'We sadly said goodbye to our Jack Russell, Pipsqueak last summer after 16 happy years. We decided that having had two puppies from breeders we wanted to give a rescue dog a home. We looked in the UK for a female family pet but only found males dogs who were either very big or not suitable in homes with men or children. We had almost given up and go down the breeder route again but then we saw an article in the Times written by a journalist who had adopted a Cyprus dog so we decided to investigate. We were offered Eleanora (we call her Nora) and all fell for her hook, line and sinker. We didn’t even ask to see any other dogs, she was just what we were waiting for. A month later, in early December, we picked her up at a service station off the M25 and we haven’t looked back since.
Understandably Nora was nervous when we first got her and barked at anyone who came to our house, but that passed as her confidence grew. Initially we didn’t let her off the lead in the park as we felt she didn’t know us well enough to trust that she would come back. However we went to North Devon for New Year and we took Nora to one of the beautiful beaches with friends and their dogs and decided this would be a good place to try and we thought Nora would follow the other dogs. It was a complete joy to watch her run round with a huge smile on her face. She is very good at recall and often checks to see where we are - I wonder if she worries she might lose us?
We went to dog training classes in January which were great, but Nora did bark most of the time! Now Nora only barks when she meets dogs on the lead but the minute she is off the lead she is so friendly with other dogs and loves nothing more than to run around with them. Nora was very easy to train (sit, lie down, stand, bed, heel) and loves the attention. We are currently working on ‘drop it’ as she picks things up in her mouth ALL the time, but she is getting the hang of this latest trick. Much more obedient than our two previous Jack Russells!
Apparently Nora was found as a puppy and fostered by one of the volunteers at the rescue centre in Cyprus until she was 7 months. Then she went back to the rescue centre and we heard about her the following day so we believe she only spent one month in the centre. Whoever looked after her did a good job with the house training as she only had 4 accidents in the first month and nothing since. New carpets still looking good!!
We introduced Nora to children last weekend when our nieces and nephews came over (aged 13,11 and twins aged 8). She was very relaxed with them but they are really fantastic children so we haven’t tested her with toddlers or nervous little ones yet.
Nora comes nearly everywhere with us and is very adaptable. When we stay overnight, she happily sleeps in her crate. We are taking her to France this summer for our holiday - in fact we chose the holiday because we could bring Nora along! We found a local dog sitter who also has a rescue dog from Cyprus and Nora loves going to Kim’s when we have times that we have to leave her for longer than four hours.
Bad points: Nora loves to roll in poo, so we have to keep an eye on her in certain parks where foxes have been doing their business. According to our vet this habit is one we won’t be able to break; its like the best perfume in the world for dogs! Initially we said it was good that we were confident dog owners as it is different adopting a dog with a tricky start in life compared to getting a puppy from a breeder, but now she is settled and relaxed. Honestly we are delighted that Nora has joined our family and we love her to bits. She is the centre of all the attention and friends come to visit her not us these days. We sometimes look at her and imagine what it would be like for her running round as a stray in Cyprus and it is heart breaking to think that could have been her life. Best thing we ever did was making contact with Wild at Heart Foundation. Thank you for all the hard work.'
- Jane Fletcher