Sometimes a good dog isn’t a good fit


We said goodbye to one of our black labradors this week: Molly, who’s just turned one, is off to enjoy a new life with a new owner. She’s a great dog, but she wasn’t a great fit for us: with the benefit of hindsight we should have realised that she was a gun dog, not a laid-back, lazy lab like our other dog, Megan. Gun dogs need lots of exercise – more than we can give her, and considerably more than we’ll be able to give her later this year when the second Baby Bigmouth arrives. Molly needs to be with an owner who’ll walk her legs off, and that isn’t us.

We didn’t make the decision lightly, but it was the right decision for us and for Molly – and I think we went about it in the right way too. She found a new home via Labrador Retriever Rescue Scotland, whose Carolyne Poulton appears to be legendary in labrador circles: Carolyne vets prospective owners carefully, and won’t rehome a dog unless she’s absolutely convinced that the new owners are the right owners. And it works: Molly is off to the doggy equivalent of heaven on earth, living with a couple whose idea of a good time is hillwalking and pheasant shooting. That is exactly what she needs. She’ll love her life there, and I’m sure they’ll love having her.

Getting Molly was a mistake, not because she’s a bad dog but because we’re not the right owners for the kind of dog she is – and that’s a risk you take if, like us, you get a new-born pup via an advertisement on Gumtree. If you’re considering getting a Lab, I’d strongly recommend speaking to Carolyne: you could help rehome a dog who’s absolutely perfect for you – a dog who’s already trained, and who’s the best friend you haven’t met yet.