Goodnight Miss Goody Four Paws

Little Sal, what a total sweetheart she was. Gentle, affectionate and extremely well behaved.

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She was a good car passenger, never pulled on the lead, didn’t run away when off the lead, didn’t chase livestock, she loved being brushed, never objected to her teeth being cleaned. I could go on and on singing her praises, but I think you get the picture.

I adopted her in September 2007 from the Border Collie Trust (GB) at Rugely. She’d only been there a couple of weeks, so I guess if I hadn’t adopted her, someone else would have snapped her up pretty quick.
But the story of her life prior to that really shook me, things could have been oh so different if it hadn’t been for a dear old lady with a heart of gold.
Anne Fowler (R.I.P.) lived in a small cottage near Barmouth in Wales.
She would visit local dog pounds, where dogs that had been found or handed in waited their allotted time on death row. Anne would take whatever dogs she could away from their death sentence and give them a safe haven until a space could be found in a rescue centre with a no kill policy. Anne worked closely with the Border Collie Trust.
Little Sal was one of these dogs, aged at approx six years, she was on day six of her seven day sentence when Anne took her in.
When I adopted Sal from the Border Collie Trust, I was given the letter that accompanied her from Anne Fowler.
This is what she had to say:

Sal letter
I respected Anne’s wishes and wrote to her a couple of months later explaining I was the person lucky enough to have adopted Sally and enclosed a few photos of her with HugehappyhairyHarry my other dog.
I received this lovely reply, from an obviously very caring person.

sal reply

A few months later, on a trip to Wales, we made a point of finding Anne.
We found her little cottage hideaway and I knocked on the door. A sweet old lady, wearing wellies and clothes covered in dog hairs answered. I explained who I was and that Little Sal was outside in my motor if she’d like to see her again.
Eagerly she came outside, saw Sal and smothered her in kisses. She’d remembered her, and went on to tell me all about how attached she’d become to the gentle sweet little dog she’d rescued within one day of death.
I wrote to Anne again several months later, explaining how Sally had been distraught at the death of Harry, but she now had a new friend called Jasper and I enclosed some photos of her with him.
I never received a reply, and it was only months later when chatting with the staff at the Border Collie Trust that I was told Anne had sadly passed away.
Such a sad loss for the dog rescue world.

Little Sal was diagnosed with kidney failure earlier this year, and after suffering a massive seizure late Friday evening, we took the heartbreaking decision to have her put to sleep.

Seven years after Anne saved her from that fate, I think this time she was ready to go.
I hope she enjoyed those extra seven years with us and her two hairy friends Harry and Jasper.

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R.I.P. Little Sal.

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May YinYang (Yang)

May 23rd 1999 was the Yang.

It was the day I adopted Harry, or HugehappyhairyHarry as he was affectionately known by all at The Border Collie Trust GB where he was one of their ‘guests’. 
Guests!, I do love that title they give to all the waifs and strays they have there, who are patiently waiting for their forever home.

Harry had lived at the BCTGB for six months, he had been transferred there with two other dogs (Tom & Dick) from a dogs home in South Wales, after being found on the streets of Glamorgan. His age was obviously unknown, but they’d guessed him to be about two or three years old. Tom and Dick soon found homes, but at 30Kg Harry was big for a collie, this coupled with his passion for chasing cars is why they thought he kept being overlooked.

When I arrived at the Trust, I was greeted by a couple of the kennel girls, who asked if I had any preference with age or sex of the dog I wanted to adopt.

“No” I replied, “show me the one least likely to find a home”

Both girls looked at each other, and almost simultaneously said “Harry”

Which explains why I found myself standing in the grounds of the bungalow, waiting apprehensively at the doors of a rather smart kennel with it’s own run.

Opening the door one of the girls explained…….

“Harry has a very laid back nature, so any new guest showing signs of stress, spends time with him in ‘The Penthouse Suite’ (she nodded towards the smart kennel) we find it helps to calm them down”

……..she’d barely finished the sentence, when 30kg of wagging dog charged out of the door, almost flooring me in the process……

Hi, I’m Harry…………… slurp slurp……………….. I love everyone slurp slurp…………….. I’m HAPPPPPPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did feel rather guilty adopting him, who was going to help them calm any future guests, but as Jennie, the trustee in charge said “We will miss him, but it’s about time Harry found his forever home”

The following years with Harry were some of the happiest I’ve had. At every opportunity we’d be out walking, high on the hills away from the rat race and rabble. I could go anywhere with him, I felt safe with him.

Then something happened that turned my world upside down:

On Saturday 8thDecember 2006 Harry was rushed to the vets. At 4pm on the Sunday I got a call from my vet to say he’d performed an operation to remove a piece of sweet corn cob that was blocking Harry’s small intestine. Harry’s heart had stopped during the op and he was given a 50/50 chance of pulling through……

I won’t go into detail here, anyone wanting to read about the nightmare three months that followed can read Harry’s story over on Pippadogblog Part 1 and Part 2.

Against all odds Harry did recover and we walked on the hills together for a further eighteen months.

Which is when the Yin comes in…..26th May 2008

The collection of photos in this video span H’s life with me.