Rolo's Story

I am reluctant to write Rolo's story because it is very painful to me. Everything that I say here is true and I have documentation with photos. 

Rolo was imported on June 29th, 2012 from Kilcavan Hamiltonstovare in the UK. He had been up for sale since he was born but for reasons still unknown to me he was not sold until I was offered him. He was offered to me for free as long as I paid for his import. I said yes, going just on photos alone. His import was scheduled as quickly as possible with the promise that his registration would travel with him.

When he arrived, I was shocked at his condition. At 15 months old, he was grossly underweight at just 53lbs. The whole ride home we noticed a foul stench coming from him. So we let him use the bathroom and immediately gave him a bath. The water that came off of him was black. As he got clean, I hugged him and couldn't believe the condition that he was in. Within one month and on a holistic diet, he gained 20lbs and is now at his adult weight of 82lbs.

Rolo at IAD after he cleared customs, notice how skinny his is, dull coat and less muscle tone.

Rolo at IAD after he cleared customs, notice how skinny his is, dull coat and less muscle tone.

As the days went by, Rolo's registration never arrived. At almost 4 months after his import a false pedigree and incorrect registration arrived. I continued to request it until I contacted the AKC where they said that the Hamiltonstovare Club of America could start their own registry and register him that way, so I did. After nearly a 10 months since his import, he was finally AKC and UKC registered.

Rolo just 2 months after import

Rolo just 2 months after import

Rolo took to the show ring soon after and quickly finished his UKC Championship. During his show training is when I started to notice that something wasn't right. He would pace way too easily and I thought that was just his structure. Boy was I wrong...

I took Rolo to a seminar to ask an expert on canine structure why he paced so easily. The woman running the seminar examined him and said he is structurally sound but his core muscle condition is very weak. My jaw dropped. Rolo is exercised for over an hour everyday running and playing hard in nearly an acre of fenced in yard. He is also a weight pulling dog, so how could his core be weak? 

The simple answer came when my first litter of puppies was born. My vet thinks that Rolo's issue stems from improper muscular development as a puppy due to being confined too much. Then I remembered something that his breeder said "he doesn't get to be in the house much because the other dogs don't like him..." My beautiful boy was confined, underweight and filthy as a youngster.

As soon as I could bought some balance discs and his transformation has been amazing. It has only been 2 weeks since he started his balance discs and I haven't seen him pace and he has enough core strength to "sit-up".

Rolo on his balance discs

Rolo on his balance discs

It explains how Alice and Rolo are less affectionate than their puppies.

How could somebody who is world renowned for her Hamiltonstovare do that to such a beautiful boy? I've asked the breeder some of the same questions and the response has been "he was going through a phase..." Whenever I asked about the incorrect pedigree and registration, no response. Whenever I asked about his coat being filthy the response was "I didn't notice..." After the revelation about his core muscle issue, I am tired of excuses. I've tried every way possible to make his breeder understand that what she did to him is abusive and neglectful but to no avail. I am in the US and basically powerless. The moral of this ongoing story is, just because a breeder has done amazing things, that doesn't mean that everything is ok with how the less important dogs are treated.

Rolo spring of 2014

Rolo spring of 2014

However, having him here is the best thing for him. Here is pampered, given the best food, toys, groomed on a regular basis and in training to be the first Hamiltonstovare UKC Super Dog. I love him dearly and placed my life in his hands, he has never and will never disappoint me. He has also placed his trust in me and for that I am honored. 

Rolo watching me ringside 

Rolo watching me ringside