On May 7th Team Dogface will be walking 40km (about 25 miles) across the South Downs as part of the Just Walk 2011 event. Team Dogface is me, my husband Nev, our rambling duck friend Janine, and fellow twitterer Paul. So far! The event is still open for registrations and Team Dogface welcomes more members. Click the Just Walk link above to visit the event’s webpage.
Just Walk is an exciting sponsored UK charity walk for anyone wanting to fundraise for the charity of their choice. This fundraising walk is open to charities and anyone who is keen to get their walking boots on and hike for charity – you can choose either 10km, 20km, 40km or 60km routes – so something for everybody. This charity walk offers enthusiastic walkers the chance to experience a breathtaking charity walk over the picturesque South Downs in West Sussex and generate funds for their chosen charity.
In June 2007 I saw an advert in a local paper for a local dog rescue centre. We visited, met, and eventually adopted Dogface (exhibit A above), a one year old “collie mix” who looked a lot like a cross between a fox and an angora rabbit.
We know almost nothing about the first year of his life. Dogface was found wandering the streets of South Wales. We guess that he had to fend for himself for a while as he’s an accomplished scavenger of food and water. The dog warden who picked him up would have taken him somewhere safe and tried to contact his owners, if he’d been wearing any form of ID. There’s a charge when you collect a dog from the dog warden which a lot of people don’t want to pay, even if they didn’t deliberately let the dog loose in the first place. This particular dog warden tells the owners the official line (either they collect their dog or it will be put down) but in truth the dogs are secretly taken to be rehomed, far away from their old haunts, in the South of England.
So Dogface was luckily sent in our direction. He was given a medical check, vaccinations, and was neutered. He was looked after at a rescue centre, with many other homeless dogs, for 8 weeks until we visited and met him.
When the kind girl at the rescue centre tried to give him a hug goodbye Dogface impatiently tore away and jumped straight into the back of our old mini. We didn’t know if he’d been housetrained, was friendly with other dogs, or if he had any strange habits or traumatic behaviours but Nev had fallen in love with his fluffy face. For the first week we pretty much left him to his own devices. I was with him 24/7 but we kept things quiet, didn’t crowd him, and didn’t overwhelm him with visitors and affection. We discovered he was housetrained (thank goodness!), was very quiet and well behaved, and loved sleeping on soft furnishings.
After a couple of months Dogface truly settled in and became the dog we know and love today. Bags of confidence and relaxed. A big fan of cuddles. Whenever anyone meets him they say, ‘oh he’s so soft!’ or ‘he looks like a fox!’ He’s unique and adored by many, especially his best friend Meggie who especially likes to pounce and woof at him. He has us out walking every day in all weathers.
Abandoned domestic dogs can’t look after themselves. They have no road sense, no hunting skills, and often (like our Dogface) poor fur coats for our miserable British weather. They are only given a second chance in life by the donations people make to charities like the Dogs Trust.
Someone’s donation meant that our Dogface could forgot his days of being lost on the streets. Instead he enjoys a loving home, daily walks in his beloved woods, treats from his ‘grandparents’, and more squeaky balls that you can shake a stick at.
Please help support Team Dogface and our chosen charity Dogs Trust by clicking the link below and giving what you can. Every pound you donate inspire us on our challenge and helps another dog get a second chance.