We lost our much loved 13 year old dog, Dotty to cancer in October 2016. We were absolutely devastated and couldn’t imagine getting another dog who could possibly fill her shoes/paws.

We decided that we wanted to rescue a dog at some point in the future and I spent a long time looking at rescue websites and Facebook pages, but it just didn’t feel right.¬†Then, one Sunday afternoon I came across a photo album of dogs for rehoming on the SPDC Facebook page and a photo jumped out at me. ‘Austen’ and her puppy siblings had been found living wild in a dry riverbed in Cyprus along with their mum and dad. It had taken two weeks to capture them and she was being cared for by SPDC’s Constantina Constantinou. She was described as loving and playful and she looked adorable! I sprang into action and contacted the charity.

AustenPuppy

Everything happened very quickly and professionally. We were home checked, we signed a contract and travel arrangements were made. We had to wait five weeks because she was not old enough to travel and it was touch and go as to whether she would arrive in time for Christmas. We were kept informed every step of the way even receiving photos and updates throughout her long journey from Cyprus via Paris to us in the UK.

Flossie (as we now called her) arrived by courier(!) on Friday 23rd December – and she was the best Christmas present, ever. She was a frail, scared little thing but thankfully she seemed to bond with me and my partner Graham immediately.

To start with and understandably, she was very fearful and she cried a lot – when we left the room for just 10 seconds and when she wanted something, which was often! She had been through so much and was only a young puppy who for the first time in her life was living without the company of other dogs.

She seemed to get the hang of toilet training really quickly and she slept with me for several weeks before we gradually moved her downstairs to a crate where she now sleeps very happily (and silently!). On her first walk, she wouldn’t leave our drive. She was scared of all people, especially men and also other dogs.

We have taken things very slowly. After gradually increasing the distance and experiences each day, we are now 3 months on and we go on lots of different walks and she is very confident with all people and all dogs. In fact, she is almost too confident sometimes – she loves everybody! We only let her off the lead to play with other dogs, which she loves, as her recall is not yet good enough to guarantee that she returns to us, but it is still early days. We also have some work to do on visitors to the house as she can get a little fearful but this has improved hugely and I’m confident it will continue to do so.

She loves to chew, she eats anything (and I do mean, anything!), she has dug holes in our garden and can be very wilful! She steals our belongings all the time, but most of this is usual ‘puppy stuff’ even though she is a slightly older puppy now at nearly eight months. She is such a playful, loving, funny girl and, with a bit more work, she is going to be an amazing dog. We still miss Dotty so much and I wish that she was here to show Flossie a few things although most of them would probably be naughty! But, having Flossie here is such a joy. We look forward to watching her continue to flourish and have a long and happy life with us.

We are so thankful to SPDC for all the fantastic work that they do and for sending Flossie to us. She is an absolute gem and we love her dearly. Thank you to everyone for making it possible.

Thank you for reading!

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