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In the wake of International Dog Day, I wanted to share a little story with you...

Many people that know me will know that I am a big dog lover and have two little dogs (a.k.a. my children - haha).

A recent quote I saw online summed up the relationship between pets and owners perfectly:


I'd like to introduce you to Millie: she is a beautiful little Yorkshire Terrier. Yes, I know, I know - the general perception of these little dogs is 'yappy little things', 'not a proper dog' etc. but hear me out... 

     

Come on... she's cute right!? 

Millie is extra special as my late mother got her for me when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer; she knew that she wasn't going to be around that much longer and (being very aware of my love of dogs), wanted to provide me with an extra family member that would be!

Millie has brought me so much happiness - I don't think the bond is something you can describe to someone that has never had a dog.

Despite my love of dogs (and all animals in general), I try to understand that not everyone is quite as keen on them as me...

A funny memory I have is of my (then) new boyfriend (and now fiance) meeting Millie for the first time. When I put her in the car she jumped on his lap and he said, 'Oh... erm... I'm not really a dog person'. I must admit, I thought, right there and then, that he probably wasn't the one for me! Lo and behold, a few hours later he was patting his bed to get Millie up there to sleep on it!

There has been a lot of research and evidence to show that having a pet can help with mental health issues and stress. The study referenced here in The Guardian even says that 'canine companions trigger similar neural pathways to the parent-baby bond, and reduce loneliness and depression'. 

Needless to say, the bond between Millie and my fiance grew very quickly and he was definitely converted into 'a dog person' within a number of days (maybe even hours...?!). 

Fast forward a few years and we both wanted to get a second dog to keep Millie company, and we were pretty set on adopting a 'rescue' dog so we could give him / her a really good home.


Coming To The Rescue

As mentioned before, we felt it was important that we adopted a dog that really needed a home rather than just buying one from a breeder. We looked online for probably over a year and came across a rescue called 'Friends of  Animals Wales' who had a number of Yorkshire Terriers that had been handed in by a puppy farm owner who wanted to get rid of them due to Lucy's Law.

The dogs had been used for breeding over many years and had been kept in terrible conditions. The following makes quite uncomfortable reading but this is the BBC news story about the issues and includes the details and photos of the dog we went on to rescue. 

Charlotte (as she was named by the rescue) was one of these dogs; she was kept in a filthy cage throughout of her life, used for breeding litters that the 'puppy farmers' could profit from (much to the detriment of her health) and was never shown any love by humans. She was covered in sores / bite marks when she was rescued (from other dogs attacking her during feeding time) and was completely shut down and in a terribly poor condition.


Friends of Animals Wales have an amazing network of foster families that take these poor dogs into their own homes and show them a huge amount of love and patience to start preparing them to find to their 'forever home'. 

 I cannot give enough thanks and praise to Hayley, the lady who fostered Charlotte (who quickly became known as 'Lottie') - she is an amazing person who regularly fosters dogs in need through this charity. She gave so much time, love, patience and care to Lottie in the early days when she was so shut down that she just hid in her crate, facing the wall, too afraid to even see people, let alone eat or come out of the crate to go to the toilet. 


Bringing Her Home


The charity were very thorough in their checks and they really made sure that we were the right new family for Lottie. The fact that we already had a yorkie that could 'show Lottie the ropes' was a something they were really happy about. I also spoke with Hayley (Lottie's foster Mum) several times at length so she could find out about us and we could find out about Lottie and her needs; I think this was really important as ex puppy farm breeding dogs / most rescue dogs require patience and understanding and not everyone is prepared for this. 

Today, Lottie is a different dog; whilst she is still very timid and nervous, she is happy and loves being in her new home with Millie as her big sister! 

  

Whilst rescuing a dog isn't for everyone, I would urge anyone that is thinking of getting a dog to consider adoption. I can't describe how happy it makes me to see Lottie running through the fields on her walks with her ears bouncing up and down or just snuggling in front of the fire. 

We are a company of dog lovers and are even planning a bit of a Pooch Party next Spring! If you would like to work for a business that has a fondness for animals and recognises charities that do amazing work, please get in touch with us today to find out about our current vacancies.
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