Rosie from Harefield (West London)

Having always wanted a dog, we’d spent months looking around other dog rehoming centres, but were constantly being left disappointed, since none of them would permit dogs to be rehomed with families who had children under 10, and with a two year old child we didn’t have a hope. I understand the liability aspect,and that some dogs have endured situations which meant they would not be suitable, but equally my view has always been that children can learn so much from animals, and vice versa. In July 2006 we were then made aware of a new Dogs Trust being opened in Harefield, and went along to have a look, but expecting a similar outcome. Nearly all the dogs had come from Ireland , and there were many Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and Lurchers of different ages in the centre. Just as we were about to leave, we were made aware there were a couple of litters of puppies which were in a separate corridor near the main reception, and were told we could willingly have a look. The first puppies we saw were naturally adorable,but all had extremely large paws , which indicated they may be particularly large dogs when they grew up, and not necessarily suitable for our house. The next puppies we saw were all virtually as black as coal except for a striking white patch on their chests.They were classed as cross breed and had been rescued from a plastic bag thrown off a bridge in Dublin in to the river Liffey. There was one particular puppy who seemed that bit more inquisitive towards us , and then she gave us a look , and that was it....Hilda, as she’d been named had to be the one for us !! We discussed our home circumstances, had already made the garden secure, and put indoor baby gates up, to give her her own space , and having had a visit from The Dogs Trust we’re delighted to be told we would be allowed to rehome her. We couldn’t face running through the woods calling out for Hilda as it just evoked memories of Coronation Street’s Hilda Ogden !!, so as my kids were fans of children’s TV Show Rosie and Jim, Hilda became Rosie !!! Having come home, she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at a very early age. The vet said to keep her on a lead for 6 months and away from other dogs . It’s one of the few times I’ve gone against a vets advice, and with care she was given lots of swimming in The River Chess, and socialising with other dogs. As a result she’s gone 13 years without any further treatment as the muscles in her leg developed and compensated for the lack of ball and socket , and has become one of the most sociable dogs I’ve ever met. At 4 years old, and almost overnight, her distinctive and distinguished “grey” fur appeared, and within no time at all people constantly referred to her as a “beautiful old girl “, much to our amusement ! Yes, the Labrador in her literally destroyed a couple of sofa’s as a puppy. She ate through many pairs of shoes, and still rolls in fox or badgers mess, proudly displaying her “Eau De Par”fume”.....Oh and she will find food anywhere !! The Collie in her makes her extremely intelligent, if not that obedient !! The bits of other dogs thrown in have just given her character as well as a few bad habits ! Oh, and she’s still petrified of bridges !! This elderly lady was one of the first dogs released from Harefield , has had a wonderful life whilst giving us almost 14 years of love and happiness. She’s been back to Harefield on many occasions and always receives a warm welcome ! I can honestly say walking in to The Dogs Trust at Harefield almost 14 years ago, was the best day of our life !!!!