'For years, we had been talking about getting a dog but the time never seemed right. We had looked into getting a puppy but quickly realised that bringing up a pup wouldn't have been feasible given our lifestyle. I came across the Wild At Heart Foundation when I read an interview with Nadine and Nikki in the Evening Standard in February 2016 and straight away started looking through the dogs available for adoption.
When I saw Nelly, who was formerly Hayley, I fell in love with her instantly! She had such sad and beautiful eyes. I sent the adoption form in on the same day. We thought she was the most beautiful amongst all the dogs available and we knew someone would want her, but we wanted it to be us. I contacted the WAHF office and then, after speaking with Eve, I knew that Nelly might be our dog.
After the initial excitement, we had to decide whether to go ahead and sign the adoption contract. My husband was very supportive, but he had never had a dog before and was nervous about adopting a dog that we had never met. This felt like a bit of leap in the dark for both of us but we got very good support and encouragement from WAHF and from Androulla in Cyprus who had rescued Nelly and brought her up. It took us a good month to finally make the decision and then "D Day" (the dog arrival day) came on the 8th of May.
In the evening of a beautiful sunny day Nelly arrived at Gatwick after a terribly long journey from Cyprus. She had been in her crate almost 8 hours. She was so scared when we opened the crate and initially she didn't want to get out. Then, when she eventually came out, she desperately tried to escape, terrified of everything around her. We managed to calm her down and get her in the car where she seemed to be a bit more comfortable. Back at home she hid in a small corner for a couple of days. We became very worried about her after two days of not eating or drinking, and not weeing or pooing. But then things started to change...
Nelly came out from her corner and started being present in our life more and more. She became quickly attached to me and to my son Stefan, but took longer to get used to my husband (I read that it is not uncommon for dogs to have a greater fear of men) but now she adores us all.
My son is a master in training and playing with her and I'm a safety and feeding station. She flirts and asks for endless tummy rubs and she would tap with her paw asking for more and more! She steal socks and pierces little holes in my husband's T-shirts, she has a little weakness for tissues and newspapers and loves to shred them in to pieces. And she is not necessarily the best friend of pigeons and squirrels...
In the park she loves jumping in high grass although she is still on a lead. She loves learning. I have even managed to teach her almost not to bark in the garden. Nelly is just great! Affectionate with a really lovely character and the amount of love which is transferred from her to us and vice versa is enormous!
She is still very nervous on the street but is slowly getting more used to it, it just takes time and patience. We all love her so much! Adopting her was so rewarding. I'm so glad that we have help Nelly to have a home. I'm so glad that we didn't buy pedigree dog when so many dogs are waiting for adoption.
Thank you so much WAHF! Eve was so lovely and supportive when I had my doubts and David Drew - the foundation's dog behaviourist, very patiently calmed our worries in early weeks. It has been just two months but it's difficult to remember how was it before...'