At the end of July we received a call from a lady called Sharon who, whilst on a deserted bog road, had stumbled across a very scared dog lying in the ditch.
That little girl arrived to our sanctuary and what a sad and sorry sight she was.
A traumatized, mange ridden hairy lurcher, who was so afraid she couldn’t even look at us.
Sadly it’s a sight we are well accustomed to, as Lurchers are one of the most ill-treated breeds in Ireland.
Over the next few weeks, we allowed Saigon to take things at her pace. She made great friends with her neighbour Tang, a 10 month old greyhound girl with a broken leg. Together, they enjoyed their quiet potters.
Saigon also went out with some other dogs and she enjoyed their company, it was humans that made her wary .
But slowly she started to open up to those humans she got to know and saw every day at kennels and, despite sudden movements or noises startling her still, she was improving all the time.
Last week a lovely couple came to Heathlawn looking to adopt. They didn’t really have any particular dog in mind and remained open to our suggestions. With so many lurchers in our kennels, we weren’t sure if we would find them their forever dog but they were eager to learn more about the breed and we were only too delighted to be able to tell them just how wonderful lurchers and greyhounds truly are as pets
Saigon remained at the back of her kennel, head down, eyes averted as we passed her door but Olivia and Ivan had paused, both down on their knees as they spoke quietly to her.
And we knew.
We gave them Saigon and one of her friends to them to go for a little stroll, explaining how Saigon was shy and wary and we watched as they moved slowly and quietly around her, never demanding that she come to them just patiently waiting.
And she did.
Today, Saigon started a new chapter in her journey to becoming a “forever dog”for the first time in her young life.
Her physical scars from her former life (mange, breeding) have healed but some of her mental scars remain.
But to Olivia and Ivan, she is simply perfect.
They know she will take time to adjust, that there remains some trust and confidence work to be done but they have so much compassion, kindness and love to give, that we know Saigon is in the most caring of hands.
She will also have the help and security from her canine cousins once she is ready.
We cannot thank Olivia and Ivan enough for keeping themselves open on that first visit to maybe adopting a Lurcher and then for them to want to give a home to the one who probably needed them the most❤️
Saigon remains local to our sanctuary and we hope to see her in time at our GSPCA local events, spreading the word and showing others, just what wonderful pets lurchers make.
Have a wonderful life together Olivia, Ivan and Saigon.