If you’ve missed the cute puppy pictures then you need to head over to our Facebook page, but as you probably know, we have recently fostered a Hope Rescue puppy called Danger Mouse. He left us to go to his forever home on Saturday and while we’re missing him like crazy, he is living the dream! That’s exactly as it should be, but his story could easily have turned out very differently.
Mouse was eight weeks old when he was picked up and taken to the pound. At eight weeks old he was in a terrible state physically, had already learnt that he needed to fight for survival and yet despite this, he still trusted us. The first 12 hours with us were touch and go and an emergency trip to the vet, with thanks to Sian and the amazing team at Abbey Vets who cared for him, literally saved his life.
Fostering is a strange phenomenon and Mouse is the third pooch we have fostered with Hope. This tiny creature had landed in our lives, made his presence known in no uncertain terms, nearly died and then returned full of life and ready for an adventure. All in under 24 hours!
The volume of people involved in helping this tiny hound learn that he did not have to fight any more, that life could be relaxed and groovy and he could enjoy his puppy-hood is surprisingly large.
He lived with us, and in that time we have been on a rollercoaster journey with him. A near death experience is a sure-fire way to make us love him, and watching him change from a pathetic, skeletal frame into a healthy puppy has been amazing. We lost one of our own canine team members in the first week that he was with us. Maude passed away despite an emergency operation and during the darkest of times, little Mouse was the tonic that made us smile. It’s impossible to be in the presence of a puppy and not smile! He became a part of our family, put a lot of our training theory to the test and quickly became a testament to the work of Hope as the happy, energetic puppy we had the privilege to spend time with would not have survived without them.
However, just living with us was most definitely not enough to teach this gorgeous boy about what life has to offer. The wider Hope team have been on hand with puppy-sitting; teaching him that humans are fabulous and that from a secure base, he is safe to explore. He went foraging, met numerous different animals and had fun with dogs of all shapes and sizes. I have met incredible people who were on hand to help with socialisation (or, cuddling!) and he was allowed to visit the Pink Angel’s Office, went for morning coffee at Stable’s Photography with their stunning resident greyhound, Molly, as well as joining me for meetings and even ‘helping’ with a presentation about the human-canine bond.
But what about us?! If I had a pound for every time I’d been asked ‘how are you going to give him up?’ I could have raised a lot of money for Hope (actually… that’s not a bad idea…). That’s the hard part of fostering. Loving a dog through whatever challenges they bring is the easy part. Being trusted with a dog who has been profoundly let down by humans and teaching them that life can be awesome is a privilege. Preparing them for an incredible life is what it’s all about. Remembering that when the humans arrive to collect their new family member is the challenge!
Mouse is now literally living the dream on a gorgeous farm where he can embrace his terrier side and have all the love in the world from his new family. The team at Hope found him the dream and he is just one of the hundreds of dogs they support every year. In order to keep dogs like Mouse alive, to give them the chance they deserve and give us humans the most incredible family members, they need your help. Please check out their website, follow them on Facebook and think about how you can get involved!