Seaside home sought for allergy dog
For most dogs, there is nothing they like better than a walk in the park or a run round a field, but for seven-year-old crossbreed Buster, an allergy to grass means setting foot on the stuff brings him out in intense itching.
Instead of walks in parks, there is nothing he likes more than a trip to the beach where he can play itch-free.
Buster is being looked after by the Dogs Trust in Darlington, County Durham, until he finds a new owner, and staff are looking for a home by the sea for him, on top of the usual requirements, so he can escape the discomfort of his allergy.
The condition, known as an atopy, is similar to hay fever and is permanent, requiring treatment and careful managing.
Dogs Trust veterinary director Paula Boyden said: "Buster's condition is atopy which can be likened to hay fever in humans - whereas humans with grass allergies sneeze, atopy manifests itself as a skin condition in dogs. This can range from mild irritation to intense itching.
"Whilst the condition itself is not uncommon, the extent of the severity of Buster's condition is unusual as he cannot be near grass at all. Despite being on medication to help his allergies, Buster will need careful managing to try and avoid any flare-ups."
Luckily, Dogs Trust staff discovered Buster's love for the seaside.
Canine carer Gemma Thornton said: "Although the centre is about a 40-minute drive from the coast, as soon as he jumps in the car he is as good as gold. He doesn't mind the journey and quietly looks out of the window waiting in anticipation. He knows exactly where he is as soon as he jumps out of the car.
"He enjoys chasing a ball into the sea, even when the weather is cold. He loves to roll around and really scratch his back in the sand but his favourite game is to be chased whilst he runs with seaweed in his mouth.
"Every time we take him it is like a mini holiday for him, the sea air always lifts his spirits and it would be lovely for someone to be able to make him that happy every day."