We interviewed Dawn about her dog adoption story. This adoption story features Ellie the West Highland Terrier, who passed away last year at 13 and lived with Dawn and her family for 12 years. Dawn swears it’s the best thing she’s done- read on for the full story.
What made you decide to adopt a dog?
To bring the family together. Having a dog provided company and was therapeutic. The kids were young at the time, and having a dog allowed us to exercise as a family together.
How did you go about looking for a dog to adopt?
A friend at work knew I really wanted a dog, and told me about someone they knew who was considering putting a dog down due to having a new-born baby in the house, and not wanting to take responsibility for both.
I went to their house, and 18-month-old little ‘Nelly’ was there. She was very nervous and untidy- I didn't even know she was a Westie at first because she was a bit unkempt- but she came and sat with me as soon as I got there and I fell in love with this scruffy little thing.
What did the adoption process involve?
I went back to the house a week later once everything was in place for her, took her home and settled her down for a week. I then took her to the vets for a check-up, once she was more settled, just to ensure she was healthy. At the time she had quite brown fur which wasn’t dirt- the vet said she had a skin condition and this had become worse due to stress at her previous home. We gave her a bath with the new medication- she was still a little nervous, but ever so sweet. Then we took her to groomer’s a couple of weeks later once she was more comfortable.
Once she had been fully cleaned her up, and her medication had started working, we had a very lovely-looking Westie dog who the children re-named Ellie, because she was such an elegant, tiny creature.
What advice were you given before adopting?
Because this wasn't a traditional adoption, the only advice I got was from the vet once I’d already fallen in love with her. We played it day by day and eventually she grew out of her shell – the only issue we really had was that she could never sleep alone at night. She would have to be in a bedroom with one of us or she would cry and howl all night. We didn’t mind, we just had various dog beds around the house to deal with that.
What advice would you give to someone considering adoption?
It doesn’t matter what breed they are, what they look like, or anything like that, it just matters that you can give them love and they’ll love you back. Any dog deserves a home for life.
I loved hearing about Dawn's experiences with Ellie. Do you have a dog adoption story to tell us about? Dog adoption is a wonderful thing and sharing stories like this are great for anyone out there thinking of getting a new dog.
Being a dog owner is a big responsibility and every dog deserves a loving home and someone who can take the time to understand them! It will be one of the most rewarding experiences.
Love Rupert the Westie
Written by Elena Holmes