fish and chips to him today! He takes treats very gently and never snatches from you, so at least you have a fighting chance of saving your grub. So far, people have been very amused by his cheek.

You can tell he gets bored at times, and wants to do something, so he'll go and find something to retrieve and give it a little mouthing. So far there has been just one casualty - a bra!! Typical bloke - prefers his women to go without Laughing. He definitely makes us think about what we leave on the floor. Good thing too, because I can be untidy, so I guess he's doing me a favour! You can't get cross with him because he's not destructive, just bored. I suppose this boy's never had a real puppyhood. He's starting to get the idea about fetching a ball, but it's obviously not something he's ever done before. He definitely prefers to be around you, because he only stays outside for as long as you are out there with him. Even with the lounge door open, and such lovely weather at the moment, he prefers to come inside and lie close. He also likes to know where you are.

We haven't actually left him on his own so far, but tomorrow we will be out for a couple of hours so he'll be left in the kitchen with Phoebe. We might leave the camera going to see what he gets up to.

I hope everyone can see how well Gino is doing. Sparky, I have PM'd you my contact details, and I hope you will get in touch to meet Gino in the flesh. The photos and my updates don't do him justice - you have to see him to appreciate just what a gorgeous boy he is.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Continued improvement

Post  Ria on Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:09 am

Gino continues on his path of improvement. Some improvements are better than others. Take his getting into the car. Open the door, and in he gets. Today it was even without a lead on. Wind back just a week and come hell or high water, there was no way he was getting into the car without thrashing around, slipping his collar, running around, rearing up, and thrashing about when finally having to be manhandled into the car. Now he doesn't even wait for Phoebe's lead, he just jumps in before her.

The house training is a work in progress. His accidents happen when he is not being supervised and I blame myself. They also happen when the usual routine is altered, like a day off work, or the weekend. I am now understanding his timetable better and can identify when is the right time to take him out. Considering that I doubt he has ever lived in a house before, this is not something that is going to be cracked overnight. The thing that we have learned is not to let him out of our sight in the house until we have him trained fully. We have been letting him sleep in the bedroom, and this has completely kept him dry the whole night.

He's slowly learning how to play with toys. He will watch you throw a ball, run over to it and gently pick it up, then lumber around the garden with it.
Not quite the retriever yet.

We didn't leave him home last night when we went to our village hall committee meeting, we took him and Phoebe with us, as it was such a warm evening and we thought the walk to the village hall would be really nice. Also, it was an opportunity to socialise him with more strangers, and also I never miss an opportunity to try to find a new home for him!! Sadly, although everyone loved him, nobody could be persuaded to offer him a forever home! He did, however, behave impeccably, and settled right down by my feet and stretched out and went to sleep (yes, the meetings are generally pretty boring!).

Today, being a day off work and such a beautiful sunny day, we decided to have a walk through Ludlow. Gino walked beautifully on the lead through the busy town and market. He only got spooked once by a noisy generator, and just pulled on the lead a little in order to get away from the noise. We then drove to Mortimer Forest and had a great ramble through the forest, with Gino off the lead the whole time. Whenever he got too far ahead, we would just call him to stay and he would stop or run back to us. He met a lot of people and dogs, and even when he had a couple of very excited children patting his head and screaming in his ear in their excitement, he behaved beautifully. There is never any sign of aggression. He even licked the two year old, highly excited little girl on the hand, but hadn't noticed she'd already popped the biscuit she had in her mouth! We spent half an hour at Peeler Pond in the forest, and he and Phoebe had such fun racing around. Phoebe jumped right into the pond and swam across it, but Gino was a little more reserved, and just dipped his toes in and tried eating the water. We were joined by a number of different dogs, and at one point Phoebe was running round and round the pond with Gino and a lovely ten month old lurcher/bedlington cross puppy chasing her. It was one of those moments when you kick yourself for not having a camera to hand. We were rocking with laughter at the sight of a small terrier being chased by a pair of lumbering large dogs, and not getting anywhere near her. We were absolutely exhausted just watching them.

It's been a real joy watching Gino experience so many different things and giving him the opportunity to flourish in a home environment. I just hope we can find him a forever home that will continue to socialise him and involve him in as many experiences as possible. He is such a deserving dog and needs a loving, patient and kind home, where he will be totally involved with the activities of the household.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Gino just gets better with each day

Post  Ria on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:02 am

What a fab Bank Holiday weekend we had.

On Saturday we decided to bite the bullet and buy an extra large crate and bed - thank goodness for Countrywide's 10% off day (but I could kick myself for missing the Ludlow Countrywide half price dog crate sale a couple of weeks ago! :evil: ).

We popped Gino in the crate at night, and what a peaceful night we ALL had!! Not a sound all night, and then a bit of a cry at 6.30am so I got up and let him out. It definitely works really well until we are very confident that he could be trusted to go through the night. Having said that, he is now very used to it, and settles straight away. The other added bonus is that when I come down in the morning, he is so pleased to see me that he goes into raptures with the greeting, which is something we hadn't seen until now.

On Sunday we had an interesting day. We went out for a nice long walk around Leominster with my mum. We walked by the river, and had Gino off lead as usual. A border terrier came over to Gino and Phoebe, and immediately went into total submission, lying on his back and letting Gino and Phoebe sniff him all over. He then went running around inviting them to play. Gino was having so much fun running round and round for ages, and the owner started to get a bit narked that his dog was in complete cloth ear mode, taking no notice of his calls to heel - mind you, if I was called Feargal, I would tend to ignore the calls too Laughing ! Anyway, a good 5 minutes of mad chasing, and we thought we had better get Gino back on the lead, but no, he wanted to play more (and in fairness, so did Feargal), so he started to follow them. In the end, Feargal's well narky owner had to walk back to us so that I could get Gino back. Once the game was seen to be well and truly over, Gino came back without a fuss. We then walked through the beautiful churchyard and on to the Grange. As we walked across the grass, I could see a Sprollie watching our approach. It lay flat on the ground, and unfortunately Gino didn't notice it until it sprang up right in front of him. It gave poor Gino such a shock, that he bolted like a bat out of hell. He is a very strong and determined dog, and as I had my mum on my arm, I had no option but to let go of Gino's lead, otherwise we'd have been pulled over. Gino bolted right the way across the park, and of course, the flapping retractor lead was spooking him out even more. Fortunately, he bolted into the garden of the Grange, which only had one entrance, so Phil was able to get over there quickly. By this time, he had obviously wrapped the lead around a tree and snapped it cleanly off, so he had the short bit of webbed lead dangling from his collar. Once he was calm, he came straight back to me, with a look that said, "Me, a scaredy cat? No way!! I was just seeing how far it was across the park! Embarassed " So that was another £25 lead down the drain! Mad Never mind, we have quite a collection of different leads, and he is now sporting the half price Argos special RSPCA tape retractable lead, which works better with him than it does with a small dog.

On Monday we had a fantastic two hour cross country walk with friends and their Great Dane cross Mungo, and foster Staffie bitch, Melody. Mungo was all bark and no trousers when he met Gino, but his size is pretty intimidating. Gino stood his ground. Melody was not the best behaved, particularly with Phoebe, and was constantly barking right in her face. That seemed to set Mungo off, and the two of them were being pretty nasty to Phoebe. Gino came over to protect Phoebe, and the two of them then turned their attention on him. At one point, Gino bared his teeth (and we were quietly willing him to have a go, because it was good to see that he wasn't cowering). In the end, the only thing to quieten the reaction was to pop Melody on the lead. Gino was incredibly well behaved the whole time, and at one point when Phoebe legged it, he came with me to the top of the hill to look for her, and actually led her back to Phil, who was at the bottom of the hill! Phil then had to then shout and shout for me to get my head out of the barbed wire, because he had both dogs back! Rolling Eyes

Yesterday was back to the wage slave routine, and into the office, and Gino has settled back well. He is fantastic now getting into and out of the car. There have been no accidents at all at work, and we even walked him across the road where he had that terrible incident a couple of weeks ago. The girls in the bakery couldn't believe the difference in his gait.

This morning on our walk we had to laugh. Gino fell into the lake at Cadmore Lodge! He was taking rather too much interest in the coots, and was standing right on the edge. Unfortunately, he was standing on a mound of leaves and debris that they had obviously dragged out of the lake, and it gave way. There was the most almighty splash and he fell soundly into the water. We turned round just in time to see his bewildered face pop up over the bank, as he tried to pull himself out. First attempt failed, and he fell back in, and then he succeeded in dragging himself out. By this time we were almost at his side, but then we had to leg it away as he started to shake the water out. It was absolutely hilarious!! He definitely stank of pond life! Thank goodness he now enjoys his end of walk routine of having his paws and legs dried off, because I had to get the towel all over him when we got home. He was still a bit damp when we got to work, so I introduced him to the hairdrier, which after the first minute of complete fear, he actually enjoyed! It was obviously all a bit much for him today, because he has spent the best part of the day fast asleep on his bed under the desk. He did, however, rouse himself long enough for his midday walk and to demolish his pig's ear.

So, another successful few days. Gino is gaining in confidence with each passing day. We have had just two incidents of him peeing in the house over the last five days. I wish I had sound attached to this post, because at the moment he is obviously dreaming about chasing something, as there are little snorts and barks coming out of him, and I can see his feet running on the spot.

Gino is the most endearing dog, and he would make a fabulous addition to any family. I believe he would be very good with children and other dogs. He would also be good in a mature family with no pets. He is keen to love and protect you, and just asks for kindness and respect in return (and a good meal twice a day!).

Please PM me or call the rescue if you would like to meet Gino. I can also be contacted by email - maria.baxter@cyclone-technology.com. Gino is so ready to find his forever home, so please call!
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Can we come in?

Post  Ria on Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:42 am

Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Can_we12
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty A week with more progress

Post  Ria on Tue May 03, 2011 5:48 am

Where does the time go? It's hard to believe it's nearly three weeks since we brought Gino home, and it's great to see how far he's come in those weeks. What is new this last weekend is that he has now met horses, and been unimpressed (although had the sniffing of the horse's tail as it passed us on the bridleway in Mortimer Forest resulted in a back kick, it might have made quite an impression!). Then we had two racing trail bikes shooting past very close, and again there was no reaction at all. We then went into Ludlow town centre, and he wasn't too keen on the noisy fairground in town, and definitely has a thing about balloons, which he doesn't like at all. We spent half an hour people watching at the Costa coffee shop in the main thoroughfare, which was really busy with people and traffic going alongside really close. Gino took it all in his stride, and settled down to watch the passing parade. He was incredibly calm and well behaved. He was getting lots of admiring glances, and we were kicking ourselves for not bringing his Forest Dog Rescue coat. A gang of boys were observing him from the other side of the road, and one came up and asked if our dog was a fox! Strange, because he looks more like a wolf to us! Obviously they must have been urban children!!

We've had two responses from the advert in the pet shop in town, but sadly neither has resulted in a positive outcome yet. We are hopeful that we will find him a forever home very soon.
Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) You_tr11

You trying to trip me up, Feebs?

Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Dsc00810

I don't see any cats!!

Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Dsc00811

Wake me up when they come back then
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty We now have a better idea of Gino's heritage

Post  Ria on Tue May 10, 2011 3:40 am

I met with Pam and Steve from Belgian Shepherd Rescue on Friday afternoon, and they were extremely helpful in assessing Gino for me. It appears that he is a Tervueren Laekenois cross, and likely to be no more than 14 months old. I was given a lot of information about the characteristics of each type of Belgian Shepherd (there are four in total), and they are more than willing to help with any questions about the breed, should any potential adopter need any further information.

Steve was very taken with Gino and thought he was very curious and bright, and a very nice dog. He was very tempted himself, but with 5 of his own, he had to suppress any urge to take Gino home with him! They took lots of photographs of Gino and are going to help to look for a suitable home for both him and Bruce, who has now come into kennels.

Gino has continued to flourish in his development. He is now showing a very loving side to his nature, and loves to give and receive cuddles. He also loves being groomed and will stand for ages while I brush him, his eyes closing until he's nearly asleep on his feet.

I actually managed to get him on the scales at the vets and he weighs 24 kilos, which is the same as he weighed back in December when he was brought in. Although he seems a bit on the skinny side, given his age, we can now see that he has plenty of filling out to do, and probably won't reach more than 30kgs fully grown. I think he was trying to increase his weight gain rapidly yesterday when he nicked a fat ball out of the bucket when my back was turned. When we were at mum's later in the day, he coughed and a load of sunflower seeds popped onto the carpet!! Rolling Eyes

Having settled into his routine, he is gaining so much confidence, and although he does get spooked by the occasional loud noise or passing lorry, he is quick to calm and reassure. He truly is the most adorable boy, and I really don't know why he hasn't been snapped up already.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty What a thunderstorm!

Post  Ria on Tue May 10, 2011 9:06 pm

Poor old Gino!! We had the most unbelievable thunder and lightening storms last night, with belting hailstones. It went on and on for well over an hour, and poor Gino was truly spooked. I was in bed with a really bad back (bending over to pick up a toy, would you believe! Embarassed ), and the whole room was illuminating. I went downstairs, opened the lounge door where Gino and Phoebe were sitting, shaking with Phil, and the pair of them bolted up to the bedroom and jumped into the bed! I spent the rest of the evening with Phoebe under the covers by my feet, and Gino curled in a ball with my arm around him. Bless! What a pair of wusses! Laughing
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Fingers crossed, everyone!

Post  Ria on Wed May 11, 2011 10:04 am

I am so excited!! Gino has the possibility of a fantastic forever home in Herefordshire with a wonderful couple that I met last week and who met Gino. I am hopeful that he will be homed by the weekend. We need to make sure that he gets on well with the resident dogs - I have every faith that Gino will be on his best behaviour. If all goes well, Gino may even be joined by Bruce, but only if they are all on their best behaviour and understand that they will have the best life ever if they impress!!! Please, please, please behave yourselves, boys!! At the moment, Gino is fast asleep, eyes flickering, nostrils flaring, feet twitching - I swear he has a smile on his face because I have been telling him all night what a lucky, lucky boy he is, and he's dreaming of his forever home lol! . I will miss him so much because he has been a total joy to have around. It's hard to let them go, but when you see them go to such wonderful homes and you know you've helped them on their way, you dry your tears, blow your nose, and look towards the next foster.

If you feel that you could foster a dog - take a 'sticky' dog that is not presenting itself well in kennels, give it the confidence to shine, turn it's life around, and give it some training, tender loving care, patience and guidance - then please get in touch with the rescue. Good fosterers make all the difference to needy dogs, and mean that there's a kennel space to save another dog's life. You have to be committed to stick with the dog until it is rehomed - it could take weeks, or it could take months. It's important,, too that you are committed to giving feedback on the dog so that prospective adopters get a good feel for what the dog is like. A well informed adopter is less likely to return a dog. I can't emphasise enough how much pleasure and satisfaction you get when you see a dog in the perfect forever home. Please consider fostering - it's such a worthwhile cause. You also get the opportunity to experience breeds that you would never have considered, which is a bonus too.
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Re: Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old)

Post  jesses mum on Wed May 11, 2011 9:17 pm

bounce bounce bounce Everything is crossed for Gino, (and hopefully Bruce) .
Ria,you can see from your photos the difference being in a home has made to Gino, his coat is beautiful & he has a wonderful serene look on his face!! I am sure he will miss you Phil & Feebs but he is such a lovely happy boy I'm sure he will love his new playmates & his forever Mum & Dad in no time at all. bounce bounce bounce

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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty My heart is bursting with happiness!!

Post  Ria on Thu May 12, 2011 6:52 am

Gino and Bruce are going to be the best brothers ever with their new mum and dad Al and Stan, and the lovely Toffee and Alfie.

We had a fantastic get together with all the dogs and everyone got on famously (including poor old Feebs, who's going to be Phoebe no mates on Monday afternoon! Sad ). We are going to collect Bruce on Saturday and give him a weekend with us, so he and Gino can get to know eachother, and then they're all off to their wonderful new home on Monday afternoon.

Thanks go to Kim and Steph for kindly giving their time tonight to let us give the dogs some play time together. Most of all, thanks go to Al and Stan for opening their hearts and letting two fantastic boys share their lives. We are all so very grateful. I love you
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Gino - Belgian Shepherd, Dog (1 year old) Empty Gino and Bruce have left the building

Post  Ria on Tue May 17, 2011 2:09 am

We picked Bruce up on Saturday from FDR. We had planned to go off for the afternoon and find a nice walking spot, but when we heard the decibel level of Bruce's crying and barking, we headed home!

Bruce was incredibly clingy and I couldn't move anywhere without him being at my side. We went out for a nice walk and he kept his ears down the whole time. He walks close off the lead in the house, but on the lead is a different story. Here, there and everywhere!!

In an attempt to try to make him bond with Gino, we decided that they should sleep in the conservatory. We put them to bed, closed the sliding door to the conservatory, and immediately Bruce was jumping up at the door, crying and barking. Two hours later, I could take the barking no more, so I came downstairs, and moved Bruce to the crate in the lounge. No joy there either. Incessant barking for a further two hours (good job we have good soundproofing and weren't sending our neighbours round the bend). By 4am, with a mammoth four hours of non stop barking behind him, I threw in the towel and let him come up to the bedroom. He immediately lay under the bed on his side with his legs straight out and slept solidly for six hours without a murmur. The same again last night. Having spoken to his old owner, his barking has been a real problem.

We had a number of altercations with Gino and Bruce. Bruce thinks he's the boss, and shows signs of the green eyed monster, and I'm pleased to say that Gino took command and put him firmly in his place. Gino is a changed dog, all right! A couple of the fights got very heated, and the broom had to come out to separate them, but it's easy to see what the build up to the flare up is, so easy to avoid in the future. I actually think that without Phoebe, they will settle better together. I just hope that Bruce minds his manners with the resident dogs. Al and Stan have so much experience, that I don't foresee a problem.

So, this afternoon the paperwork was completed, and after an incredibly generous donation to FDR, we waved the boys off on their way to their new life together. I know they are going to be so happy where they're going. It couldn't have been a better ending for two deserving boys. We are going to visit them in a couple of weeks to make sure they're all settled, but in the meantime, I know that we'll be getting regular updates on them.

Good luck my little lads. Gino, I will miss you soooooo much, you were an absolute joy to have, even if only for such a short time. I love you I love you I love you . Bruce, it was a real pleasure to meet you, and I know that your new mum and dad are going to teach you some manners and you will shine.


Last edited by Ria on Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
Ria
Ria
Fosterer

Posts : 462
Join date : 2011-04-13
Location : Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

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