This month, my first ever dog (Oscar) celebrates his 8th birthday. I’d always wanted a dog since I was a little child but my parents had always maintained that you couldn’t have dogs in apartments, only in houses. So I waited until I was a grown man to have my very own dog. Paul and I considered getting a rescue dog as a way to help those who needed us most, but since we both worked shifts and traveled a lot, we didn’t think it would be fair on an animal with special needs and we also felt that we lacked the experience. So we got Oscar through a friend of a friend at the tender age of 2 months. It was a steep learning curve but one we never ever regretted.
Very soon we started talking about finding a sibling for our pup but we were advised to wait at least 2 years so that the first one was fully trained; and then get a new one. Next thing Oscar was 5 and we started to wonder if we’d left it too late. After all, he’d been an “only child” for all these years, how fair would it be to introduce a new pup to the family?
It was at this point that we came across someone who walked his new puppy in the same park we walked Oscar. From day 1 he kept saying that he wasn’t bonding with him and that because of his job he didn’t think he would keep him. Within a couple of weeks we were told that he was about to take the puppy to Battersea and we made the decision to take him home before he went to the Dogs Home. And along came Ollie.
The first few months were very testing, with Ollie being a little rascal and Oscar wanting to assert his position as top dog. At times we tried to “force” them to get along, by encouraging them to sit, eat and sleep together; but we soon realised it would have to be done in their own terms. Suddenly, one night 3 months later, they lied down on the sofa and curled up together. We nudged each other in disbelief but also in extreme joy!
These days, Oscar (8) and Ollie (3) still fight and tease each other and compete for our attention, but nothing different from healthy sibling rivalry. They sleep together, play together and get into trouble together. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome…
Think we’re an unusual story? Think again:
AMANDA JANE DAVIES
My name is Dodge City Blues, Claude, Lord Dodger of Dodgerington, once a Bluecross boy named Dodger, I adopted mam and big sister Bella Z Bub, a pet shop puppy farm bassett bitch, over eight years ago. I get to say how much this means to me? Ok, sardines!!! More sardines!!! Not just on birthdays and high holidays!!! Ok??? More sardines hoomun!!! I know my big sister Bella Z Bub is in accordance with these sentiments, xxx oh, and #adoptdontshop. And SARDINES!!!
We had wanted another dog and thought maybe we would like a Leon Berger or Bernese mountain dog. We saw this photo on Facebook through German Shepherd Rescue South – and we instantly fell in love? Chester was rescued in Spain with his siblings, and the charity brought him over, he was expected to be giant-sized but has never really grown much!! People ask us if he’s a Leon Berger puppy, to which we answer he is a miniature Leon Berger!!! ?Absolutely love having a rescue, he really is a special dog.
My Odie was abandoned by his owner at 2,5 years old, he was left with my dog walker neighbour who was meant to look after him for couple of weeks; 6 months later my neighbour started looking for a home for him and I’m so glad we decided to have him! He’s the best dog – who doesn’t know he’s a staff… – he’s friendly with anyone and loves my baby xxx He loves sun and long walks and when we go away he stays with his grandparents who love him very much too. He’s scared of fireworks so we try to go away somewhere quiet on Guy Fawkes night . He’s 7 now and getting grey hair but is just as bouncy as a puppy xx
We were contacted by Sprocker Assist and Rescue and we were told they had a 14 month old Sprocker spaniel who was in a family home but was crated for 8 hours a day while they were at work, she was starting to show signs of aggression and resource guarding and as a result they were putting her in her crate in the evening as well. We already had 2 dogs, a lab and a cocker spaniel, but Sprocker Assist were getting anxious about the dog so we went to see her and fell in love instantly. Bella has been with us for 3 months now and is a beautifully-tempered girl. She has calmed down and is a different dog now she has lots of walks and attention.
When we lost Dizzy two years ago we didn’t even consider having another dog in our family. But as fate would have it a photo of Hublot appeared on a rescue site in Spain and we were smitten. He arrived on a cold wet day in November and was scared and exhausted having travelled for 2 days in a van. He was so quiet and not interested in food or toys for the first few months. We assumed he wouldn’t be a playful dog, but that was ok, we still loved him. He is completely different now. He knows he is home now and his confidence has grown. He is still not interested in food (unless it’s our leftovers) but he loves to play, have cuddles and sleeps on the sofa even when he thinks we don’t know. A dog always completes a home, but knowing that you have saved one from an uncertain future, often after already being abandoned, is the most rewarding feeling. It isn’t always possible to take on a rescue dog, but ‘Rescued’ is definitely the best breed. We encourage anybody to consider rescuing one of the thousands of dogs in need of a home before buying a puppy.
My boy is Louis Philipe, he is named after the Sun King, Louis XIV, but we just call him Louis. He is 3 and a very content little pup. I decided to rescue and found BMDR, who do amazing work in Romania. My boy had been brought to Scotland so I had a step adoption. He is awesome, best dog I have ever had and I adore him.
I met my dog when she was living outside our hotel in Bombay. I saw her living by the planters and tempted her to try some chicken as I saw no airport dogs that day. Of all the street dogs, she would shyly approach me. After months of seeing her, I decided to adopt her on New Year’s Eve 2017. I called her Aasha (Hindi for ‘Hope/Wish’). She came out of quarantine a year ago and is much loved.
Blue was returned to Battersea twice. Unfortunately dogs were not allowed in both his previous homes. He is a beautiful dog! My handsome Jack Russell came from Battersea. Taken back twice. He is now 14 going on 2… ❤️
GRAHAM CAIRNS & CLAIRE SOMERVILLE
We decided to rescue a German Shepherd after visiting the Discover Dogs show where we met a local GS rehoming charity. My partner Graham visited them and liked the look of Mishka but was told by the staff that she was terrified of men. Graham put out his hand and Mishka came straight over and licked the back of it. She’s been with us ever since. 6 years of tumbleweed hair everywhere!
Oso and Nana (left) were both abandoned, they were puppies no more than two days old and thrown in a bin. They were rescued by a friend of mine who managed to keep them alive. We adopted them, they are now both over a year old. Lola (right) was given up for adoption due to her previous owners’ son being allergic to dog hairs.
Two years after losing my beloved golden retriever Lucy, I felt it was time to get another dog, but I knew this time I wanted to rescue a dog that needed a loving home. After various unsuccessful attempts to make contact with UK golden retriever rescue charities, I finally made contact with Happy Paws Puppy Rescue who rescue dogs from Romania and Turkey and when I described what I was looking for, the charity later told me that it was like I was describing Eddie down to the last detail! That was nearly two years ago and he settled in pretty quickly considering what he’d been through. He approaches every day with joy and energy and now enjoys the pampered and happy life all dogs deserve.
Calli is a Speagle – mix of spaniel and beagle. I wanted to find a dog for my Mum and Stepdad in Wales to keep them young and active (they’ve always had dogs) and of course for me to take on adventure holidays. Calli is a beautiful girl but was so badly neglected with cuts all over her face and body – the RSPCA brought her to our local shelter. She was in such a bad way when we got her and now 6 years on she’s so very happy and content. I knew we could help her find her zest for life again. It took a little while for her to gain our trust. She is still nervous of men, particularly hat-wearing men but she’s just so settled now. We are happy to have her in our lives. Xxx
They think Charlie was bred by local Gypsies and for some reason just wasn’t wanted. He was literally walking down the road scavenging food and cowering from the traffic. A member of the public took him to the Evesham Lurcher rescue centre. The vet assessed him to be about 4 weeks old and he was placed with a foster carer who also has 4 other large dogs at home. He settled well but was always pushed out by the larger dogs and obviously, as a puppy, he was very playful and annoyed them all the time. He was 9 weeks old when we heard about him and he came to live with us a week later after a successful home visit. He is likely to be pure Chihuahua and is now a loving and fun little dog and companion for Dolly. He’s safe with us now and just turned 1.
We rehomed Rummage when he was 16 months old, his family were moving to the Middle East so we got the chance to have him and make him a happy boy, the usual struggles and challenges initially but soooo worth it, I could not be without him.
LOUISE CLARK JONES
My Lucky came to us when he was almost 2. His owner, a single gentleman had unfortunately become ill and passed away. We adopted him through our local vets. He may be named Lucky but we are the lucky ones to be able to call him ours. He is 7 now.????
We sadly lost our Labrador two years ago and as my husband and I are getting older, we decided to try and house a rescue dog. I got in touch with the Labrador Rescue and saw Barnie on their site and just fell in love with him. So we went off to Essex to see him and decided that we would bring him home. We still have a problem with lead aggression but he is the most loving boy now. He is 7 in December and has made our home complete and it feels that we have had him forever.
MONIQUE G NERMAN
King Tommy lived outside my house in Goa, India and had had boiling water thrown on him when I met him. He was so beautiful and handsome and we fell in love. 9 years later we have travelled the world together and he has been an amazing therapy dog for special needs adults and a brilliant ambassador for Indian dogs in the show ring and also competing in obedience and Rally O, a sport that is a combination between obedience and agility. It’s real fun!
Joy (my rescue girl) was found by a good rescue friend of mine, Sofia Radu. She was only about 5 months, straying in the countryside when she managed to make her way close to Sofia’s shelter. She is a gorgeous girl with a big character. I love her to bits. The photo is the first day I got her ?
Ruby Rose, rescue staffie cross, nearly 10 years ago, from Battersea. (A bit spoilt!)? We rescued Ruby from Battersea, she was a nervous uncared for girl, but with love, walkies, treats and cuddles she is our pride and joy!!!
ODAIR MOREIRA & REGINA COCITO
Barney is a very friendly but very jealous miniature poodle. He came to us because his previous owner didn’t have the conditions to take care of him after being diagnosed with dementia . He’s now 4 years old. That’s Barney Bowie, my baby.
LEE & MICHELLE SHARP
Stitch was found in the road with a broken leg in Thailand. The Soi Dog Foundation took him in and fixed him up. He wasn’t part of a pack on the street so they kept him and put him up for adoption when he had recovered. Somehow two and a half years went by before we met him when we were on holiday, introduced by the lovely Tracey Brocks who was volunteering there at the time! 3 months later he was here. Tracey has kept her strike rate high and also found us the new family member when she was there last time ???!
My partner and I have wanted a dog for as long as we can remember, but both of us worked full time and didn’t want to be selfish owners. In December I left my last job and we discussed finally biting the bullet, so in January we registered with Battersea Dogs Home and at the end of the month Ludo adopted us! He is a Staffie cross and we haven’t looked back since – it’s hard to remember life before he joined us. ?
DEBBIE SKYLARK BENNETT
This is Poppy. Poppy is a dog in forever foster with me via The Cinnamon Trust Charity after her owner (and a dear friend of mine) passed away. I’d been walking her for her owner for 18 months. She’s a dream dog and we love her so much xxx
In January 2017 I flew to Murcia with a view to finding my first Spanish Galgo to adopt. I wanted to see the shelter for myself and meet the dogs and the team of rescuers, so I volunteered to help out for 5 days. In that time there were floods, blizzards and even snow! Several Galgos were rescued from the streets in a terrible state. On the third day I met the Galgo who was going to become my Buddy for life. Our first walk together was in the falling snow, it was very cold, but he didn’t mind and walked so nicely on the lead. I sat with him in his kennel the next day, and when he inched forward and put his legs over mine (even though I was soaked through from the rain), I knew he had chosen me.
I am looking for homes for my beautiful stray rescues currently in a private shelter where they are being looked after. The most amazing, intelligent, gentle boys and I am totally in love. So if you are thinking of getting a rescue please join my Facebook group “Hope for a second life? “ to read their stories xx
This is Buxton. He was purchased on the internet by someone who wasn’t capable of caring for an animal. He wasn’t fed properly, he never went on walks, wasn’t shown affection and was mostly kept in a cage. The aunt of his original owner took Buxton, but she couldn’t really care for him either. She surrendered him to Battersea and when she did she told the staff “I’m sure he’d make a great lap dog, but I don’t like that kind of thing.” When I went to visit Buxton for the first time at Battersea he wouldn’t take treats from my hand. He was too scared. After a little while the staff left us alone and he just came to sit next to me and he cried and cried. Needless to say, I took him home that night. It took about 30 minutes for Buxton to feel settled in my house, 6 hours for him to bond with me and about 3 months to overcome his past traumas. Buxton now comes to work with me daily where we interact a lot with vulnerable adults and children. Buxton is such a love with all of them, helping people to feel comfortable, confident and loved. He’s never far from my side, which is why I love sites like Let My Dog In, it helps me find places where Buxton and I can hang out.
Bonnie is a rescue dog from Romania, her passport states 9 years old but the vets think she may be older. She came to my parents Millie and Ray Lewis, who are a retired elderly couple, 3 years ago. Bonnie wouldn’t bark, play with toys, go upstairs, and if you went near her she was immediately submissive and very timid. After living in the countryside for all this time with love, patience and lots of cuddles, Bon Bon the Diva now has a funny bark which is anything but scary, she will get so excited to see all the kids and grandkids. Her beautiful temperament has helped two of the granddaughters get over their fear of dogs. Bonnie loves her treats, cuddles and will sulk when dad takes her to the groomers. She is very much loved and even goes for sleepovers with her friends Jango, Bailey and Eva.
….. and finally JENNY BERRY
From rags to riches some say. Jango was the main reason the British Airways community got to know Perri his owner, a lovely Greek man that was homeless and lived mainly in terminal 5 . As Perri wasn’t a well man, there were a few occasions Jango ended up staying with different people whilst he was in hospital. Only last year I met a lady locally, a nurse from Ashford Hospital that had looked after him in 2015 and recognised Jango whilst I was walking him. Jango got lost just before Christmas 2015, I found him at the Mayhew Dog Rescue and he was chipped with my details. Sadly Perri passed away in March 2016 under very distressing circumstances trying to retrieve Jango from a police station. Perri always wanted me to have him and I’m sure he looks down with pleasure to see Jango’s life now. He joins a 7 year old rescue staffie called Eva, they argue over balls, Jango loves winding her up and my old girl (the love of his life) Bailey 11 year old chocolate Lab. Jango is about to become even more famous when his story, his words, are going to be told by a theatre group called the Cardboard Citizens who support homeless people, at the Fringe in Edinburgh. I love him so very much, his story has enriched mine and my family’s lives. Other than me of course, I’m his Mummy now, he does prefer men. We have a new baby around and he clearly hasn’t come across one of those before, he’s intrigued…
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Finally, if you’d like to write a piece for our monthly blog, all it needs to be is dog-related and dog-friendly.
Top contributors in the last month:
1 – Kelly Marie Stacey
2 – Anitta Autumn
3 – Abel Cruz Talavera
4 – Teresa Keohane
5 – Linda Williamson
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