Introducing our new team mate... Stevie Dog!
All images of Team CMV (Andy, Becky & Stevie) Taken by Pet Stories
We found Stevie via a friend of ours who has been re-homing rescued sighthounds for a long time. Caroline had recently adopted Betty a beautiful Lurcher found abandoned on a bog in Ireland (along with her litter) in June 2017. The Galway SPCA took her in and Caroline spotted her on their facebook page.
Caroline really dedicates her life to her dogs and we knew she would be the person to ask to keep her eye open for us should the right character come along for us to adopt.
The Galway SPCA take in all sorts of animals but they deal with a lot of sighthounds and terriers as do many other rescue centres in Ireland. In The UK the most commonly abandoned or surrendered dogs are Bull breeds, but abandoned sighthounds are on the increase and are the most overlooked as domestic pets. Caroline can testify that they are wonderful companions. They need short bursts of exercise but otherwise are really gentle couch potatoes.
Emma at The SPCA says she finds it hard to re-home terriers there too, they are overlooked, perhaps considered working dogs. In the UK they are hard to find in rescue centres as this family of dogs is much more desirable. We knew we wanted to home a terrier of some kind. We have both grown up around dogs, Jack Russells, Border Collies, Spaniel crosses and Alsatians and we knew we wanted to take on a sparky, energetic, fun but also fairly compact pooch! We don't have a huge house and we take public transport quite often, we also knew she would be in the shop a lot so we knew a St Bernard was out of the question!
We also didn't want to buy a puppy for a huge number of reasons.
Stevie was found running on a main road with a Saluki, they were about 5 miles from anywhere. You can see snippets of the story on Facebook but it seems Stevie was pretty easy to catch, she isn't wary of people at all, but the Saluki ran and ran until she couldn't run anymore. The guys eventually managed to catch her but it was a miracle neither of them were hurt. They were named Steve and McQueen, (The Great Escape of course) but it turned out they were girls so Stevie it was! (NOT Nicks.)
This was back in December 2017. Flash forward to late February 2018 and Stevie was still looking for a home, luckily Caroline spotted her and forwarded on her details to us. We knew straight away that Stevie was going to be excellent. Quite how excellent we massively underestimated! We still cannot believe that she wasn't snapped up earlier.
The SPCA were incredible, from the outset, Emma was on hand to chat to, message, and pester with MILLIONS of questions about Stevie. She sent us videos and photos and toward the end of Stevie's stay at The Heathlawn Centre, Emma placed her in a foster home so everyone could really gauge her character. We have a cat so it was also important to see how she was around them. Terriers are obviously bred to chase small mammals so an understanding that cats are off the menu was very important! The foster parents, Nicky and Ryan take in dogs all the time and were also amazing at keeping us in the loop about Stevie's wellbeing as well as her quirks.
A lot of people ask us why we adopted from Ireland, to start with we had a great relationship brokered by a friend and trust is so very important when thinking about making such a giant commitment. We had also tried a number of times to find the right dog but had no luck and when Stevie bobbed up we knew she was the one for us and that hopefully the feeling would be mutual! It is also simply statistics. There are a huge number of dogs looking for homes in Ireland and far fewer homes looking for dogs than here in the UK. Many of the dogs at the SPCA are re-homed in the UK and even further afield. Emma also put us in touch with a local rescue should we need any further support once Stevie had arrived.
We would have no hesitation in recommending you get in touch should you consider adoption.
So... After lots and lots of chats and after Stevie's foster placement was over and her passport had arrived, she was brought to us via a transporter service. We couldn't have been any more nervous going to pick her up but as those of you have met her know, she is an absolute sweetheart.
It is no overstatement to say that she has totally changed our lives for the better. We are walking LOTS, we are laughing a lot more and we are receiving so much love and giving so much back it really is a bloody wonderful thing.
That's not to say Stevie isn't a twonk sometimes. (we all can be right?) She might look like butter wouldn't melt but in the last few days she has had her head stuck down a muddy hole, rolled in wet cricket pitch line paint and eaten a nacho from someone's picnic in the park and we know there will be more mischief ahead but we are so glad to have found her.
Stevie is usually in the shop with us Monday-Wednesday, the rest of the week can vary so if you want to meet her and aren't sure if she is in we won't be upset if you ask if she is here! We are slowly getting used to her being the centre of attention. She deserves it!
MASSIVE Thanks to Pet Stories for the beautiful photos and also huge respect and love to Caroline and to the gang at Galway SPCA for the work they do. Please consider adopting if you are dreaming of a pooch in your life. We don't want to preach but seriously, think long and hard about supporting the breeding of dogs for sale when there are so many out there with absolutely heartbreaking stories just waiting for your love. Spend 5 minutes on the SPCA or Dogs Trust pages and you can see for yourself.
Righto, we'd better wrap this up, there is a w.a.l.k in the offing and some balls to chase!