'We have had Luke at week ends for the last couple of months and what a journey it has been. This was only our second part time foster dog and we were dog rookies, never having owned a dog ourselves, and not in a position to have a dog full time even now. We just simply wanted to try and make a difference to some of the dogs at St Giles and as Luke was one of their long termers, we decided to give him a go.
No wonder Luke was a long termer!!! He came to us a stressed, mistrustful, naughty little boy, who we could not allow past the kitchen for the first few weeks in fear of what havoc he would create in the house. He had no house manners or respect at all and it soon became obvious to us the kind of background he must have come from, left to his own devices in some back yard where it didn't really matter what he got up to and then eventually turned out onto the streets. At one stage, we took him back to kennels part way through a long weekend as we just felt so overwhelmed with him, but thank goodness we had him back the next week end. After a lot of hard work and patience, Luke has now come to realise that there is so much more to life than abuse and neglect, and that love and respect really can be a two way process. Luke didn't know how to relax when he first came to us, and no matter how tired he became on long, long walks, he just could not rest. Now, he loves nothing more than a snuggle up on the settee and a long sleep with us beside him, snoring and farting in the way only staffies can.
He travels really well in his crate in the car, and sleeps at night in a crate outside our bedroom - he is fine if he can see us. He is doing really well with his general crate training now, and will stay in his crate in the kitchen on his own for quite a while - we just shout from another room and let him know we are still around if we hear him whining and he settles down again then. I wouldn't like to leave him home alone at the moment though. He has never messed in the house, and is a sheer delight to walk on the lead, never pulling and seems disinterested in other dogs. We do let him off lead when we go cross country and he just loves running to fetch his stick/ball to bring back to us. We always put him back on the lead if other dogs approach, as Luke can become quite possessive over his stick. He is fine with the dogs themselves, juts don't get near his stick!!! Having said that, today he was mobbed by 3 totally out of control dogs whilst he was off the lead himself and he was just perfect, he did not respond at all and just waited for us to put his lead back on and lead him away from danger.
He does love to snuggle up on the settee/bed with us, and we do let him wander around the house briefly without constant supervision, although we still get a shoe or towel brought into us. I wouldnt leave him unattended for any period of time though, a crate really is essential to keep him out of mischief. He does have a pretty short attention span and we have found that he needs a toy in his mouth most of the time that he is conscious, saves on the the shoes!!! He doesn't actually chew them, just mouths them and he will let you open his mouth to extract what it is in there that he shouldn't have. If he starts to get a bit over excited, we just put him in his crate for time out and he seems to appreciate that and settle down.
Luke simply loves being out and about and has learnt to swim, we don't think that he had been in water before judging by his reaction. He is excellent off lead and ignores cattle and other livestock. We have taken him into town and he walks the main streets really, really well on the lead. He comes to the pub with us at the week ends and sits and behaves, unless we are eating and then he will want to share.... but will be presuaded to get back under the table.
Luke may be too boisterous for children, and I would not trust him with a cat. Other dogs may be OK, but I'm not sure if he would share his toys that well so probably best if he was the only dog.
We would be more than happy for you to visit Luke whilst he is with us at home. The Luke you see in kennels is not the Luke you will be adopting, he still has some issues in kennels which come out in his behavior when he is there but he is a different dog when you get him away from that environment. - come have a walk with us and see what an absolute darling this dog is.'