BRACKEN... is beautiful Orange Belton English Setter boy, we think about 18 months old.

Bracken was picked up as a stray in Ireland - very thin and shivery - a couple of weeks ago (see pic below, bottom left).  Goodness knows what happened to him, for he is the sweetest, cuddliest boy you could ever imagine. It’s hard to imagine that no one was looking for him, but he was not reclaimed and it’s possible he was dumped because he was a failed gundog.

Bracken arrived with us last week and is in foster near Andover where he is doing very well - a little needy and vocal when separated, but this is understandable given what he’s been through.

He is really lovely with other dogs and loves to play.  He is also house-trained.

We’ve been limiting exercise because he has a touch of kennel cough and because he’s so thin, but he’s eating like a horse and we hope to try him off-lead on Salisbury Plain later this week to see if he indulges in that well known setter habit of disappearing over the horizon..

UPDATE 1/12/10

Good news... Bracken loved being off-lead and although he did roam a little too far from base, he soon came flying back (lured, it has to be said, by a gorgeous red setter girl the same age as him).

Bracken’s kennel cough is now on the mend and he is approaching his ideal weight.

Bracken is vaccinated and wormed but not yet neutered (will be done either before he is rehomed or as a condition of his rehoming).

UPDATE 11/1/11

Lovely Bracken went to his new home in Cheshire just before Christmas, and has already proved a hit with resident flatcoat Tarquin and a Maine Coon cat. Here’s an update from his new mum, Kim.

“Just letting you know Bracken has settled well very quickly!  He and Tarquin played till midnight last night then both crashed with me, Bracken curled up on the bed and didn’t wake till 8am!  We have been a lovely walk this morning with our whippet friend, I let him off and he was good as gold, did do wide circles around us at first but then stayed in the thick of it with us and the three black labs that had joined us ! 

We then went to my friends pet shop where he got lots of fuss of her and other customers as well as treats!  He ate all his lunch! and is now fast asleep with Tarquin on the same bed!!

“I’m amazed at how quickly he’s settled in!  As I’m typing this in bed , I have him on my left cuddled up with Barnaby the cat!!! They’re good friends already - they were playing earlier. He’ s been excellent on his walks and seems to be responding to the whistle now and is not venturing too far. He’s a very good boy.” 

(added 23/11/10)

Below: a very thin and shivery boy when he was found as a stray in Ireland in November.