'This is the story of how Irmy (Irma) came to live with me in Stalmine and the journey that took her from Bosnia to a little village on the Fylde Coast.
The potted history is that my long term partner died whilst we were on holiday almost a year ago to the day. Last year was really tough and the support of my children and friends was crucial in getting me across a difficult time. The other thing that really restored normality to my life was getting my dogs, Milo and Honey, back from the kennels and getting back to a normal routine of walking and caring for my dogs. Once I had the dogs back, my children were confident to go back to their lives and jobs.
I got to thinking that my dogs were now over 10 years old and I considered that getting a younger dog to add to my mini pack would be a benefit. That's about all the thought I gave the matter until I read an article by Lotte Brouwer (another WAHF adopter) about getting a dog from wild at heart foundation. My big dog (Milo) was bought as a puppy following a painful divorce. My kids were 15 and 16 at the time and it was one of the best decisions I ever made! They called him (and still do call him) 'little brother' . My other dog (a little Pom cross) came to me as a 2 year old when her owner decided that she was no longer required once a new baby came along.
So I contacted Eve at WAHF. I explained that I could offer a loving forever home to a rescue dog. Eve started to send me pics of Irma just before Christmas. I said immediately I would offer her a home.
On the 4th Feb in a cold and wet Tibshelf service station I took the delivery of the wee ginger ball known as Irma. Within 5 minutes, having had a small walk on the grass and downing some chicken and a drink, I wrapped her in a blanket and put on the seat heater and drove home with her keeping one eye on me the whole time. It was honestly as though she realised she was home. When we got home we went for a stroll round the lanes where I live and she was so fascinated by the sight of cows going into a milking shed that we had to wait till they all disappeared!!
The timing of Irma coming to live with me could not have been worse! Within a day of picking her up, my dad collapsed and was rushed to hospital and I had to find a home for my mum who has Alzheimer's. I had to move in with mum whilst I sorted care for her so the dogs came too. Including the very new Irma. She took it all in her stride and it seemed as long as me, Milo and Honey were there, she knew she was okay and she settled wherever we all were. I work in the principle that if I am dealing with situations in a calm manner, the dogs take cues from that and do likewise.
Irma has been fantastic. She bonded so well with my big dog, the golden doodle and although the relationship with my Pom cross, Honey, was slower they are now great pals and as I write this they are playing tug of war over a stuffed toy chicken!
There have been absolutely no issues with Irma at all. She is housetrained and despite the recommendation of keeping them on the lead for a few weeks, she was walking off the lead within a week.
Practical stuff aside, she has brought me an enormous amount of pleasure. She actually makes me laugh out loud at her antics and we post on Facebook regularly to let people know what the ginger gremlin is up to now! She watches TV. She loves playing ball and swimming. She takes everything in her stride.
If you are a dog owner already, giving a home to a dog in need is so rewarding. If this is the first time you have owned a dog, prepare for the experience to change your life for the better.
Wild at Heart Foundation have been brilliant from the start. From the practical stuff to the supportive elements they have been with us all the way.
Irma is just around 18 months old so the way I see it, we will grow old together!! I have plans to retire in the next few years so who knows- maybe Irma and I will be posting updates from our travels around Europe!!
Go for it. There is never a 'right time' to take the plunge and adopt. If you have the time, compassion, energy and patience - giving a WAFH dog a good home may be the most rewarding thing you do.'
- Rhona Holland