After suddenly losing our much loved Amber (a red Staffie) in February this year, we were distraught with grief but also we simply couldn’t bear the silence of the house – it was no longer a home. We thought long and hard about how Amber would feel about us re-homing a rescue Staffie so soon after her death. We concluded that she would want another to receive all the fun, love and care that she had in her lifetime with us, after quite a long stay in Battersea.
We immediately contacted Battersea and numerous other dog rescue centres and specialist Staffie Rehoming Centres, only to find that there were very few of them available for rescue. Thank goodness for Paul O’Grady lifting the Staffie image from a “dangerous dog” to a “loving, devoted, friend for life” dog.
Eventually we saw Elsie and her beautiful Staffie smile on the Sussex Pet Rescue web page. We immediately contacted Chris who fully explained Elsie’s situation and we were over the moon with the excitement of meeting her a couple of weeks later.
Fortunately, we managed to process the home checking, meeting and then bringing Elsie home a few days prior to lockdown. Thank goodness we did, as Elsie kept us sane during that period. Both Chris and Lyn were wonderfully helpful, and showed such genuine care for Elsie and her possible new owners and we now quite sincerely feel we have “2 more friends for life”! Elsie now has at least 1 long walk in the countryside each day and is transformed from a little “porky” Staffie, into a slim-line one.
As soon as lockdown started to be released, we took Elsie to the beach in Worthing early one morning before the crowds invaded. She very tentatively put her toes in the water, attempted to drink the sea and then backed off, making it quite clear that she was interested in no further paddling pursuits.
A month or two later, we took our touring caravan to Worthing for a few days. We had introduced Elsie into the caravan in our garden a few days before, so that she could get used to going in and out of it. We pitched camp in Worthing, erected the awning and had our first cuppa. She seemed quite at home in the caravan, but also seemed to think that the whole caravan site was her garden that she was used to running around in at home and at any given opportunity she wandered out of the awning and went off to introduce herself to other caravanners on the site!
We met with some friends on the beach, who also have dogs and for the first time, we let Elsie off the lead. She immediately ran straight into the sea, so deeply that she had to swim. She played with the other dogs and ran along the beach between my husband and me, with the biggest smile on her face.
We have more trips planned for Elsie – Cambridge (which she has already made a day visit to), and to Dorset in September – Covid permitting.
Elsie is an absolute blessing in our lives. She has all the qualities typical of a Staffie – she is kind, loves human beings, is gentle, affectionate, but can also be very feisty with other dogs if she takes a dislike.
In short, thank you Chris, Lyn and everyone at Sussex Pet Rescue for making the rehoming of Elsie possible and for bringing back the Staffie sparkle to our lives.
Denise and Len Rogers
Dear old Eddie,
In January, whilst out on a dog walk with friends, I had a call from my step-daughter-in-law asking if I knew anyone who would take on a Staffie as the owner had recently been discovered dead in his house. He had been dead for over a week and poor Tippy had been left with no food or water.
I immediately thought of Sussex Pet Rescue and contacted them straight away. They were happy to take her on but had no available foster homes and therefore I agreed to foster her. In the meantime, she had been taken to the Council kennels and probably would have been euthanised as she was 12 years old, a Staffie that nobody from the family wanted!
Even so it was quite a battle to get them to sign her over, but eventually her late owner’s son was contacted and agreed that it was OK. She was duly delivered to me the next morning by the Dog Warden. I didn’t know what to expect as I have never owned a Staffie but had a fragile 18 year old Yorkie at home.
Tippy came in and sat down immediately as if she belonged. She didn’t make a fuss or try to follow the Dog Warden when he left and I think she must have been so exhausted with everything that had gone on.
After exploring the garden and having something to eat, she crawled into the crate we already had and curled up. That night we didn’t hear a peep but we had a lovely welcome in the morning and she was so gentle with Emmy the Yorkie.
Tippy has had a few health issues to sort out as it seems she never saw a vet for quite a few years, but all issues are under control now. I have got to say that she is the easiest and most well behaved dog I have ever had and such a character.
Sadly I lost Emmy just after Tippy arrived so she has been great company. I was determined to try to rehome her, but after a long conversation with Jan of Sussex Pet Rescue, we agreed she should remain here.
As far as Tippy is concerned this is her home and she is so happy and is now part of our family. We love her very much.
Over the years we have owned a large variety of dogs, fifteen in all, with our favourites being Lurchers and Terriers. Such lovely dogs but a hunting combination to beat all others! We live in the country and often suddenly come upon deer which would involve a long chase for the dogs and a long wait for me! They always returned tongues lolling and so happy, but I would be very anxious, worried and often freezing cold! In fact all those hours of waiting probably caused my grey hair!
I decided that the next dog we adopted must not be a hunter and when a Staffie called Rae was being fostered and sounded lovely, I couldn’t recall the breed having a strong prey drive so went to see her. Of course, she came home with me to meet an elderly Lurcher and a Terrier. She came in and tore round the house, upstairs and downstairs, like something possessed, whilst the other two looked on in amazement! After this initial display of Staffie exuberance, she quietened down and fitted in immediately accepting straight away that Bailey was in charge. We renamed her Kay.
My friend complains how I constantly eulogise about Kay’s qualities but she really is the best dog I have ever had. She’s funny, affectionate, sensitive and above all extremely loyal. She behaves excellently with other dogs and is always ready for a game and is very respectful with older dogs. She likes swimming and loves nothing more than racing with a like-minded dog across the lakes on our walks. During this summer’s hot weather, Kay often stands in our garden pond, dipping her head under the water only to surface draped in lily leaves and pond weed!
Kay is so well behaved in the house and if the doorbell rings, there is no mad barking but she calmly goes to the door with me to see who is there. She loves people and is a firm favourite with our postman and delivery drivers. There is no panic to keep doors or gates closed because she wouldn’t dream of going out on her own.
She really is the perfect dog and I am so disappointed that it has taken so many years to discover what a beautiful breed Staffies are and so I would always suggest to prospective owners that they consider adopting one.
Helen and Derek Barnes
We are a small registered charity working in Sussex. Our aim is to relieve the suffering of sick and abandoned animals and to re-home companion animals.
Oakdell, Fryern Road,
Storrington, West Sussex,
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