When Clyde Met Maya
While the most eye-catching thing about Schnauzerfest is the huge amount of money it raises each year, there are several threads to it which all bring about great changes in the lives of dogs and people. A less obvious one than the fundraising is the awareness of rescue dogs and why the money is needed. This awareness is not always what first draws people to Schnauzerfest, but as they take part and find out more, big life changes can result.
Recently I’ve shared examples like Marta and Sonia and Mabel and Bella .Here I introduce Maya, who has similarly had her life transformed from being a puppy farm dog, to becoming the much loved sister of Clyde whose family this year experienced great sadness and loss. Here’s their story, told by dad Martin,
In 2010, we didn’t think anything of it when we arrived at the breeder’s in Berkshire to collect our new puppies Bonnie and Clyde and were told their mum was out having a walk. It was two years later when they were both having a bout of pancreatitis that I saw on their vaccination cards that they’d been vaccinated by a Carmarthenshire vet! Sadly, we realised the awful truth that they’d been bred in a puppy farm.
Bonnie was always the poorly one. Clyde seemed to have the constitution of an ox, but poor Bonnie always seemed to be having treatment for something. Sadly, after an amazing holiday early in 2018, she started to develop an intermittent lollop as she walked. Vet examination showed no apparent cause. In the summer the limping got worse, she was definitely in pain. We were referred to a specialist and a growth on her spine was diagnosed, which rapidly spread to her lungs. After a month of treatment sadly we had to say goodbye to our beloved girl.
Clyde was ok at first, relishing the attention, being spoiled rotten, comforting us when we suddenly burst into tears. However, soon he began to be more reflective, seeming to go into a daydream, possibly remembering the many happy days with his sister.
After the pain we felt losing Bonnie, we had both agreed no more dogs. It just hurt too much, but Clyde needed us to be strong and another friend to share his life and canine world with.
We had seen a Facebook page for something called ‘Schnauzerfest’, it appealed. We’d planned to go to the Southsea walk if Bonnie was well enough. We did go, that’s what she would have wanted and Clyde had the best day. That was when we decided to look for his new friend.
A few days later, I got a photo sent through from my partner. It was a picture of Maya, an ex-breeding dog from a puppy farm background who was with the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre. We both fell in love instantly but as she was reserved for adoption to someone else, we put our thoughts aside and carried on through the week. Sunday morning, on a whim, we decided to drive up to DBARC for Clyde to meet some of the other dogs. When we arrived, we were told that Maya was once again up for adoption – but warned that there was other interest in her so not to get our hopes up.
The meeting between Clyde and Maya was unremarkable. We introduced them and they just did doggy things. No big deal. Except to us, it was a huge deal. She was beautiful, she was perfect and most of all, we could see that she would totally get on with Clyde.
A few days later we got a call from DBARC. The other family weren’t quite the right fit for Maya and her needs, they were organising a home check for us and we were all on for a second meeting. This time Clyde and Maya were in the exercise field. Maya showed much more confidence. Suddenly, Maya started to run. Clyde looked around at us and then ran after Maya. Maya and Clyde looked around at us, we both ran after Clyde & Maya. So there we all were, running through the field on a chilly October afternoon in Berkshire laughing, barking, grinning uncontrollably.
Maya has been with us a little over a month now. In that time she has grown hugely in confidence. She understands ‘sit’ ‘bed time’ ‘walkies’ ‘din-dins’ – in fact, she understands a lot, but it’s still on her terms whether she actually acts on those requests! It’s a source of great amusement to us that every time we ask her to do something and she declines to cooperate, we then ask Clyde, who, always eager to please is straight there – only to be immediately pursued by his sister who wants to see what’s going on! They are inseparable.
A strange thing happened a few days ago. We were watching some videos of schnauzers and this little guy came on and was howling for all he was worth. Maya’s ears pricked up, her head tilted to one side. Suddenly she sat up, drew herself up to full height and she threw her head back. The song she sang told such a story: pain, loneliness, suffering, confusion and then joy. Half way through, enthralled, Clyde decided, after 8 years it was time to learn to sing too. The pair of them finished in beautiful harmony. Since then, I’m sure they’ve become even closer. Regularly now we have a period of evening kisses, where they groom and cuddle each other to the point of being absolutely soaking wet!
Adoption of these dogs isn’t without its challenges, but it’s so rewarding and means the absolute world to the dogs having come from such a terrible life. We hope that Maya is happy to be with us and that we can heal her heart, as she is healing all of ours. We can’t thank DBARC, Schnauzerfest and all the other fundraisers, volunteers and staff enough – without them none of this would be possible.