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Gorseinon family so glad that re-homed dog Smokey came into their lives

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 29, 2012

By Rupert Hall

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A SWANSEA family whose lives have been enriched by man's best friend have re-enforced the message that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

Christine and Brendan Sweeney promised their two children a dog for Christmas in 2002.

The couple from Gorseinon visited the RSPCA Llys Nini animal care centre in Penllergaer prior to New Year's Day in 2003 and chose their dog Smokey, a Staff collie cross, who could not be collected until the New Year.

Mrs Sweeney said: "We are pleased to say Smokey is still with us.

"Some people who pass us whilst we're out for our daily walk comment on how Smokey is an old dog, as they can tell from his grey muzzle."

The mother-of-two said Smokey has presented the family with problems such as finding pet-friendly holiday venues and vets' bills.

Commitment

She added: "A dog is a great addition to any family if you can properly look after and house the dog.

"A dog is a commitment, potentially for years, and not to be abandoned when you realise you can't find the time or money required.

"Think before running out and buying a dog, or even that cute puppy.

"That cute puppy won't stay that cute puppy."

RSPCA Llys Nini business development manager Clara Abson confirmed the Swansea centre re-homed more than 800 animals this year.

She added: "Stories like Smokey make what we do worthwhile.

"It is good to know that the time we spend with the animals looking for a re-home does work and we are not just sending them to another home to be given up a few years later."

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  • maxmin  |  December 30 2012, 10:41AM

    Dear Mr and Mrs Sweeney, Since you own a staffie - or part of a staffie according to the act (Being Blessed by a Staffies act 1642) you should be aware of the Property Laws for Staffies. Here they are: PROPERTY LAWS FOR STAFFIES If I like it - it's mine If it's in my mouth it's mine If I had it a while ago - it's mine If it looks like mine - it's mine If it's mine it must never be yours If I saw it first - it's mine If you have something and you put it down - it's mine If I chew something then all the pieces are mine If it smells good - it's mine If it's broken- it's yours If it used to be yours - get over it!

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  • 3l1zab3th  |  December 29 2012, 12:07PM

    A minor correction to the article, we had Smokey at the beginning of 2002. Maxmin. Smokey does have the height, facial features & character of a Staff, but he thankfully has a collie build, therefore isn't as fat as thoroughbred staffs & therefore doesn't have the health problems often associated with Staffs. He's regularly exercised, so that will also help. He's definitely very loving, a known feature of the Staff breed. We've never however let Smokey on to the sofa, although I'm sure he'd love it if he was invited up, so he probably thought he was being given VIP treatment, when the photographer here, asked him to be allowed to sit on the sofa with us, for one of the many photo's he took to choose from, for the article. Smokey's more than happy however, with the 2 hard wearing polystyrene bean bag beds I made him years ago, so we've one to wash & one to use. The beans obviously get used between both the beds. The larger of his beds, the more regularly used one, he's plenty of room to stretch out on, as he often prefers to sleep like that. I've had to patch the beds a few time, Smokey having scratched them to mold his bed & eventually broken through the material. It's amazing however, that he can be happily sleeping in his bed, even though my Husband is in the lounge, then I go to my seat & up he gets, comes initially looking to play & then when tired, he sleeps between my feet, on the carpet. He knows who feeds & largely walks him, a result of me being home the most. He doesn't realise who earns the money however, to feed him. My Husband is the one also, who goes out on occasional jogs in the week & takes Smokey running, sometimes 5 miles. I'm afraid I'm not that energetic. It's just a walk daily with me & a game of ball when he wants to play, something he was trained to do, whilst he spent a few months prior to his years with us, at Llys Nini, as one of their longer stay dogs. My arm would be dropping off from throwing the ball, during Smokey's younger years, before he'd tire. I'd definitely say if you're looking for a dog, go buy a dog from Llys Nini. Llys Nini looks after the dogs as well as they can, but of course they can't give a dog as much attention as they'd get as someones much loved pet. Go visit/exercise the dogs in the Llys Nini grounds for a few days, prior to deciding which one is for you.

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  • maxmin  |  December 29 2012, 10:24AM

    I have had dogs since I was a small child and they have all been rescue dogs, they are fantastic. I see Smokey has a lot of Staffie in him (?). The worse thing you can do to a staffie is deny them human companionship - you didn't really think you owned your sofa did you? We have had a staffie for 6 years now and she is wonderful - she's even letting us have a corner of the couch back now!

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  • Rspca Llys Nini  |  December 29 2012, 9:57AM

    And rescue dogs are best. If you want a pet please go to a reputable rescue and not a breeder. There are so many unwanted pets that rescue centres like Llys Nini are finding it hard to cope.

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