In December 2010, we lost our beloved miniature schnauzer Jasmine, who’d lived a very happy life with us for fourteen and a half years. She’d been my first dog and over the years I poured untold amounts of love and affection into her as she became a central part of my life. Jasmine had brought us so much happiness that I knew I had to pay tribute to her through having a similarly characterful dog in my life again. Thus it was that soon after we said goodbye to Jasmine, I set about sourcing another miniature schnauzer to fill the enormous void which she left us with and Renae joined our home early in 2011.
We always wanted to have 2 dogs and Susie-Belle joined us late summer 2011. She was a dog with many needs having survived years as a breeding bitch in a puppy farm, the worst kind of place for a dog to be confined. She suffered years of abuse and torment but lived happily with us for 4 years, having learned to trust that humans can be kind. Sadly she died in November 2015 but left behind a legacy which my blog and website documents. My first book, Saving Susie-Belle shares our first year together.
In February 2013, when Susie-Belle had been with us for 18 months and was almost a normal dog having made tremendous progress in her recovery from her past abuse, we brought into our family, Twinkle Berry. She was aged 8 when we adopted her, having lived her entire life in a puppy farm.
She was, like Susie-Belle a survivor of the puppy farm industry and had suffered through this. Her needs were multiple, challenging and complex. My second book, Saving One More shares the many challenges Twinkle worked her way through in the first years living with us and her sisters. Twinkle died in July 2019.
When Susie-Belle died in November 2015, I knew we had to adopt another dog to honour her memory. So it was, that on 26th December 2015, Cerise Rose joined us. Cerise, like Twinkle and Susie-Belle is a survivor of puppy farming. She is a complicated dog, and once again shows me how very damaging the puppy business is to the dogs forced to breed for it. In any given day she can display great happiness and terrible fear and anxiety. She wants to be loved, and to love, that’s clear but her terrible past holds back a lot of her innate wish to be a normal, loving and loved dog. But we will get there together, one day, Cerise will learn to trust that her past can no longer harm her, and that her life is there for her to enjoy just as she wishes to.
In February 2019 we adopted Albert Claude. He was born in September 2018 in a puppy farm in Northern Ireland, transported and sold in a pet shop in January 2019. The next day he was given up to a rescue as the older dog in the home didn’t get on with him! Their loss, our gain, but it illustrates the disposable nature of dogs in today’s society.
Angel Star joined our home in November 2019. She has lived her life as a breeding bitch in a puppy farm. Once again, I am learning the unique harm that’s done to dogs who live confined in such places. Angel is an extrovert character, hampered by anxieties caused by her trauma. She has a zest for life and eagerness to make the most of every day that is helping push her past well and truly behind her.