Dogs Trust

After waiting exactly seven years, former stray is set to spend first Christmas in new home

After waiting exactly seven years to find her special someone, one of Dogs Trust Loughborough’s longest-term residents is about to spend her first Christmas in her new forever home. 

Crossbreed Amber was found wandering the streets alone as a young pup back in 2012 and had been waiting to find her perfect home ever since. That wait finally came to an end earlier this year when Millie Kahrman and Samuel Brindley went along to the rehoming centre, and fell in love with her. 

Millie says: 

“She stole our hearts! In fact, it’s difficult to describe how we feel about her; it’s overwhelming. We had decided we wanted to adopt a rescue dog and went along to Dogs Trust Loughborough. We had seen Amber on the website and although we did look at other dogs we kept coming back to Amber. She was lying in her kennel and just looked at us. That was it, we knew, and hoped, she was the one for us.” 

Millie and Samuel sat down with Amber’s Dogs Trust carers and were told about the training Amber had needed to help prepare her for her forever home, and that they’d need to continue. As Amber had been found as a stray at just six months old she hadn’t had the opportunity to mix with other dogs as a young pup and so didn’t know how to behave around them, she didn’t like to be left alone and she was anxious around new people. 

Adrian Rybicki, Training and Behaviour Adviser at Dogs Trust Loughborough, says: 

“Dogs Trust is committed to caring for dogs until they find their forever homes so many hours of positive training and a lot of love have helped Amber over the years. 

“For her dog reactivity, at first we walked her at a distance from other dogs, then over time a little closer, until gradually she could walk with others and then finally, and wonderfully, play off lead with them. 

“As she didn’t like to be on her own, if someone tried to leave her she’d grab their clothes. We taught her the drop command and every time she drops anything on command wherever she is and whatever she is doing, she gets a lovely tasty treat and lots of praise. 

“To help her with her anxiety around strangers we taught her the ‘knock, knock’ command. When someone comes to the door she moves away into a different area and gets a long-lasting treat. Basically we wanted to teach her life skills that she missed out on learning as a pup to give her the best chance of finding her forever home and we are beyond delighted that she is so happy with Millie and Sam.” 

Millie and Sam first met Amber in February and over the next few months went along to the rehoming centre at every possible opportunity to build a bond with her. Finally, after a few sleepovers, she headed home with them for good on 18 May – exactly seven years to the day that she had arrived at Dogs Trust. 

Millie says: 

“She is amazing in so many ways. She is part of the family and we are very much in love with her! She is so sweet and caring; she met my nanna recently and she normally bounds around but when nanna is here she is really gentle. 

“We are so excited about spending Christmas with her. She has got lots of presents of course and will be the centre of attention. 

“Dogs Trust spent seven years getting Amber ready for her forever home. She proves that every dog deserves a second chance, however long they have been waiting and for whatever reason. We absolutely adore her and can’t imagine life without her.” 

This Christmas, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, are reminding people of that ‘A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas®’ plea to the public not to buy dogs as presents. Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/adogisforlife to watch and share Dogs Trust’s advert, and for advice on dog ownership.