Oh dear, spoke to soon. Needy Sweep puppy is up and about demanding attention already but I shall crack on blogging for as long as I can.
|One of Sweep's attempts today to make me stop what I'm doing and pay attention to her. And yes, I can resist that face!|
Last Sunday I had the pleasure of taking Lola bulldog to have a second meeting with her new adopters. This picture just makes me smile. She's sat in the back of our camper van and loving it.
|What a beast! Who could resist that face, hey?|
|Lola making herself at home|
|Harley getting his belly rubbed by our Deb|
You may remember me blogging about Harley previously. He was returned 4 years after he was adopted following a house fire and move to temporary accommodation. He had originally spent a ridiculously long time with us waiting for a new home; 4 years and around one month to be precise! He was a boisterous, leggy lad back then and so he was quite the handful. But I think the real reason he didn't find a home in a hurry was because 5 years ago there were limited ways to promote animals for adoption and we weren't so well established in the community as an active animal rehoming charity. Things like Facebook and Twitter were in their early stages of popularity for charities and businesses to use and we didn't even have a website back then. I remember getting so desperate to find him a home that I leafleted the entirety of Glastonbury Festival in the hope of finding a home anywhere in the country.
When Harley came back to us in September last year we were all devastated; it was, quite simply, an epic fail. I'll be honest. I held out little hope he'd find a home at 8 years of age and I didn't want to see him languish in kennels for another year. Whilst I was down-hearted Deb was steadfast in her belief that he'd find a home. After 3 months of being back in our care and not a sniff of interest in him I was in disbelief when I was told the news that a call had come in offering him a home.
For the couple that came to meet Harley it was love at first sight. So off I went to meet them in their home. The first question I asked was, "Why Harley?" I was still in disbelief that someone would choose him. Don't get me wrong, we all knew what a wonderful, handsome chap he is but getting to know animals, especially dogs and rabbits, takes such a long time and let's face it, not all of them are good at 'selling' themselves (unless they are like Lola). But the couple were genuinely taken by him and knew he was the dog for them. I remember at the home visit listening to them tell me they were bidding on a wicker sofa (just like the one at our kennels, below) because Harley loved it so much!
When a home visit passes and the animal is collected, what often then ensues (particularly with less straight forward animals) is a week-long worry, waiting to get the call that things aren't working out. To be honest, it rarely happens, but when you've invested so much time and love into rehabilitating an animal, and you know all their good and bad points, you worry that others won't be as flexible, forgiving and down right bonkers as we are to put up with and accept the 'warts and all'.
Only 24 hours went past before we received contact from the adopters....and it was good news. Harley was settling in well and behaving himself! Still, the worry-buckets in us didn't feel able to breathe a sigh of relief just yet.
On Friday, as I dashed into the office for only my second appearance of the week, I was quickly ushered by the animal staff to look at the branch's Facebook page....low and behold there was probably one of the best things I have ever seen. I think if I'd been in private I would've shed a tear. There was this amazing video with these accompanying words:
"Who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks eh?!
This is Harley closing the door after just 3 x 15 minute training sessions (over 3 days). He's our clever boy!!
He is so settled now, its fantastic. Seems to be in a routine and less anxious when we leave him which is great. Walking him without the Halti and even let him off on Sunday with two other quite big dogs when we bumped into a friend out walking. he was fine!!
Best thing we ever did was bringing him home, hes such a joy. Thanks again xx"
It's moments like these that lift all the despair, anxiety and exhaustion we all face on a regular basis. To anyone who is loosing hope, about anything, please don't. Harley and Lola are shining examples of how amazingly resilient animals are and how amazingly brilliant people can be.
Harley got lucky finding his forever home thanks to Twitter. His new mum saw a Tweet from our branch about him, investigated further and just couldn't get him out of her mind...she clearly knew it was meant to be. So, please, continue to look, share and shout about the things you are passionate about because it really can make a difference. It's thanks to people power that our animals are enjoying short stays in our care - thank you, thank you all, for caring so much x