Our rescue dog Sandy inspired my Dog Squad series.
The real Sandy is completely different to her character in the books and this is how she came to live with us.
Early last year I decided I wanted a dog. My husband Allan said he didn’t and I knew for it to happen we needed to be in agreement. I was determined so decided to work on him.
Allan had his eye on a second hand BMW XR3 so we struck a deal and depleted our savings. I didn’t mind, as I was to get my wish.
There are loads of rescue centres in Cyprus. Sadly, cruelty to animals is endemic and you often see dogs wandering the streets after being dumped by owners who no longer want them, especially at the end of the hunting season when they’re deemed to have served their purpose. The centres are always full and there are as many kind people here as there are cruel. Some of the abandoned dogs are saved and sent to other parts of Europe.
I scanned the rescue centres via Facebook and loved the look of an eight month old German Shepherd called Charlotte. Before choosing our dog, I spoke with a dog trainer friend who advised me to use my head as well as my heart. I was excited the morning we were to visit the centre but it was short lived. Poor Charlotte was so traumatised she could barely look at us and cowered at the back of her cage crying. It was sad but we both knew we didn’t have the skills or patience to train a dog with so many problems. We were shown around and I could see the hurt and pain in the eyes of some of the dogs. It was heart breaking and I could only imagine what they’d been through. At least they were now being treated well.
The staff thought we might be interested in another dog and it was let out of the cage. This one was eighteen months old and it acted like it had overdosed on energy drinks. The dog dodged the lead and ran to the other end of the enclosure. Then he turned and headed back towards us at full pelt. My inner drama queen surfaced, and I held my breath, believing I was going to die. (I had been attacked by a dog as a youngster and although there was no lasting physical harm, I had a few issues and can be wary of dogs I don’t know.) The man managed to grab him before the dog had a chance to leap. I
Back to Facebook, the BARC (British Animal Rehoming Centre) site came up in my newsfeed with a photo of a cute little dog
Allan liked Sansa as much as I did and we took her for walks during the next few weeks to ensure the feeling was mutual. We arranged the adoption date, sorted out the papers and brought her home on the 14thMarch. We changed her name and she started answering to Sandy almost straight away.
Sandy soon settled in and was as good as gold. We thought it unusual that she didn’t bark and it was a big shock during week seven when she found her voice when someone knocked at the door. She now barks to let us know if somebody is coming but other than that she’s a quiet dog. If she wants to go out she paws us or makes a crying sound and if other dogs bark from their gardens while we’re out walking, she tends to ignore them. On the odd occasion she’s taken an instant dislike to passing dogs and has barked at them and she did try to mount a beautiful white German Shepherd once – they hadn’t even had a date!
Sandy continues to be a model dog and is great fun. Besides for Allan and food, her
I can’t say we weren’t happy before we had Sandy, but she’s definitely made our lives better and I can’t imagine life without her.
During the following
If you have an interesting tale (tail?) to tell about your dog and would like to feature on this blog, please let me know. And if you want to check out ‘The Island Dog Squad’ novellas, click here http://smarturl.it/ru5uye