'Rescuing a dog is a bit like having kids – you’re not really sure what you are going to get personality wise, but when your bundle of fluff arrives you know you will love them unconditionally.
Agreeing to rescue a dog that you have not met in person is enough to send alarm bells ringing for anyone. So why did we do it? Firstly a designer pup bred to line the pockets of those breeding it just was not for us. Secondly, we did try and rescue from the UK however hit a brick wall due to A. having a child, B. having a cat, and C. working (it’s not ideal but should not rule you out of being suitable to give a beloved dog a home). We found out about Wild at Heart Foundation by mere chance when I followed Louise Redknapp on Instagram at the time she rescued a dog from Cyprus. Following all the WAHF social accounts, it took 2 months before I contacted them having researched as much as I could about the process of rescuing from overseas. Talking to Eve via email, Alicia on the phone and then a FaceTime with Mel, I was armed with even more knowledge about what was involved with the process. It was then some 4-6 weeks before a little worried looking face caught my eye on their @cyprusdogs Instagram. The description that he was sweet as sugar and not a bad bone in his body swung it – this was the dog for us, and he would be called Freddie.
WAHF were really helpful sending us as many pictures as they could, arranging for a cat test (although it is worth noting that you will still need to train the dog, but this was pretty straight forward for us once he arrived) and sending us videos of him meeting children and other dogs. We spent 4 eager weeks waiting for Freddie to arrive... (buying everything we could - it really was like preparing for your first child to be born!)
Fast forward to now, 7 months since Freddie arrived with us, and our hearts have been warmed and our lives changed. Our bundle of fluff is one of the few that arrives from abroad more nervous than others, and has needed that extra love and attention to make him feel secure having experienced abandonment and fear in his life (Freddie is around 2 and therefore has some life experience behind him, not all of which has been positive). Our progress in rehabilitating him to accept love and trust again is a journey filled with ups and downs, feelings of pride and frustration.
Freddie, a Dachshund Spaniel cross, is so obedient, gentle, has been incredibly easy to train, and has the biggest heart full of love. His fear does haunt him but we are here to support him and guide him back to full happiness and contentment – we could not imagine him with anyone else. Watching him chase the ball at the park for the first time, or eat side by side with the cat, or gently lick our faces to show his trust makes it all worthwhile.
There is a wonderful supportive community between other adopters and the Wild at Heart Foundation team - it has been so helpful to be able to turn to David, the behaviourist whose knowledge and training methods are up to date and brilliant, and all the lovely people who share this unique journey with us.'