A whole lotta training paid off for this pup!
Roxy’s back on her paws with a new outlook, and even a new home.
Roxy the Staffordshire bull terrier arrived at Dogs Trust Merseyside at just 10 weeks old, and obviously was made a huge fuss of. However it quickly became apparent that she wasn’t a regular pup, as she was mouthing hard and often, breaking skin and certainly putting off any potential adopters! Puppy rearer Lisa soon realised that Roxy had problems with her sight, and that this was most likely the cause of her behaviour.
Lisa was indeed right, and Roxy was diagnosed with juvenile cataracts, as well as micro-opthalmia , meaning her eyes were smaller than they should have been. Unfortunately, due to her young age and worrying behaviour, Roxy wasn’t a candidate for the surgery as she refused to be handled. She had to become a project pup!
Preparations had to be made for Roxy’s surgery and subsequent aftercare, so Training and Behaviour Adviser Alexia, along with canine carers Tracy and Laura, worked tirelessly to overcome so many hurdles before Roxy could be treated. Her training program included vet handling, controlled play, settling, as well as the all important buster collar acceptance. Due to her poor eyesight, Roxy relied a lot on voice cues, but proved to be a very smart girl and incredibly quick at learning.
After many preparatory vet visits, endless patience and understanding and reward based behavioural modification, Roxy can SEE! She has had her cataracts repaired, and even managed to find herself a fabulous new home in the process.
Alexia says, “Roxy has come such a long way and for her to be able to see now is a huge achievement. Hopefully the impact will help to minimise some of her previous frustrations. Collecting her from the vets after her surgery was an overwhelming moment, and as she has also managed to find a perfect home recently, her new owner has sent us a video of her looking at a tree for the first time!” (below).
Roxy’s story is a prime example of Dogs Trust’s holistic approach to meeting the needs of the dogs in our care, medically, emotionally, behaviourally and physically.
Teamwork and communication at its best!
(Thanks to Tamsin Durston)