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‘Shutdown’ dog given second chance and she flourished

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Julie Robinson with Alfie

This is a tiny dog story, almost invisible in the massive ocean of the Internet, but one which tells a great story. It starts with the big heart of a lady, Julie Robinson, who decided that she wanted to volunteer for the RSPCA, to help walk the dogs in their care.

Julie Robinson with Alfie

Julie Robinson with Alfie. Photo: RSPCA

When she first visited the RSPCA to volunteer, she was overcome by the cacophony of noise and the difficulties, as she perceived it, of working in such an environment. She steeled herself and made the application, and 12 months later she was at home, fully settled in, in her role.

She said that there have been countless dogs who have impacted her life but one dog really stole her heart. That dog is an English bull terrier called Daisy.

Daisy

Daisy was a stray who had suffered some bad experiences leaving her “terrified and completely shut down”. Robinson says that she would barely come out her kennel at the RSPCA. However, through her efforts Daisy learned to trust her.

Clearly Daisy was having difficulty in being adopted because of her lack of confidence. It is always the more confident, outgoing rescue animals who are adopted first. They sell themselves to the adopters who walked past their cages or kennels. The retiring ones go to the back of the cage and try and hide. Not a great advertisement, sadly.

Well, one day a couple came to the RSPCA and visited Daisy. At that moment Robinson was at the same place and she noticed that this couple looked and then turned away and walked off. They were clearly concerned about Daisy’s highly reserved character. But they noticed that when Robinson went up to Daisy her ears pricked up and her tail wagged.

They perceived the possibilities within Daisy of becoming an outgoing, normally-behaved dog. That’s thanks to Robinson who over quite a long time had gained the trust of Daisy to the point where she could show some of her natural behaviour and personality.

And so, in the words of Julie Robinson on the Metro.co.uk website:

“They saw there was still hope and it made them give her a second chance. It was wonderful to see her months later in her new home, running circles around their sofas, her tail wagging madly.”

That’s a wonderful little dog rescue story all packaged in Christmas wrapping paper and a bow. And attached to that present is a message which states: “Never walk past a retiring, timid dog at an animal shelter. Give them a chance.”

Nelly

I am going to take the opportunity to write about a couple of other dogs that Julie Robinson encountered and cared for. She said that she met Nelly, a Staffie who had a nervous character. Robinson decided that she had suffered from separation anxiety when her previous owner was at work all day and left her alone in the home. Comment: there is a lesson in that statement. How many dogs do we know that are left alone at home all day? Do their owners know how their dogs are feeling during an extended 8 to 10 hours of separation?

Robinson spent as much time as she could with Nelly. At Christmas 2017 she sat with her quietly at the RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre. She photographed herself with Nelly and sent it to a friend with the caption “Happy Christmas from me and Nelly”.

The friend sent the photograph to her friend who decided to adopt Nelly. And so nervous Nelly who suffered with the pain of separation anxiety suffers no more. She is in her forever home wagging her tail like crazy.

Robinson never thought that she was a crazy dog lady but perhaps she’s become one because she loves them so much and loves to improve their lives.

Beau

Another dog stands out for her. His name is Beau. Beau spent 16 months in the care of the RSPCA. He was overlooked every time. He didn’t like his stay at the kennels. Robinson spent as much time as possible with him. They developed a close bond “that I couldn’t explain”.

Beau would only let a few people at the RSPCA take him out of his kennel. He appears to have been very nervous and had lost his confidence. She spent Christmas Day with him. She couldn’t leave him when she went back home because it would have broken her heart. She took him with her. They spent five years together. How about that! She is a great woman, she really is. She deserves a medal in my book.

If I was the Prime Minister of the UK, I would give her a gong, one of those end of year awards such as an MBE or OBE. That’s what she deserves. Quietly getting on doing good deeds without reward other than knowing that she is doing the right thing. Of course, she takes a lot of pleasure from it too.

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