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