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Hello everyone. I’m called Mr Slate. I came into SDR 4 years ago in a van full of dogs from Ireland.
At the time, whenever a group of dogs arrived, the staff would pick on a film/cartoon/musical and name all the dogs after the characters. My group were named after the Flintstones, and I was called Mr Slate after the tin-mine manager. All the other dogs had sensible names like Freddy. Still, we all have our crosses to bear.
In the first 2 years at Stokenchurch, I was adopted or fostered out 8 times and each time I was returned. I have, what I think is called a ‘long bite- history’ and I bit someone in every house I was placed in. I was also not keen on seeing other dogs when I’m out and about and could carry on long and loud.
I met my foster mum as soon as I reached Stokenchurch. I get very stressed in kennels and had broken a tooth chewing on a doorframe. My foster mum, who is the fostering co-ordinator, took me to the vets to get it fixed. After that, every time I was brought back to kennels when the people I was with decided they couldn’t cope with me, mum used to take me home for a while to settle me back down.
Eventually, after the last bite, mum said, “What on earth are we going to do with you. You can’t be adopted out now after all these bites and you get so stressed in kennels” Mum hadn’t thought of having a dog full time. She used to have the dogs in training for Hearing Dogs and that was part-time. Anyway, she felt she could love and manage me, with support from SDR, so decided I could go and live with her. I’ve been with mum for nearly 2 years now. She says I’ve not given her an easy time and that I’m ‘work in progress’ whatever that means. She takes me for walks nearly every week with a group called Reactive Rovers. These dogs are all like me ; they shout and carry on when they see another dog. The funny thing is, although I barked for 2 hours solid on our first few walks, I now enjoy walking with all the other dogs. Mum says it used to be like having a steam train on the end of the lead, with me huffing , puffing, lunging and making a lot of noise. She doesn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn any longer to walk me.
Recently I had an eye operation after a deep ulcer formed and I needed eye drops after the operation.. Mum was going away just afterwards and wasn’t sure who’d be able to put my drops in. She said there weren’t many people who’d put up with my shenanigans. So I went into SDR to be looked after, as apparently I’m what is called a ‘tricky little character’ and would need 2 people and a muzzle to put the eye drops in.
Well, that’s some of my story. I’m going to give mum my sweet little waggy tailed look now to see if I can entice her into the kitchen by the treats tin.