Sometimes in life, two paths cross at just the right time. And for Ross Southwood and his Blue Cross rescue dog Kaiser, that couldn’t be any truer.

Grief-stricken Ross was struggling to cope after losing his two beloved dogs within 18 months of each other, and rottweiler Kaiser had found himself at our Bromsgrove rehoming centre, lonely and dejected after being - unavoidably - given up by two previous owners.

But being brought together by Blue Cross was a huge turning point for both of them and in the past six months, their unbreakable bond has helped to heal the scars of the past.

“Before I got Kaiser I had lost my eldest rottweiler, Syrus, and was devastated. I went to Spain for a while to help me come to terms with the loss and the night I got home, my youngest dog, Lola, died in a road accident outside my house. It was horrific,” said Ross.

“I had been planning to get a third dog before Syrus died and suddenly I had none. The house felt empty and I was just lost.”

Ross, who lives in Hastings with partner Lorraine, continued: “When I heard about Kaiser, I went straight up to see him. It was like he needed me, and I needed him to move past what was a really bad time in my life. We found each other at the right time.”

Kaiser originally came to Blue Cross in December 2016 due to a family breakup. He was quickly rehomed and thought he’d never be alone again but, in a tragic turn of events, his new owner fell unexpectedly ill two months later and had to give him up.

Kaiser being stroked on the head by owner Ross
Kaiser and Ross found each other at just the right time and have become inseparable.

The three-year-old dog must have been so confused, and his confidence hit rock bottom as a result.

Caroline Oram, Animal Welfare Assistant at Bromsgrove, said: “When Kaiser came to us he was very worried. Having had two homes this poor boy found himself in kennels through no fault of his own. He was under-confident and would often approach things with caution; tail low, ears back, sometimes cowering if you approached.

“He hadn't had much socialisation with other dogs so the team here at Bromsgrove worked really hard with the Behaviour Team and we had a behaviour program in place for him.”

The team worked hard to bring Kaiser back out of his shell and, in doing so, quickly realised that he absolutely loved people and being around them all of the time.

In the four months he spent at Bromsgrove, he had come on leaps and bounds – but any new owner had to be prepared to put in further training work.

And Ross, with plenty of experience of Kaiser’s breed, was more than willing – and now says that Kaiser is the “perfect pet”.

“He needed work with socialisation but knew the basic commands. He was a very shy, reactive and nervous dog. He could get very scared around other dogs,” he said.”

Ross throws a frisbee for Kaiser on the beach
Kaiser required only minimal training and Ross describes him as the "perfect dog"

Ross continued: “It was amazing how quickly he settled in. I was expecting some teething problems and we had to do a bit of work, but he was just brilliant.

“He doesn’t leave my side. I’ve probably never had a dog that has adapted so well and just wanted to be around people and be so chilled. He has come a helluva long way.”

With guidance from the Bromsgrove team, Ross worked with Kaiser on muzzle and off-lead training, and built up his socialisation skills with other dogs.

And he is now unrecognisable from the shy, withdrawn dog he was a year ago.

Kaiser on the beach

On the day that Blue Cross visited Kaiser in his new home, he was contently flopped over Ross’s lap on the sofa ahead of a trip to the beach, where he happily played a game of fetch and was eager to make friends with any other dog he saw.

“I’m actually shocked at how quickly and easily he turned into such an amazing dog. I’m very lucky that I found him and he found me; very blessed indeed,” added Ross.

“My life wouldn’t be anywhere near as fulfilled as it is now without him. I’d be lost without him. We do everything together. He motivates me to get out and do stuff, without a doubt.”

Kaiser gives Ross his paw
Ross says his life would not be anywhere near as fulfilled without Kaiser in it.

Caroline added: “I knew this lovable, playful, gorgeous boy would need a home full of love and someone who understands his ways and would help continue to build his confidence up. In return, I knew you would get all the love and cuddles as this boy just loves to give.

“It was clear that Kaiser would help Ross after everything he had been through and in return he has proved to be the very best owner we could possibly want for this special dog.

“The bond they have made is wonderful to see. I am so happy that Blue Cross was able to match these two together. It truly highlights how pets can change lives and we can change theirs.”

Kaiser and Ross looking out to sea from their beach hut

— Page last updated 5/07/2018