Dexter came into rescue back in 2013 and was rehomed to a family aged 18 months old, a
steady dog at the time, no real vices, and had lived with children and dogs beforehand.
However after having Dex a while they brought a kitten home. Dex had never been around
cats/ kittens before and unfortunately for the kitten Dex was not happy and he did kill the
poor thing. So he was returned to rescue.
Dex then spent a while in kennels waiting for another home. We thought the perfect home
had been found with an ex- army chap who lived alone. Him and Dex quickly became best
pals and did everything together. He managed his stranger issues well, and there were only
a couple of 'bite' incidents. However...this guy then met a partner who had small children
and sadly Dex was not wanted in this new family life and would most likely have hated it. So
off he went back to kennels again. This second loss of home affected Dex badly, and he
developed trust issues. After another spell in kennels, he went into a foster home and was
doing really well. However he had developed aggression to strangers and they could not
manage this in him. So off to kennels again and this only reinforced his trust issues even
further. Another foster home popped up in South Wales, and he did really well there, mixing
with dogs and people ok until there was an incident where he badly bit a visitor.
At this point we were lucky enough to live in South Wales and had kennel space there for
him, so Dex arrived with us in March 2016. All of the losses in his life and all of the moves
from homes to kennels etc in his life had affected Dex so badly he had become very
aggressive with anyone he met and with other dogs.
We them had a long process of trust building and learning about his triggers and his boundaries,
finally we had reached a happy point in his life for him. With his quite extensive bite history, we
made the decision for Dex to stay with us for life, as we could not risk rehoming him again.
When we moved to Elswick Kennels in 2018, of course Dex came with us. However Dex -
nicknamed Fathead - got very stressed in any kennel environment so with the help of my
step-dad, brother, son and his friend and a few other favours called in - we converted 2
kennels into a little 'cottage' with a sofa and bed in, and made it as least 'kennel like' as we
possibly could. He absolutely loved it! And the good news was, he never bitten anyone since!
Fathead was now 11 years old and had arthritis in his hips - so was on daily medication - this
cost us around £135 per month, but he still enjoyed his walks. He had Yumove joint
supplement daily which really worked well for him.
Fathead adored his family, but would not tolerate any stranger anywhere near – he will allow us
to groom him for about 5 minutes, then we get told 'enough'! He loved collecting firewood,
the bigger the better and he loved any toys and makes it his mission to de-squeak them all.
As he is an old boy we would spoil him rotten. He had a very funny morning routine where he would
have cooked ham and cheese on a plate, with 2 pieces of shortbread and 3 ginger nuts with a
bowl full of egg and milk while we have our morning teabreak at the kennels. He loved this
time with us, but would be so naughty rooting in every box in the office and taking out anything he
Update from Suzanne July 2023:
I’ve been dreading writing this post as it absolutely breaks our hearts to tell you all that Dex recently passed away peacefully at home in our arms. Our hearts are shattered into a million pieces as he was one in a million. He gave us his heart over 7 years ago but he told us he’d had enough, so we freed him from his pain .
Massive Thank you to Oakhill vets for handling him with such care & consideration for the unique soul he was . Thankyou also to Leyland Pet Crematorium for putting up with me sobbing. Fathead – Thank you for choosing us . Thank you for your unconditional love. Run free like the wind & stay close as we are struggling to imagine life without you Fats . Xxxxx
Dexter’s story will stay on the website forever as he will stay in our hearts forever.
Dexter - 2012 -2023