Obi came from Cyprus and we collected him on 24th September 2020. He was born into a litter of 6 dogs. His father is an Akita Inu and his mother a Pocket Pointer. I believe his mother was a stray. She took a lot of persuasion to catch. She was eventually housed with a rescuer in a home. Whilst she was there, she was naughty with Obi's father! The litter were born in a home and not a strays. All of Obi's brothers and sisters were adopted to the UK. His mother is also now in the UK. His father remains in Cyprus with his owner. Obi was the last of the litter to be adopted and arrive the UK. He was scheduled to be adopted a few weeks earlier, but the application status changed.
We were so excited to meet Obi! We had been sent lots of details and many photos from FAAR and also from the foster parent's home. During the application process, it was discussed how we could best collect Obi. We are based in Cambridgeshire in the UK. Due to lock down restrictions, Obi was sent to Bristol Airport. We were so excited to meet him! The advice that FAAR gave us was invaluable.
Obi had not been fed for up to 24 hours before the flight (to prevent spoiling his flight box). So we were told to bring some rice and chicken balls to feed him on the way home - Which we did and he happily gobbled them down!
We collected him at 4am in the morning from Bristol Airport. It was quite a drive from our house, so we came prepared for a long journey home of 3 and a half hours. We came prepared with the recommended food, water, blankets, doggy treats and blankets in the back of the car. Obi was a bit shaken and confused after his flight - All of those strange noises and vibrations had affected him. He was very good in the car on the way home although a little shaken. He slept most of the way.
When we got him home, we were aware that a completely new environment is very frightening for a puppy. We have adopted puppies before, so we were careful to into his new environment slowly, slowly. We let him explore his own new environment and let him settle in without being too heavy with new instructions and rules. The first few days were like having a new born baby! We were prepared for him soiling inside the house and touching things and chewing! We introduced him very slowly to new rooms in the house, one by one. We also kept away friends and family until he was comfortable in his new home.
When we introduced Obi to our garden, it was a scary experience for him. He came from Sunny Cyprus to an autumnal UK. He had never seen rain. Every new noise and voice was a new discovery for him - Whether it be a new bird noise, a neighbours dog barking or a car alarm. He had never walked on rain soaked grass and obviously never felt strong winds. We were there every step of the way to comfort him, build up some trust and provide some reassurance. For the first few nights, Obi slept in a dog cage (with the door open). We covered the cage in blankets and made it a comfy, safe, quiet and warm place for him to settle down for the night. He slept by the side of our bed for the first nights in the cage. After a few days, we took away the cage and replaced it with a big comfy dog bed.
Obi went outside on his lead after 10 days. We introduced him to the local area very slowly. On the first walk, we took him on his lead to the end of our front garden. The second walk, to the end of the road. On the third walk we took him to the park behind our house.
The toilet training took a couple of weeks. We did a lot of standing in a wet garden at all hours of the night a day with biscuits ready for rewards and positive appraisal of his toilet skills! Obi settled in well. Even after nearly 4 months, he is still making new discoveries and learning new things.
Obi has grown into a lovely little boy! When we collected him, he was 8 kilos. He has grown into a 21 kilo dog (so far!). I would say that he is now fully house trained. He is quite aware of the rules of the house. But still being a mischievous pup, he does test the barriers every now and again. He hasn't soiled / peed in the house for 3 months now. Obi is very, very food-led. So, we have used that to our advantage in our training techniques. At first, our meal times were a nightmare (as he would be jumping up!). Now, he just lays there and watches us eat. Obi has been trained not to bark in the house (apart from when strangers come to the door). In response, he has developed a "pig-like" squeal. He communicates well. When he wants something, or he wants to play, he pushes you with his big wet noise and lets out a big squeal! he loves playing with toys. Tennis balls are his favourite.
After a few weeks, we started taking Obi to an enclosed dog field to work on his recall skills. Also to give him some running exercise and to meet other canine friends. We have introduced him to other dogs very slowly. He is very dog-friendly. He shows no signs of aggression and just wants to kiss other dogs and play! Obi also loves humans and children. His "doggy-sitter" is my elderly mother. He is very good when he stays there and they both love spending time together. He LOVES going in the car and sticking his nose out of the window on the 10 mile drive.
All in all, Obi is a beautiful dog. We love how interactive he is and how well he communicates. He has a lovely personality. He is caring, gentle and up-beat with a lot of energy. He loves a hug and a kiss and gives lots of them in return. He has a brilliant playful nature and often teases you with a soft toy or tennis ball and wants you to chase him! he is such a loyal little boy. The neighbour tells me that if we go out, he sits on the window sill watching the world go by and waits for us to come back.
We can't thank FAAR enough. The process of adoption was made easier with their information, advice and support; Both before the adoption and after.