So we went to 'have a look' at the local RSPCA today. I know - completely impossible to look especially if you see a dog that you know you could help. One such dog was there today.
Her name is Tess and we have offered her a home. She is a lovely little 8 year old terrier, who it seems has not had the best of chances to date. Her 'story and description' from the RSPCA is as follows;-
Tess is a female, 8 years old dog, who was brought to us on the 31st of December 2007.
Tess is an 8-year-old black-and-white crossbreed terrier. She was brought to Derby RSPCA Centre when her last owners were no longer capable of coping with dog ownership. She is by nature a friendly dog, but has been rather shaken up by her recent experiences (less care from her owners, then losing her owners and her home altogether) and is understandably rather wary, nervous and jittery at present.
Because she is so unsettled at the moment and preoccupied with her circumstances, she doesn’t seem to interact very much with the world around her. She currently shows no interest in other dogs and even ignores cats and small furry animals altogether (though this might well change if she found herself living under more relaxing circumstances). She can even seem completely indifferent to people sometimes, no matter how friendly and well-intentioned they are. She is strokeable, but always tense.
Tess needs a calm and very loving new home where her owners will allow her the time and space to adjust to a new environment and a whole new life. Gentleness, understanding, patience and compassion are what Tess needs to be shown, so she can relax and wind back down at her own speed without feeling at all pressured.
She would be suitable to live in a household where any children are aged 15+ and are kindly and sympathetic. She will of course need plenty of exercise. Tess is at heart a friendly little dog who simply needs a warm and caring ‘forever’ home now where she can gradually turn back into the happy and relaxed little terrier she should be.
She shows not interest in cats which is good as Tamsin our rescue cat needs to be considered. So we have an appointment with the centre next weekend when the whole family has to meet Tess. If that's OK then its a home visit - I think the RSPCA do it right - plenty of focus on our suitability for Tess.
It may be a couple of weeks before Tess is with us. I'll keep you posted.
I think dogs and boats go together so well. Last year and the year before we had Prince, our friends John and Carrie's dog on our shared ownership boat - he loved it. I think dogs are a natural introduction and get people talking.