Belle, poundie pooch to precious Pilates pet (Oldies Club)

Poor Belle was rescued from a council pound and went into foster care with the Oldies Club in July this year Fortunately for Belle, her wonderful foster “Dad”, Andrew, decided that he would keep her and she is now a much loved dog. Here is his story:

“After my last dogs died 4 years ago, a lot changed in my life and I wasn’t sure whether or not to get another dog. I decided to register with the Oldies Club for temporary foster care so that I could see how things worked out. Although I wasn’t familiar with lurchers and probably wouldn’t have chosen one initially, Belle looked like a calm and gentle dog, so I agreed to pick her up from the pound the following day.

My first insight into Belle’s character was on the journey home. Within two miles,despite being safely tethered, she had tried to strangle herself. Thankfully she obeyed me when I told her to leave me alone and we reached a compromise. I could see then how curious and how stubborn she was going to be!

On arriving home, Belle managed a large wee and a poo in the house. I put this down to stress and fear, and fortunately these were the only toilet incidents. She did manage to knock over all my ornaments so I cleared everything off the window ledges. However I wasn’t quick enough to realise that she had a obsession with windows and on her third day with me, she jumped out of a first floor window, breaking her fall on the lounge bay window. Belle made her way to our local park where she was eventually tracked down by my neighbours!

I knew I had to make Belle’s life as enjoyable as possible to stop her escaping again, so I  let her have all her favourite things: fresh chicken and oily fish, some lovely snoozes and some good runs and walks. I wasn’t sure what Belle’s recall would be like off the lead so on her 14th day I hired a paddock which is entirely fenced in, and let her off the lead. I expected a great escape attempt when in fact she didn’t leave my side!  She looked a bit confused and  I wondered on reflection if she thought I was trying to get rid of her. The experience in the paddock gave me confidence to let Belle off the lead at the park and observing her, she seemed to act differently if I took her harness off ….so a code evolved (of Belle’s making not mine) of acting calm on the lead, or running around, nearish to me, when the lead is off but harness still on, and going completely independent with the harness off. Being a Lurcher Belle’s recall isn’t great but I’ve learnt she prefers to keep me in sight, but because I don’t know her history I’m getting a GPS collar so that I can track her, and thanks to Oldies Club, she’s chipped.

To give Belle some variety  in her life, I take her with me whenever I can, so she has now learned a new world of shopping, which may mean a trip in the car to the DIY shop, or an hour of being spoilt by my Pilates teacher, Fiona, when I go to classes.

I know now what a gentle, caring and affectionate dog Belle is and we have settled in very well together which is why I decided to adopt her. I am so glad that the Oldies Club asked me to foster Belle and I had the chance to bring her into my life.”

And we are so glad that you decided to do this, Andrew. Thank you for giving Belle such happiness in her later years.