Always Think Rescue First: My Experience With Faye

Rachel Caffrey has always loved dogs. Now she is the proud owner of the beautiful pup Faye, she always thinks of rescue first.

This is Faye, she is a 12 year old Staffie cross and is a rescue from Battersea dogs home. She is the reason why I think you should always think rescue first.

We lost our first dog Holly, a brindle full-bred Staffordshire Bull Terrier. When she was only 5 years old due to a brain tumour. Prior to finding Holly, we had done our research and looked at various options and found a reputable breeder that had full lineage. Holly woke one morning unable swallow almost like she was constantly gaging, we took her to our local vet who assessed her and said they couldn’t see anything in her throat and asked us to monitor her for 24 hours. We took her home but she deteriorated overnight. After getting an emergency vet appointment it transpired she was having seizures and that evening she was given a brain scan, which found the tumour. Holly never came home.

It took a long time to get over the loss of Holly, my son who was 6 at the time was devastated, they’d been inseparable since birth, she was his best friend.

We didn’t want to rush out to find another dog, we’d had Holly from a puppy, she was part of the family and it was too painful to even think about replacing her.

It took two years before we considered getting another dog, and we decided to look for a rescue. We had to be thoroughly checked as suitable parents.

think rescue first, Faye
Faye in the office

Did we have room for a dog? Did we have a garden? Did we have children? Did we work full time? Did we own or previously have a dog? Was there access for the dog to the garden?

All these questions checked and passed by our Battersea representative meant we could in fact get a rescue dog. They were very strict yet also very understanding about what type and size of dog would be a suitable match. We were invited to Battersea to view our prospective new family member.

I cannot tell you in words how I felt walking around, seeing all these gorgeous animals (not only dogs!) all wanting to be taken home and loved, and looked after. We did take our time, we wanted a good match, but we were also realistic, having been dog owners you take the rough with the smooth and some of these dogs had been subjected to horrendous conditions and will need nurturing back to a normal way of living.

Having said that, we had been around the facility and it wasn’t a case of not finding a suitable dog, I think for me I found it difficult to replace Holly. We had made our way back to the office when this bundle of joy came running towards my son. Oh my, she was gorgeous and couldn’t get enough attention with a tail that would not stop wagging!

think rescue first with faye in bed
Faye in our son’s bed

Initially I thought she was owned by someone in the office, but it turned out she was new to Battersea, I don’t think she had been there very long, a week maybe two, but she just wouldn’t settle in the kennels. She would whimper and whine when left on her own, and wouldn’t eat her food unless she was settled, so they decided to bring her up to the office, she had a penned area with her bed in so she could be with people.

I think it was safe to say we’d found our new puppy, or rather she found us! I believe it was fortuitous that she was there and that she made a beeline directly for us. I wouldn’t change Faye for the world, she is still a very anxious dog (as well as still thinking she is a puppy at nearly 13 years old) and doesn’t like it when we’re all in different rooms of the house, though she knows she isn’t limited to just one area and basically has free rein to follow any of us around. What with COVID and working from home, she now has her own bed in our make shift office, as well as one in each bedroom and the living and dining room….. she knows she has a place to go no matter where we are, but you will usually find her under the duvet in my sons bedroom.