Julio (aka Zebby)
Julio is brother to Rio and was ten months old when he came into Rescue. Both these boys were owned by lovely, caring families who sadly were not given sufficient information about the breed by their breeder at the time they bought their puppies. Both families were told that 'as you have children he'll be easy to train' and when they were crying out for help none was forthcoming. Thankfully, both families felt that signing their puppies over to Rescue was the safest way of guaranteeing them a bright future.
Update 2014 "My Man"
I was reliant on my four legged friend and when the angels took him from me, they also took my confidence. With restricted mobility I knew I was never alone, he was always there for me. I thought I would never be able to fill that gap. Barely being able to see through the tears, I contacted you guys if I had another dog it needed to be a non drop hair breed. I listened intently, "a Spanish Water Dog is like no other dog you have ever had", "the behaviour is so totally different", "the training is going to need to be intense and consistent and not your normal dog training technique". "You will have a lot to learn".
And we did.............
A young water dog needed a home so we travelled down to meet him and another water dog to see what we thought. Both my husband and I had made a decision that if it was not for us we would not let our hearts rule our head. We were told the young one "had no on/off switch" "life was just a game". He had misbehaved in the past - he would be a challenge. We were quite nervous and I was concerned I would not have the energy or strength to cope with a "live wire". Well, he was much calmer than we imagined...this was a good start. It was love at first sight - an instant bond for me. I have always been soft with dogs and been lucky enough to have dogs that have just done what I wanted without a challenge. From day 1 with 'Julio' (pronounced Hooley! as in hooligan) I began to follow the water dog training. Over time we have repaired the on/off switch, I say repaired because it is not totally fixed - he is a puppy and still has his moments. He has filled the gap in our life like no other dog could, such a special boy. He is the best companion ever for me, we are together best part of the day either at the hatchery or on the farm. We are 7 months on now and he is recalling and off his lead at the farm. He greets everyone beautifully and is wonderful with other animals and knows lots of useful commands. Not only have we learnt his behaviour, he has learnt how our life works. He just adapts to new situations now and if in doubt he is close to my side for a little bit of confidence. It is my opinion that this was supposed to be, we were made for each other. We have helped each other with confidence and allowed both of us to move on in our lives together. Julio has began some "sniffer training" and it is looking very promising. We hope by next farming season he will be able to begin his work on the farm. Spanish Water Dogs are so very special - but given the time and input they require you will then have a special friend/companion like no other. I never believed you could have a dog that didn't behave or respond like a dog. You have to have a Spanish Water Dog to understand this. I am so proud of our boy.