Zippi , an English Setter, who we think is about 9/10 years old, was part of a group of setters in Spain, that were held in such bad conditions the Spanish police had to intervene to take the dogs away from the man that had them. There were 12 dogs that had to go to the pound until the judge gave permission to release them.
They were held there for more than 6 months, a terrible pound so overcrowded that the dogs had to fight for food …..when the release came they were taken over by Setter Rescue.
The dogs showed different characters, but Zippi was different, some kind of lost soul. He had lost his identity. He had fought to survive and did not know that his struggle was over. He was in a state of confusion. He created a world of his own showing strong signs of autism. He remained at the Setter Rescue pound for over 13 months as they were unable to find anyone willing to adopt him, nobody wanted him.
I became aware of him and offered him a “forever” home.
Zippi then went to spend some time with a behaviourist who after 3 days told us that Zippi had stereotypy, something that a lot of dogs who live in small places like pounds develop. Stereotypy means that he does not recognize people or places out of the pound. He was not familiar with anything or anywhere everything was new for him, a house, the street, and oddly enough, other dogs even though he is good with them, he was not aggressive or anything, just ignored them he was not like the others, he did not come to you looking for affection.
Zippi is a good dog, but all his life has been spent tied up and imprisoned, first with the hunter, who was a gipsy, then the pound, and then the setter rescue residence, which should be a transit for the dogs but for him became his house. After a few more days the behaviourist told us he was improving, getting closer to his dogs, sharing and getting a bit more involved in the house daily activities and it was agreed that he was as ready as he ever would be to travel.
Transport was arranged and he made his way from Barcelona to East Sussex.
Zippi is now very much a part of our family, a beautiful, gentle, loving, friendly and best of all HAPPY dog. He responds well to us and now comes looking for a stroke or cuddle any sort of contact is greeted by a vigorous wagging tail. Food is very high on his list of priorities and although he had an initial intolerance to chicken (like many Spanish rescue dogs) he can now eat anything…and does!