SHADOW... is a small and very cute setter x boy, not much than a puppy. He is incredibly lucky to be alive.

Shadow was picked up from a busy road in Dublin where he was frantically running up to cars - we think trying to find the one he’d been dumped from.  He was emaciated and totally exhausted. 

Having survived the traffic, he then went down with bad  kennel cough and when he arrived with us three days ago he was very poorly indeed - very weak and wracked by a honking cough that shuddered through his small frame.  At the vet, he propped himself up against a cupboard to stay upright. 

Yesterday he was worse - very quiet, off his food and with a bad tummy. A worry. But today he has perked up a lot, his tummy has settled and the antibiotics are beginning to work their magic on the kennel cough. He even managed a short walk round the village (well away from other dogs of course) and proved to be a very good boy indeed on the lead.

The Hotterdog fleece, by the way, is our secret weapon with dogs that are thin and shivery.  We put it on after giving him a hot bath (he was very smelly!) and, like most, he finds it very comforting, a little like swaddling a baby!

Shadow is very soft and cuddly at the moment but we think he’s going to be very puppyish and a quite mischievous boy when he’s feeling a little stronger.  That said, he has  good manners and sits the moment he is asked.  When he yelled his head off at being shut in the kitchen on the second night, a stern “no” through the door (well, it was 2am and he had been shouting for over an hour!) was enough to quieten him.  He has also been totally clean in the house, so may have lived in one before.

We think Shadow is a setter/spaniel x - almost certainly working stock. His nose barely left the ground today on his walk . He loves other dogs and, although we’re having to keep him separate and quiet at the moment, he’s going to love to play. Perfect for him would be a country  home with an older dog to show him the ropes.

Shadow is fully vaccinated (including, rather ironically, for kennel cough) but is too frail yet to be neutered.

UPDATE 4/4/10

Shadow is now feeling much better and what a lovely little chap he is - a very puppyish, very sweet, biddable, cuddly, sensitive boy. He greets you with an adorable setter “yowl”.

Shadow is featherlight - almost floats when he runs - and although he is still building his strength so his burst of energy are quite short at the moment, he is looking for a kind, active, country home. (We say kind as he crumples if you shout at him). He is very interested in birds (betraying his setter/spaniel heritage) and is now playing beautifully with our gang (see pix with Tara, below).

Shadow is wonderful in the house (not a single accident) and also good on the lead. All in all a really lovely boy.

UPDATE 10/4/10

It has been fantastic to see this boy blossom. He’s grown in confidence so much and you couldn’t want for a more perfect dog. Really, really bright too, and so keen to learn.

His only issue, really, is that a little too playfully nibbly for young children and he is pretty independent on walks so will need safe countryside in which to run. He won’t suit someone who wants a dog to trot dutifully along off-lead at their side. (If that’s what you’re looking for, see Ozzie or Max!)

If you are interested in Shadow please email asap.

There is a minimum adoption fee of  £150 for Shadow, which includes the £65 it costs to transport him from Ireland. 

UPDATE 22/4/10

Shadow went to his new home last weekend and is settling in absolutely fantastically at his new home not far from us here in Wiltshire (so hopefully we’ll still get to see him from time to time!).  New mum Jo says he’s doing really well and although always up for a game, is very gentle with her children, Poppy and two-year-old James who is only two.  Given his predilection for disappearing over the horizon off-lead, his new family are keep him on lead and doing lots of solid recall training with him. So far so good - although sounds like a good job we didn’t try to home him with a cat - he clearly wants to chase ‘em! A big thank you to Jo, Alistair, Poppy and James for giving super Shadow a very kind and loving home.

(added 28/3/10)

Above, Shadow when he arrived and, below, a week on - much stronger and full of beans!