Guido pronounced ‘Gweedo’ (from the Italian Giuseppe – Joseph) is a 13 year old
Golden Labrador Retriever. He is gold in colour with the gentlest of personalities. This
beautiful boy was in owner foster before travelling to the UK.
Guido is a wonderful boy who likes to sit beside the fire after a short walk and watch tv.
His owner is devastated at losing him but work commitments mean that Guido would
have to travel thousands of miles to her new home and, as difficult a decision as it was
to make, she made the right one by contacting Amanda Jackson from Last Chance
Animals. She contacted Margaret in DAWG, a Cork animal rescue charity, who IRR
deal with on a constant basis and we have agreed to help him have the best
This fantastic dog has been loved all his life. A senior dog who has a little arthritis but
so far as anything else is concerned, he is in very good health and still has years ahead
of him. The owner was very relieved that IRR could help having been told that we would
make sure he would be cared for and loved.
Guido’s owner told us “I have had Guido since he was a puppy which is 13 and a bit years.
The reason I have to rehome him is because we are moving to The Cayman Islands and
he can’t come with us. We appealed to family and friends first but, unfortunately, as
much as they would have loved to help, they can’t for reasons such as travelling too
much, not at home during the day, living in an apartment that will not allow pets etc. etc.
The name Guido comes from Italy. At the time when I got him, I had an Italian
boyfriend but also having spent time in America it is a slang term used for American/Italian
men living in New Jersey (see The MTV Show Jersey Shore). I thought it was a cute
name, but people do find it difficult to pronounce and always ask where I got the name!!!
Guido’s favourite friend is a mallard duck toy called “Duckie”, they have been together
5 or 6 years. We don’t really know if Duckie is male or female but they love each other!
Guido loves food of all kinds and has been known to eat strawberries, olives and lettuce as well as sticks and grass! He loves chicken wings and popcorn, typical man! His diet now
because of his age has to be bland, of course, or he will have an upset stomach.
He loves water. Guido loves swimming more than he loves walking. He would stay in the water for hours and loves going into waves and swimming out to retrieve sticks and tennis balls. He once brought me back a can of cider! His favourite beach in Ireland is Kilkee! When you say KILKEE!!!! he barks with excitement and can’t wait to go!
Anyone who meets Guido falls in love with him immediately. Anytime I meet friends, talk to
someone on the phone, a customer comes into my shop, the first thing they always ask is
“How is Guido?”. He is a pure gentleman, very well behaved and very loving but he snores
Guido loves opening presents, especially at Christmas he loves ripping open the wrapping
We will miss him SO much and hope he continues to be loved in his new home”.
Guido loves Christmas so IRR were determined to make this Christmas special as he
embarked on a new life where he would be as loved as he was before, with lots of
adventures still to undertake. As they say ‘there is life in the old dog yet’ and no one
knows that better than Guido.
He has always been part of a family and is fully house-trained. He walks well on the lead,
enjoys short walks and his recall is good.
He travels really well in the car and is super quiet.
Naturally, as with all rescues, it is advisable to feed them separately but he isn’t at all
food or toy possessive.
We think he might suit an elderly couple, also in their twilight years, who would like to
share their lives with this wonderful old boy.
UK FOSTERER’S FIRST ASSESSMENT
Val told us “Guido arrived with us on Sat 26th November 2016. When he arrived
he was quite bright in himself. His mobility was quite limited after the journey but only to
be expected with his age. It took us just over an
hour to get from Ferrybridge to home but he travelled extremely well. He was,
understandably, very tired and he slept most of the way, although he poked his nose over
from the back of the car a couple of times to say hello to Honour who was travelling on
the back seat with me so that I could keep an eye on things.
I lifted Guido out of the car and I thought his weight seemed just slightly low. When we
went into the house, Guido checked out each room to "inspect" things. He quickly found
the water bowl followed by the toy box. After about 30mins, I gave him a small amount
of food which he ate very politely. He had several more drinks, as they all do when they
first arrive from their journey, then we all settled down in the lounge for some "quiet" time
and he slept for almost 2hrs. He was totally at ease with Honour and, although he had
a little wander around the house from time to time, there was no pacing and he
seemed fairly relaxed.
I gave the boys their first proper meal together about 6pm. To help his joints, I started
Guido on a double dose of Yumove, which he is still having. I fed them in separate parts
of the kitchen as I have babydan fencing to separate kitchen/dining areas. Guido has very
good food manners. He is not food possessive and will even let me take his food bowl
without any issues.
At bedtime, I gave them both a very small amount of warm goat’s milk and we had a very
good night, Guido settled in his bed in our bedroom and we didn't hear a thing until Honour
woke up to go out about 7.30am. They both went on the grass, came in and had a couple
of bits of kibble food ( I don't use any other treats) and then I made us a cuppa and we all
went back to bed for another hour or so where Guido was very happy and settled.
We rested up on Sunday, Guido ate all his food, played with many toys from the toy box,
which he happily gave to me when I asked, and we generally rested.
After another good night and a good breakfast, we ventured on a little walk in the lane.
He was good on the lead, no pulling at all but lots of sniffing around. After about 5mins, I
decided that was far enough, particularly as his legs were quite stiff, so Barry continued on
with Honour and the plan was that Guido and I return home but no ...... Guido decided he
wasn't going back home without Honour !!!! so we just sat on the lane side and waited
until Honour and Barry returned, then Guido was quite happy to return.
This has been our routine each day. I like to keep things routine as much as possible as
I think it helps the fur babies feel safe , and Guido is really settling very well. Obviously, he
sleeps quite a lot through the day but he does have play times with the toy box, in fact he is
very playful for his age. He likes to have fuss but only on his terms, otherwise he just moves away. When I try actually cuddling him he isn't too keen. He doesn't like my face close to his head at the moment, even if I approach it from behind his head.
He seems to be a very independent little fellow, quite happy to take the lead. He did
have several attempts at "humping" Honour the second day he was with us, much to
Honours disgust !!, but I really feel this was a dominance thing with Guido trying to find his place in the "pecking order" and with a gentle "no" each time he soon got the message and hasn't tried it anymore, which tells me he is feeling fairly secure with us.
Overall, he is settling well, he understands all basic commands and is happy to oblige. He is a good guard dog in that he barks when anyone comes in the driveway, walking or in a car, but he is happy to greet visitors when they come in the house. If he is laid asleep in one room and we go into another room, when he wakes he barks, I think he is telling us we have no right to leave him !!! Once we have called him he comes through to us, his barking is very minimal and always there is a positive reason.
All in all I feel we are progressing well, he is a real poppet and very well behaved.
At the moment, Guido seems fine with people, very friendly, but we haven't ventured any
further at the moment as I wanted him to have a good rest from all the changes occuring in
his life and, of course, bearing in mind his age but from what he has shown me so far I am not expecting any real problems.
I am taking him to meet my daughters 2 Goldie girls on Saturday and, perhaps, through the
week, I will take him to her doggie school to see how he gets on with dogs of other breeds”.
SECOND ASSESSMENT 11.12.2016
Val reports “Guido has settled in very well. We have gone through different stages
with him, bless him. To begin with, it seemed he felt he had to please us all the time and
he obviously wasn't use to having praise and hugs simply because he is Guido and we
love him. But, slowly, he has watched how we interact with Honour and now he will let
me sit on the floor by the side of him and talk to him and put my arm around him, without
him moving away. We haven't quite got to the cuddle stage just yet but I'm sure it will
come in time. I don't think he has had much physical affection and so he has been the
strong, tough guy.
He is now barking when the door bell rings and he " inspects" visitors, all in a very friendly
way, but like he needs to look after us. All that said, he now is comfortable with Honour
taking the lead both around the house and in the garden and he knows it's ok to be a
bit "soppy" from time to time. Although his mobility is easier and I don't think he has
much pain in his joints now, I think the Yumove are helping. He can only walk for about 5
minutes each way once a day and that really is enough for him. He sleeps quite a lot
during the day, which is to be expected at his age, but he does have times when he will
attack the toy box, like everything out and then he decides which is his favourite !!.
He is eating well although he had a bit of an upset tummy through the week. I’m not
sure why as I don't give them anything but their food, even for treats, but his poo was
quite loose for a couple of days so I gave him Yumpro tablets and things seem ok now.
He sleeps right through the night in our bedroom with no problems.
His coat is beginning to look a bit more shiny and with daily brushing we have much
less dead hair coming out each time. I took him up to meet my daughter and her
2 Goldies last week and they were all fine together. Also, if we meet other dogs on our
walks, he shows no aggression at all.
He is a lovely old fellow, very easy to deal with. I was a little worried that he may
have some separation anxiety as he wuffs if we leave him in another room until we call
him through to us and so, yesterday, we tried leaving them both at home while we
went out for 30minutes. As we have a camera in the kitchen that I can log in to on my
phone, we were able to watch their reactions and they were both fine, much different to
when Honour is left on his own when he gets totally stressed and beside himself, so this
is working really well all round.
I think Guido would be best in a home where the people are at home all day, where
they would be happy with just one 5 minute walk each day and would be happy to have
Guido sleeping a big part of the day”.
Guido's temperament is really good, he is gentle and sweet natured and likes to join in
We have met up with a couple of cats from a safe distance and he did pull on the lead but
I think he just wanted to play, there was no aggression evident
We have tried the harness again but he just stops and eventually sits down. He really
doesn't need anything more than a slip lead or collar and lead.
I still intend to take Guido to the dog school where my daughter takes her girls over
the next week or two to assess how he reacts to other breeds and a volume of dogs,
although I am not expecting any problems.
Guido’s days are varying quite a bit now but a regular day for him would be …. after a
good nights sleep, followed by a visit into the garden, he will have his breakfast about 8am.
He eats very well with very polite manners. I have struggled a bit with his digestion as he
seemed to have permanently soft poo, so for the last 2+ weeks I have gone over to a
grain free diet for him, Burns Sensitive Pork and Potato, and that seems to be
keeping things ok.
After his breakfast, he has a sleep until we are ready to go for a walk around 10.30am.
Barry takes Honour out for about half an hour and Guido and I go out to meet them on
the way back as 5 minutes each way is plenty for him. I have tried going a bit further but
he's struggling on the way back so we are staying with 5 minutes. He is quite wobbly
on his legs, especially his back legs, but he does enjoy being out and about with lots of
sniffing so I think it's important for him to have these little walks.
When we get back from the walk he settles down in whichever room I'm in and sleeps. He
is still a very independent chap and so he doesn't necessarily follow me from room to
room even though Honour does that all the time, a bit like my shadow.
I encourage the boys to go out for a wee in the garden after lunch and then Guido will
sometimes have a rummage through the toy box and take one or two toys into the lounge
but then he settles down and sleeps some more until tea time, unless we have any
visitors and then he is very happy to meet them but soon settles back down for a sleep.
Again, he eats his tea well , they go back out into the garden where he always obliges,
but, when they come back in, he settles back down again to sleep unless I make a point
of sitting on the floor with him and interacting with his toys or just stroking him. He will
let me actually cuddle him for a short while now, but it is obvious he hasn't had very
much close physical contact with humans. so he doesn't seem to have a need for it.
Although I think we are winning him over on that one !!.
Bedtime is around 10pm so after the boys have been out on the grass I give them a
small amount of warm goats milk as a bedtime treat and they both sleep in our bedroom
with us, we have never been disturbed by Guido through the night at all.
Over Christmas and New Year, we have spent quite a bit of time at my daughter’s.
She only lives 5 minutes away from us and all 4 dogs have got on really well but
Guido is somewhat shattered when we come back home. I think this is simply because he
hasn't had as much sleep but it's really good to see him being inquisitive and not wanting
to miss out on anything. I do have to lift him in and out of the car, as I would expect
at his age, but once inside, he travels well.
GUIDO’S DREAM HOME
Val says “I feel Guido really does need a quiet, calm, warm home environment. He does
feel the cold quite a lot, hence he has a blanket wrapping him up at night, even
with the heating permanently on. He really needs someone to be at home all the
time with him so perhaps retired people like ourselves would be perfect. He just needs
someone who will simply allow him to enjoy his senior years in comfort and with no
demands on him.
I'm sure all of these things are what we would expect from a dog of Guido's age but he is
very happy in himself and deserves to enjoy his later years doing whatever he wants to”.