It all began with no intention at all to get a dog! Suffice to say as soon as a couple of pictures of Reggie popped up in my Instagram feed early on in June 2015, the love affair began.
Once I'd read the plea to find forever homes for 6 month old Reggie and his sister Rae and noted the fact that they were continually being overlooked, my desire to get Reggie home went into overdrive. They were the last of a litter of seven who were found amongst rubbish with their Mum by wonderful Anca in Romania.
I still have his original description saved on my phone, here's a little snippet...Reggie is a very handsome boy, he is really gentle and is a sweet soul with a laid back calm nature. He loves to take long naps in the sun, in fact anything to do with lying down Reggie enjoys! He is a little bit of a lazy boy.
Nothing's changed there then...
To be honest it was all a bit of a whirlwind process. One home check later, followed by some fraught decision making sat at a motorway service station, we took the plunge and welcomed Reggie home on 25th June 2015.
I often describe Reggie's first weeks as being likened to dropping an alien from outer space into suburbia! He was pretty much petrified of everything and everyone, we couldn't even get him into the house after collecting him. We then had issues getting him out of the house and out into the big bad world! It actually took us 6 months to get him to cross the main road at the end of our street. It's been a learning curve to say the least and I'm glad we didn't deliberate too long, as we may well have talked ourselves out of the most rewarding thing we've done.
I'll never forget the vet saying at Reggie's first introduction that he must have a beautiful soul. He behaved like a super star on this visit, but I'll admit that the adventure hasn't always run smoothly. Reggie has most certainly had his moments, it's felt like an emotional roller coaster at times and to a certain extent he'll continue to have anxieties, but we're now much better placed to manage these. On occasion we've been frustrated, embarrassed, upset, but every moment of progress has been truly heart-warming. We've adapted to accommodate Reggie, but he's also expanded our world and we've had some fab holidays around this country with him. It may sound like a cliche but time and patience have most definitely been key.
He gives us an intense stare whenever he wants to tell us something (generally that he wants food, closely followed by walkies) and licks his nose if we offer the right answer. Who could resist these amber eyes!
He loves (in no particular order, just in abundance)...Food, walkies, his spot on the sofa (preferably with us two humans alongside), bum, belly and chest strokes, being chased by other dogs or humans of the inner circle, barking, being in the car, his bed, his outdoor day care, open fields, long grass, routine and last but not least, his WAHF partner in crime Lenny (below, also see success stories).
He's very much a creature of habit, he doesn't like surprises. He dislikes overcrowded areas, narrow pathways, road noise, strangers trying to stroke him, being left alone, strangers coming into the house. He's loyal to the point of being overly protective, sensitive and territorial, but he's part of our family.
He's by no means a perfect dog, we've seen 5.30am far too often for my liking, but there's nobody I'd rather share my toast with every morning.
- Olivia Staves