Jenny's adoption story
When Jenny joined Barc London, she was able to merge her skills with her love of dogs - but her work didn't stop there. In May 2021, Jenny welcomed a new addition to her home when she adopted a dog through Wild At Heart Foundation.
Today, Jenny shares her inspiring experience of rehoming her rescue dog Jasper. Jenny's story provides valuable insights into the adoption process, the different challenges she has faced and helpful advice for others considering a rescue dog.
For anyone who is interested in adoption and has more questions they'd like to ask, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us - we are always more than happy to chat.
1. What made you want to adopt a dog?
We fostered a French Bulldog from a family member for a few months in 2020 over the lockdown and we absolutely adored him! He got on perfectly with our Greyhound Minnie and was just a joy to have in the family.
He ended up being rehomed to another member of the family, and we felt he left such a hole in our day to day life that we decided the time was right to add another dog to our household.
2. Why did you adopt through Wild At Heart Foundation?
We work very closely with WAHF at Barc and I just love everything they stand for. I was creating Instagram stories every Wednesday for our ‘WAHF Weds’, so I was on their website every week, and when you’re being exposed to all those gorgeous dogs on a weekly basis, it’s hard to resist!
3. Can you describe the adoption process for others who might be considering adopting a dog?
The adoption process seemed very well organised and thorough. We had a few phone calls to discuss our situation and what we were looking for in a pup, and mentioned some of the dogs that were currently on their website but were unfortunately already spoken for. We felt completely looked after and comfortable that WAHF knew exactly what they were doing and made sure to match us with the right dog.
We were then told about a litter that had been found in Lesvos, Greece. The mother had been found on the side of the road with her seven pups and had been taken into foster. Before these dogs were put on the WAHF website, we were sent videos and information about them all, and extras videos of one in particular who they thought would be a good match. A video of little Jasper tripping over trying to run up some stairs is what stole our hearts and we knew he was the one!
So after Jasper was confirmed and we paid our deposit for him, we had to wait about two months for him to begin his journey. During this time, we underwent a home check via video call and three group calls to prepare us for his arrival, which were all full of information and so helpful.
On the day of his arrival, we had a midnight pick-up from a motorway service station about an hour from us.
We did feel very odd collecting our new pup in the middle of the night from a car park, but I assure you, the pet transportation guys were incredible!
It was so well organised and you can’t beat the feeling of them handing over your brand new little family member!
4. What were the first few days like when Jasper arrived home?
Expecting Jasper to be super wary of us and wanting his own space on his first night in a new home, we set his bed up downstairs in a nice quiet spot. However, Jasper had other ideas and wouldn’t sleep or settle down unless he was on our bed curled up right next to me.
Over his first few days, we slowly managed to move him off our bed and onto his own, and then slowly move his bed further and further away from ours (thankfully he is now happily downstairs at night).
For the first couple of days around your pup’s arrival, you are added to a Facebook chat with all of the other new owners of the dogs arriving with yours. You hear all about how the other dogs are doing and how naughty some of them are being, so I think Jasper wanting to sleep on our bed was quite an anomaly.
Introducing him to Minnie was so easy as she is just the most laid back, friendly Greyhound you will ever meet. They had some lovely trots and sniffs round the garden together and then just completely settled, most of the time ignoring the other as if they didn’t mind them being there at all.
5. How has your life changed since adopting Jasper?
Before Jasper, Minnie was the easiest dog to look after in the world. A good walk and she’d sleep for the rest of the day. You can take her anywhere and as long as she has somewhere to lie down, she’s more than happy being around strangers in new places. She is also happy being left at home alone, as long as someone pops in to let her out for a wee.
Jasper is completely different. A lot more thought has to go into any plans we want to make and the places we can go, as he requires more attention than Minnie.
However, Jasper is the cuddliest, most loveable little fella when he is comfortable with you. Minnie keeps herself to herself most of the time, but Jasper will be up on your lap and curl up next to you for cuddles which is a lovely change!
6. Have there been any challenges?
Yes, I cannot lie. Tears have been shed and there have been challenges since getting Jasper. The initial plan was that he would accompany me to work at Barc HQ everyday and just chill in the office, but unfortunately that has never happened. He is very anxious around lots of noises and people which, with our office being in a town centre, is unavoidable.
We are still working through his anxiety associated with the office and figuring out what is the best option for him during the day.
7. What has been the most rewarding part of adopting a rescue dog?
Being able to offer a little pup found on the streets of Greece a loving and safe home is definitely the most rewarding part.
Jasper didn’t know how to play properly with toys or balls when he first came to us, so seeing him figure out how to play was so good! Nothing makes him happier than a tennis ball now.
8. Would you do it again?
If I had the choice to rehome Jasper all over again, I would probably say no. If he didn’t have his issues with some people, and was more than happy coming into work with me then I would say yes, but those problems have really been difficult.
I am not put off rehoming another dog in the future though, but maybe not one from abroad. It completely depends on our situation and whether we would want to be more selective with the pup we rehome.
Minnie is also a rescue, and despite a few difficult weeks at the start, she settled in like a complete dream and has never had any issues. So it 100% depends on the dog.
9. Would you recommend your experience to others?
Despite the difficulties we have faced, I would recommend rehoming a rescue from Wild At Heart Foundation. They prepared us for all the issues that could happen with a rescue dog from abroad, so nothing came as a shock, and although at times it has been a struggle, the cuddles Jasper gives on the sofa in the evening are 100% worth it!
Adopting a rescue dog
Before choosing to rehome a rescue dog, it's important to be certain that you have the time, money and resources to provide the correct care. Since the pandemic restrictions have eased, there has been a rise in the number of stray dogs in the UK, with many lockdown dogs having been abandoned by their owners as life has started to return to normal.
After you have carefully considered whether you are ready to take on a new pet, there are so many reasons to choose to adopt a rescue dog. In fact, research conducted by GoCompare earlier this year found that 1 in 10 UK pet owners who chose to purchase a cat or dog, now regret not going down the adoption route instead.
As Jenny has shown, when adopting through organisations like Wild At Heart Foundation, support is provided at every step of your rehoming journey, with regular touch-points for communication to ensure you never feel alone or overwhelmed.