I read about Bean on a facebook group a while ago, I was so impressed I scribbled a note to myself to ask his mum if she’d like to write a guest blog for tinkerwolf about it. The story was quite remarkable, and needed to be shared so that others in the same situation might learn from it.
It’s hard looking at his peaceful face in this photo to reconcile this Bean with the one his poor mum first met. But I don’t want to spoil the story, so without further ado let me hand you over to his mum:
“A little background first.
I have had dogs for as long as I can remember, the majority of them being from rescue. I have dealt with various unwanted behaviours over these years too, I have fed nearly every kibble and tinned food on the market.
Bean was up for rehoming through one of the breed rescues, we had just lost our thirteen month old Labrador to liver failure and this boy needed a home. His owners were in their seventies and couldn’t cope with his boisterous behaviour, they had taken him to training classes, had him neutered at five/six months old but they couldn’t deal with him anymore, he was nine months old when he landed at ours.
The first week was pretty much as we expected, we had booked a week away in our caravan in that first week too. So within fourty-eight hours of coming to stay he was off to the forest and a meet up with other Labradors and their owners, his behaviour was pretty good aside from barking for attention.
During the weeks holiday we noticed that he had really hot ears, and he was constantly nibbling his back and paws, his black fur had gone ginger at the base of his tail, we resolved to book a vet visit when we got back.
After our holiday he started to really show his true colours. Every evening after the walk and dinner, which for him was Burns and Natures Menu, he would start to get more and more wound up. It’s hard to describe other than it was like a kettle coming to the boil, at that point he would explode into a frenzy of barking, charging around the room, chasing shadows and worst of all charging at us teeth bared, screaming and grabbing our arms or legs, not quite a bite, but not far off.
Anytime we tried to restrain him he would lash out, get more frustrated, and try to bite us. My arms and legs were bruised very badly and my husband had several ripped sleeves and bites. This behaviour went on from around thirty minutes after dinner to when we went to bed and we switched off all the lights.
We had a vet visit booked, she confirmed what I thought, that he has an allergy of some kind, and that’s why he had hot ears and was constantly scratching and nibbling. She jokingly said he may also have canine ADHD and to look at maybe switching to a grain free diet.
We had reached crunch point by now, it was make or break, we either sorted out this behaviour or he was going back to rescue, and if he went back to rescue, as he had bitten his future was bleak. So that night I googled and made calls, a good friend of mine who has raw fed for years suggested I go out the next day, buy a pack of chicken wings from the supermarket, and start as we mean to go on.
Filled with trepidation and fear of bone splintering and expensive vet bills, but with nothing else to loose, that evening Bean had his first raw meal.
I won’t say it was an instant miracle, but there was a change. Instead of coming to the boil and exploding we just had a constant simmer, BUT he settled down and actually slept at around 9pm (we had been going to bed at 10pm/11pm and he was still on the go previously). The next day he settled down around 8pm, and so it went on. He stopped biting us and started to listen to what we were asking him, his skin condition cleared up and within about two weeks we had a dog we could live with.
Almost a year on and our dangerous dog has become a lovable clutz and clown, no longer is he a danger to himself or others. However, he cannot have ANYTHING that is processed, a slight variation from anything natural and we see the kettle start to boil so to speak.
We now feed all of our dogs RAW, including our latest addition, an 8 week old Chocolate Lab called Karma.”