Going the extra mile: Finding Thatch’s perfect match

One family came to us set on rehoming a German Shepherd, until a Border Terrier Cross captured their heart.

Thatch the Border Terrier Cross enjoys walkies
1st July 2024

“It’s been a year since Thatch became part of our family and it’s honestly been the best year of our lives,” says Laura.

Last June, Laura and her family (including miniature Dachshund, Winnie) came to their local centre hoping to adopt a German Shepherd they had spotted on our website. The dog wasn’t a match and the team at our Harefield centre suggested they meet a chap called Thatch instead.

“We were open to meeting another dog if the centre thought there would be a better match for us and Winnie,” says Laura. “As soon as we met Thatch we understood why they had suggested him for us.”

Thatch's story

Thatch was found wandering the streets in Ireland alone, so we knew little about his life before Dogs Trust. Centre staff could see he hadn’t had much training and needed to learn where to go to the toilet and get used to his name and coming when called.

Thatch had lots of affection to give and our adoption advisors were confident he could live with another dog from his friendships at the centre. It was still important to have several meetings with a family, so he could get to know them and any pooch pals.

When Thatch met Winnie

“Our first meeting was for Winnie to get to know Thatch. We spent some time in a fenced garden, and both Thatch and Winnie were allowed to meet on the lead, then off. While our dog Winnie was a bit vocal with Thatch, he ignored this and was more interested in sniffing and playing, which was a good sign.”

At the next visit, Laura and her partner watched on as Thatch and Winnie ran and played inside with lots of toys and were later left alone to see how they got on. Laura remembers falling in love. “He was so gentle with Winnie, who is nine years old and can be a bit grumpy at times!”

By the final meeting, the family had fully fallen for Thatch and the centre saw that he had found his forever family. An advisor went through the essentials to prepare Thatch and his new owners for their next chapter. 

The family did harness practice, received training advice and got their adoption bag (full of goodies like food, poop bags, and more). After signing his paperwork, they left with Thatch for his new adventure in Essex.

Thatch’s first year at home

“Thatch is a completely different dog now,” says Laura. “He was a bit overwhelmed at first, and we didn’t know if he’d lived in a home before, but now he’s so relaxed.” 

Thatch was a bit overwhelmed at first, and we didn’t know if he’d lived in a home before, but now he’s so relaxed.


Laura says it’s been a joy to see Thatch’s personality come out and work on his training. “Training Thatch never phased me. I knew some rescue dogs wouldn’t have the best upbringing, if any at all.”

Thatch needed the most help with recall and toilet training. “It was a bit challenging at first, with some accidents, but patience was key,” says Laura. “Thatch quickly learned to go to the toilet in the garden or on walks, which made us really proud.”

To work on getting used to his new name, Laura walks Thatch on a long line lead every day. “This not only allows him to exercise but we also practice recall. I'm thrilled that Thatch now comes back to me within a second of me whistling, which is a huge improvement.”

It will soon be a year since Thatch first put his paws up in his new pad. For Laura, life will never be the same. “We’re so happy to have Thatch in our lives. My favourite part of the day is my morning walks through the countryside with him.”

“He gets on well with other local dogs, enjoys having visitors over, and loves a snuggle on the sofa! He is a dream dog.”

The match has not only been life-changing for Laura and her partner but for Winnie too. “Winnie was always a bit anxious around other dogs, but with Thatch by her side, she’s now completely at ease and her confidence has grown loads.”

“I’m so glad we were open to giving any dog a chance. A rescue dog may need some patience and training, but they can become your best friend. It’s so worth it to have a love like we have with Thatch.”

We're here for dogs like Thatch

We believe all dogs should find their perfect match. Thanks to your support, every day we go the extra mile in helping dogs like Thatch in finding their ideal family.

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