Captain Carrot (5 years old)

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Captain Carrot has been with us since September 2020. His name is a reference to a character in Terry Pratchet's Disc World books. In the books Captain Carrot has links to Uberwald (based on Romania). Plus our Captain Carrot has a lovely orange coat!

We don't know what kind of dog he is - a bit of collie, maybe some sort of shepherd. Carpathian Shepherd after many generations of being crossed with something much smaller!

He does a 'swanky' walk, wiggling his shoulders and hips. He dances when he's waiting for his dinner. He does zoomies round the garden when he gets home from a walk. He steals packaging and takes it to his bed. He bounces at the door when he heard one of us coming home. His favourite foods are cheese and sausages, and his favourite toy is his monkey!

Captain Carrot loves to go for walks by the Thames, and at home he likes to chill out in the garden under a bush. He can sit, give a paw, jump on command, High 5, snoot (puts his nose through a ring made of fingers) and spin. He's a clever boy!

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We decided to adopt Captain Carrot because we loved his photos - he looked so sad and worried. Plus Barking Mad spent a lot of time getting to know us, our experience and our capabilities and suggested him as a good fit. The process was very thorough. They asked us a lot of questions and we needed to do a lot of research before we were accepted. This gave us a lot of confidence (even though it was hard work!)

When we first met Captain Carrot, I felt a rush of emotion wanting to care for and protect this terrified dog that had arrived at our home after going through so much.

He settled well in the house and quickly adopted his crate as his safe place. He was scared and nervous though and did lots of circles in the house and garden and for the first few days he'd howl mournfully. This was distressing to see. He was also very scared of my husband, which was difficult. He quickly bonded with my daughter though and was fine with me.

He rapidly improved and within a few weeks my husband could stroke him. Loud noises still scared him as did sudden movements. He wouldn't come in from the garden if we were in the kitchen for a few months (we would lay a trail of cheese!) We started taking him for walks after a week or so (with a nervous lead) and he became more confident. My daughter did lots of training with him, taught him good recall and within 3 months we could walk him off lead in safe places.

He has reached so many milestones. Jumping in the car for the first time, letting my husband walk past without running away, not running away if we drop something in the kitchen. Saying hello to men on a walk, coming in from the garden when called, staying away from home for the first time, being calm around visitors, not trying to run away when a car passes on a walk, not trying to hide under a hedge when it rains!

Adopting from BMDR is an incredibly worthwhile thing to do but do your research and assess if you have the time to put in. We have had a rescue dog before but this has been different, he has been much more needy (but that only makes it more rewarding). Be honest with BMDR about your experience and your lifestyle, this gives them a better idea of the right dog for you, thus maximising the chance of it working out. We have no regrets.