A dog who spent so long shut inside a stable ended up only being able to walk in a figure of eight.
Mac is now part of the 92 dog pack at the Border Collie Rescue and Rehab Centre in Crymych in Pembrokeshire, where he spends his days out in the open, now running in straight lines.
Diane Hart, who owns the rescue centre, explained that Mac was a failed farmdog who spent his life inside a stable, unable to see over the 6ft walls.
His fellow dogs slept in the stable with him but spent the days on the loose, working in the farm.
Meanwhile, Mac spent his days shut inside the barn, well fed and watered but confined to the darkness, even forced to go to the toilet on the stable floor.
Diane rescued Mac after the farmer, who lived in West Wales, died.
She received a call from the neighbour, who was taking in the working sheepdogs, asking if she could collect Mac.
Diane said, “He had difficulty even going from the stable to the van so we carried him most of the way. He didn’t know what was going on.
“I took him home and got him outside the next morning with two of the quieter dogs. It was lovely to see, he couldn’t believe his luck at being out but when the other two were running off, he just circled in a figure of eight around my legs.
“We were in a three acre field and that’s all he could do.”
Luckily, one of the other males in the pack took Mac under his wing and taught him how to walk in a straight line.
Diane said, “Because he built a strong friendship with the dog he wanted to follow him and play.”
She explained that if he ever gets stressed now, he thankfully doesn’t revert to figures of eight but does sometimes scoot nervously around Diane.
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Speaking to TeamDogs, she added: “He’s missed out on half his life. It’s never going to leave him.”
Although it will be coming up to two years in August since Diane rescued Mac, she has no intention of rehoming him elsewhere. She explained although she is careful where her rehomed sheepdogs go, she is worried how Mac might react to being shut up in a house again, especially in small rooms.
This is an owner who cares deeply about her pack of sheepdogs.
“He’s a lovely boy with the best temperament. There’s no aggression at all after all of that. He’s so willing to please.”
She joked, “If it was me I’d have wanted to get as far away from a human being as possible but dogs are very forgiving.”
Most of Mac’s rehabilitation has involved socialising him with the pack, who have taught him how to enjoy being a dog.
Diane also worked on building up his muscle tone. Walking in figures of eights for five and a half years meant that certain muscles were overworked and some had barely been used.
As for now, Mac has built his confidence and is enjoying life as a free dog, still has his best years ahead of him with Diane and is making up for lost time.