ORLA...  is a dog you don’t see very often in the UK - a working-bred English Setter - who landed as a stray in Dundalk Pound a couple of weeks ago.

We think Orla , who is a youngster and very small, has probably lived in a shed with very little human contact as she’s a very scared girl and is in poor condition - but I am reassured by this picture which shows she can make eye contact.

Working-bred English are very different from their show-bred English cousins - generally a livelier and brighter dog.  Orla will need a calm, patient, loving and active home with a very secure garden that can devote some time into building her confidence. The company of another dog would be a big help.

UPDATE 22/5/11

Well, Orla has been harbouring a surprise... courtesy of an illicit liaison with, we think, a collie boy.  Just before she was due to travel to us two weeks ago, someone spotted just how large her tummy was getting...

Given that she was in a holding centre in Ireland with absolutely no frills (definitely not the place to have puppies), emergency transport was arranged to bring her over by car (a big thank you to Emma from Dundalk Dogs who gave up her time to do this), and at Holyhead she was collected by wonderful Ky who now has her at home with her in north Wales.

Orla must have thought she had gone to heaven with Ky providing nothing but the best for the mum to be... goats’ milk, free range duck eggs, minced lamb, Weetabix.. And she lapped it all up, seemingly as keen as we all were to ensure she was able to give her pups the best start in life.

Orla’s seven pups arrived with little fuss five days ago, on May 17 (see separate listing here)  - all plump and healthy, and Orla  is proving to be a totally wonderful mum.

She’s doing reall well - still shy, but a much happier, more confident, affectionate girl now she’s in a home situation.

Clearly, she won’t be going anywhere for a little while - but this pint-sized Setter girl shows every sign of being a wonderful pet, ideally in a home with an older, confident dog to help in her continued development.

A huge thank you to Ky for provide safe refuge and so much TLC to Orla. You are, absolutely, a BRX Hero.

UPDATE 9/6/11

Orla is doing so well... a wonderful mum to her puppies and such a sweet and gentle girl who is really blossoming now.

The pups are moving on to solid food and she’s relishing the opportunity of a bit more time for herself.  She’s absolutely fantastic with all the other dogs, ducks, hens, cats sheep and other animals on the farm and is happy and waggy with visitors.  We feel this kind of life would really suit her - although she also now loves being in the house with all its home and creature comforts.

Foster mum Ky cannot speak more highly of Orla and someone is going to be incredibly lucky. If you would like it to be you, please  email info@blackretrieverx.co.uk asap.  Orla will be able to go to her new home next month, and  along with her pups is now ready to receive visitors.

There is an adoption fee of £150 + VAT (total £180) for Orla, which includes the cost of her transport from Ireland, vaxing, flea-treating, microchipping and neutering if appropriate.

(added 31/3/11)

Orla, above, loving the comfort of a duvet in the back of the car on her way from Ireland to the UK and, below, looking so much better after just a few days with foster mum Ky.

Above, Orla two weeks ago... very thin, but with a burgeoning tummy...

Above, Orla with her newborn pups... Below, pups at three weeks old and, right, sweet Orla in danger in Dundalk Pound in March...