Rescue dog owners from around the world share their stories
Lindsay from Dubai, with Perry a nine-year-old terrier mix and Dave, a two-year-old terrier mix.
When and how did Perry and Dave come into your life? “I adopted Perry in December 2012 when I was living in a one bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai. I contacted K9 Friends in Jebel Aliand set up an appointment. Within two weeks, Perry was home. In August 2016, my partner and I adopted Dave from a small rescue place in International City called Moon Puppies. We went 'just to have a look' and he came home with us.”
What have been the ups and downs since you rescued them? “I was incredibly worried about Perry when I first took her home and your imagination runs wild as to what her life was like before, what she had been through. It can get quite upsetting. But now you focus on the good. They are both so loving and loyal and give you so much every day.
Any tips for people who are thinking about adopting? “Do it! But understand the responsibilities and costs first. They can be expensive, especially if you're planning a trip, you need to add on the cost of boarding for instance. There is no pet insurance policies in the UAE, so it's good to try to save a little bit of money each month into an emergency fund. But it can also be a great way of getting out of something you're not keen on going to - ah sorry, we can't... the dogs! Ha.”
Amy from Australia with Maggie, a four-year-old boxer
Tell us about how Maggie came into your life... “Our previous boxer Marley had passed away early last year. We knew when we were ready we wanted to get another Boxer and ideally a rescue. I follow a number of rescue pages on Facebook but wasn't quite ready for another dog, that was until we saw Maggie. I contacted Boxer Rescue and told them that I was interested but had small children so I needed to make sure she was child-friendly and dog-friendly. It was meant to be a two-week trial and she is still here over a year later and I can't imagine our home without her.”
What are your tips for people who are thinking about adopting? “Like any big decision, do your research on breeds and think about your lifestyle. Make sure you are committed to giving the dog the proper care so it doesn't end up back where it started. Also, some dogs, like some people, are a bit damaged -- this doesn't mean they are no good or not worth your time. Give them some love, patience, and kindness and you will get it back in spades.”
How did you settle into life with Maggie? “We had some hiccups at the start, I think because she had been abandoned and then moved around she was really scared we would leave her and not come back. However, from day one she was like a second Mum to my boys and would hassle me to hurry up when they were crying in their cots. She loves being a big sister and has helped them learn how to walk, gives them kisses and they feed her their dinner from their highchairs.”
Anna from England and Kenny, a 7-year-old greyhound.
What made you decide to rescue? “We felt we couldn't, in good conscience, choose an 'off the shelf' puppy when there were so many rescue dogs needing good homes. We came across articles such as this detailing the truly horrific number of (perfectly healthy, lovely) ex-racing greyhounds that are killed each year when they are deemed no longer useful to their trainers. We found a local greyhound rescue centre and spent some Sunday mornings there, walking a few different characters and finding the right fit. That's when they introduced us to Kenny!”
What would you tell others thinking of rescuing a dog? “If you're thinking of rescuing any breed of dog, do ensure you have done your research on the breed before you commit. Think about...
- How much time each day do you have to (a) walk (b) play with and (c) cuddle your dog? Different breeds need different amounts of each
- Do you travel a lot at weekends or for work? If so, you will need really good doggy daycare/overnight care, which comes at a cost (as does pet insurance in the UK).
- Do you have kids or are you planning on having kids in the near future? This is a big factor when taking on any dog but particularly a rescue.”
How has having a rescue changed your life? “Our life has changed a huge amount in the four years that we have owned Kenny. When he first joined our family he was the third member - there are now five of us! Over time, Kenny has grown into a true member of the family, with his own quirks and peccadilloes (just like the rest of us!). I'm sure my son's love of animals is in part due to Kenny having been a part of his life since he was born.”