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 Henry the big lad

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Littlefoot

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PostSubject: Henry the big lad   Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:57 am

Posted on behalf of Friends of the animals RCT

Name: Henry
Age: 6 years plus
Breed: GSD X Collie
Can I live with Children: no although good with them
Can I live with cats: ?
Can I live with other dogs: would be happier as an only dog
Fostered In: London

Other Information:


Henry came to us after his owner was found to be dead in their flat. The owner had been dead at least 5 weeks and poor Henry was a very scared and anxious boy when he first arrived. He has now ben neutered and started his vaccinations as we have no information on him.

He is over 6 years and may be older and we think a GSD x Collie but we do feel there may be some St Bernard in there. He is a very big dog although he has lost a great deal of weight and has little or no muscle in his back end. Henry is a bit of a talker and likes to make little growly noises. He is now in a wonderful foster home in London and is sharing with another dog Pan.

Henry's foster mum is going to update on his progress and their observations of this fab boy. His life has had such a lot of turmoil and it never ceases to amaze me how resilient dogs are. he has gone form being shut up for weeks in a flat with a dead body, andhaving police brak in to living in the middle of London and is doing well.

Henry will need a stong and confident, experienced owner and although his owner was a man he likes the ladies as well.


And for purposes of scale - look at the SIZE of him!

Henry is a very special boy, huge, gentle, loving, protective and playful he really gets under your skin. He's very intelligent, as you might expect with his breed mix, he's also sensitive and quite complicated with an incredibly strong personality.

He seems to have not been walked much in the recent part of his life, his back legs have horrific muscle wastage which we are trying to build back up with walks a little and often. It also looks likely he has arthritis in his hips and if he is over walked he will cry from discomfort afterwards. It seems that he was a very overweight boy before he was left to starve for 5 weeks, he walks very flat on his huge paws and was only a little underweight when he arrived but this has put a lot of strain on his joints. I must say though that the improvement in a few short weeks is remarkable, the vet has high hopes for him and I'll keep this thread updated with his progress.

There seem to be lots of things he's not seen before, water, baths, lifts, hoovers etc. However, with a lot of encouragement by way of treats and cuddles he soon takes all these new challenges in his stride (although he's still not sure about the canal).

He is going to be the most incredibly handsome man with lovely wavy boarder collie locks but at the moment he looks a little sorry. He'd most likely never had a bath and was unimaginably filthy when he arrived with us. You had to wash your hands after stroking him because your fingers would be black. His long fur was all matted too so he's been clipped from his shoulders down to the tip of his tail. He also has a bald patch on his back, probably due to malnutrition and stress, but this is growing back really fast with decent food, E45 cream and the odd scratch. On that note if you scratch his bald patch in just the right place his back legs go weak with pleasure and he ends up half collapsed on the floor, grunting with happiness.

Henry forms a very strong bond with his humans and can be protective of them and their home, so it would probably be best if his new owners were experienced dog owners. He is an excellent guard beast and barks the place down when anyone knocks on the door but calms down very fast once you let him know it's a friendly visitor.

He plays nicely with children in the park but due to his size and protectiveness must not go to a home with resident children.

He lives very happily with our resident collie x gsd but he is very definitely top dog, something that has never happened before with our dog. I would therefore suggest that he could live with another female dog but not a male one. He is a very in charge sort of beast but at the same time doesn't push it or lord over others.

Despite what it may sound like, this boy has been loved in the past. He has all his commands (although sometimes he recall can be a bit sketchy if there's a particularly interesting smell about) and walks nicely on the lead. He is fine in the car but at first could be a little queasy if you went too fast, although this seems to have resolved itself fairly quickly. You can take his food from him as well. So far he's been fine to be left for 3 hours and we'll gradually increase this.

There's one part of his personality which needs real understanding. He is a very vocal chap, he grunts, whistles, snorts, purrs and growls pretty much all the time which is just in his nature, however he also growls at you if you approach him to take something (like a sock) that he wants. In my opinion this is mearley a way of communicating with you, he's clearly never been told it's wrong and does it in play as well as normal life. This will need careful handling and as he's such a big boy, can be a bit frightening if you're not experienced. I know I was scared when we first got him, but as I've got to know him better I understand it as part of his chatty nature. He barks with happiness when you come home too.

He is very affectionate (as you can see from the picture below) and loves to cuddle you. Like other massive, hairy beasts he thinks he's a lap dog and will try to get on your lap if you're not careful! He likes to rest his big old head on your knee and stare soulfully at you and a scratch behind the ears will elicit wookie-esque noises of contentment. One really heartbreaking thing is if you lie to still for too long he will come over and paw at you till you move a bit. We assume this is because of his experience of being with his dead owner for too long. once you do move he cuddles up to you with genuine concern and I have to admit to shedding a few tears over this behaviour.

He is afraid of having the inside of his ears touched and when he first arrived wasn't keen on his neck being touched. However, with lots of treats, hugs and a very soft, padded collar he now has no problem with it. We will start working on the ears soon.

One of the sweetest things about Henry is how amazingly playful he is. If you give him a toy he gambols like a little puppy, throwing it up in the air and catching it. He also likes to kill the post when it arrives so you'll need to put up a little net for it. His favourite toy in the world is your socks and is often found with his snout in the laundry basket looking for more offenders to terrorise. He loves to play chase the person with the ball and then when he has the ball thinks you should chase him too. Seeing that huge, lumbering beast skipping about like a lamb is enough to bring tears to your eyes.

I can't tell you how characterful this man is and how much we wish we could keep him. We know it's going to be hard to find him the right home but I promise you he is worth everything you could possibly give him and his owner will be a truly blessed person. Please consider him.

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PostSubject: Re: Henry the big lad   Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:40 am

We've just got back from holiday in Suffolk so I thought I'd give everyone a quick update on the big lad.

Henry settles down more every day, he's one of those strange beasts who gets a closer and closer bond with you, even though you think you're as close as you could be already. His bald patch of fur is growing back thick and strong, not helped by rolling in the biggest pile of bur I've ever seen - it took two days to fish all the bits out! He is very happy to be groomed even with a nasty Furminator and he looks devilishly handsome and smooth after a good brush. I dread to think how gorgeous he's going to be when all his fur grows back!

His hips are getting much better. He now plays outside for 30-40 minutes at a time, running, chasing, jumping and fetching. He still has a rolling gait but doesn't seem to be in any discomfort from it anymore. The school kids we walk past on lunchtime walks call him lion man, and he really does walk like one!

We have got to the bottom of why he's afraid of having his ears touched. Henry got a nasty ear infection last week and the vet says she's certain he's had them many times before. He certainly knew what the ear drops bottle is, he runs right the way across the flat and tries to hide in the wardrobe when he sees it come out. Despite this he has been very stoic about having his drops and the infection cleared in a few days. Since this infection has cleared up he's much more relaxed about having his ears touched, you can't go too far in but you can give the inside a little scritch with no problems whatever.

His sometimes difficult possessiveness is REALLY improving, it's quite remarkable really as we weren't doing much work on it. He now lets us take socks, post and other illegal things from him without swopping for a treat and has not growled at me advancing on him when he has a ball or plaything for at least a week, if not more. It seems that the more he knows us and our rules and boundaries, the more he trusts us. He also seems to value objects less as he gets more secure. It's his complicated, sensitive nature at work again. It can be complicated to learn about, but goodness me it's rewarding as he relaxes and shows you he appreciates you.

Henry is a truly lovely boy and we know he'll make the most amazing friend for the right person.

Here he is enjoying himself on the beach at Southwold.

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PostSubject: Re: Henry the big lad   Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:33 pm

Henry's back legs and hips seem to be totally fine now, it's a minor miracle. He now stays out for an hour at a time no problem and even comes running with me sometimes (not that I go very far, but still). He's really turned out to be a very energetic boy and bounces round my tiny flat until his big lunchtime walk. He seems so much younger now than when he first arrived and I can really see him as the young (ish) boy that he actually is!<3

I'm going to try and video him making his lovely wookie yelps and rumble noises in the next few days, they really need to be heard to be believed. Please give him the loving home he deserves in time for Christmas!

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PostSubject: Re: Henry the big lad   Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:57 am

Hey everyone,

Here's a quick video of Henry being very interested in the sounds coming from the computer. His big ears are stuck right up like antennae, it's rather cute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUPRfzCJWR0

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PostSubject: Re: Henry the big lad   Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:05 am

Now reserved bounce

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