Have you ever heard of Greyfriars Bobby?
He was the dog who was so loyal to his owner that after his owner died he refused to move from his graveside until the day he died. Well Prince is the nearest comparison to Bobby that we’ve ever met.
Prince lived with a middle aged man. He was the light of this man’s life and to Prince the man was the centre of his universe. They were rarely apart. Prince loved going for long walks and was never far from his owner’s side. Prince had the perfect life.
But unexpectedly one day the owner died. Prince did what he thought he should do, he stayed with his owner and guarded him. We don’t know how long Prince was left in this situation. But by the time people found him, Prince was understandably very disturbed and he did not want anyone to come into his house. He did not want anyone to take his best friend away.
Prince suddenly found himself totally alone. He obviously didn’t understand what had happened, just that the home he shared was now empty. No one in the wider family wanted Prince so he was brought to us at Southridge. Prince lost his friend, his protector and his home. Can you imagine how distressed he was?
It’s been many, many years since we’ve seen a dog as unhappy as Prince was when he first arrived here. He wouldn’t allow anyone to come into his kennel. He had lost what he held most dear and now he was going to protect the only thing he could call his own - his kennel. We thought that time would help him settle in but even after a couple of days we still could not enter his kennel; he was guarding it for all he was worth. The harder we tried the more he resisted us. We began to wonder if we would ever make any type of break through.
About three weeks after his arrival Prince met Kerri Brown, of Potters Bar, (one of the staff here) and although he would not let her into his kennel he would allow her to join him in the exercise compound. He seemed to really like her. She offered to take him for a walk and he almost literally jumped at the chance. He adored her!
And yes, Prince is now a different dog.
He is loving, playful affectionate and very gentle. He is respectful of most other dogs and tries his hardest to get them to play without being forceful. Kerri has tried to foster Prince in her home but she’s a cat lover and dislike of cats is just one change Price is not yet prepared to make.
He loves to play ball, although he does need to perfect the art of fetch and return, especially the return bit! He loves water and in summer his favourite trick is to jump into horse troughs for an impromptu bath! He loves playing with water jets from our hoses when we clean out the kennels. He is a dog with whom it takes a little time to bond with but once he knows you he is a wonderfully fun dog.
Prince is totally housetrained, he is very clean. He has not, as far as we know, ever been destructive. He is a very good passenger in the car. He does think that he is a lap dog - given the chance he will climb up and lay across your legs while you read, chat or watch television. Prince does have arthritis and bad hips and for this he is on treatment. The cost of this treatment will be met by the Friends of Southridge.
But Prince is still distressed in kennels so we’d rather you see him having fun at play, instead of cooped up. Please ask at Reception for more details.
Prince is looking for an adult home. Because we have no history of him living with children and because of his arthritis it would not be fair to put him into a noisy boisterous household. He needs a retirement home, not a kindergarten – and those are his words not ours!
He would love to live with another dog, but cannot live with cats. He seems very good around the horses, goats and pigs here at Southridge. He won’t enjoy being left for long periods of time on his own so ideally someone who works from home, or who is at home most of the time, would be the perfect owner. He would need either a house with a garden or a ground floor flat with a garden, stairs would put too much of a strain on his legs.
Please ask our reception team about meeting him.