LEONARDO... landed in Dunboyne pound in Ireland last week and has not been reclaimed. He’s a collie-sized settery/retrievery cross described as “a real sweetheart, extremely handsome and very gentle”.

He’s now out of the pound and safe in a holding centre. More pix and info to come in the next few days!

Leonardo will be neutered, vaccinated, wormed and flea-treated and should be arriving with us next Thursday.

UPDATE 20/6/10

Ah well, the best-laid plans.... Leonardo went down with kennel cough which meant he couldn’t travel, so he is now arriving with us this Wednesday morning.

He’s a super chap, by all accounts - and, as you can, a very striking looking boy with beautiful colouring and a silky coat. He is full of beans now he is out of the pound and not the mouse that we first thought he was.   But he’s a real charmer - perfect with other dogs. He really loves to play, but not in an aggravating way. He is clean in his kennel, which bodes well for housetraining.  He shouts when shut in his kennel (as many do) but in a “I want to play!” not an “I’m inconsolable” way, and he is not destructive.

Leonardo is a young dog (two-ish?) and full of life so will need an active, stimulating home - ideally with another dog for play and company. We think he’s probably a bit boisterous for toddlers, but will assess further when he arrives.

UPDATE 10/7/10

Leonardo arrived on Thursday and he really is a very nice boy. Apart from a couple of attempts to mark inside the house on Day 1,  a stab at distributing the contents of the bin all over the kitchen, and the fact that he’s a tiny bit clumsy with his teeth when playing (which makes him unsuitable for very young children) he’s hard to fault - lovely (and slightly submissive) with other dogs, very good off-lead on walks (doesn’t go far), up for a game if you want one, but settles well if you don’t. He’s attentive and a very quick learner too - knows “sit” and “paw” and his recall is pretty good, although he is a little nervous about coming to you (looks like this might not always have been a great experience for him - although perhaps just because it was the end of a walk).  A very affectionate boy who loves a cuddle - Leo jumps right up on your lap if you sit on the sofa (but quickly got off when he was told off for jumping on the bed this afternoon on an exploratory visit upstairs!). A good honest dog” says my other half, Jon (who promises to take some more pix of him for us tomorrow). Not sure of his age - somewhere between 2 and 3 yrs old.

Leonardo is vaccinated, wormed and flea-treated but, as he has not been well, is not yet neutered. Depending on timing, we will either get this done this week or make it a condition of rehoming once he’s settled in to his new home. He is being fostered here with us in Wiltshire.

UPDATE 25/7/10

Leonardo was neutered last week and went to his new home in Dorset a few days later. In truth, we would normally have waited a few more days but he was leaping around with the other dogs here which was slowing his post-op recovery.  He is now settling in brilliantly with Dee and her 9-yr-old son Daniel who are both totally smitten.

“Leo seems more and more settled each day, he now 'sits' and 'waits' for his food and we are working on the same thing in and out of the door/gate. He still tries to bolt out of the car but i'm trying to work on that. He has met my mum's dogs and all the neighbours dogs, with only a little dispute with one of them that was quickly defused. A lot of my friends have visited to meet him and ALL bought him presents!!!!! He is the best of friends with my friend’s year -old bull mastiff and they love walking together.

“Leo and Dan are also the best of friends and play really well together. When Leo gets very excited he does tend to nip a little, so i got Dan to ignore him and stop playing when he does and he's doing it less and less.”

Yes, when Leo arrived, it was obviously he has a little more collie in him that we thought from his pictures, but he has good bite-inhibition (doesn’t nip hard and clearly isn’t scaring 9-yr-old Dan) and we feel sure he will quickly learn to not do it.

A bit thank you to Dee and Dan for giving Leo such a loving home.  As you can see from the pix, he’s settling in nicely and will love all the attention he gets as an only dog.

UPDATE 29/8/10

Sadly, Leonardo has come back to us - fortunately not because he has nipped, but because he became destructive when left.  We think the issue was boredom rather than separation anxiety as he didn’t bark, just essentially re-arranged anything not bolted to the floor.  He did, however, bark a LOT if crated to try and stop the damage, so that didn’t resolve the problem.  Dee works part-time, and was finding the situation very difficult, so very reluctantly decided she could no longer keep him.

Leonardo is now in a fabulous foster home in Christchurch in Dorset and getting on wonderfully well with the two young dogs there .  He really is a very loving, very affectionate boy and just wonderful with other dogs.  We were particularly pleased, too, to hear that this morning he relinquished the bacon sandwich he had nicked (which is more than any of my own would do!).

A big thank you to Vicki and family for stepping in at very short notice to help us with Leonardo - and also for dealing admirably with a vet visit to treat a severe ear infection.  Thank you too to Dee for helping out with the rather large vet bill that resulted!

(added 4/6/10)

UPDATE 19/10/10

There are some dogs that can slot into almost any home and others, like Leo, for whom it takes that little bit longer.   But we’re delighted to report that Leonardo has found his forever home - with lovely Daisy in Bournemouth. It is proving to be the perfect match and Leonardo has not put a paw wrong - well, except from the occasional bit of sideboard surfing... He’s proved to be the perfect, loving companion for Daisy and he gets on perfectly with Daisy’s daughter’s black lab  - also called Leo as coincidence would have it - who comes to stay fairly frequently. A huge thank you to Daisy for giving lovely Leo exactly what he needed...