Many dogs that arrive at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home will find a new home within a month or two but for long-stay resident Archie, that has not been the case.
The little terrier has spent 500 days in the charity’s care so far but staff home that his appearance on tonight’s episode of ITV’s Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, will help him find an inexperienced owner to help him through his insecurities.
The nine-year-old had been a happy family pet until a recent change in circumstances meant his owners could no longer care for him, so he was brought to Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre in Kent.
The stress of finding himself in a new environment took its toll on Archie’s behaviour. Beth Stevenson, Battersea’s Canine Behaviour and Training Advisor who features in the episode with Archie, explains, “It’s a real shame Archie has been with us for so long as he’s such a lovely dog. He is quite anxious and gets worried easily, especially if people loom over him. This can obviously cause a problem in kennels, with visitors peering in over the bars, and he can sometimes get a bit vocal.”
Keen to help him show off his best qualities, Paul and Beth built Archie his very own mini staircase to give him a safe space where he could choose how much interaction he wanted. Beth adds, “Archie seems to be a lot calmer when he’s up high. All it took was a bit of positive association training to get him used to the staircase, and now he loves sitting on top of his little throne and looking down on his kingdom. He’s definitely much more relaxed.”
Despite the staircase to make him feel more at ease, Archie still hasn’t found happiness and next Monday (28 October) will mark his 500th day, making him the charity’s longest staying resident – over 14 times longer than the average dog’s stay.
Beth continued, “Archie’s been staying in a temporary foster home and has proved himself to be a wonderful little dog. Archie is on the lookout for very understanding owners who are willing to take the time to make him as comfortable and confident as possible. They will be rewarded with a great companion who gives back so much.”
If you think that you may be the right person to give Archie the home that he needs and deserves, please visit www.battersea.org.uk.