Special Dogs need Special People

All dogs are special, but there are a few who need that something extra to help them on their way to a better life.

Here we will show you those special dogs and maybe you are the special person who can help them.


Meet Bess – she needs a special owner who can help her to overcome her nervousness and carry on with the great work our Training team are doing with her.

BessCollHi!  My name is Bess and I thought you would just love to hear about me – from the dog’s mouth so to speak!  I hope I don’t come over to you as some sort of Prima Dogga! But If I do… ah well, I tried!

I live in an orphanage (J’s Pad in Cyprus) with anything up to one hundred friends – well, ok, not all are friends and, in my room there are only 5 of us.  But there are twenty-two rooms and I get around when chance permits… it only takes an open door (or a hole in a fence) and about two seconds – I can be fast when I need to be!  Ha!  Well, what do you expect?  I am a Chocolate Lab with a bit (only a little bit mind and we try not to talk about it!) of whatever was hurled into the mix for good measure – so I need my space, a good sniff and stretch and a change of scenery!  My take on life is “it’s all about me” but I can be pretty sweet when needs must.

The accommodation ain’t that bad really – not posh, you understand, but spacious and clean – pretty cool really – when you consider the alternative.  Living rough is un-cool and far too hard – you get dirty, hungry and sick for goodness sake!  My biggest complaint is that in the tick season (like now) those little blood suckers are out to get us big time!  Crawling up on us and digging their horrid little snouts into the trough.  That’s OUR skin for goodness sake – like we don’t have enough problems!  We also have visitors in the night, in the form of snakes which make great environmental enrichment for us!  We have had close encounters with the odd deadly viper with a determination to take us out – Ha!  We are too smart for that in pen 14 and have a real laugh when the humans come in and see what we have been entertaining ourselves with during the long nights!  Such fun to see them freak – especially if the snake is not quite dead!

Anyway, I am five years old and have lived in this orphanage for almost all my life and don’t know why I am still here.  I think I’m adorable – but it would seem that no-one else thinks like me.  They don’t see me as bein’ pretty, cute or clever but I can tell you I am all three!  I just don’t seem to cut the mustard no matter how hard I try to look adorable!  Now I am not saying I am perfect – far from it, and, there was one occasion when me and me bruvvers got a bit physical with another dog and the play got a bit out of hand – yeah well, ya know how it is.  It weren’t me though, honest, I was just a casual observer and bruvvers get you into all sorts of trouble don’t they? Blokes eh?  We were young, you understand, with no Ma or Pa to set the boundaries (whatever that means!).  Survival of the fittest it was – you did what you had to!  I might tell you, it did not go down well with the humans so we all got labelled “the hooligans” and got separated and now we are all in different pens.  That was a bit hard at first – we are family and families stick together.

My room-mates now are Dasher – she is soooo old and does not live up to her name unless, of course, the humans are in with their cookie boxes (everyone has their price! Ha!).  Maja – black and beautiful – can’t be that beautiful to humans though, cos she’s still here too!   Kosta – so Greek and so darned male – all mouth and trousers (but scared and won’t admit it).  Then there’s Barnaby – or Barney as I call him.  He and I are the stars in Pen 14 – you bet we are!  We are what humans call fearful, but we are not stupid for goodness sake – we keep well away from those who have done us down in the past.  Well, makes sense to keep yer head down when bullets are flying I reckon.  Anyway Barney is my beau!  Not that he is active – know what I mean?  They take us all to the vets so that we don’t have pups, which is fine by me.  Kids just plain wear you out!  Anyway My Barney is  Handsome, smart, makes me laugh and he is probably more scared of life than I am so he makes me feel better about myself and tells me I need to learn to love myself more.  Ha! Think I don’t???  Kinda cute is my Barney.  We have our moments you understand!

There is a good side to living here though.  The humans love us all, although I have to say that I am that wee bit more special!  I said special, not precious!  They make sure we get tasty grub, don’t get ill or, if we do get ill, we get to travel in the car to the vet.  Whoo-hoo! That’s cool and exciting – at least it is until we get there!   They even care for us if we get at the wrong end of a snake (we do like to tease ’em) but they do nag about it costing loads of dosh though!  Well, what the hell can I do about that?  I am unemployed, a working dog without a job – I cannot earn my living.  Stupid people!

Any way, we also have a training team – we call them Aunt C’s loonatics.  They are trying to do some weird things with us – they say they want us to be more comfortable, more contented, more confident and not so scared of everything.  It seems to be working – I can do so much more now and I even go and sit next to Aunt C when I am tired (or when I have had enough and I pretend I am tired!)  I can sit on a mat, lie down and my party piece (of which she is more proud than me!) is that if she play-bows, I play-bow back.  Little things please little minds so I humour her which means we get to play that game a lot.  Keeps her happy and me fed!  Easy peasy!

I got on a surf board this week (in a country where beaches and the sea are out of bounds to hounds – eh??) but hey, that got me a lick at the pate pot so I obliged!  Of course we have to do things which scare us a little, but gradually we get more confident.  Learned things like mats are for sitting on not chewing (Oops!!)  We are all nervous wrecks in this pen, but we control the training team with a firm paw and only do as much as we feel they can cope with and only treat them with a lick if they have earned it.  Bless ’em!  But can’t let them have it all their own way now can we?

Aunt C brings some strange things into our pen sometimes – like the little platform on wheels.  It sits in the corner so that we can get used to it… creepy – and goodness only knows what she expects us to do with it!  No doubt we will find out when she’s ready! Then there is the tambourine – I have visions of singing hymns outside pubs in the future – please spare me that!  A bell to press with my paw, boxes to find treats in – why?  Just chuck the food on the floor love! Live dangerously for goodness sake!

I get braver when there is something in it for me and have overcome fears, through  what Aunt C  calls ‘positive stuff’ – don’t care what she calls it, I’m sold on it (no fool this cookie!)    She also puts this thing around my neck which freaked me out at first but, if I put my head in the loop, lo and behold a treat appears as if by magic.  Guess what?  Head goes in now no trouble! Ha!  I am not stupid!   Aunt C keeps mumbling something about dancing in the future – I could do that.  It would be a doddle – waltz, tango – foxtrot… Fox???  p’raps not then!  Think I would be a great dancer – they don’t call me a Prima Dogerina fer nothin’ yer know.

Well now.  To anyone who still believes that you cannot make a silk purse out of a sows ear, get your head outta the sand ‘cos this sow’s ear can prove yer wrong and utterly out of touch!    This sow’s ear is one cool dude – no mistake!

Thanks fer listening – See ya!

Bess xx

©Carole Husein.  August 2013


Contact us if you would like to know more about the possibility of adopting Bess.