I have always had a rescue dog.
It is very important to me that in the future I will only ever have rescued dogs.
In fact, you could say I am a sucker for a rescue dog, and I hope I never stop.
But finding the perfect rescue dog is a bit of a journey.
There are so many rescues out there where do you even begin?
Do you pick the local one?
Do you pick the breed specific one?
Do you pick the one from abroad?
Do you look for a rescue on gumtree?
Maybe you have an idea in your head of what your rescue dog will be and what they will look like. I’ve been on a similar journey myself recently. With just one tiny difference.
I haven’t actually been looking for a dog. Or any other animal. In fact, I am in a very happy relationship with my 12-year-old lurcher, rescue of course, Frank.
We have been together for over seven years now.
Like most rescues, Frank’s history is a bit sketchy.
What I do know is that Frank was abandon twice. He is an ex courser dog from Ireland.
We have been through a lot together and because of that I’ve made the decision that Frank will now stay as an only dog.
My marriage ended last year. I lost my husband, well not lost him but I no longer have him – thank the actual lord.
But Frank lost his dad too.
Anyway, I don’t like to sit around moping my sad tragic life for too long.
So, I got back on the wagon. I started dating.
Did I feel ready, hell no. But all the agony aunts tell you to get back out there, so I did.
Except there isn’t an “out there” anymore. I was with my ex for 10 years. Things have changed. Especially as I’m now 45.
My friends are all in relationships (boohoo me) which generally means they don’t want to my wingman. I’ve got no Goose to my Maverick.
I made the decision to join the dating app, Match, with much trepidation.
It was fun at first, looking at all these photos of single men.
Nowt wrong with admiring a bit of eye candy.
Except that changed when I got some old codgers checking out my profile.
Sometimes I did more than look at photos.
Sometimes I even read their profile. So many times, Mr Perfect turned out to be not Mr Perfect at all.
He maybe lived 3 hours from me.
He may have been 5ft 5 (I’m 5ft 7, please don’t shoot me for being heighest)
He maybe a smoker.
Because the thing is when you are dating you have an ideal list of qualities that you would like your potential match to have. You may want them to look a certain way. Act a certain way. Be a certain way.
Does this sound familiar?
Frank certainly wasn’t the dog I was looking for.
At the time I had an ex racing greyhound (yes, another rescue) who really was the typical couch potato.
Poppy was a beautiful girl who slept. And slept. And slept some more. My ex at the time worked mainly nights.
We lived in a maisonette above a rather strange couple.
They had a penchant for arguing every night. At least twice a week there would be crockery being thrown.
Poppy slept through it all. I needed another dog for company. I decided that a small little dog would be perfect.
I started checking out the rescue sites.
I would look at the pictures, like what I saw then click on them for more information.
Then there would be something that didn’t go with my requirements (sound familiar?)
So just like my dating journey I decided I had to actually go and meet some dogs/men.
I was spending too much time rejecting dogs/men based on looks and limited information.
I went to my local rescue, Jaybeths in Haverhill, Suffolk 7 years ago. I
knew they had a small dog so that’s who I was hoping to meet.
When we got there, we were asked lots of questions and the rescue owner told me that she had the right dog for me.
We followed her to these huge cages where there were two dogs in each one.
All of them were barking and jumping up.
A fluffy dog, with its head down, ears flat back and huddled in the back corner on the cage.
And then he looked up. Our eyes met and we have never been apart since.
I fell deeply in love in an instance.
I knew nothing about him, but I wasn’t leaving without him.
I found out a bit of history and that she had been calling him Blue.
And you guessed it, he wasn’t small either.
We got him in the car, and he smelt so badly of stale cigarettes.
As soon as we arrived home it was straight in the bath.
Suddenly our tan coloured boy became shiny white!
Frank was hard work to start off with.
He had a habit of shredding tissues, papers and the likes.
On one occasion he took himself upstairs, opened the spare bedroom door and then managed to open the sliding door under the bed.
Then he pulled out a carrier bag.
After that he opened my bedroom door and took the carrier bag on my bed.
Now in that bag was a box of chocolates from Thornton’s that had cost £40. T
hey were to be a gift for my in laws upcoming Ruby Anniversary.
Yes, Frank ate them all. And then got off my bed and was (thankfully) sick on the floor.
But like all good relationships we worked at it. Frank and are I very much in tune with each other now.
We have our little routine and I don’t even need to verbalise with Frank because our bond is so strong.
I can also leave anything out now and Frank won’t touch it.
He is very settled; it really does take time for a dog to realise that they are staying with you.
And let’s not forget that this was Franks third home as well as two stays in a rescue.
Frank has put up with a lot over the years.
I didn’t just stop at Poppy and Frank; I got more rescues!
At one point I had adopted 4 rescue dogs and was also fostering for Norfolk Greyhound Rescue.
I was also doing home checks for the charity too. And I was home boarding other people’s dogs.
A rescue dog really could turn out to be the love of your life, if you just get out there and meet some instead of swiping!
Oh, and meeting instead of swiping also worked on Match. I’ve met a fantastic man and, very importantly, Frank adores him!
Sally Cousins is a self-certified crazy dog lady who loves in Haverhill, Suffolk with her trusty sidekick, Frank the lurcher. Having adopted 8 rescue dogs to date and fostered another 4 (yes, she cried buckets when they found their forever homes.) When not hanging out with Frank, Sally is busy running her premium adventures for dog’s business, Woofers Walkies. Find out more at wooferswalkies.com