We had been contemplating getting another dog for a little while when Pippa popped up on the Wild at Heart Instagram feed as being available for adoption from Romania. I’d become aware of WAHF after my friend and colleague adopted Sadie from Greece. I was very impressed by the work they carried out and periodically dropped by online to see who was in need of a home.
Up until that point we hadn’t seriously committed to adding to our brood. We have a rescue Jack Russell (Bella) who has been with us for 5 years and is 9 years old, and a rescue Siamese who is 10.
The moment that I saw Pippa though, I just knew that she was our dog. I showed her to my partner Gary, and immediately filled in the inquiry form online. We were quickly booked in for a FaceTime home check which was very comprehensive. The fact that we’d rehomed quite a troubled dog before meant that we were prepared for all eventualities and took lots of advice from Dave the behaviourist at WAHF, as well as our own dog walker who is also a behaviourist, around how to introduce Pippa to our existing pets and to our home.
Pippa arrived, petrified, at 1am on a very cold January evening 8 months ago. She tried to get out of her slip lead in the street and I suddenly wondered what on earth we were doing! I got her safely into the house and we laid out a blanket for her in the hall with some food. She was very stressed, but within half an hour had climbed into the bed that we’d set up for her in the spare room. The introduction to our existing pets went very smoothly, and Pippa seemed to take everything in her stride. We had only one incident where she peed in the house, and then she was suddenly house trained. It took us over a week to get her to go on a walk, but after much encouragement, and driven by her desire not to be left out when we went out with Bella, she eventually came along. To say she now enjoys her walks is a complete understatement. She loves haring around the field by our house and playing with the other dogs on her daily walk with the walker.
We have been astounded by her! Pippa is the very definition of emotional resilience. She assesses every situation, takes everything in her stride, and is determined not to be scared. She is also insanely affectionate - she places a very determined little paw she places on your arm to let you know she wants to be fussed. We both feel that the fact that there was an existing dog in the house really let Pippa settle and Bella has been fantastic at showing Pippa how to behave, and helping her to integrate into our home. Bella is too much of a grumpy old Jack Russell for them to cuddle up together, but they look out for each other, and Kiki the cat - they really are a little gang. Pippa really is an amazing dog, and we love her to pieces. My instinct was right - she really is our dog.
- Claire McArdle