Ross, my Gordon Setter was stolen to order in March 2016, I was devastated. Whilst distributing posters about him in a local pub I met a professional dog trainer/rescuer, both me and my older Gordon, Tam, were lost without Ross and they advised me “Get another dog” , so I started looking at the photos on the Settusfree website.
There was one photo of a blue belton English Setter called Flora who was being fostered in the UK. She was the first setter to come from Italy via Clare & Chiara. She also had ‘leish’ but I thought she was the most beautiful setterina I had ever seen. Flora had been found in the south of Italy, living in the wet with her paws constantly in the mud and only the roof of her kennel to escape and sleep on. She lived like this for months watching the world go by through the mesh of her cage, until she was moved to the north of Italy where they cared for her before she could travel.
If Ross returned it would not be a problem, I would just have three dogs. Settusfree agreed I could be considered to adopt Flora and after a successful homecheck I drove up to Peterborough to collect her from her foster Mum.
Tam, my Gordon Setter, was delighted with his new ‘totty’. Flora gave us both a new reason for being. Our large garden required higher fencing and she was kept on a lead in the garden because we are surrounded by fields and pheasants! Now (Aug 2017) she goes out, does her patrol of the perimeter and comes back indoors when I call her. Recently she climbed up the hedge to steal blackbird eggs from a nest and fell over into the wheat field. Amazingly she was trying to get back to me which would never have happened earlier. Training a rescue setter takes a long time but is so rewarding when everything eventually clicks!
The Leishmaniasis is not a problem. Flora takes Allopurinol tablets three times a day and has her full blood & urine tests every six months. Her leish level is going down and when it gets to negative she can hopefully stop taking the tablets.
Flora loves agility which we go to once a week, in an outside paddock off lead! Her favourite equipment pieces are the A Frame and the Dog Walk which she whizzes up and across at speed.
Flora is an absolute poppet and this year I decided she needed a playmate so Fern arrived from Spain in May. Tam is delighted – he now has two ladies!