This week I had the fantastic opportunity to visit the Loughborough branch of the Dogs Trust, getting a glimpse into their operations, befriending a few adorable pooches and of course taking pictures of them. Needless to say, that this has been one of my favourite volunteer contributions as a photographer so far.
When I arrived at the centre, I was truly impressed. I knew the Dogs Trust as an institution and a huge brand but the facilities were still much larger than I expected. The place is buzzing with staff and volunteers, people looking to adopt and of course its furry inhabitants but still has such a lovely laid back and friendly atmosphere to it. That is probably because everyone genuinely enjoys being there. Currently housing between 80 and 100 dogs and having successfully re-homed over 300 dogs already in 2017, turnover can be quick. Therefore, it was particularly nice for me to see that all the staff and volunteers handling the dogs genuinely care about them and give each the time and attention they need.
Some dogs are lucky and find their forever home soon after their assessment period. On this day, however, we focused on those that have already been looking for a while. They were such lovely souls and I have to say it’s a miracle I didn’t walk out of there with an adoption questionnaire in hand. Somehow my reasoned won though as I must admit the time isn’t right for us at the moment. I would love to introduce you to the cuties I had the pleasure of hanging out with and I hope they find their people soon.
First up were Jackson and Marley with whom we spent some time in the ‘sand pit’, a small fenced in area with lots of opportunities to play and dig. These two surely are the oddest couple you have seen since the 1960s play penned by Neil Simon, but they have become inseparable and would like to be rehomed together. Seven-year-old Jackson is bouncy, happy-go-lucky cross between a Chihuahua and a Jack Russell Terrier. Eight-year-old Chihuahua Marley is the calmer one of the two, moving through life at his own pace.
The two of them have not had much contact to humans in their last home so they are looking for a quiet life with an owner that enjoys a light fuss and cuddles but also knows when it is best to give them some space. Paired with Marley’s ongoing health issues that require him to use an inhaler, this means their new human should already have some dog experience and be able to meet their individual needs. I have rarely met two friends so close but with such different personalities and I can assure you, whoever adopts these two will be in for a fun ride!
The next pooch I met was the collie Lady. We went for some playtime in a large field of grass, fenced in and filled with everything that makes a dog’s heart beat faster. It doesn’t actually take much to make Lady happy though as long as a ball is involved.
Lady is a sensitive and unique soul who despite her youthful age of only two years has already been through a lot. She first came to the Dog Trust as an Irish stray with undocumented history and has since then had two attempts at re-homing. She was last returned in May and has been waiting ever since. On both occasions, she wasn’t quite happy with some of her new human’s other two-legged relatives. She is particularly uncomfortable with children or cars and is looking to move into a nice and quiet country residence with one or two adults that she can get to know and love really well. While Lady is also not quite sure what to make of other dogs, she has made great feline friends in the past and wouldn’t mind sharing her human with a cat.
I have to say that despite her anxieties, Lady was great with me. What shone through was her amazing personality and playfulness. Whoever is lucky enough to be her forever human will make an extremely loyal friend.
I have met three more dogs during my visit, all of which I am introducing here.
By the way, you can view the online profiles of Marley, Jackson and Lady and many other dogs still looking for their forever home. If you are interested in adopting, please get in touch directly with the Loughborough Dogs Trust at 01509 880 070 or drop them an email at Loughborough@dogstrust.org.uk
Finally, even if you don't live anywhere near Loughborough but are thinking of getting a dog, please do consider adoption. The Dogs Trust and other reputable rescues have dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages, suitable for various levels of experience.