Here's a few of the pets we have rescued ourselves, rehomed and helped move to other rescues

The Wonderful Tessa

I spotted Tessa on a dog rescue site in 2001, she was 12 years old and had lost her home through no fault of her own, she had been with her previous owners since she was 6 weeks old.

We went to Croydon just to 'see' her. I had a soft spot for oldies after having Rocky for such a long time and he was thrown on the scrap heap at 11 (he made it to 18!) soI felt particularly drawn to this lovely Sprollie (collie x springer). When we arrived Tessa was a very sad and pathetic sight, she was enormously overweight, had no muscle tone, had sore ears, overgrown and matted feet and fur, the light in her eyes had gone out and she was just a shell of a dog. It was heartbreaking to see this once pretty and loyal dog so depressed and giving up on life, so we took her home...

Tess was quite wobbly on her legs through lack of exercise and age, needed a lot of attention to her coat and sore ears and definately needed to go on a diet!! Once we got home Tessa started to blossom, she looked tidy once groomed, was more comfy once the vet sorted out her terrible ear infections, and the exercise and diet regime begun. She adored Toby & laddie (who was just 4 months old at the time) and became 'Granny Tess' to them, the bond between her and Laddie was particularly strong (he grieved for 3 whole months when she died). After several weeks I met people in the park and they couldn't believe she was the same dog they had seen when she first arrived. I never walked Tess on a lead as she was so obedient and fiercly loyal, she just loved all the attention and the walks were heaven for her. I had to start using a lead in the last few months went she went deaf and blind.

Tessa went on to be Granny to Gypsy and then Red before we lost her just 2 short years later after moving to Wales, she had a tumour in the gut and didn't even let us know she was suffering until it heameraged and we lost her the same night. We were devastated to lose her, but at the same time overjoyed to have taken in such a fantastic dog and made her last 2 years a living doggie paradise. Run free lovely Tessa, til we meet again x

Rocky Rebel

Several years ago when we lived in Hampshire I worked for a dog rescue and amongst lots of other things I fostered the sick and ill treated dogs and rehabilitated them. I was visiting the vets one day in 1996 when I was introduced to Rocky. He had been starved to almost the point of death and battered which had temporarily paralised him. the day I called he was actually standing up and taking a few wobbly steps, Rocky was felt to be at least 11 years old and of mixed parentage (probably collie/whippet/lab). He was desperate for a foster home to give him any chance of survival let alone a home. I went home, couldn't sleep for seeing his face swimming round in my head, and so I called in the vets and collected Rocky the very next day!

I can't recall ever seeing a dog so thin, when he was laying down it was impossible to tell which leg was which and every bone was jutting out through the skin, he was so malnourished his hair was scarce. he couldn't get up or lie down without help and I know the meaning of 'painfully thin' now because he couldn't get comfortable and would cry out in pain. I had to help him do everything including carry him to the garden and hold him up while he had a wee. After the paralysis Rocky had to learn to walk again, none of his legs would talk to one another which meant he was very unco-ordinated and would fall over easily. I started to walk him each day 2 doors up the road, then 3 doors and eventually progressed to a tiny walk round the block (very tiny). People I met were abusive and called me all the names under the sun - they thought that I had starved this dog! It was pretty grim. It took 6 months to build the weight on Rockys skeleton frame and for him to be able to run around without falling over. He was terrified of everything from the hoover to water and even voices. He had obviously been mentally abused too because he would be too afraid to come to you, he would go straight in his bed if asked though which made me sadly realise he had probably spent his life being told to 'go away'. The time came when he was fit enough for rehoming, and I would get ready to take on the next needy soul. However, I sat there, Rockys head in my lap, his big brown eyes looking at me, a goofy grin on his face and his tail wagging round and round in an uncontrolled circle and promised him there and then he could stay!

Rocky was not an easy dog, he was an escape artist and a bin raider, a total thief amongst other things but he was a big soft soppy goofy bugger that even the most hard hearted dog hater would grow to love. I have many stories to tell about him, he had enormous character! He was fit and healthy despite his ordeal and lived for another 7 years before his heart finally failed. Like Tessa, it was very quick, I had been walking him in the afternoon for about an hour and he was fine, he pinched some of my dinner off my plate at tea time and when I got back from my evening walk with Toby, Rocky had collapsed with heart failure, filling up with fluid fast and we had to have him pts that night. If anyone ever needs an endorsement for taking on an older dog then Tessa & Rocky are prime examples of quality (and quantity!) time with a rescue dog, neither of them cost me a penny at the vets through illness right up til the last minute and they gave back so much love and loyalty. Til we meet again x


Nipper was only with us for a short time, he was bred locally and had been extremely well cared for but despite his litter mates finding homes, there was no interest in him. He was supposed to be a JRT type but now he is adult he is kind of low down and stretched! (a long wheel based low rider as we like to say) or a sausage hound!

Nipper was homed to our friends Laura & John in Hampshire where he enjoys an active lifestyle along with 2 other terriers 'Badger' & 'Butser' and Elsa the horse. it's a joy for me to see him in such a lovely home where I can visit regularly. Apparently he barks in Welsh!

Who knows what mix he is? but he is a loveable little boy with maximum character!

Bryn (Wonky Dog)

I was looking for a dog to work sheep occasionally and tried a nice little dog in Many tears Rescue, she was said to be trained but 'slowing down' which sounded ideal. I borrowed her and took her to friends who train sheepdogs - she didn't even look at the sheep once let alone twice! She hated Gypsy too so with heavy heart i returned her. I kept a beady eye on rescues for a 'worky' collie for some months, then whilst dropping off dogs to Many Tears Rescue I discovered Bryn just plucked from the council pound by CARA animal rescue at the 11th hour due to be put to sleep to make room for more strays. Bryn was just a puppy! he was around 4 1/2 months old and adorable, how could anyone even think about killing him?! I took Rob to meet him, he piddled on my shoe (Bryn not Rob!) and we ended up adopting him. Although Bryn had not had any training at all he just seemed 'worky' and a bit different to the rest of the bunch here.

Bryn was a complete lap dog. He would get under your skin if it was physically possible. He is was soft wally of a dog, but he turned out to be quite worky. I tried him with sheep given the right training thought he might do quite well, I indulged him with rounding up hens for several months. This worked well until he got a bit over excited and caught one, re-arranging rather a few feathers! So we had a ban on chicken herding!

Sadly for us Bryn was taken ill before his 3rd birthday with a terminal illness, his bone marrow function ceased to work properly and we spent 10 months giving him palliative care until we had to make the most heartbreaking decision to put him to sleep at the age of just 3 1/2. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and broke my heart, he really was one of those one in a million dogs. Night night Bryn AKA Wonky Dog xx

Sue - collie x lab

Sue belonged to one of our elderly customers Bruce, and was quite literally his world and he was hers. You would not have found a more loyal pair. They never spent time apart other than when Bruce had to go shopping and you could almost see them joined at the hip! Bruce was taken ill and I went to Berkshire to take him to stay with family for rest and to recover, Sue came home with me as she couldn't go with Bruce. She was very distressed about leaving him and although she had known me and Rob for a long time faced a mental battle about getting in the car and coming away. About a week later Sue howled and cried all night. We later discovered this was when Bruce had died, Sue knew her best friend was never coming home to fetch her.

It was a terribly sad time for us all and no one in Bruce's family felt able to take care of Sue so in the end agreed that we should look for a new home. In the meantime Sue was grossly overweight and weighed in at a whopping 39kgs! We couldn't have her spayed as she would risk dying on the table. Sue has always been very active and when Bruce was well she was walked for miles every day across the mountains, so getting her to run some lard off wasn't really a problem! We put her on a diet of Burns High Oats and the weight steadily came off, her coat improved as well as she had a bit of an itchy patch which we later found out was a sebatious cyst. We managed to get her weight down to 29kgs and had her spayed ready for her new home. Sue was 7 years old at the time and we had to get the new home right or this dog would not cope. We had a number of enquiries and amongst them an email from a chap who's 80 year old mother had recently lost her GSD and was getting very depressed and desperate for another dog, and mainy rescues wrote her off as being 'too old'. I did have some initial reservations before discovering that this lady was probably fitter than me! had an enormous garden and lived right next to a common. Should anything happen to her then family would gaurantee to adopt Sue.

I knew this lady would be right for Sue! She had always had dogs, mostly big dogs, plus other animals and was very experienced. She was home all day, loved walking and had a huge broken heart just ready to be mended by an equally heartbroken dog.

I got regular updates and photographs of Sue and her new owner couldn't thank me enough for letting her go there. Sue became as fit as a flea and so slim and shiny she was a credit to her new owner. So despite loosing a dear friend and missing seeing his dog, we met a new friend and were able visit Sue any time we liked. Sue was very happy too. Sue sadly had to be PTS late 2009 after a short illness with cancer. We were able to place another older dog in need called Meg (a 3 legged collie) with her owner a couple of months later so once again, 2 broken hearts filled with some love

Pheobe - ex racing greyhound

Pheobe was with us for a short time as a foster for Greyhound Rescue Wales before being rehomed. Pheobe had lived in a home with another greyhound and sadly her owner was taken ill and had to give her up, she initially went in to kennels but didn't cope with the stress so came to stay with us. She was a huge greyhound for a female and was a delight to have. loved a stroll round the block, a curl up on the sofa and plenty of licks to give. Greyhounds make great pets and are extremely loving. please consider one of these gentle dogs if you are looking for a family pet.

Milo the kitten

We don't generally take kittens in as a rule but Milo was the exception. He arrived here at around 10 weeks old after being bought as a present for a child - the family were not allowed pets and had been threatened with eviction if they didn't 'get rid of him'. Milo arrived here in a box, he had some fleas, weepy eyes and was a little underweight, but otherwsie well adjusted and a happy little fella.

We found a home for him in Scotland! his new owner travelled all this way to collect him and the photo shows him with his best mate Alfie, a working cocker spaniel.



Jacks story is rather sad and he lost his home through no fault of his own. He belonged to animal loving friends of ours locally and was an extremely much loved and well cared for dog. We had known Jack from about 8 weeks old and he occasionally stayed with us when his owners had to go away.

When Jack was around 18 months old his owners called me to say they felt they were not able to give Jack the life he should be enjoying. Both were suffering from ongoing illness and together with an elderly relative in the house needing more intensive care day by day they weren't able to excercise and stimulate jack as they wished and he was getting rather bored. We took him in and had him neutered and started to look for a home.

Jack went on to be rehomed through Wiccaweys Collie Rescue and didn't have to wait long.

If you are considering adopting a rescued dog or cat, please check out the links page where you will find a host of different rescues all working very hard to help dogs and cats like the ones mentioned here. failing that, please show your support and help out where you can, these rescues often receive no funding and are constantly fighting a battle to pay food and vet bills.

© Green & Furry, J & R Johnson 2007.

Some of the photography we give thanks to