A rescue dog has been given an “idyllic” life in Highlands after his previous owners didn’t have time for him.
Labrador Ozzy spent a year in the care of the Dogs Trust after being handed into Ballymena Rehoming Centre in Northern Ireland.
The ten-month-old’s previous owners said they no longer had the time to care for the playful youngster.
His move to Scotland was secured when he was transferred to the charity’s rehoming centre in Glasgow.
The Training and Behaviour Team at Glasgow found Ozzy to be a clever boy, quick to learn and eager to please. He wasn’t so keen on other dogs and so a home in a rural location was required where Ozzy could flourish.
Couple John and Mairi from Elgin spotted Ozzy’s online profile and were instantly attracted to his likeable personality. Having owned Labradors for over 30 years they hoped he was the four-legged friend they were looking for and weren’t deterred by the journey to Glasgow to meet him.
In May 2021, following numerous successful meets at the Rehoming Centre and at their home in Moray, staff waved a fond farewell to Ozzy.
Just over a year later, Ozzy is a changed dog, enjoying many adventures in the Highlands including daily walks in quiet country fields; gradually making canine pals and even bagging a few world-famous Munros.
“We knew straight away Ozzy was a clever dog who had already been very well trained at the Glasgow Rehoming Centre by Carrie, Chloe and Kate, but over a year later they might not believe he is the same dog,” John said.
“His confidence has grown as the months have passed. He used to be very wary of strangers but now loves a few of our friends and is comfortable visiting their homes. He is also more confident when he sees other dogs, rarely reacting as he previously did.
“In recent months he has slowly been introduced to friend’s dogs, and he now plays off the lead with his new friend Juno. We’ve successfully reached every milestone we had hoped for including climbing three Munros; Geal Charn, Beinn á Chaorainn and Beinn Teallach.
“To anyone considering rehoming a rescue dog I would say you need to have the time, expect to put in some effort and be patient and consistent. It is impossible to imagine Ozzy living in a city.
“As the Dogs Trust advised, he very much required a home in a rural location. With a quieter life, the changes we have seen have been remarkable. It’s been incredibly rewarding to witness them.
“It really is a pleasure being in his company every day and there is no doubt Ozzy has brought a lot of joy into our lives.”
Sandra Downie, Glasgow Rehoming Centre manager said: “It is fantastic to hear how well Ozzy is doing. He is clearly a much-loved part of the family and is loving life in the country. Our staff work so hard to achieve these happy outcomes for every dog that comes into our care, so it’s always a lovely boost to hear about happy dogs in happy homes.
“Thankfully John and Mairi were prepared to travel to meet and get to know Ozzy from their home in Elgin. We currently have lots of dogs like Ozzy who require a quiet location for their new home.
“Many of our dogs aren’t suited to life in a busy town or city. Instead, they require regular routines and a much quieter life with minimum interaction with strangers, which includes being exercised in areas that are largely free from other dogs.
“We are keen to hear from anyone who can offer a quiet, rural life to any of our current residents.”
Dogs in need of new homes in Scotland include; Jupiter, Leo, Haiti, Casper, Captain, Edward, Jack, Jonny, Rocky, Toffee, Joey, Billy and Ollie.
Anyone interested in rehoming any of them can visit the Dogs Trust website to see their profiles.