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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Britain's most cowardly canine is scared of cats, afraid of the dark... and bites his NAILS (and desperately needs a new home)

-Bentley the Border Collie suffers from monophobia - the fear of being alone
-His anxiety started soon after his first owner's death
-A second owner was unable to cope with his need for reassurance

By Richard Hartley-parkinson

Sore paw: Bentley suffers from such bad anxiety that he has to wear mittens on his feet to stop him biting his nails

It's not enough that this Border Collie cowers from cats, can't go for walks in the dark and bites his nails, he has also become homeless because his owner's can't cope with his cowardice.

Bentley, six, is so nervous that he even hides behind the sofa when he is left alone and his anxiety has reached the level where he has to wear specially-made lace-up mittens on his paws.

Despite being bigger than the average Border Collie, rescuers at the Dogs Trust in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, take him home at night so that he is not on his own.

Sandra Wilson, manager of the kennels, said that Bentley is the most cowardly dog they have ever tried to re-home.

She said: 'Bentley is terrified of cats and chews his nails as a reaction to the stress of being left alone or in the dark.

'He is afraid of everything when he is left on his own for even a minute. He can’t stand being in a dark room and he doesn’t like going out for walks at night without good street lighting.

'We have observed him without him knowing and when he is by himself he is scared of the dark and cowers when the doorbell rings.

'We’ve even seen him hide behind the sofa and bite his nails when he heard a cat meowing on the TV. He is probably the most cowardly dog in Britain - but he will make a lovely pet.'

Bentley’s behaviour changes completely when he is around people, however, and he loses all his nerves and insecurities.

Ms Wilson added: 'We’re looking for a loving home where at least one family member is at home for the majority of the day and evening. Bentley loves human company and will happily play fetch and curl up on your lap after a long walk.

Dogs Trust volunteer Helen Barlow (pictured) said that Bentley's 'monophobia' - the fear of being alone - stems from when his first owner died

'He’s good with children and loves human company - all he needs is a second chance.'

Staff at the Dogs Trust discovered just how cowardly he really was after they put him in an observation room to see how he responded to being alone.

He whimpered at the site of a cuddly toy and bit his nails upon hearing a meowing cat on television.

Bentley was diagnosed with monophobia - the fear of being alone - after his first owner died in October 2009. He was then put into a boarding kennels before being sent to the Dogs Trust in March who re-homed him

But his second owner gave him back after just seven months saying they could not cope with his need for reassurance.

Helen Barlow, one of Bentley’s carers, said: 'He has very serious problems with abandonment. It stems from when his first owner died and left him alone.

'Dogs make very strong attachments with humans and Bentley is now petrified that every time someone leaves the room they will never come back.'



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