Written by Rosie Woodhouse author of http://www.trulymadlykids.co.uk
SHADOW THE CYPRIOT RESCUE PUPPY
A week ago we adopted a rescue puppy. Only four months old he flew from balmy Cyprus to freezing Skye via Edinburgh and a 4 hour drive featuring whimpering, vomit and a chewed dog bed. When he finally arrived at 6 am to frozen ground and strange huge new horizons our entire household fell instantly in love with him, and luckily he with us. He has fitted immediately into our dog and human pack and we are incredulous that he has only been here for one week. It feels like he has been part of our family for so much longer.
We had been planning to look for a rescue puppy to join our household during November. We are so lucky to live on the glorious Isle of Skye and to work from home which has meant that dogs are always a big part of our family life. As our Tess and Toby are ageing (not at all gracefully!) we thought this winter would be a great time to add to the pack and introduce our children (now 11 and 8) to the joys and pitfalls of looking after a puppy. By sheer serendipity just as we started to look for our new pack mate a friend shared a post from Wild At Heart Foundation on facebook featuring rescue puppy litter mates Pumpkin, Shadow and Boo who had been dumped as tiny pups in Cyprus. Looked after by Pointer Friends Cyprus they were ready for new homes. It took a split second for my husband and I to agree that Shadow was the rescue puppy for our family.
From then the process to adopt Shadow was simple and delightful. I filled in a straightforward questionnaire with Wild At Heart Foundation and spoke to their lovely rehoming manager Eve. She quickly organised a home check visit for us (efficiently managed via Skype due to our remote location) and within 48 hours we were asked if we would be able to collect Shadow in 6 days time from the Animal Reception Centre at Edinburgh Airport.
The charity in Cyprus arranged Shadow’s Pet Passport and all his innoculations and worming. They also arranged his transportation – it really couldn’t have been simpler for us as adopters. The cost was only £360 to cover the transport and pet passport. Far less than the cost of a puppy bought in the UK.
The week before Shadow arrived we were puppy sitting for friends.It was a fabulous refresher course in looking after a puppy (our dogs are now 12 and 10). We knew what equipment we needed (crate, quiet space, tuggy chewy toys, a harness and extendable lead, puppy treats and an endless bucket of hot water and dettol for dealing with the inevitable accidents) and were reminded of the utter joy of having a puppy in the house. Our children loved the experience and couldn’t wait for Shadow to arrive.
WEEK 1 ON SKYE
It’s been an eventful week! My husband drove to Edinburgh to pick Shadow up from the Extrordinar Animal Reception Centre at 1 am last Monday morning. The team there on their great FB page described him as ” the loudest arrival we’ve ever had”. Once I knew they were safely en route (around 2 am) I slept for 2 seconds with all the childish anticipation of Christmas morning. Shadow arrived in a flurry of ears, paws and kisses at 6 15 and has carried on in this vein. He has met his dog and child pack, had his first walk on frozen ground (not keen!), visited the vets (clean bill of health), socialised with another puppy (that was LOUD), met some free range chickens (not sure about them!) and yesterday we took him to our local beach and watched the sheer joy of him running free of the lead for the first time. Shadow has also experienced the hardships of a snuggly sofa and being sneaked into my son’s room to sleep on his bed. We hope it’s a far cry from his beginnings and that a lifetime of love will replace the awful abandonment. It’s been an incredible and utterly rewarding week.
During this week I’ve been able to update the lovely people who cared for Shadow on Cyprus and at the charities who brought him to us about his progress. I know that there are many more puppies looking for homes and in particular Shadow’s sister Boo is still available for adoption. Shadow has the loveliest disposition and would fit in anywhere – we’re just so thrilled he is with us. I’m sure Boo would fit in beautifully with someone reading this blog. At the end of the article I’ve shared her photo and the contact details to enquire about re-homing.