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Best option for island rescued doggies - advice needed

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Jimmykass, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. Jimmykass

    Jimmykass New Member Registered

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    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post - I apologize if it's too long.

    I live on a Greek island during the summer where we operate a hotel business with my family. In early August I stumbed upon a 5 year old female rottweiler living in our plot along with her 2 months old puppy. It looks like the mother was kept there, on a leash since February (obviously without our knowledge). The guy who owned them (we found out who he was) is completely irresponsible and unable to take care of them.
    It immediately became clear that there was no other option but for us to take over.

    Now, our first response, was to clean the plot and create a 70sqm (753.4737ft²) fenced area in order for them to be able to roam freely throughout the day. The fenced area is located next to a warehouse - so the doggies can also find shelter inside the property when it gets too warm or when its raining. I do take them out on walks twice everyday and provide them with plenty of treats and toys to keep them occupied.

    The problem is that with winter approaching, me and my family will be moving out of the island in the next coming weeks. I myself live between Athens and London - I am always on the run and only visit our island home for a few days every month to tend to business. Taking the dogs with us to Athens is not an option as I live in an apartment (and I am also there 1-2 weeks / month) while my family already has 3 dogs and a cat living with them for most of the year.

    Now, there is always a caretaker in our estate in Skiathos. The man is able to take care of the dogs, feeding and monitoring them and even taking them to the vet if necessary. He is unable to comprehend however, the necessity of taking the dogs out for a walk or spending time with them (I cannot force him to do it either). My main worry therefore is that despite the fact that I have been able to secure a safe shelter for the 2 abandoned dogs - they may end up spending too much time without human companionship throughout the year. In the winter, especially it is possible that there will be weeks on end that their only human companionship would be the caretaker feeding them. As mentioned above, I only visit our island home 5-7 days / month to tend to business and therefore I wont be there all the time to provide them with the companionship that they need.

    We have of course tried to find foster homes for the doggies but no one seems keen to adopt a rottweiler. I have now come to terms that there are 2 main solutions for the rescued rotties:

    1. I can move the dogs to a villa with a large plot that we own (10 hectares). The dogs will be free to roam in a very large area all day. There is also a building for them to find shelter in case of bad weather. This solution will aleviate the dog walking issue but not the human companionship issue. What worries me is that perhaps the plot is too large and may leave the dogs open to additional dangers such as snakes or other animals (poisonous bugs etc.). The dogs will also need to return to the 70sqm fenced area in the summer (that is, if we do not find a foster home for them until then) and this may also be a problem as they may have already gotten used to living in a larger area and it may be difficult for them to return to a smaller space.

    2. Keeping the dogs on the same plot that they live now and hopefully making arrangements with the local shelter to maybe take them out on walks every once in a while. 70sqm is the size of a small apartment. What worries me is that perhaps the space may be too small for two large dog.

    Which option do you think is best? Most of my family and friends and even our vet thinks that I am overreacting. Do you think that the dogs will be fine spending 3 weeks each month (October - March) with very little human companionship? After all, this is certainly an upgrade, considering their living standards before I found them.

    The truth is that we have had large dogs living alone in Skiathos with our caretakers when I was younger and none of them had any behavioral problems or other issues. They were very happy dogs and enjoyed both our companionship and their lone winter lifestyle.

    Would really appreciate an alternative perspective here,

    Thanks in advance,
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Would you be able to hire someone you trust to come in each day (or so) to give the dogs companionship, play with them, and maybe also walk them? Maybe a teenager, or someone who works in tourism so will be short of work during the winter? Or someone who volunteers for one of the shelters? You'd obviously want to build up a relationship and trust in them before you leave. Also, if the caretaker won't walk them, can he at least play with them, groom them (to keep them used to body contact) and so on?

    Coincidentally (or maybe not) I holidayed on Skiathos back in the 80s, and one morning we were quite excited to find a couple of puppies in the land behind the villa. Not so excited when we realised they had been abandoned :-( A taverna owner we had become friendly with took them, hopefully to pass them to a local rescue or find homes.
    Hemlock likes this.

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