Rio is brother to Julio (Zebby). 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.
Rio is the youngest Spanish Water Dog to have come into rescue he was bought as a first dog, for a family with young children, about 2 and 4, and he had been pushy and learnt to intimidate the children as he would another puppy. The owners had taken advice from a "behaviourist" and had been "pinning him down" which worked as might be expected, it taught him to snap and bite when he panicked!! He was signed over at barely 5 months old to rescue because his owners couldn't cope with him and the wife and children had become afraid of him. How sad.
I made the mistake of going to agility training at Di's with my Groenendael where I first saw Rio shortly after he had arrived. Before I knew it I found myself agreeing to handle Rio for Di at her training class that weekend. He worked well for me and "Yes of course" was my answer when I was invited to handle him again the following week. I asked my husband if he'd like to come and see the poor little chap in rescue and he agreed, which was my second mistake. On 24 September 2013,at 5 1/2 months old, Rio came to live with us and the rest of our canine and equine family. Initially it was for two weeks to foster him but he made sure we wouldn't be able to let him go. Having owned and worked a German Shepherd Dog with "issues" in obedience many years ago and having shown and bred Belgian shepherds for a long time I was fairly confident that a Spanish Water Dog wouldn't be that different (ven though Di said they were!). I have never been more wrong about anything in my life. Rio is the cleverest, funniest, most challenging, most loving, most rewarding dog I've ever had by a mile. His ability to learn new things, both good and bad, and the speed at which he does so is staggering. As is his ability to choose when to make a fool of me, when to show off, when to make me laugh, and cry, and when to make me so proud I could burst. He lives life to the full, usually in the fast lane is a gobby little tyke, still gets things wrong sometimes and he runs rings around anyone who lets him but he gives his heart and his all in everything he does. He is a dearly loved little treasure so thank you Di, and Spanish Water Dog Rescue, for allowing Rio to adopt us.
(Picture below is Rio on his first birthday)