A couple has revealed how their dog caused £18,000 worth of damages to their home in just three months – all due to his anxiety.
Owner Kelly-Ann Lee, 33, a nurse from Manchester, and her partner Emilien Borne, 31, a personal trainer, brought Lupin into their home to join their other Dalmatian, Ralph.
At first Lupin, a two-year-old deaf Dalmatian, was totally fine, but he became extremely anxious after a bout of illness whenever his owners were not around.
Throughout the three months of Lupin’s destructive tendencies he destroyed an entire sofa and chewed through the washing machine door, the laminated kitchen floor, shoes, cushions, plants, plant pots, a concrete wall and he even pulled the curtains off the rails.
Lupin’s behaviour began taking over the couple’s lives, taking away their freedom of movement and even causing them to miss Kelly-Ann’s sister’s engagement party.
Kelly-Ann said: ‘It’s completely dictated our lives, everything revolved around Lupin, if Emilien went to the gym I would have to wait till he got home to then go just so there was someone to look after Lupin.
‘We even missed my sister’s engagement party because of not being able to leave the dog alone.
‘The damages were horrendous and it put such a strain on our entire life. It was truly horrible.’
The total cost of the damages caused by Lupin was around £18,000.
‘It got to the point where I had said to Emilien that I couldn’t do it any longer. If it wasn’t for the fact that we had nursed the dog back to health we might’ve actually given up,’ said Kelly-Ann.
‘Emilien said to me we never gave up on him then and we won’t be giving up on him now.’
Lupin had contracted Canine Parvovirus whilst in the couple’s care, after not being fully vaccinated by the breeder, much to their shock.
After spending time in a veterinarian ICU, the couple were informed there was not much more they could do. They were told Lupin could potentially die, so they decided the best place for Lupin would be at home with his family.
Once Lupin returned, the pair took it in shifts to look after and nurse him.
They hand-fed him food and drink and slowly but surely, Lupin began to recover until he was back to full fitness.
Throughout the care, Lupin had become so reliant on his owners that his anxiety levels were through the roof, which is when the nasty changes in his behaviour started.
Kelly-Ann said: ‘Once he had returned to full health we started noticing changes in his behaviour.
‘He was always quite independent and wasn’t too keen on cuddles before the illness – however after he had recovered it was a constant need to be held and fussed with purely through the extreme anxiety he was dealing with.
‘Instead of watching what Ralph was doing, he was fixated on the pair of us.
‘Whenever we were out of sight it was cause him to panic and go into his extreme destructive mode.’
The couple at a last resort contacted Channel 4 to be trained by experts on the show Dog Academy.
Expert trainers helped Kelly-Ann and Emilien learn more about why their dog was acting the way he was and gave them all the tips and tricks to help get their dog back to normal.
Kelly-Ann said: ‘It was so eye-opening, we never thought that how we were acting towards the dog was helping to encourage the behaviour, it’s just second nature to cuddle a needy dog.
‘We kept to a strict plan and reaped the rewards of it and slowly but surely Lupin began to act like his old independent self.
‘We can see him now when we’re away from home on the dog cam, he’ll just entertain himself and if he ever starts ripping his toys or chewing a pillow corner he’ll slowly realise what he’s doing and stop.
‘It’s been a complete 360 turn and we’re now back to living a happy life with two lovely dogs.’
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