At the beginning of June we gave rescue spaces to two special boys from Mullingar Pound. Approximately 5/6 years old both were extremely scared to the point that we couldn’t even touch them for a couple of weeks. That didn’t deter us because we could see by their eyes that they were both kind and gentle souls who had been badly let down by humans.
We would often just sit in their room, never forcing communication or asking anything from them but we were there if, and when, they decided they wanted to be our friends. Wallace came around after a few weeks but Gromit stayed hidden in the corner. Weeks passed and both boys improved. We would get a welcome from them in the mornings and Gromit would accept being touched.
Neither boy could walk on a lead and lead training kicked off their initial fears. So it was back to basics. Wallace learned to accept the lead going on first and took tentative steps behind another dog along our lanes. Gromit was just too terrified so it was back to sitting with him in his room slowly getting used to having a lead put on.
Seven weeks after their arrival and both Wallace and Gromit were trotting along on leads and enjoying their new found freedom. Wallace then found his home in Mayo with a lovely new dad called Bernard. It wasn’t an easy transition for him but with lots of patience and love they became best friends. Gromit was now alone, which he didn’t seem to mind too much.
From early on in their introduction to our Facebook page a lovely lady called Anne had kept in touch with us about Gromit. She sounded ideal but we didn’t think Gromit was quite ready to face a new home, new faces and Anne was still fostering 2 small puppies for her local rescue. A few weeks ago Gromit said his goodbyes to his Heathlawn friends, the only people he had learned to trust in his life. Because of his nervousness we accompanied him to his new home near Carlow, where his soon to be new mum Anne was patiently waiting. It has been a few weeks now and there have been plenty of ups and downs but we are thrilled to hear from Anne that Gromit is settling in just fine. He is eating properly, has found the comfy chair and loves exploring the garden and runs happily back to his mum when she calls.
When dealing with the very traumatised dogs in our care it is not always easy to see so far into the future but we always try our best to stay positive and, most of all, stay focused on that “forever sofa” that we imagine them on. Without the amazing dedication of our team this just wouldn’t be possible but even more important is finding those wonderful, caring people like Bernard and Anne who are willing to give the more damaged dogs a chance.
Thank you Anne from the bottom of our hearts