Here we are again. We’ve come a long way since the days when Abby never fully relaxed, ate everything in sight including her poo, had regular diarrhoea, was sick in the car every journey, toileted in the house and was always bothered with her ears, and was seriously underweight. A lot of that would have been to do with stress, and stress has an effect on digestive systems. It seems to be the case that diet has an effect on stress levels as well. It was also clear that her learning capacity was impaired, and that hasn’t changed much! Although very motivated by food, there’s little sign of her remembering what she got it for! It takes some dogs longer than others to settle in a new situation – it can take up to two years according to some experts. When Abby came to us she had had two major surgical procedures: one to remove mammary tumours and one to spay her. She’d also had teeth removed. Grey about the muzzle, she looked older than her estimated 6 or 7 years. It was pretty hard going for her, and for us. Regular clean-ups of runny poo on the kitchen floor, clean-ups of sick, muzzled when she was outside so she couldn’t eat anything, regular visits to the vets for vitamin injections and weigh-ins. Well, all that’s behind us now. Even the muzzle has come off on the beach, and the seaweed is safe! She’s a fine traveller now and she’s clean in the house. Best of all, she seems happy and reasonably healthy, and now weighs 29 kilos. A major change in the way we feed her has definitely contributed to her improvement, and it’s apparent in her weight, her eyes (previously cloudy) and her coat which is now free of dandruff. If you’ve been following this you’ll know that she is now on raw food with cooked vegetables, and completely grain free. Given the extremely poor circumstances she was presumably living in while on a puppy farm, we think this is as good as it gets. She even has little plays on the beach with Cairid, and has become very attached to him.