A tale of two puppies: rescue dog reunited with brother after a year apart

A young rescue dog has been reunited with her brother, after spending a year apart living very different lives.

One-year-old Rottweiler/Boxer/German Shepherd cross breeds Jessie and Luther were part of the same litter sold by an experienced breeder in Huddersfield. But while Luther went off to Chesterfield to live with the Reverend Mark Broomhead and his family as a companion for their existing family dog, Jessie was not so lucky.

Jessie’s new family found that she was the wrong breed for them and rehomed her at a very young age. In her new home, Jessie didn’t get along with the cat and she was eventually handed over to Dogs Trust Leeds in May when she was just 8 months old.

Dogs Trust Leeds matched Jessie with two potential adopters, but she wouldn’t settle in the new homes and both times, she was returned to the kennels after just 24 hours. All the upheaval in her early life took its toll, leaving Jessie with some specific behavioural needs.

But fate was to bring the pups back together again, and after the Broomhead family’s older dog passed away, they went searching for a companion for Luther – and miraculously discovered his sister Jessie!

Reverend Mark Broomhead said:

"Luther was so sad after we lost our dog Storm so we started looking for another family dog to keep him company. We spoke to the breeder who originally sold us Luther and they said they thought one of his littermates had been handed in to Dogs Trust Leeds. We had a look, checked some details and sure enough, Jessie was Luther’s sister.

"We took Luther along with us to the rehoming centre to meet Jessie and the connection was instant. I don’t know whether they recognised each other but they just ran around playing together and there was no apprehension at all. We had to take her home."

After meeting Jessie at the centre a few times, Dogs Trust Leeds arranged for Jessie to have a day visit and sleepover with Luther on 23rd September so the dogs could celebrate their first birthday together. The birthday sleepover went so well that the staff at Dogs Trust Leeds decided to make Jessie’s stay with the Broomhead family permanent and her adoption was made official.

Reverend Mark added:

"Jessie was very skittish and nervous when she first arrived but she’s settled in to our family very quickly and she’s like a different dog now. Her personality is shining through and she’s a very cuddly and affectionate dog!

"Luther and Jessie just adore each other. They love to chase each other, play tug of war and go for walks together. They can’t be separated.

"They give us so much and have definitely helped to keep us sane during lockdown and all the challenging events of this year."

Dogs Trust Leeds rehoming centre manager Amanda Sands said:

"Jessie had such a difficult start in life but we couldn’t have written a better ‘happily ever after’ tale for her. She’s made incredible progress since going to live with her brother Luther and the Broomhead family. It’s a very special feeling to know that we were able to change the tale for Jessie and help give her the life she deserves." 

Dogs Trust rehoming centres are currently closed to members of the public but we are still able to rehome some of our dogs, using our socially distanced ‘handover at home’ process. If you have space in your heart to give a dog a new home, now and after lockdown, check out our website to see who’s up for adoption.

We estimate that up to 40,000 more dogs could need support as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Experience tells us that many dog owners will face the heartbreaking decision to give up their dog. We want to change the tale and be there when dogs and their owners need us most.

To see how you can help, please visit Change the Tale. Together, with the support of the public, we can ‘Change the Tale’ for more dogs like Jessie.