Dog seeks new home - a personal journey

 I may be new around here, but have an important message for both dogs and humans about getting a new dog.  The small ads in most newspapers contain sale details of dogs of many breeds, shapes and sizes.  Social media offers a plethora of advertisements for dogs needing homes, some 'free to a good home' and others for ridiculous prices, either too low or far too high.    Sadly, Free to a good home" advertisements often attract nasty people who appear to be loving, but in fact are supplying our beloved four legged friends as bait  to dog fighting gangs.    If you need to part with your dog,please be aware of this, and if you cannot rehome your pet with someone you know, get in touch with a rescue organisation who can often help.  


Many advertisers will claim that pups are home bred and indeed, some are.   I know of lots of good breeders, who care about their mums and pups, shower them with love and are really choosy about potential owners and their capacity to adequately care for them.  I was fortunate to be in this group, lovingly raised, and given everything a dog could need in the home chosen for me.  


Sadly, many dogs, like my new sister, Emma are born into less than satisfactory conditions.

I speak of puppy farms where bitches produce litter after litter of pups, with little thought for their welfare, to enable uncaring and unscrupulous breeders to rake in the cash. Sadly, puppy farm stud dogs don't do any better either.   


Other pooches, especially puppies may be in the hands of dealers who have either legally or illegally shipped the poor little mites across several countries to be sold on here.  Some dealers also buy pups from uncaring UK breeders for onward sale to unsuspecting new owners who know nothing about where they were bred, and whether they have been tested for inherited disease.  We hear story after story of such pups becoming ill and dying within weeks of living with loving families.   Some such dogs are sold with fraudulent Kennel Club papers, so always check before you buy.


And then there are resacue organisations.  Some have web page containing photos of dogs seeking new homes.  Others,  like the UK's Dachshund Rescue do not advertise or have a load of pictures showing dogs available for adoption.  I know, because I am one of those.   Breed rescues are often best if you are looking for a specific type of dog. 


I am very fortunate, because my human bought me as a pup from a very good breeder.  I was showered with love, and given everything a dog could need to live a happy and fulfilled.  It was all about love!


There's not a lot you can tell me about being loved. Very sadly, my world changed when my human died, and I found myself in the loving hands of Dachshund Rescue.  They took great care of me and I knew that as soon as they could they would find  me lovely new forever family.  In the meantime I needed a foster-mum who would get to know me and assses what sort of humans I might best settle with.  It could take some time because I am nearly 12 years old.  


Well the great day came when a foster mum arrived.  She was kind, gave me a nice collar and lead, and took me to her car to meet my new foster sister, Emma.  I had a long journey ahead of me, but en route we met some friends, namely Phoebe Foo and her family, and I immediately bonded with Phoebe's Mum.  They had come a long way to meet me, but after lunch we parted company and I set off for my new temporary home.

I have to say, I was a bit scared at first.  Clearly, Phoebe's Mum and I were on the same side, but would the foster mum and Emma be kind to me, and cuddle me when I needed some extra love?  You see I was very sad and grieving for my previous mum.  However my  fosterer understood, and helped me through that first night and the following days.  Emma and I were soon sleeping side by side, and then a lovely friend sent  me a brand new insulated bed to take with me to my eventual  forever home.  

Life here was full of variety, with visits to restaurants, shops, parks, and tea rooms where I soon fitted in with loads of other dogs.  It almost felt as if I had always been here, but I was still a bit sad and sometimes a little nervous.  My foster mum kept telling people I was a dream, the easiest visitor she could ever have wished for, and between you and me, I think I was weedling my way into her heart.



Lots of Mum's friends kept trying to persuade her to keep me, but she constantly replied, "No, she is my foster dog until a forever home is found."


Well, the day came when we were told that such a home was on the horizon.  I was a bit worried, because this would be someone else for me to get used to.  Their routine would be different, maybe they would feed me new food, and I might not feel at ease with them, however lovely they were.  And I might be alone and not have a sister, or perhaps I would.  If there was another dog, would I like them?  What if they didn't like me?   I worried about this a lot.


A couple of days later, the news came that this home had not materialised after all, and then something fantastic happened!  I heard Mum say, "I've been thinking about this.  Poor little Dolly, she is settled here now and doesn't really need any more disturbance.  If it's OK wth you, we would like to adopt her."  Well the rescue lady sounded thrilled!  Mum had to complete an application form, and you know, all the stuff that goes with adoption.  Hence apart from getting my poor smelly teeth sorted out, it was all settled. I was staying here!  This was my forever home.  The celebrations were great!  Retail therapy was called for!

To my amazement, I learned I was to become an apprentice reporter and office dogs body for The Daxington Post, and would be cutting my reportng teeth at Crufts.  For some reason Mum decided she needed new shoes for this great event, so we went  to an outlet village where dogs are not allowed. Enter the stroller!  With us inside and the hood down, we went right in there, and I saw everything, including the adjoining park, although my feet did not touch the ground.  This was a new experience, and in the park I discovered I could view the world from the perspective of  a Great Dane!   I previously had no idea that life was so interesting from such a  height


Things took a turn for the worse the following week, when I was taken to The Place of Needles, aka the vets!  Now, lovely as they might be, I was shocked to hear that in order for my breath to smell sweetly, I needed to have 'a dental'.  Two days later, there I was again, and it was frightening, but Mum was with me all the time I was awake, and I left three hours later, minus eight teeth, and feeling a bit groggy.  To comfort me, I slept on Mum's big bed that night, alongside Emma, who was now my constant companion.  

Although I came here as a very sad dog needing a new home I think I have landed on my four paws.  I get out and about and do lots of interesting things and all of Mum's friends are thrilled I am staying here. Apparently, we are a perfect fit.


I am also lucky becuse there are many interesting places to explore around here, including the Queen's Norfolk estate.  We were there the other day, and although it was lovely, I got tired because we walked a bit too far for my little legs.   Next time, Mum will take our stroller so she can give me a lift.  My big disappointment was that although I made the effort to go and see Her Majesty, neither she or her corgis and dorgies came out to meet me and make me feel welcome.  Mind you, I flirted with a rather smart little Bedlington Terrier!


The purpose of my article is not simply to tell my story, but to say that there is more than one way of acquiring a new dog to be amember of the family.  Some humans will want to buy a puppy, but they need to be careful.  They must make sure that they see at least the mum, and satisfy themselves that any pups have been raised in a loving and caring home.  Another sign of a good breeder is that they are protective towards their pups, and will give propsective new owners the third degree to ensure that their babes go to the very best families!  Of course prospective purchaser might also be wise to check out the breeder to ensure that they really are reputable. 


If humans are dubious about any seller of either pups or adult dogs, they may want consider looking elsewhere.  However, please do not buy from the internet, because some advertisers are not always as honest as you would expect or wish them to be. 


Occasionally breeders find new homes for their older dogs and for some people this may be the answer.  

What about dogs like Emma and I?  Emma was only 2 years old when she got out of the puppy farm, but both she and we older dogs are capable of being loved.   For our part, we will give you love without measure, no questions asked.  


We are probably less likely to tear your homes to pieces than a pup, and may be more capable of adapting to your lifestyle  because we have acquired wisdom over the years.  Give us a cuddle, good meals and treats, take us walkies and give us a fulfilling life and we will soon settle in with you.  We might even guard your property while out for a coffee, and will sympathise with you if you feel poorly or sad.  Obviouly, I cannot guarantee that all older adoptees will be as great as me!


Deciding on how to find a new forever friend will depend upon your preferences and needs, but please, don't overlook we rescue dogs.  Even old girls like me!  We have a lot to offer and if you just give us a chance we will repay you handsomely for giving us the privilege of being your friend for life.  

Dolly Teckel

Apprentice Reporter and office dogs body 

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© Diana Bailey