I'd wanted a dog for a long time, unfortunately it was never the right time and I went without for most of my life.
Finally I managed to convince my Mum and Dad to come to our local Dogs Trust "just to look", and that's when we saw Lena, or Tilly as she was known then.
Lena was the only dog we could all agree on. Just the right size, beautiful, inquisitive, smart. Perfect.
So we hurried out to fill in the forms and after about half an hour of writing, we were told to wait in the Meet and Greet field.
It was honestly the most amazing thing to see her loping out of the doors, she was so energetic and lively. And true to her breed, when she got into the field she wasn't interested in us at all. Nose to the ground for the entire time we were out there. But we all agreed that she was perfect, and I told my parents that I wasn't leaving until they agreed we could reserve her. Luckily, the time was just about right and they agreed.
They told us she'd had a tough run recently. Rehomed twice, returned twice in two months. Sprayed with water to make her behave. Dogs Trust even said her former owners had said she'd bitten them, but we were assured it was just nibbling. And after all that, I vowed that this was her real forever home. That I'd never get rid of her.
After leaving Dogs Trust, we went straight to Pets At Home where we bought a few essentials. Including her first tag. As I was travelling to London the next day, I put the tag on a necklace so I could wear it before we picked her up the week after. I didn't want to be apart from her.
I remember picking her up, we drove straight to a local pup where we had a celebratory lunch. I remember vividly walking through a nearby field thinking "I finally have a dog".
She wasn't perfect and she still isn't. We almost considered returning her because she had terrible attachment issues and we honestly couldn't leave her for a moment. But we powered through and I'm glad we did.
Lena is the reason I get up and out in the morning. She is loving and is always trying to make friends with everything she sees from dogs to cats and guinea pigs to humans. I have special needs and anxiety, if it wasn't for Lena I probably wouldn't bother to leave the house. I spend most of my time at home and she's the most amazing companion I could ask for,
She's been with us 3/4 of a year now. And it honestly doesn't feel like it. I still see her and am amazed by the fact she belongs to me. She's even won a handful of rosettes at local dogs shows, which we're very proud of.
I'm currently working on convincing my parents to let me get a second dog, because if the next dog is half as fulfilling as Lena I'll be over the moon.
Thank you so much to Dogs Trust for bringing us together, I owe you a lot.