At Dogs Trust Harefield, we rehome around 600 dogs a year.
We thought it would be a great idea to get in touch with some of those lucky adopters who are now living their best life with their rescue dog to see how they are getting on since they left their kennel days behind.
Cleo, who was known here as Kopuk, was a resident of Dogs Trust Harefield during December 2019 and received the best Christmas gift ever when Ben and Heidi Dyer decided to officially adopt her and take her home on the 23rd December.
Heidi told us about her experience rescuing:
‘It is now April and we have had Cleo for four months, it honestly feels like she has lived with us forever. She is by far, the best decision we ever made. We have had two mini breaks to Wales with her which she (and we) absolutely adored, we are planning a Scottish road trip later on in the summer so we can explore with her by our side, for two people that have always gone abroad for our holidays, we’ve decided if it’s a holiday without Cleo, it isn’t worth having!
It’s been amazing getting to know her over the past four months and noticing her traits and quirks, like how much she loves the hose pipe, every person she meets is brought a toy, how anything left near her will automatically become a pillow, and how she sticks her tongue out at you when she’s happy.
The last few weeks, more than ever I am so thankful to have her. The Coronavirus pandemic has been a particularly difficult time, for everyone, but Cleo’s wagging tail and insatiable need for fuss (and food!) do make everything seem a bit more manageable.
She has been a reason to keep a routine, she ensures we take regular breaks, we still get fresh air, and most of all every single day starts with a wagging tail and a smile.
I am so grateful to the Dogs Trust for taking Cleo in and looking after her until she was ready to come home. She is our best friend and we adore her.
Thank you Dogs Trust Harefield for choosing us to have this amazing girl. We are the luckiest people in the world!”
In April 2018, we received a phone call that there was a heavily pregnant Lurcher wandering the streets as a stray. She wasn’t microchipped so she was signed over to us to care for. Her name was Mama Rosie, she was a very timid girl who has obviously been through a lot.
On the night of 25th June, Mama Rosie went into labour and delivered four healthy Lurcher pups! Staff here at the centre watched them grow into their own little characters, with their ‘bambi’ like legs and cute little howls.
We did a press release on Mama Rosie and her story, which Keith & Will from London saw and rushed down to the rehoming centre to enquire about the litter of puppies available for rehoming. They were matched with one of the male dogs, Conker.
Will tells us a bit more about Conker’s story since he has left the centre:
“The day we met Conker we knew he was the dog for us, how could we resist that face? We all bonded very quickly, and I was a bit emotional for a few days after!
He’s a very bright boy and took to training very well, although crate training at night was exhausting it was well worth the effort. Things got fun when he was allowed out the house. He was a little shy of things at first but he soon found his feet and lapped up meeting new people, smelling new things, and doggy friends. He gets to meet up with his brother Ruben and sister occasionally who he loves having ‘Zoomies’ with.
He graduated Dogs Trust School Puppy Training with flying colours and continues to learn new tricks such as ‘touch’ and ‘spin’. It’s been so rewarding watching him grow (and grow!) into the happy young man he is now, and I couldn’t imagine our lives without him”
George is an Ex-Racer so came to us once he had been retired. He arrived on 23rd December 2019, so his Christmas wish was to find the perfect forever home! Every dog here at the centre gets given a Christmas present, and his was a squeaky ball which is continued to squeak for weeks after until he broke the squeaker (which his kennel mates were very relieved at! Sure enough, his wish came true as Amy Hyde and James Norris from Kent walked through the doors and matched perfectly to George.
Although George was only rehomed a few months ago, it seems that he has already made himself at home!
“When we first met George at the centre, he was a little quiet, but clearly loved his canine carer and was happy to come on a little walk with us.
After we had met him a few times, he was ready to come home and see his new house. As soon as we got him home he loved getting his new bed and lots and lots of soft toys. They are his absolute favourite and he loves carrying them around, squeaking away. He is an incredibly gentle, loving dog, and will often come up to you just for a cuddle or to rest his head on you.
George adores meeting other dogs, he likes all sizes however if he sees another Greyhound then he's in heaven! We've realised that owning a greyhound makes you part of a little community and we've even attended a few greyhound walks so he can make some friends.
Often on walks people will ask us if he needs a lot of exercise - we always explain that he loves a short run but otherwise he's quite lazy! He loves snoozing and he soon slows down on his walks if he thinks he's been out for long enough!
Due to being an ex-racing greyhound, he wears his muzzle outside as a precaution, he's quite happy wearing it and people are quite often interested in finding out more about him and his history. We always tell people how amazing greyhounds are and that they should consider them if they're thinking of a new doggy friend.
We are so happy we found George and he makes us laugh every day. I think welcoming any new dog into a home can be a little challenging at times, but with George it's all completely worth it and he's part of the family already!”
Mia came into the centre with her siblings at a very young age and was the smallest! She landed on her paws when Rich and Lauren came to the centre to enquire about rehoming a dog. Lauren tells us more about their journey with Mia:
“Rich and I were moving into our first home together and I really wanted a new addition to our family - a puppy! Rich wasn't on board originally (he thought he was keeping his sensible hat on)!
My brother has rescued three lovely doggys from Harefield so one Sunday I just thought let's go down and have a look - Rich somehow obliged! My brother and his partner jumped at the chance to visit Harefield with us. We got to speak with a rehomer who had rehomed my brother’s dogs and we got to see the Staffy Cross puppies that had recently arrived. We just fell head over heels with them all - I have never seen Rich look so happy! Mia was the runt of the litter - she was just so small and beautiful. We just knew she was the one for us from this, we were so in love.
Mia moved into our new home with us and has continued with her diva ways - she's just so sassy!! She loves her sleep, snuggles, food and playing fetch! People and other dogs are her absolute favourite - she has such a loving soul. Our family is complete!”
Rocky was handed into us when is owner’s rental agreement change. It was clear to see from day one that he was full of character and a right cheeky chappie! He now has a four-legged, waggy tailed sister to play with, called Melody! Cheyenne was only meant to be popping into the centre to drop off some donations, but couldn’t resist when she saw his little face through the glass.
Cheyenne tells us a bit more about how she left the house not thinking she would return with a heart full of Rocky!
“We first met Rocky at Dogs Trust Harefield when my friend and I were dropping off some vouchers for Dogs Trusts’ raffle and we decided to look around. We had lost our greyhound Max in the January of 2019 so getting another dog was on our minds, but we were just waiting for the right one.
We saw so many gorgeous dogs and then I saw Rocky, he was laying on his bed and he had the cutest ears. I said how cute he was and went to walk off but Rocky jumped up at the glass, so my friend said speak to one of the members about him.
I spoke to one of the rehomers to gain some information about Rocky, mostly whether he would fit into our household and if he would get along with our greyhound Melody. The rehomer asked about us to ensure we was the right fit for Rocky too! He was 11 months at the time, and they said he needs to be rehomed with another dog as he is a little sensitive and does better around other dogs.
Rocky was the right dog for us, and I guess he picked us to be his forever home. We met him 4 times before we brought him home and it honestly made a huge difference for Rocky settling in. I gave him one of my blankets to get him used to our smells, gave him space to explore the household and limited visitors for a few weeks because we didn’t want to overwhelm him.
When we rehomed Melody, we met her once and could take her home the same day and it took ages for her to settle in. But with Rocky the first week he settled in so well, adapting to the routine we already had in place with Melody, he quickly learnt how to get up and down the stairs with help from Melody! He enjoys sunbathing in the garden and listening to the birds chirping, sleeping on our bed, playing with American footballs, training but the thing he loves the most is zoomies around the garden and our local field.
Looking back on the year we’ve had with Rocky and it’s been an incredible year full of joy and happiness!”
Chalky, who was known here at Rosie, is now living her best life after spending 3 weeks in kennels after being handed over to us due to a change in circumstances. She has had the most wonderful haircut and some of the staff here didn’t even recognise her! It sounds to us like she is a very lucky lady!
Sarah, Chalky’s new Mum, tells us a bit more about how she has settled into her new life.
“Living in a rural, very dog friendly area, it became more apparent that our home would be somewhat complete with a four-legged friend running around! Both of our families have dogs which come to stay with us when family go away, so you could say we had done the ‘doggy test run’.
Watching a lot of dog adoption and rescue programmes, adopting a dog was something we wanted to explore further. We looked on the Dog’s Trust website and saw many dogs which we could see settling into our home, so decided it was the time to visit Dogs Trust in Harefield.
We were both so utterly impressed by the adoption process at Dogs Trust from start to finish, all staff were so thorough and supportive. Here is a quick summary of our journey.
We decided to rename Rosie to Chalky, we felt this was a new chapter in her life and the new name suited her. We read up supporting articles online which encouraged a name change post adoption.
We have now had Chalky for over 6 weeks and can gladly say that this was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Dogs Trust were so supportive during the whole process, for instance calling us within 48 hours after adoption to check Chalky was settling in okay, we expressed that she wasn’t eating. They advised what we could do and fast forward 6 weeks later and she has a very big appetite and her tail wags excitedly when she hears ‘breakfast’ or ‘dinner’!
Chalky is an absolute bundle of joy and such a character, we genuinely can’t imagine a better match. She loves to play, sunbathe in the garden and we’ve found out that she is an incredible little swimmer!
I cannot express our gratitude to Dogs Trust for making the process so easy. The staff are so inspiring and have the biggest hearts. If you’re thinking of adopting, we highly recommend it. Why shop when you can adopt?”
Yogi came to us on 23rd December 2019 and needed to go to a foster home due to a medical operation that he needed and wouldn’t be able to be in kennels after this. It was also much nicer for him to recover in a home environment rather than a kennel. He was also struggling in kennels and wasn’t very happy.
Foster Coordinator, Zena, contacted Storm and Shane who had fostered for Dogs Trust before with an older Pug called Ollie. Storm has always wanted a Chow Chow so this sounded like an absolute dream! Fast forward a few months and Yogi is now an official part of the family!
Storm explains more:
“We decided to keep yogi for a number of reasons, but Shane and I have always wanted a Chow Chow so when Dogs Trust asked if we’d foster yogi, we were super excited because our dream dog needed a lovely home environment which we couldn’t wait to give him! Yogi was struggling in kennels and really wasn’t happy so when we first went to meet him at the centre, we were so excited to bring him home. We instantly fell in love with Yogi and his cheeky personality! For me personally it was when I first said “paw” and his cute fluffy paws come up into my hand as he waits for his treat & that’s when my heart melted. Every day he makes us laugh as he loves to steal things whether it’s empty plastic bottles, socks, he’s even tried to hide my shampoo in the garden! He loves anything that’s not his!
While Yogi was recovering from his operation, as much as it was a very difficult time for him and for us, this was when his loving side came out a lot! He would only stop crying if I was sat with him in his pen for the first few nights post op. He constantly wanted strokes and cuddles and just us to be near him which of course was the cutest thing! He loves belly rubs and when he started to feel better, he loved chewing up his duvet and playing tug of war with a tea towel!
Once Yogi started to recover, his excited side came out a lot more, he was allowed outside more, felt a lot better within himself and he just wanted to play all the time! Which was fortunate that the lovely lady on reception at Dogs Trust Harefield had kept yogis favourite toy (red rope ball toy) and that kept him entertained for ages while he was having to be calm!
Fast forward several weeks and Yogi is like a new dog! He loves nothing more than doing zoomies in the garden & loves making friends at the park! His leg is much better, and he is one happy bear! He has slotted into our lives perfectly and I couldn’t have asked for a better dog to love forever!
So all of that together and much more is the reason we decided to keep Yogi! We have all been on a journey together and have grown such a bond, he completely rules the house but who can say no to his fluffy face!
Fostering for us has honestly been a truly amazing experience! I cannot recommend it enough! We have had such a wonderful experience with both the dogs and the staff at Harefield! At times during Yogis recovery I would need some advice / support and the staff at Harefield couldn’t have done more, anything Yogi needed they got for him. It really made me feel at ease because fostering a dog is a big responsibility but one that you reap so many rewards from!
Although we have kept Yogi we are still hoping to foster, as it’s an experience I’m not ready to give up just yet! A lot of dogs need loving homes until they find there forever home & Yogi would love nothing more than a companion!”