Ricky Gervais, with beautiful Beagle Scarlett.

FLOE's Patron, Peter Egan, with Scarlett.

Photos © K9 Magazine

Scarlett’s progress in her new forever home

“After one year with us, Scarlett continues to show many fears and phobias – and may do so for life – but there have also been big breakthroughs,” say Janie and Phil, Scarlett’s adopted parents.

Scarlett learns how to play, with the help of her friend Penelope.

“Through spending time with other dogs, Scarlett has learned to play. This is an important part of a puppy’s development but of course Scarlett was incarcerated for the first two years of her life; her first year of freedom literally became her puppyhood where she learned to explore the world for the first time.

Through plenty of exercise and a proper diet (they are fed dried pellets in the lab and kept barely alive) she has reached her full weight and has become a strong girl with incredible stamina.

Scarlett has been going to puppy school for several months and although she has anxious days where she wants to leave, as time goes by she has grown in confidence, learning to walk to heel, both on and off lead, and acting on ‘sit’ and ‘wait’ commands.

Scarlett has learned how to use her nose and found her calling as a scent hound. She has gone from simply staring at a fox to chasing it enthusiastically (on lead). We walk Scarlett mainly off lead but if there is a deer around we put her on lead quickly so she doesn’t chase it – instead she Aroos (bays) excitedly.

Joyful digging in Scarlett’s first snow!

Finding her voice was wonderful. Initially we feared the lab may have de-barked her (i.e., cut her vocal chords, a practice in some labs so they don’t have to listen to beagle cries). She then surprised us one day by letting out a bark of excitement, then within days she learned to bay excitedly.

More than anything, Scarlett shows us huge amounts of love. If you had spent years in a lab being tortured by a species, would you have that capacity to forgive and love? Remember that one year to a dog is the equivalent to about seven years to a human, so Scarlett was incarcerated and tortured for the equivalent of fourteen human years. Yet despite this she showers us with love.”