When my husband was diagnosed with MS some 13 years ago, it was a shock, from which in some ways, we are still to recover. The problems that sprang immediately to mind were how his mobility would be affected, could we cope financially and would it affect our animals.
Having owned German Shepherd Dogs for the majority of our married life, we were used to the strenuous exercise and mental stimulation that this particular breed required. Zak (our GSD at that time), was a mere youngster and was already enjoying the prolonged walks and regular training that Doug provided. We were sailing into the unknown and as anyone who suffers from MS will testify, it is a relapsing remitting condition. This makes the symptoms variable and unpredictable, and you are forced to face the uncertainty of when new relapses will occur.
In the years that followed I noticed a big difference in my husband. In some respects his life with Zak became almost regimented. A strong bond between dog and owner had already been forged, but Doug had become to rely on the regularity of their walks and even lengthened their duration! Zak’s devotion was uncompromising and it was almost as though Zak’s presence increased Doug’s determination to remain well and throughout their years together our dog remained a real focus for him to retain his mobility. Despite setbacks, Zak’s walks took priority and remained so until we eventually lost him some 15 months ago to cancer.
Our grieving for Zak had pushed us both to our emotional edge, but I will always be mindful of the wonderful gift that our dog had given Doug and the determination to continue as normal a life as MS would allow.
We now have our fourth German Shepherd whom we have named Luika. Ironically he also has health problems, being diagnosed with cow hocks at an early age. This condition actually limits the amount of exercise that he can enjoy, which in some sense is a little comfort. I have now taken over the training, but Doug continues his walking duties, with all the enthusiasm and gusto he shared with Zak. Luika is but a year old, yet already I am beginning to see those early signs of blind devotion.
At Nina’s Nannies for Pets, we are always keen to highlight animal welfare issues and raise awareness of the wonderful pet rescue centres around the country.
Today I was contacted by Louise Hughes, from the Northern Rose Boxer Rescue www.britishboxerdogs.com , asking if we could donate an unwanted item to sell on their on line auction.
This year alone the centre have taken in over 40 Boxers and Boxer crosses who were coming to the end of
Samson in the pound last year
their 7 day stay in local pounds and due to be euthanised. Samson (see before picture), was one of these dogs. Left to die since the cost of nursing him back to health was deemed too expensive!
It cost Northern Rose Boxer Rescue over £1500 to treat Samson and nurse him back to health (see after picture) and all vet fee’s were raised by generous donations and fund raising events from dog lovers nationwide.
All donations will be posted on the forum www.britishboxerdogs.com and the highest bidder will win the item. 100% of all funds raised by this event will go directly back into the rescue and care of these dogs.
Samson as he is today in his forever home
If you have any unwanted Christmas presents or items that you think may be suitable for auction, PLEASE contact Louise Hughes email firstname.lastname@example.org THANK YOU.
Here in the office we often receive the odd strange request, some of which are not to be taken seriously! However, the most recent (a couple of hours ago), really took the biscuit.
A gentleman calling himself Mr Shere Khan, asked if we could care for a one eyed, incontinent anaconda during June – PLEASE. I rather think that my reply stole his thunder when I explained that our current insurance would not cover this type of pet! Needless to say the conversation was hastily terminated!!!
Did I ever tell you that a pet sitters life is never dull!
Following our press release, we are meeting with a photographer from the Hemel Hempstead Gazette, at The Chilterns Dog Rescue centre in Berkhamsted, Herts tomorrow morning.
We do a lot of media work related to Nina’s Nannies for Pets, but also to highlight animal welfare issues, which is a subject very close to all our hearts. Although the pet sitting industry appears to have largely escaped the recession, rescue centres all over the country are reporting a rapid increase in dogs, cats and small animals being handed over to their shelters.
We are extremely keen to offer our support to all local animal charities, and would urge animal lovers throughout the country, who are considering a new pet, to please visit their local rescue centres. We would also like to thank the press for helping us to highlight these issues and hope that the publicity from the forthcoming story will bolster support for these wonderful charities.