Saul (human) and Yanni (dog) on a walk in the forest

Q. What type of dog is Yanni?

He’s a Springer Collie X, some call them Sprollie
but in old money, he’s a mongrel. It has been great to give this dog a home and have him fit in so well with our young children!

Q. How did Yanni come to be with you?

We had to put down our last dog, Buddy, 10 days before my 40th birthday, as he had Lymphoma. The house was pretty low and we lasted about a week before my wife and I were cruising the rehoming centre websites.
As soon as we saw Yanni online we wanted to have a meet up and see what his nature was.
He was lush!  So we picked him up the day after my 40th birthday party. This was a challenge in itself, but then this hyper, fur-bomb entered the scene and it’s been non-stop since. His first duty was to pee in my wife’s handbag as an introduction. Oh how we laughed… well, I mean, it was quite funny.

""He was lush and we picked him up the day after my 40th party. This was a challenge in itself, but then this hyper fur bomb entered the scene and it’s been non-stop since then. His first duty was to pee in my wife’s handbag as an introduction. Oh how we laughed… well I mean it was quite funny." "

Q. Did you find anything difficult raising him?

Dogs from re-homing centres can have a few issues, big or small. Yanni was only about 6 months old and had already been re-homed once.  He was found chained to a set of gates, even though Assisi, our local rescue centre, was only 1.5 miles down the road. His first rehoming ended promptly when he nipped the family’s older son. It turned out the older son was 17, quite large and had approached a brand new rescue dog from behind. He was very nervous, especially when approached from the back.

So we arranged a session with a dog psychologist and behaviourist to hear our observations of the first few months. He gave us a list of trust and confidence games to play with Yanni, to help him settle in the best way. Introducing him slowly to our kids when they where born – dog and small children eh!

Q. What do you think are important things to know about introducing children and dogs?

Well, Yanni was our first born really, so when our first human baby arrived it was a big big step for all concerned. But the biggest step was really for Yanni himself. He had to make room when Saul came home. It was our first time having our dog and small children in the home

It’s a timing thing I think really, isn’t it? We were careful not to ignore the little guy, Yanni I mean. We did the obvious things like placing worn baby grows around the house etc.
Again, we went to the behaviourist asking for inside info, or, best practice. We decided to do this first hand, rather than just reading on the internet, as the behaviourist already had familiarity and insights into Yanni and his foibles.

The kids even now are quite young, so while settling in we made a point to always be present when Yanni was with them. Just in case they were to touch a sensitive area or did anything that could have triggered some negative memories for him. Once we were confident that the kids understood how to command and play; what was ok and what was not, we could relax more.

Q. What do you love most about him?

He looks like a doggy member of KISS – maybe there is an avenue for a new Dog Rock Band… called ‘Slobber’ and have more black and white faced hounds to go on tour!

Q. What is his favourite toy?

Any of the kids’ toys! But mostly the really beautiful hand-made wooden ones that will look even lovelier in 30 years and are supposed to stay on a shelf!

Q. What’s his favourite activity?

Trying to get on your lap on the sofa or being let loose in a park. We love his relationship with our kids – dogs and small children five-ever!

Yanni (sprollie) with Saul (human)

David and Yanni

Brothers Saul and Yanni

Q. Do you spoil Yanni?

He is not as spoilt now as he was before the kids came along but they make sure he has little bits of this and that – but only when they run it past us. He has bad front joints, which is severe for his age, so we have to make sure we do not over feed him as that will exacerbate the problem.

We haven’t really treated him with many of the standard supermarket treats as they are just empty nibbles with no health gain in them at all. Funny thing is that I know loads of people that give their dogs multiple dental sticks per week as they perceive them to be good, but if you read the back of the packs it’s a different story – some people are blind to that due to perception alone.

Q. What food does he hate?

Our little member of KISS will tackle anything.

So much so that we’ve had a few visits to the vet after he’s illegally consumed Chicken Soup (with onions) or raw meat! It’s always worth checking up on what dogs shouldn’t eat!

Q. Have you ever cried over Yanni or another dog? If so why?

Yeah of course, there was our first little rescue – Cleo – who was a little duchess and had been a nice little older ladies dog for years until rehomed and bullied by the existing home dog. She came a cropper when the Royal Mail van reversed over her and she sustained injuries that she wouldn’t have been able to recover from.

And then Buddy, our proud Bassador (basset / Labrador X) who got lymphoma which got the better of him after 6 months of Chemo. Very sad times for sure.

Q. What is the single most important thing you’d like people to know about having a dog in their family?

The key statement here is “having a dog in their family”. That’s exactly what the dynamic is and needs to be. The dog is not just an add on, they are a living The key statement here is “having a dog in their family”. That’s exactly what the dynamic is and needs to be. The dog is not just an add on, they are a living breathing family member and while life is busy, theirs is not as crazy as yours – so not including them in family or daily stuff is profound for them.

Our thanks to David for sharing his family with our members and visitors!
If you have a story you’d like to share with us, or you want to chat more about any topics we touched on here, just get in touch!

What's In Your
Franks Box?

In stock and delivering new varieties every single month to your door!

Healthy Dog Subscription Snacks at Snack at Franks affordable treats
Keep up-to-date with news & entertainment!
Payment Gateways Visa Mastercard