Shelley was 9 weeks old when she came into our care. Sadly, she was born blind. Sandie says, apparently, she is a very smart girl whose other senses seem to be more acute. She arrived in the UK at the beginning of June and, fortunately, is in foster with Alison in the Midlands. She has the most expertise with blind dogs as she is the wonderful forever mum of our own special Stevie.

REPORT 6.6.2010

Alison says "The little poppet has diarrhoea but is in excellent spirits. She nips at everything - she has obviously been rough and tumbling with litter mates - so we are working on encouraging her to stop although I think it will take a while. I had to separate her from Stevie as she keeps biting his legs and tail and, because he couldn't see who was doing it, it was really upsetting him.  Whenever he barked or growled at her, she just barked back.  She is extremely playful though and great fun and she loves the garden."

UPDATE 7.6.2010

Alison says "Shelley had a good night - I went in at 6am and she was just waking up.  She is so full of fun but just wants to nip everything and use everything as a tug toy.  I suspect she is used to littermates but not to being handled much although she does like being petted and picked up.  In fact, she fell asleep cuddled up on my lap at the vets and was snoring away merrily.  She has met a number of new people - including 4 children - and has been fine with all of them.  She has shown some food guarding tendencies - she growls if you touch her when she is eating - but I would say this is very natural if she was in a large litter. I will work on hand feeding to try and stop this.
The vet said that she does have the same eye condition as Stevie - in fact, her eyes are not properly formed at all.  The vet wormed and vaccinated her and gave her a good checkover and says she is a little underweight, she weighs over 5kg.  The vet thought her legs were OK.  She also has a slight overbite, but that is apparently quite common.  Her next jab is booked in for 2 weeks time and she can start going out and about then too.
Shelley seems very intelligent and responds well to my voice - she already knows that if she does a wee or poo outside to come and get her treat from me.  Her house training is going well (I am putting her outside every 1 - 2 hours) but the fact she has diahorrea has obviously meant that she has had a few accidents in the house.
She wants to play with my dogs but, because she runs into them and them bites them and just hangs on, they are not keen.  Sam just gives her a wide berth and Stevie, who obviously can't avoid her as easily, barks at her, which does not bother her at all. 
She is very good at finding her way around by sound and smell (much better than Stevie is) and she will run around after you in the garden (usually trying to bite your feet).
She is very sweet and has adapted amazingly well.  I suspect she will be quite strong willed when she is older though as she is very determined.
We are enjoying having her and she is absolutely adorable!  She fell asleep with her head in her water bowl last night!
UPDATE 14.6.2010 
Shelley is coming along well but, unfortunately, she still has diahorrea which we are trying to sort out. 
Other than that, she is very well - good appetite, lots of energy and a real zest for life.

She is a very joyful puppy and just wants to play and have cuddles.  She can be a bit nippy and bouncy at times for Stevie (Sam won't have anything to do with her) but generally they get on quite well and play rough and tumble together.

REPORT 15.6.2010

Shelley is a very joyful, fiesty, energetic little girl who loves to play and wants to explore everything.  She loves being with people and other dogs but is a typical puppy and tends to playbite and jump all over other dogs constantly so she might not suit a family with an elderly dog or one who does not like to play.  So far, she has not taken much notice of the cats (although they have not come too close) and she is very friendly with everyone.  She has been cuddled by lots of different children and loved every minute of it.
She is a very quick learner and eager to please and her toilet training is coming on well (upset tummy aside!) She knows exactly where you as her other senses are excellent and, apart from bumping into things, you completely forget she is blind.  She was chasing Tom around the garden last night trying to nip his feet and he couldn't get away from her - she's really quick!  Like a little exocet missile!
She will make someone a very loving pet and I think she will be a pleasure to train as she really wants to please.  She is also very bombproof and not at all nervous (the opposite in fact).


Good news - Shelley is doing much better on the chicken and rice (so far) so hopefully her tummy is on the mend now (fingers crossed!). She doesn't seem to food guard any more and I'm brushing her a little bit every day to get her used to being groomed.  

She is getting on a lot better with Stevie and Sam now - in fact, I think Stevie quite enjoys playing with her when he's in the right mood and he is very tolerant of her and gentle with her.  She is not the slightest bit gentle with him though!!!


Alison says "Shelley was a little star at the puppy class.  She was very calm and behaved beautifully - she played very gently with the other puppies and loved meeting all the owners and being petted.  Everyone thought she was great!

Some friends came over for a barbecue on Sunday and she was fine with their dog - he was a bit nervous of her at first, but she didn't hassle him and they got on fine.  She also enjoyed being fussed over by my friend's daughter who gave her lots of cuddles.  Shelley really takes everything in her stride and has calmed down so much since she first arrived.  She is a really lovely dog and whoever adopts her will have a wonderful pet.


She also takes very little notice of the cats - she tripped over one the other day as he lay basking in the sun, but she wasn't really that interested and just carried on her way. 

Because she is so young, she still needs toileting very frequently throughout the day or she will have accidents, but she can sometimes go up to 6 hours at night.  Her tummy has finally settled down and she is off the prescription food and onto normal puppy food."


Alison says " What a little star Shelley was at puppy class.  She was so good that she was put with the tiny, nervous 10 week old puppy as she was so gentle and then with two 14 week old really boisterous Bull Terrier puppies as she was so calm, and she was brilliant with both.  I was soooo proud of her!
She has also learned to 'sit' on command very quickly - she is really bright!"

UPDATE 10.7.2010 

Alison says "Shelley went with Ian and Bev today and they were delighted with her!  The house feels very empty but I must admit I am looking forward to sleeping in until at least 7am tomorrow!!!
I will go and see them in a couple of weeks - we have an open invitation to pop in anytime and see them and Shelley, which is lovely.
Fingers crossed that Shelley has found a smashing forever home."

FURTHER UPDATE 11.7.2010   

Alison tells us "Ian phoned me both tonight and this morning to let me know how Shelley was doing.  She sounds as if she is having a whale of a time. They crated her overnight, which is good for her, and she had a clean crate this morning.  It sounds as if she is terrorising them already - attacking the broom, stealing the hosepipe, breaking into the bin and eating the doorstop.  When Ian phoned this morning she was barking at the toilet in the background!!  They love her to bits and find her antics completely entertaining, which is great news!!"


Ian said. "Shelley travelled really well home. She went in the garden for half an hour and explored  bumping into things while sniffing around, but it didn't take her long to find her way around. We have already realized that she loves water. I was watering the plants in the garden. Shelley decided it was a game and kept attacking the hose pipe,especially the end where the water come out. So I think I will have to water when she is inside! We also learnt that you can't sweep when she is about as she tends to steel the broom as you can see in the photo. She had a good night and slept until 6am in her crate. We got up and she went out to do her business then she came back in and went back to sleep until 8am.

She has settled in well already. Bev and I are so pleased with her she feels part of our family already."

UPDATE 4.8.2010

Ian writes. "Shelly has settled in really well, she no longer goes in her cage at night and has the freedom of the whole house, and very rarely has an accident. She lets us know when she needs to go out. She sleeps in our bedroom at night by Bev's side of the bed on the floor with her teddy Alison gave us, so she knows when its bed time. She has her own toy box with lots of squeaky toys which she regularly comes and takes out  but she hasn't learnt to put away when finished playing with them yet! [ha ha ]

Shelley goes on regular walks with us which she really enjoys. She seems to have grown a lot. When we brought her home she couldn't reach the settee but now when we are not watching she sprawls out on there. She has settled well with our 2 cats, although we had to take the bells off their collars as she kept chasing them. The cats keep enjoying walking past her as she doesn't notice they are there now. We cannot believe we have only had her four weeks we love her so much."

UPDATE 14.2.2011

Bev said. "Shelley is doing really well, she is huge. You wouldn't know that she is blind she is just like any other dog. When we let her out the back she bangs on the cat flap to let us know that she wants to come in. The other day it was nice and sunny so I thought that I would leave her out for half an hour while I was cleaning the carpet as she chases the hoover and the carpet cleaner. She drove me mad banging on the cat flap, so I decided to let her out the front garden for 10 minutes. A couple of minutes later there was a bang on the front door. Would you believe it Shelley was banging on the door knocker. She is always making us laugh.

When we try to give her a bath she just lies down full length on her side in the water and relaxes as if she is having spa treatment. She certainly is a lady of leisure.

Nothing bothers her she takes everything in her stride. My one year old grandson lies on her and falls asleep, she is not bothered at all, it is as if she senses he is a baby as she is so gentle with him.
Sometimes though it is like having a teenager in the house, she can be quite boisterous when she is playing. You certainly couldn't ignore her even if you wanted to. She even beats us to the front door when we have visitors and is always first to greet them. People are amazed when they find out she is blind as she does every thing a sighted dog does. She looks as if she is looking at you when you talk to her so I tell people she is looking with her ears. She is amazing, she completes our family perfectly. We could not have a better natured and loving dog.

Thank you so much for letting her be our forever dog. Alison her fosterer took care of her so well and started her training. We still use the words Alison used when training her, so we have had no difficulty at all with her. She is so obedient and responds straight away to commands. e.g. sit, stay."



2010 Irish Retriever Rescue UK