After we discovered that Baggins, a black Labrador, couldn’t be a guide dog, he needed a new home with someone who could take on his liveliness and health condition.
We first noticed that Baggins had bouts of lameness as a puppy. Unfortunately, he had to stop training with us shortly after his first birthday.
Soon afterwards, an orthopaedic vet found Baggins had problems with his right elbow that needed surgery. A year later the vet repeated the procedure. With long term pain relief medication and hydrotherapy, Baggins’ post-operative condition stabilised, but we recognised he would always need careful management.
The problem was Baggins was also often boisterous, which made managing his health condition hard work! He would jump up at people, get on furniture, and take things in the home – even opening drawers to get items.
To help manage this, and to help us make him ready for rehoming, we worked with Baggins at one of our training centres. The aim was to channel his intelligence and high energy into different behaviours. For example, to address his habit of jumping up at people, we taught Baggins to sit on his bed when someone entered his kennel. We also taught him loose lead walking and to target objects to his left or right with his nose when asked.
After all this work, a full 18 months after he had left his guide dog training, we found Baggins his new home with a qualified vet.
It was a perfect match. Baggins’ new owner also cares for Basil, a border terrier who has a foreleg deformity and can’t walk long distances, just like Baggins.
Our rehomer has also been able to manage Baggins’ long-term condition through various forms of medication, physiotherapy, and hydrotherapy.
"We applied to rehome a guide dog after considering a new addition to our fur family for a good while.
"We heard from Daniella that she had matched us with Baggins, a lively lad with elbow dysplasia. Given that his medical and exercise needs were similar to Basil's he sounded perfect.
"After passing the home check we met him for the first time in Daniella's office where he subsequently caused chaos and we fell in love!
"The next step was introducing him to Basil which went a little too well, they seemed quite taken with each other!
"The tricky part was introducing him to our cat Nando. Nando wasn't Baggins' biggest fan initially but after Baggins realised who was in charge, he largely left Nando alone and at the end of the weekend, it was like we had always had him.
"I think this process was speeded up by the fact that he had Basil to show him the ropes. We changed his name to Denver as there was some confusion between him and Basil as the names are similar, he will still answer to Baggins though! He still has his crazy moments but is an absolute snuggle monster and we couldn't love him more if we tried."