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After three year wait, rescue dog spends first Christmas in new home

A ten-year-old rescue dog is looking forward to spending his first Christmas in his new home after waiting three years for someone to fall in love with him.

This time last year Crossbreed Raffa was set to spend his third Christmas at Dogs Trust Merseyside having waited more than 1,000 days for his special someone to fall in love with him. But now his wait is over and he’s looking forward to enjoying the festive season with his new owners, Katharina and Anthony Gill, at home in Wavertree.

Katharina says:

“We had adopted our lovely Rottweiler Cross, Susie, from Dogs Trust Merseyside but sadly she had cancer and so we had to say goodbye to her earlier this year. The house felt very, very empty so we headed off to the rehoming centre not knowing if there would be a dog suitable, and there was Raffa! 

“We couldn’t believe he’d been there for three years. He doesn’t like meeting new people and we think that had been the main reason he was still waiting. Definitely when we first met him we were far more excited than him, but we were more than happy to take our time to let him get to know us. We visited every day and then when he’d had the chance to get to know us, he came home with us. It was wonderful.” 

Raffa first found himself at Dogs Trust Merseyside as a young puppy but was adopted and spent six happy years with his family. However, sadly he found himself back at the Huyton-based rehoming centre in 2016 due to a change in family circumstances. The team were convinced that Raffa, who they described as ‘giddy, goofy, one of a kind’ would soon find a new home but months and then years passed, until Katharina and Anthony came along.

Georgina Lowery, Dogs Trust Merseyside Manager, said: 

“We were so stunned that Raffa was with us for so long as he’s gorgeous and giddy. The only thing holding him back was that he likes to take his time to get to know people but luckily Katharina and Anthony were more than happy to let him do things at his own pace and it has worked out perfectly.

“We’re delighted that he will be spending his first Christmas with them, being given the love and affection he deserves. Seeing our dogs go to their new homes is why we do the job we do and we are all absolutely delighted for Raffa.

“This Christmas we’ve got more than 80 dogs all looking for their forever homes and we hope they’ll all be with their special someone this time next year.”

Anthony adds:

“We are really looking forward to spending a lovely, quiet Christmas with Raffa. Understandably it took him a little while to settle in and the team at Dogs Trust Merseyside helped us make sure everything was OK, but now he is well and truly part of the family.

“We’ve been on holiday to the Cotswolds, he loves the beach and enjoys long walks but we sometimes think he’s happiest snuggled up on the couch, which doesn’t leave much room for us but we don’t mind! As long as Raffa is happy, we’re happy.”     

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 to watch and share Dogs Trust’s advert, and for advice on dog ownership.