Hello blog people. I’m taking a brief pause from the beauty posts to do a little sideline on on the newest member of the beauty junkie family. This is Willow. Willow has been with us around a month now and she’s such a part of the family that it’s like she’s been here forever. So I wanted to take a brief moment to introduce her and tell you a little about her story and how she came to live with us.
If you follow this blog or have for a while then you will likely be familiar with Monty. Monty is our miniature long haired dachshund that we have had since she was eight weeks old. She’s now two and a half years old and may be a small dog but she is BIG in personality. Anyone with a sausage dog will likely agree, what they lack in stature they make up for in character. She’s an absolutely brilliant dog and we love her more than I can probably explain (and enough that it probably sounds nuts to a non-dog person).
So much so that she was probably a big factor in our decision to move house last year. So we left the buzz and automatic cool factor of our flat in Angel and moved a little further out. So what we don’t have in restaurants and bars on our doorstep, we now swapped for fields and space. We know for a fact that Monty is much happier here. She has a garden and walks are generally longer and more interesting. But the one thing that did creep into our minds when we chose to move was the idea of another dog. We know Monty absolutely loves being around others dogs. She is basically best friends with Molly – the Border Collie owned by my in-laws. But when we became more sure of adding a second dog to the family the big choice we then had was do we go down the puppy route again, or do we look to adopt.
The whole adopt/shop debate is one that can stir up opinions. I am a huge fan of the idea of adopting as there are SO many dogs out there in need of a home. But I also understand that there are times when you want to get a certain breed, you want a puppy, you want to know the background. Whatever your reasons, there’s a strong argument for going that route. For our first dog it was right. We wanted a certain breed that fit with out home and lifestyle. We wanted one from puppy age and we are delighted with everything about Monty (even after a few tricky puppy stages…). But we did research this A LOT before we went that way. We made sure we found a Kennel Club registered breeder (they have to abide by certain standards and health checks) and we chose one that was not only KC registered but also came recommended. Please, please, please. All I ask is that if you want to go down the route of getting a puppy is be so careful about the breeder you choose. There’s a lot of people out there who just want to make money first and the health and happiness of the dogs comes second. It’s so important to do your research.
There’s a wealth of information available on the Kennel Club website if this is something you’re looking to do: thekennelclub.org.uk/getting-a-dog-or-puppy/
But all that aside. For our second dog to join the family. Ollie and I both felt very passionately that we wanted to go down the adopt route and find a dog from a rescue centre or shelter to (hopefully) give a happy home to.
Getting a rescue dog can be really quick and straight forward. Or it can take a long time and be quite an emotional process. We had a bit of both during the time it took us from making the second dog decision to finding Willow and bringing her home.
Our first port of call when we decided rescue was the way we wanted to go was the Dogs Trust. It’s a charity that both Ollie and I absolutely adore. It’s where Molly came from (quite possible the best behaved and most loving dogs I’ve ever met – better behaved than Monty for sure). We love the work they do and we knew that would be a rescue home we had total faith cared about the dogs as much as we did.
So the first step was to browse the site, keep checking in on a regular basis as they upload new dogs to their listings every day. We checked those at our local centre and kept looking for the one that might be right for us. It wasn’t easy. The photos of the gorgeous pups with big sad eyes or hopeful smiles will always tug at your heart strings. But you have to approach it with a rational mind set. It isn’t just about the cute face and excited wagging tail. You have to find the one that will really fit in and work with your home situation. There’s no point even looking to adopt that adorable Beagle if you have kids and the information says they’re not child friendly. Even if it’s the only Beagle on the site and you have your heart set on one. It’s not the right one for you and you have to wait to find that ‘special someone’ as the Dog’s Trust TV ad shows (tissues at the ready… it’s a total tear jerker – have a watch here: dogstrust.org.uk/specialsomeone)
But, after a couple of potential options where we had to make a tricky decision over a dog that was adorable but just not the right fit for us. We saw a listing for a Minature Dachshund appear on the site. At the Essex branch and everything. We couldn’t believe it. It’s rare for a dachshund to appear at all – but this one was a six month old puppy, named Ash. So we moved fast and got there to find out that Ash had already found his new forever home. But, we then discovered that Ash wasn’t alone and was actually one of five miniature dachshund puppies who were at the centre who had been seized after being found being shipped in illegally for the European puppy trade. Four of the five had already been reserved, but the one that was left was Honeysuckle (her Dogs Trust name) and on meeting her it was a done deal. A sweet little thing (she is the smallest of the litter) who was bouncy, playful, a little jumpy but so so adorable.
Ollie went on his own on the first visit, as I know I have zero rational thoughts when presented with a sweet dog in need of a home and as I said above, you really do need to be realistic and rational when it comes to adopting (and getting a dog in general). So the next day both myself and Monty went along with Ollie to meet little Willow and as soon as we had confirmed Monty and Willow were going to be find with each other it was confirmed that she was coming home with us.
It’s now been about a month that Willow has been part of the family and we can’t imagine it any other way. She has fit right in to the house (bar a mini meltdown on me about worries we had taken on too much, but more on that in another post). It’s safe to say we’re now a family of six and very happy (six includes two humans, two dogs and two rabbits…slowly building our own ark load of passengers).
This is just a little introductory post to tell you a little more about Willow and how she came to join the family. I have a few more posts and updates I’d love to share over the coming weeks so keen an eye out.
For more information on the amazing work of the Dogs Trust please take a look at their website dogstrust.org.uk