April 2016 - Trail Hound Ben
You may have seen me out walking the recent addition to the Gibson household, ex-racing trail hound, Ben. In his racing days his name was 'Jacko'. Later, when rehomed for the first time for a period of 2 months his name became 'Sid'. When he came to us in January, his name became Ben. Taking on a rescue dog can be a difficult time for the new owners, as well as the dog. Given his history, Ben is finding it particularly difficult.
'Jacko' was born in the Lake District and went on to race in the Borders. His racing owner said he was very independent. As a racing dog, 'Jacko' was expected, when released with other dogs, to head off, racing on an aniseed trail for 10 miles to a finishing line. To do this a dog has to be independent. He was originally put up for rehoming at the age of 18 months, because he wanted to play with the other dogs as they finished a race, thus 'spoiling the race'. Trail Hound Welfare, taking on the role of rehoming 'Jacko' put him with The Dogs Trust, saying he was incredibly strong and forward going - we would agree with every word. After he came to live with us, my hands became blistered with trying to walk him as he fought to be released to find an aniseed trail and call other dogs to him to lead. Sometimes he would bay incessantly throughout the walk. I am glad to say things are improving and the blisters have healed, but we have a long way to go. Although walking him continues to be our biggest problem, he has improved no end in the home. He hasn't stolen food for some time, whipping a sandwich off the plate before you can even blink! He loves our garden, and we have a race track round it where he can fully stretch his legs. He is now house trained and is attending a dog training course which he loves.
Ben has a warm heart and makes us laugh, especially when he refuses to go out in the rain. Didn't it rain in the Borders? He is patient with our other dog Max, the miniature Dachshund, who tries to bully him and be 'top dog'. Talk about Little and Large! The best thing you can do with a dog like Ben is to have patience and perseverance. We have plenty of both, and we adore him.
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