How A Schnauzerfest Walk Changed A Life
Schnauzerfest changes lives. This isn’t an opinon, it’s a bold fact and here’s just one story which supports this solid statement.
Every year, Marta joins the Bradgate Schnauzerfest Walk in Leicester with her dogs Reggie (aged 14) and Ruby. At last month’s walk, Marta sat chatting to a couple in the cafe who told her about Rose, a schnauzer who was being helped by DBARC, supported by the fundraising that Schnauzerfest was in the throws of doing that weekend.
“My heart jumped. I couldn’t think about anything different,” Marta recalled. “Once we were back home I looked at DBARC’s website: dogs for rehoming. Nervously I scroĺled down and YES!! This is my girl!! I am going to save another one. After speaking to my husband, we were on the way to DBARC the following day.”
A few years ago, Marta had decided to get a puppy as a companion for Reggie and begun her research. Along the way, among all the information she gathered, “I found a book that changed my life completely Saving Susie-Belle. I ordered it and when it arrived, I read it from the first to last page in one go. I can’t remember exactly how many times I cried but a lot for sure. I decided then, that I will not buy a puppy, instead I’ll adopt.”
This was how Ruby came to be adopted from East Midlands Dog Rescue and joined Marta’s family. At first sight, Marta knew she was right for them, despite Ruby being in a terrible state and as an ex-breeding dog, suffering from pyschological trauma and major anxieties.
Marta describes their first months together,
She was overweight, scruffy with a massive belly. On the day she arrived with us, we were told she’d never been in a home environment or gone for a walk. I have to admit that the first 3 months were shocking. Our poor Ruby didn’t know how to eat from a bowl, she didn’t know what grass was, she shook every time we walked past, with her tail tucked under, and even wet herself from being so scared. She wouldn’t let us touch her. My heart was broken.
For adopters of such traumatised dogs, it can be extremely challenging to be faced with the reality of the damage inflicted on their dogs. Marta threw herself into doing everything possible to help Ruby heal. She slept downstairs with her for comfort and companionship, gave her all the time, space and patience she could. But,
Six weeks later there was no change and I thought she would never be happy. I sat on the floor in the middle of the night and started crying, thinking “I can’t do it anymore, I am not strong enough”. Then a miracle happened. Ruby came closer to me and let me finally touch her. My heart jumped. I forgot what I was thinking instantly.
Reggie was there supporting at all times. He showed Ruby their routines, where to go when in need of the toilet, how to go up the staircase and was with her constantly.
Marta is convinced it was Reggie who persuaded Ruby that no-one would hurt her again and not only is he her mentor, he’s her family and their relationship is incredibly close. Four years later, Ruby is a completely different dog. Happy, full of energy and loves her life.
And now Reggie and Ruby are joined by Sonia (was Rose) who was adopted the day after the Schnauzerfest weekend and that lucky chat,
When we met Sonia she was very nervous and timid with us but much better with our dogs who accepted Sonia straight away. A few papers later and Sonia was sat in the car, ready to come home with us. She appeared exactly the same as Ruby did a few years ago. Skinny, terrified of every movement. Constantly hungry and scared to death.
But Sonia is very different. She’s interested in everything and therefore more brave. Ruby has returned the favour and along with Reggie is Sonia’s mentor now. She always makes sure Sonia is safe.
Marta says the bonds between the three dogs strengthen every day and the kindness each shows to one another is truly moving. Ruby lets Sonia finish her meals, they lay down together, shifting around to ensure they are all comfortable.
Sonia’s journey to becoming a happy dog is well underway in the safest of places. Marta’s final words move me beyond anything I can describe, as I know that Susie-Belle’s life and story continues to bring about life changing actions,
When I look into Sonia’s eyes I know she will be a happy little soul soon. I would like to say Thank You Janetta for the book that changed my life. Also I would like to to thank Reggie for being patient with Ruby and now Sonia. Thank you Ruby for helping Sonia. Thank God for all animals.