Well hello everyone, I’m Elaine and I first heard about SYESSR from a colleague at work who had adopted 2 Springers from the rescue. I was unaware that such a rescue existed, but decided I would go along to the next event and give them my support.
As teenagers we had a terrier, then 2 months before my marriage my parents bought my sister a poodle to keep her company in the hope that she would not miss me. Was this a compliment I wonder?
Some years later David and I decided we would like to have a dog and spent some time discussing with friends who had dogs what was involved in owning a dog and trying to decide which breed to have. We went on holiday to Scotland in our touring caravan and stayed on a farm where there was a lovely, but rather dirty English Springer Spaniel. She had worked out that by visiting the caravans she may get some titbits – so a typical springer. We enjoyed taking her for walks and felt that as it was one of the breeds we had been considering her size would be right for our small touring caravan.
Some months later we purchased our first Springer Spaniel “Lucky”. Lucky was a quiet faithful friend with whom we spent 14 happy years. Other dogs which followed were Penny, Polly, Lizzie and Lottie. Lizzie and Lottie a wonderful pair of dogs were the dogs we had when I joined the rescue in 2002. Having supported the Rescue at some of their fundraising events I, like Heather, received a letter inviting me to become a Trustee and I was assured that the only commitment I had to make was to attend the AGM – How times have changed!
In December 2005 a mother and son who had apparently been straying for approximately 3 weeks came into rescue. They were named Grace and William and it was obvious they had to be homed together. When no prospective adopters came forward, David and I decided to offer them a home.
We had walked them along with Lizzie and Lottie and they all seemed to be happy in each others company so in the New Year we brought them home. Despite having lived outside they settled in well. One thing which was quite disconcerting however was that they would howl in unison at any time of the day or night and it didn’t matter whether we were near them or not! They continued to do this throughout their lives together.
We have fostered a few dogs until suitable homes could be found for them, but one special one was Romeo. The dog warden had brought to the kennels a few weeks old abandoned puppy and the kennel staff thought he might be a Springer. He had hardly any hair, was infested with worms and had a slightly deformed front leg. It was Valentine’s Day – hence his name. After visiting the vets he came to our home to be cared for. After 3 months of weekly baths to treat his mange and weekly visits to the vets to check his progress he was ready to be re-homed. However, as he grew it was obvious he was more Jack Russell than Springer. He was re-homed with a couple who already had one of our dogs and is still a happy little dog today.
When Romeo (now called Banjo) went to his new home we took in 6 months old Sophie who came to us because she was bullying the Yorkshire terrier and cat with whom she shared a home. We still have Sophie, now aged 10. She is very vocal and loves to sit in the car watching the world go by and barking at any dog who hesitates at the gate. She also accompanies anyone who comes down the drive barking as she comes. I am sure we are spared some would-be callers, including postmen unfortunately, because of our “guard dog” Sophie. She enjoys running free in the fields or visiting Clumber Park.
In May 2010 we were at the kennels when Connie came into rescue. She had been found straying and had a very large lump on her side, so large she had learned to swing her front leg around it when she walked. She also had filthy ears and an infected ingrowing toe nail. It was clear that she would need a home environment to recover from such an extensive operation so she came home with me. After her infected ears and foot had healed, she had her operation to remove the lump which turned out to be a lipoma. When the lipoma was removed it weighed in at over 7lbs. So Connie had been carrying around the equivalent of a new born baby! Having spent 12 weeks with us she had settled in and got her feet under the table, so here she stayed. Being a stray we were unsure if she had been spayed. But she soon came into season and before she could have her operation 3 months later she came into season again. In the end the Vet decided operate even if it was not the ideal time between seasons as Connie appeared quite unwell. However she recovered well and had 5.1/2 happy years with us.
In June 2015 a 7 month old puppy came into Rescue because the owner had been made redundant and said he could not afford to keep her. Judging by her age and the date of her vaccinations she was probably by then an unwanted Christmas Present. Her name is Bramble and we decided to keep her. Unfortunately she is very nervous of both people and dogs she doesn’t know.
Sadly, at the end of October 2015 the first of our two Golden Oldies - Connie died, and then at the end of December – William, who had 10 wonderful years with us, also passed away. They have left a large void in our house even though we have Sophie and Bramble to keep us on our toes.
I enjoyed walking the dogs and meeting prospective adopters. It was rewarding watching a dog go off with its new owners, but also an anxious time hoping things would work out well for them. It can be a stressful time settling in to their new surroundings and trying to behave as their new owners expect. I am sure most dogs do their best to please.
Nowadays I tend to be involved more on the fundraising side working in our Charity Shop and attending fund raising events rather than walking the dogs from the kennels. However, David and I do assist by taking dogs to the vets occasionally when other Trustees are not available. I also gain satisfaction from knowing the effort I put in helps us to look after the dogs in our care until they can find their forever homes.