Dogs Trust

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Alfie the Shih Tzu finally finds his forever home after waiting almost a year at Dogs Trust Shoreham

Alfie, a diabetic Shih Tzu from Dogs Trust Shoreham, has finally found his forever home in Guildford with Howard and Georgina Cherry after finding fame in the local Sussex media earlier this year and having the whole county helping to find his ‘pawfect match’.

Dogs Trust Shoreham appealed for a new home for six-year-old Alfie earlier this year, who had been waiting for over 250 days for a new home, when the average wait time at Dogs Trust for this popular breed is just 24 days. Alfie and his blue bandana won the hearts of the local public and after the appeal Dogs Trust Shoreham were overwhelmed with responses.

Due to Alfie’s diabetes and eye condition, the staff at the centre needed to find a very special family who could visit the centre multiple times to get to know Alfie and his needs. Those ‘pawfect’ people turned out to be Howard and Georgina, who fell in love with Alfie having seen him on the Dogs Trust Shoreham website and visited him multiple times at the centre before taking him home before lockdown in March.

Speaking about getting to know Alfie, Howard says:

"We weren’t looking for a dog, but I happened to be on the Dogs Trust website and spotted Alfie wearing his blue bandana. Having showed Georgina, she phoned to arrange a visit a couple of days later. Living an hour or so drive from the centre, we knew nothing about his celebrity status, so it all came out of the blue a couple of weeks later when Georgina googled him to show his video to a friend and found out more than she bargained for. We did have to think long and hard about whether we could match Alfie’s needs, but he made it clear he felt we were right for him early on, climbing onto my lap on one of our early visits." 

Georgina continues:

"Alfie was shy when we first met him but after 5 or 10 minutes, Alfie’s bubbly personality came out and I found myself melting. The Dogs Trust staff were great at showing us how to administer his jabs to manage his diabetes and that reassured me that we would be able to manage his condition. By our third visit, Alfie was climbing on my knee and drooling in ecstasy during some (very long) tummy rubs."

Speaking about life with Alfie, Howard says:

"Alfie made himself at home very quickly, he astounded us at how quickly he settled in – he was curled up on the sofa within five minutes! Since getting home, he’s been his usual self. Due to the diabetes, routine is key, and we’ve kept this the same as it was at the centre. He loves a nap on the bed after breakfast and can typically be found on the sofa or on the floor by our feet. If I go out, he’ll usually be found lying along the back of the sofa looking out of the window waiting for me to come back."

Georgina continues:  

"Alfie loves to explore so we’ve been to lots of nearby places we didn’t know existed before he came. As a bonus he’s getting fitter by the day and has mastered going up and down stairs. He’s not quite the dog we expected based on seeing him in kennels – he’s much livelier and likes to make friends with people like the workmen opposite. Social distancing is much more fun with an Alfie and I’m looking forward to introducing him to the family once we’re allowed out. He’s not the greatest at video conferencing."

Chris Barnard, Rehoming Centre Assistant Manager at Dogs Trust Shoreham says:

"We are so glad that Alfie has finally gone to his forever home. He was a firm favourite at the centre, having spent almost a year in our care. Howard and Georgina really took the time to get to know Alfie, visiting the centre multiple times to work with our team on building trust and learning to administer his medication. We hope they will be a very happy family."

During these difficult times, almost 1,400 stray and abandoned dogs are currently in our care. To make a donation to help us make sure that all our dogs continue getting the care, exercise, snuggles, food and medical treatment they need, until we can find them all the loving homes that they deserve, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/donation.