Ivy and Ted

Dogs, Rehome

We catch up with multi-lurcher owners of Ivy and Ted, to see what it is really like to adopt.

We have had Ivy for almost a year. The moment she walked through our front door she knew she was home. We were expecting a difficult first few nights, but we didn’t have so much as a whimper from her. It took her 3 days to find her spot on the sofa and a couple of weeks to climb the stairs. 

It hasn’t been easy at times, she had a thing for biting our son’s feet but with some time out training it soon stopped. Whilst out walking she gets herself in a tizz as she wants to play with every dog she meets, but we are attending reactive classes which are helping. 

But she loves her cuddles and doesn’t give you a chance to take your coat off as she is so eager to welcome you home. She has the gentlest character and loves playing and extra snuggles when our family visit. 

Just before Christmas we felt that Ivy needed a companion, so we went back to Bath for another lurcher. In January we welcomed Ted, we were told that he was very nervous and would take a long time to trust people, it is evident that he has been mistreated in his previous life. He is frightened of his own shadow and any quick or loud noises. He wasn’t sure about treats and he had no idea what to do with a toy. He refused to come in from the garden for the first two hours as he was so nervous and for the first few days we had to take him out in the garden on a lead.

But he is unrecognisable now, he has grown so much in confidence making us feel so proud.

Ivy has been a great teacher. He loves playing with his toys and has started to play with a tug toy with Ivy. He loves his treats and jostles with Ivy as to who gets one first. He too, has started to greet you at the door and you have to steal yourself against the pair of them wanting to say hello. He has the gentlest soul who loves cuddles and having his head scratched. 

Together they make the best team, we are very lucky that they get on so well. Ivy is certainly the boss and has always got a lot to say whereas Ted is quieter of the two. We have lost our sofa and can’t eat a snack without sharing it. It is hard work we can’t deny but it all outweighs the positives and the love and joy they bring.

Why did you choose lurchers?

Our Jack Russell had passed away in February, and we decided that we wouldn’t look for another dog for a while………or so we thought. We started to look at the rescue websites (just for a look, of course). It soon became apparent that sighthounds had stolen our hearts, so much so, Ivy had made herself comfortable in our home by the end of May. There was no other option for us. 

We are not sure what the draw was- it could be their size (obviously larger than a terrier), their temperament and character, fairly low grooming maintenance. There are so many reasons it is difficult to pick.
 
What is your favourite thing about owning a lurcher?

There are so many things to love about lurchers.  Their temperament, obviously being a rescue, their history may not be known so you won’t know what you will get. From our experience they are the most loving companions. Yes, they are not lapdogs but when curled up beside you or squishing you to the sofa as they lean into you is one of the most joyful feelings you can get. When they want your attention, they will certainly let you know, and you have no option but to give in to them or be pawed to death. They are always super happy to see you whether that is walking in from work, first thing in the morning or just getting out of the shower.

There is never a dull day with a lurcher in your life. 
 

Tell us about the hard bits too!

As they are rescue dogs their history may not be known, this will be a huge learning curve for both you and the dog. Their character comes out slowly over the first few months, but the trick is not to expect too much of the dog or from yourself.  Be prepared to go to training classes, this will help the bond between you grow. 

Ted is still toileting indoors, he doesn’t tell us when he needs to go and if it is raining then he refuses to go out, again, this is a slow process but we are persevering. 

We are lucky that we live near a secure field so Ivy and Ted are able to have regular off lead runs. Walks can get interesting when they see a cat or small furry animals but with distraction techniques with food and toys we are working towards ignoring them (although tolerating them may be more of an achievable goal!)


 
What surprised you about adopting?

The process of adopting through Bath Cats and Dogs Home was seamless. The adoption form was shorter than other rescue centres but the follow up interview/chat was more informative for both parties.Things moved quickly, after our initial visit to meet Ivy, she came home with us two weeks later.

When we decided to adopt another lurcher we didn’t look anywhere else. We made an enquiry about one we had seen but after a telephone call it was decided that another lurcher may be more suited to us and Ivy. We met but it was clear that he wasn’t the right fit for us, a suggestion was made that Ted maybe more suitable, we left it for a week or so to think it over. On the third visit Ted came home with us. 

The phone call a few days after bringing them home was invaluable and you have another call at six months, also knowing that you can call them at any time for advice is reassuring.
 
What would your advice be to those thinking of adopting a dog?

Do it! Be honest when completing the form and with the telephone interview, this will ensure that you and the dog are paired well and be open to other suggestions.

You need to put time and effort into training and bonding with a rescue dog just as you would with a puppy,

but you have the bonus of giving a dog who may have been mistreated a chance of a life they deserve and when you see signs that they trust you to be their forever human- there is no feeling quite like it. 

Finally, don’t dismiss a lurcher. They are just as fun, loving, nerve grating, sofa pinching as any other dog. 

We heard a saying when thinking about adopting our second lurcher – if you can see your floor, you have room for more. 
Whilst I having been typing this, I have been looking at our floor and wondering…do we have room for another???
 

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