Hi there, I'm Joanne and If I'm honest I cant remember how I got involved with springer rescue...it just kind of happened! We got Conker, a working cocker from SYESSR around 11 years ago and I seem to remember getting involved at around the same time. Conker is now 12 years old.
Conker wasn't our first dog, we already had two rescues, Barnie an ESS who was seven at the time and Rosie a German Shepherd cross who was about eight. We were looking for another dog because Barnie had just been diagnosed with arthritis in his hips and the vet gave such a bleak prognosis that we thought we ought to get another dog pretty sharpish!!
As it turns our Barnie was a bit of a trojan and carried on for another 7 years and Rosie lived to 17.
Conker was and still is a real challenge. His recall was non existent and despite us trying every trick in the book he will always be a bog off artist. One of the many tricks we tried was gun dog training and Conker was great at the theory but putting it into practice was another matter and he never made the grade but by that time we had well and truly got the bug. As a result we decided to look for a dog we could train to do it properly and that is when Ghillie arrived. He was our first puppy and he was a dream to train. He is now a 9 and a regular in the picking up team on our local shoot.
When Barnie passed away we thought we might get another young springer but the best laid plans never happen and instead I found myself coming home with Dottie and Teal, a mother and daughter pair of cockers who had lost their owner in very sad circumstances. They are just gorgeous and fitted in very well.
And last but not least I have Luna, another working cocker who is nearly 2 and who has also been trained to work in the field.
So that makes 5 and they keep me very busy.
So back to rescue...for some reason I just kept going back to the kennels to walk the dogs and from there I was asked at some point to be a trustee. I said yes and now my weekends are no longer my own.I now spend most of my time in wellies and raincoat in the middle of a field. But I don't mind at all. I have made some lovely friends and have learnt so much about dogs and people and between you and me Id take the dogs every day!
The role of trustee is quite varied and I'm involved in fundraising as well as dog walking, vetting potential new owners and dealing with dogs that need to come in. I've even been interviewed for radio (thanks Heather). It is very hard work but very rewarding and there is nothing better than seeing a dog go off to his new home.