Rosie came to The Beastly Beasts when she was in danger of being PTS by her previous owner, reportedly for aggression to other dogs. I heard later (from someone I consider reliable) that Rosie had been tormented by youths when in the garden to the point that she became scared to go out and fouled in the house, that she was shut away when visitors with dogs came to the house, that on several occasions it was given Diazapam (on my way to collect her, her previous owner offered to sedate her - an offer that was refused in no uncertain terms) and, on at least one occasion, beta-blockers to calm her down; reportedly with the blessing of her vet – not a vet I would personally care to use.
Things apparently came to a head when Rosie got out – because teenage children left the door ajar – and "attacked" a neighbours German Shepherd. From what I understand the other dog was not hurt, yet Rosie is big enough to have done serious damage and there was not a mark on her when I saw her not long afterwards; not the result I would expect from a dog fight. Soon after it was decided that Rosie had to go, one way or the other. Luckily for Rosie a friend put wheels in motion and her rescue was put in place. Through an online forum I was asked if I'd take Rosie; I said I would and she was rescued on 15th August 2007. Due to work commitments she couldn't come straight here and spent a couple of nights in kennels until she could be introduced to all The Beastly Beasts (she only met Kai and Monty on the day of her rescue). Massive thanks are due to Mal and Mandy for initiating her rescue and giving her kennel space until I could take her home.
So, was Rosie inherently aggressive? Absolutely not – that was proven when she met The Beastly Beasts; with three very minor exceptions (and I am talking the kind of thing that other fosters have done on arrival) – right at the very start when she'd been uprooted, kennelled, and must have been wondering what was happening – she did not shown any form of aggression towards them, and never has since, in fact, quite the opposite.
When she arrived at Beast Barracks Rosie was suffering from severe muscle wastage in her back legs due to lack of exercise to the point that my vet expressed serious concern over her displacing her hips or dislocating her lower spine and advised very gentle exercise over a few months to build her up. She is not a small girl and this must have been painful for her and undoubtedly contributed to her issues.
And she did have issues. I am sure that they were a combination of pain from her muscle wastage, lack of socialisation, lack of exercise, and lack of mental stimulation, all culminating in a fear reaction. The solution was to get her on a good diet, a sensible exercise regime, socialise her at dog school, and ensure she knew I was in charge; an authority figure who would not tolerate bad behaviour, but who also took all responsibility so that she felt safe and secure. The plan soon started showing results and Rosie beacam a very fit, happy, well adjusted, sociable hound.
Rosie has a presence and touches something in many people. Mandy who looked after her for the first two nights of her rescue cried when it was time for her to come home entreated me to keep her, and I have been told by a canine behaviourist that she went to (before coming here) that she is a very special dog. Another Mandy (runs Northants Greyhound Rescue) fell in love with her and describes her as my "proper dog". Trevor of Little Dumpledale fame is another vicrim of Rosie's charms and would have "had her like a shot" Rosie is a Pets As Therapy dog and incredibly popular among the people we visit at St. Andrews to the point that if she does not go one week questions are asked. She is also a Blue Cross education dog and is the one I always take when we visit primary schools or nusreries. In 2013 Rosie went to Crufts to do stand duty for Blue Cross.
Rosie turned out to be an intelligent, playful, gentle, polite, friendly, funny, and loving dog, and just as she is lucky that someone decided she deserved another chance, so am I. Somoene once called Rosie my "heart dog"; they weren't wrong.