Yogi, a four-year-old Frenchie, was left with limited hearing and had to have both eyes removed as a result of the abuse he suffered – but now lives his best life with the Cheshire woman that fostered him
Image: Emma Caskie)
A French bulldog so badly abused he was left almost completely deaf and totally bind during lockdown has found his forever home.
The four-year-old dog, named Yogi Peanut, was a ‘victim of lockdown’ having been ‘battered’ by his previous owner before being confiscated by vets.
The Frenchie had completely shut down and was frightened by everything when he was taken into the care of Friends of Animals Wales.
But due to his condition, the dog was quickly taken into foster care by dog walker Emma Caskie.
The 40-year-old, from Crewe, said: “He was severely abused and there is no justification whatsoever. He came to me with one eye already removed as an emergency from the vets and needing the other one removed soon after.
“Yogi has no ear drums left due to chronic infections left untreated and both his ear flaps have had injuries which have left serious scarring and hematomas that will leave his ears permanently flat, and has got spinal damage which could leave him paralysed in the future.
“For someone to have mistreated him in the way they have is just horrific.”
When he was rescued in June 2020, Yogi would scream at being touched, with vets wondering if his injuries had left him with brain damage.
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Emma, who owns Hound Club Dog Walking and Pet Services, said: “We would put him in one spot and he would just stay there. He wouldn’t move and you’d have to pick him up and move him around.
“Yet, slowly but surely he started to show signs that he could hear a tiny amount and that he was learning to trust me.
“I can’t really say he’s blossomed, he’s a very sensitive dog but he definitely responded to me and got excited when I came home – and then fell over because his back legs couldn’t support him properly. But you could really see personality had started to come through.”
After Yogi had his other eye removed, Emma developed an amazing bond and way of communicating through high pitched sounds and clicking.
And after months of rehabilitation, Emma decided Yogi had already found his forever home.
She said: “I’ve fostered blind and disabled dogs before and they’ve gone off to amazing homes. But with Yogi, he chose to stay with me.
“I think because he came to be with one eye and limited vision, he’s managed to navigate around my house now, so when he lost his second eye, he was used to my voice and he knew the particular clicks of my fingers.
“When he stopped flinching when I touched him, I knew he recognised my smell and became really settled in my environment.
“I thought, if I uproot him again it’s going to cause him so much stress because of his limited senses. I didn’t want to put him through any more trauma and he’s been through enough.”
Yogi now lives with Emma and her French bulldog, Milo, Bengal cat, Meatloaf, and two foster dogs, a Shar Pei called Wrinkles and a Frenchie called Dennis – who are both looking for homes.
Emma added: “I could keep them all – easily. As a foster owner you have to treat them as if they’re your dog and love them as if they’re your dog, because you put so much into them that if you didn’t you wouldn’t get the best result for them or get to know them as well as possible to find them the perfect home.
“You always know the goal is to find the best home for them. It’s really hard to keep them because you know it’s a space that another foster could potentially need, but I think Yogi needs that space so he’ll stay with me for as long as he’s enjoying his life.
“He gets a lot of comfort from the other dogs that come into foster and uses them as a pillow. He’s part of the pack now and is just a real gentle soul.”
Yogi was nominated for a Naturo Superdog award last month in the ‘Survivor’ category, and this month, is up for Rescue Pet of the Year for Animal Star.
He even met TV presenter Clare Balding at DogFest North in September, who was ‘horrified’ at what the little pup had been through.
Emma has been volunteering for rescues since she was 13 years old, and has fostered nearly 150 dogs in her own home.
She said: “I have got a little book at home of all the dogs I’ve ever fostered, why they came in with a photo and a little blurb about them so that when rescue is getting really tough, I can remind myself about why I do it.
“It’s best not to count how many dogs are in my house at any one time as it can get busy, like the time I took on a Staffy cross and her 10 newborn puppies for eight weeks.
“I always take them in when I can because I live by myself and I don’t need to worry about whether they get on with kids or other people, they just need to get on with me and my dogs then we can manage and work on getting them to trust other people and getting them in a home.”
Friends of Animals Wales still have a number of dogs looking for homes, and are often looking for fosterers like Emma to help keep animals in a home environment.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.