12 Dogs of Christmas Update
So our intrepid volunteers have completed their task! Hannah Critchlow has slept, with her Stray Aid rescue dog Jasper, for the traditional "Twelve Days of Christmas", staring on Christmas Day night. Each night she was joined by another Stray Aid volunteer and their ex-Stray Aid rescue dog.
Here are their stories:
On this, the first night of Christmas me and Jasper here will be sleeping in the kennels to raise funds for Stray Aid.
Jasper came to Stray Aid via the Hartlepool Wardens, he'd been attacked by another dog and had multiple punctures and a tearing injury to his front right leg as well as other scrapes and bruises. I don't know what made me fall in love with the big idiot, but I did and I'm so glad I brought him home. He's the most loyal, devoted, loving dog and I can't imagine our home without him.
On the second night of Christmas Terri and Jekyll joined us.
Jekyll came to Stray Aid last December, but this loyal little dog was determined to break free, at the first chance he broke lose and ran back home to Bishop Auckland, six weeks he was missing before Stray Aid got a call to say he'd been found (chip registered to us)
His owner had moved and left him, he'd made his way all the way back to his own front door just to find he'd been abandonded.
I couldn't bare him going back into kennels again, so he came directly to mine to be 'fostered' didn't take long to realise there was no way I could give him up!
On the third night of Christmas, Ryan and Fraggle arrived.
What his dad has to say:
This is actually Fraggle's 2nd "got you day" as I brought him home Christmas day 2 years ago. At that time i was working at Stray Aid and very late one cold dark night i was called to collect a stray from a wardens van, initially seeing this dirty blond emaciated bag of bones with a belt for collar devastated me but as soon as those ears got out of the van followed by his infectious happiness it changed my night and life. Everyday after i would be walking past the kennels only to be followed from these radar ears and big soppy eyes, that would always smile on anyone's face. After a plan was made to get him past the parents ( Thank you Hannah) he came home after my shift to meet his new "fur brother" Doobie who lets just say wasn't best pleased at first. Everything was new to him laminate floor, a actual collar not to forget cupboards and a fridge full of food which somehow he was well trained at breaking into. Fraggle is not fussy when it comes to food but bones have proved to be his favourite and he also doesn't have a favourite toy he just always wants whatever toy Doobie has!
On the fourth night of Christmas Leanne and Jaffa joined them
What his mum has to say about Jaffa:
I fell in love with him as soon as I seen him, the first question I asked is the question I get asked on every walk ...... "what is he?"
Well the answer is that we think he is a Jack Russell x Whippett. When I am asked to describe him I will say imagine a Jack Russell on steroids, that is a good description.
He is the most loving dog who loves to give out kisses. Every stranger who shows him a bit of attention gets a kiss whether they like it or not.
Don't get me wrong, he has his 'Stray traits', being protective over food, doesn't like men in hats or hoods, doesn't like been fussed or cuddled too much around the neck. But we accepted his little quirks and his space.
He loves all animals and really struggles to understand why cats won't play with him like dogs do. He plays rough and his dog walker often says "he is just such a character and so playful" which I take to mean he has been a little mischievous on his walks.
Jaffa unfortunately does not have a favourite toy because he shreads all of his toys. He loves a cuddly toy with stuffing which he can take out or a rope toy to destroy.
He does have a sensitive stomach so we can only give him certain treats, oh and a very expensive dog food!
On the fifth night of Christmas, Dave and Banjo arrived
Banjo was a great story. He was called Bandit at the rehoming centre, but I had a picture of him and was showing people at work. They asked what he was called - I couldn't remember and said 'I think it's something like Banjo' and that stuck!
Ban was 5 when I got him. He had the usual issues when he came home, a few whoopsies in the house for a week, but they soon fizzled out. He wouldn't eat dog food for a while and wanted takeaway, which made me think he had been fed on nothing else. One day he pinched a slice of pizza and ran up the garden with it. I went to take it him and he nipped my hand - the first and only time.
He's now been here 4 years and adapted really well to Ben coming two years ago. He is really tolerant of Ben and very protective. I do watch him constantly though and if Ben is pestering him and I see the signs Banjo doesn't like it - for instance yawning or whale eye, I take Ben away and praise Banjo.
On the sixth night of Christmas Frankie and Susan slept "ruff"!
Frankie has been with us for over three years. The first time I saw him he was hiding under a desk, terrified. He had a lot of issues but he also has this big heart that was aching for love. It has taken a while for him to become the sweetheart he is now. He has given us a lot of laughs and a few teeth marks, but I would not change him for the world. Love you Frankie. His favorite toy is a blue spiky, squeaky ball. His favorite treats are Gravy Bones.
On the seventh night of Christmas we have Doodle / Riley!
What Kayleigh has to say:
I volunteer at Stray Aid & first saw doodle (now riley) in his pound photo & he looked absolutely terrified, I felt so sorry for him & started asking the pound staff about his progress. When he eventually moved into rehoming I fell in love with him he was so skinny & scared & literally cried & whined for attention but, there was just something about his little face that made me want to give him all the love & attention he deserves.
He hasn’t been living with us long but he’s already started to gain weight, he’s well behaved in the house & he rarely cries for attention anymore. He’s forever making visitors to the house fall in love with him just like we did as he’s such a funny, friendly & loving little dog. He loves his toys (although sometimes a little too much & they end up in bits and heading for the bin) & cuddles on the couch. We’re so grateful that because of Stray Aid, we were able to give riley a second chance at life & we love seeing him progress every day. I can’t understand how he ended up as just another unclaimed stray In the pound, but I’m so grateful that because of Stray Aid he didn’t end up as just another statistic. I would urge anyone reading this to support this amazing charity if they can, & help him to give something back to the people that have given him the life he has today.
On the eighth night of Christmas Meg came flying in! Here is what Diana had to say:
I adopted Meg in January 2012.
I'll admit Meg was my first dog as was very much a spur of the moment decision. I took a wonder into stray aid to simply look at dogs to help me in making the decision as to what kind of dog I could see myself having. My elderly cat and best friend from childhood had passed away just a week before, I knew I wanted a dog but wasn't quite prepared at that exact time.
On looking at the dogs who were up for adoption Meg's photo jumped out at me. A rather skinny frightened looking little black dog with pricked ears, one missing a fair chunk, that made her look like a cheeky black fox.
When meg was brought through she hid under the reception chairs, I took her out and she bounced up and down on the lead like a crazy kangaroo..... I knew she was the one!
After paying her fee and borrowing a lead and collar (I didn't have one yet). We went home. I later found out that meg had been returned due to her aggression at other dogs and unsurity of men.
After a super market sweep style trolley dash to get her the essentials is became apparent that Meg has some bad fear based issues. She was terrified of being left. Even if I was in the other room with the door shut. She wanted to kill any dog within 100ft and was very wary of younger men.
With careful integration to dogs who ignored her threats she soon learnt to relax, that not every dog or young man was out to get her. Meg is extremely intelligent and very stubborn. I am also really quite stubborn. So when a dog trainer told me, when I mentioned possibly looking at dog sport or work for meg that 'that dog won't be any good for any of that, take her home and keep her as a pet'. A spark was lit. Now Meg competes in Flyball and Agility. She recently gained her award for gaining 5000 Flyball points. She's dabbled in obedience, does lots of clever tricks and has a wide range of doggy friends, she even now has two K9 brothers as well as a feline one.
Meg is my once in a life time dog. A spoilt furry baby who will never go for want again. My best friend.
Meg's favorite toy; soft cuddly toy that she can curl up with on the couch after a busy day or present to anyone arriving as a 'gift' (the gift must be returned withing 5 seconds though else she gets most annoyed).
Favorite treats; meg is a huge fan of freeze dried chickens feet.
On the ninth day of Christmas in came Bonnie!
A message from Kevin:
I got Bonnie in August 2015, originally I'd had my heart set on a collie that I could have as a running partner, but was shown the board and two dogs at the bargain end of the board tugged at my heart strings. Bonnie and Clyde were a bit older at around 8 years old and I guess we're struggling to find new homes. Knowing my folks' dog would hate another male, I decided there and then to go for Bonnie and I've never regretted my choice. She's proven to be a perfect companion for me and she's great with my 2 year old nephew.
Unfortunately she does have the single longest tongue ever... There's no escaping a kiss when she wants one!
She absolutely loves a tug of war with a rope toy in the house and a game of fetch outside (although your standard tennis balls don't last beyond the first catch)... Treats wise she's a huge fan of Yorkshire puddings
On the tenth night of Christmas we have Swift. Another of Hannah's dogs so ably accompanied for the night by Stray Aid volunteer Jade!
Swift was found at six months old, he was tiny and absolutely stinking! How could I have possibly resisted? Swift is one of the most fun loving pups, now at 2 1/2 years old he does agility, flyball and anything else that involves being on the go! He's so smart he learns new commands in a heart beat, loves everyone and is a devoted shadow
On the eleventh night of Christmas we have Pepper, adopted by volunteer Sammy
When I first seen Peppa she looked a little bit like chewbaca and just loved to have cuddles. I went home that night talked to my parents and the next morning I went to collect her.
For the first few days she was a timid little girl who never barked now she has came out of her shell and is the most cutest little dog I have owned. She loves everything that is given to her especially an open invitation to sit on your knee for cuddles.
Peppas favourite things are her teddy's and she will be donating a teddy to a good cause.
On the twelfth and last night of Christmas, we have Pip.
Pip was a very special story, her owners put her into the boarding kennels and never came back for her and her friend Jet. After five years the boarding kennels closed and Stray Aid found them a loving new home.
Zoe adopted both dogs and gave Jet the best five months before she passed away, Pip is still loving every single day! I don't think anyone could of predicted how much Pip would love children, for a 12 year old dog having spent the last 5 years isolated in a kennel she's amazing.
The dedication shown by these wonderful volunteers, sleeping in the kennels over Christmas and New Year, speaks volumes both about the amazing people who help our charity, and how much they believe in Stray Aid and the work we do.
Thiss incredible band of volunteers have raised nearly £5,000, with more money still coming in. And it's not too late! If you would like to help our volunteers to future-proof Stray Aid, please follow the link Stray Aid Appeal and donate to help tomorrow's strays!