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Flash is doing brilliantly! He is a joy to have around, and is a calm, easy going boy, pretty relaxed about life – but at the same time still a bouncy 2 year old. I have a friend who has seen him steadily, every 2-3 weeks or so since a few days after he arrived. She consistently says that he’s a totally different dog each time she sees him. He’s learnt how to play more, and has a wonderful tutor in a lovely Collie called Suky, who is probably his best friend and taught him how much fun running for a ball can be (in a way that I obviously could not get across!). He loves his soft toys with squeaks that he gathers around him in bed and flings around the house and garden! He gets on well with other dogs, and also loves a young spaniel puppy, about 6 months old. He rarely shows his old anxieties now, and will relax and roll around on his bed showing off when visitors are here. I’ve seen his confidence grow, step by step, over the months – the pattern is the same each time, he gets more confident, pushe

He was castrated in February and we planned the process to keep him as calm as possible. This worked well and he recovered very quickly. He has also been chipped. He’s put on weight and condition with the steady plan of correct feeding and a build up of exercise. We no longer have a dog with all his ribs and spine showing; instead he’s a great shape. As I work from home I am around all of most days. He has got used to the pattern of the days. We go out for a long walk first thing in the morning before business starts, and again in the lunch period. We still have some challenges around recall, and this is when he can sense food is around and he will not come back. Some locals feed the foxes and that causes problems, as he’ll run to find the food. That aside, if I can keep him engaged with a squeaky ball he fetches and brings that back, squeaking it with great delight! He knows what to do, just sometimes chooses to do something else!

We went away earlier in the year for a long weekend and stayed at a farm. He coped with the car journey, being in a strange place with strange people, sleeping on his own in the farmhouse kitchen, the farmer being the first one in the kitchen very early in the morning, and he just accepted everything, not an anxious bark or grumble at all. He was a bit of handful when we were out and about, but it was new and he was overexcited and I was able to recognise that, and how much calmer he was generally at home. At home I think we are quite well known – I have had complete strangers come up to us (well, ok, to him) and say “Oh, you must be Flash…. you are lovely, aren’t you!”

It’s absolutely my good luck that Flash came to me. I can’t quite remember what life was like before, but it’s richer now, thanks to him, and thanks to you. I hope that we count as a brilliant success story. And here he is, in his place, at the top of the patio steps, keeping his eye out across the garden.

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