A rescue dog described as a “soppy gentle giant” has finally found a forever home after more than two years of waiting and three failed attempts. Basher, a mastiff who measures at 6ft (183cm) tall when standing on his back legs, previously made headlines after being shunned by potential adopters due to his size.
The three-year-old dog arrived at the RSPCA’s Cornwall branch in St Columb in July 2021 having already spent 18 months at other rescue centres.
But Basher has finally landed on his paws and went to his loving new home last month.
Sammy Howard, from RSPCA Cornwall, said: “Basher was rescued in January 2020 and moved around rescue centres as we struggled to find adopters who were willing to take him on due to his size and his challenges.
“When he stands on his hind legs he’s almost 6ft tall – meaning he’s taller than most of the staff looking after him.
“While he’s a big lad, he’s an absolutely soppy gentle giant, and we all truly fell in love with him during our time with us but we were so desperate to find him the perfect home.”
Basher’s new owner Anna, who lives just down the road from the rescue centre, spotted his heartbreaking story on Facebook and thought her rural home would be the perfect match.
She said: “I’d just moved into a new home and had been thinking about getting another dog.
“I could see it working here for Basher as we’re very isolated and rural, and we have more than five acres.”
Anna made several visits to the centre to bond with Basher before taking him back with her.
She added: “I didn’t realise at that point how desperate they were to find him the right home.
“I spoke to the behaviourist and asked if he had a good soul because I could work through any other problems.
“She said, at that moment, that she knew we were meant to be together and that he’d be okay.
“I could tell that he just needed someone to give him a chance and to give him time to settle into a new home and a new way of life.”
Basher moved in with Anna, her 14-year-old son, their two other dogs and a foster dog in September.
Anna said: “Basher is so gorgeous and is doing so well, it’s lovely to see. He is so adorable, he gives the best hugs. He’s incredibly sweet and he’s such an asset to have as part of our family, he’s really just loving life now.
“The other day I looked out of the window to see him sleeping in the grass in the sunshine; he looked so relaxed and I wondered to myself when the last time was that he felt so content.”
Basher, who weighs 60kg (9st 6lb), is enjoying living outside at his new home after struggling to settle into a house in previous failed adoption attempts.
Anna said: “The dogs live out in the stables and barn where they have carpet and their own sofas, although Basher has already destroyed three.
“He really suits living outside and he’s now finally learning how to be a dog. He’s picked up a lot from my other dogs and I’m just giving him the space he needs.
“I come from a farming background and worked with cattle in the past so his size didn’t phase me, he’s certainly smaller than a cow. And I’ve been used to having dogs who live outside on the farm so he really suited our lifestyle.
“He’s got a lovely life here, he has lots of space and land to explore, the other dogs to mix with, he never wears a lead, and free-roams around the fields as he pleases. He loves to sit in the grass, watch the world go by, and spend time with us – preferably getting his back rubbed.
“I have to watch him, read his behaviour and interpret what he needs. But we’re learning together and I think we’ll get there. I can see why he’s been difficult for people in the past, I think he’s missed out on so much in his early life and he gets over-excited and frustrated.
“But so far he’s proved himself at every hurdle we’ve faced and I feel like he’s really trying. I’m so proud of him and I’m so pleased he’s here with us.”