You may remember an email being circulated not too long ago, about a whippet, Dot, who had sadly been left behind by her owner when he passed away, and was not left to anyone in his will. So we asked Jon, IT Manager based in Manchester, more about what happened, his experience of fostering dogs, and how he’s been able to offer Dot a loving forever home…
I have always grown up with dogs and can’t imagine my life without at least one in it, a huge part of my partner Maria’s and my life is spent walking in the Pennines and there is nothing better than taking the dogs and a flask of coffee out with us.
A few years ago I was a self-employed IT consultant and found myself working at home a lot, so I decided to become a part time dog rescuer and start fostering difficult or homeless dogs for local rescues and people who couldn’t keep them any longer.
When the e-mail came around about Dot needing a new home, the first thing that came into my mind was that we could not let her be alone in the house, especially on bonfire night. As I am very much aware from our own dogs, they get very distressed when fireworks are going off, so a dog already grieving for the loss of her owner, in a house alone during this time is really terrible.
We were not looking for a new dog, and as anybody who has ever integrated new or rescue dogs into an existing house of animals knows, the situation of bringing a strange dog into a house late at night is never ideal, however we were confident that using our experience we could manage. So we went that evening and brought Dot home to live with us whilst we looked into her situation.
During that week we got her setup and assessed her medical needs and temperament. I used our contacts with dog rescues to enquire about the best way forward. We soon realised that a dog such as Dot, with her age and medical needs was not going to be easy to re-home. Dot has spinal arthritis which is being treated, however this would require regular visits to the vet and costly ongoing medication. So any new home would not just be looking to give her a comfy bed, they would have to be dedicated enough to ensure she was also not in pain.
After a week we had developed a real bond with her, and her with us, she seems to especially like me, waiting for me to get home each evening. The rescues confirmed our thoughts that it is much better for any dog to stay where they are if they are in a comfortable home, than to be passed around to re-home, so we welcomed her in and she is now a permanent member of our family.
A bit more on Dot
She is a 12 year old whippet cross, we believe the client rescued her when she was 2 and she has been with him for the past 10 years.
She is settling in extremely well, obviously given her situation she is rather nervous and it’s all a bit of a shock for her, but she has taken to us really well, she seems to have struck up quite a bond with me, I’m not sure if I reminded her of her previous owner! Dogs do grieve so it’s not surprising she is upset and confused about losing her owner, but she has settled in nicely and is taking it all in her stride.
We have 2 other dogs and 2 cats. Dot loves a walk with our other 2 dogs in the local country parks, she can’t walk too far with her arthritis, but she certainly loves to try.
She is such a lovely dog, she is obedient and stays or goes to her bed when we ask her too, and she loves a fuss as well.