“Making sure you are right for the dog and the dog is right for you is absolutely the right thing to do…”

– Angela Hutchinson

Kyra’s Mum & Dad made sure to get the right dog and Kyra is reaping the rewards

When myself and husband Rob lost our golden retriever to cancer in 2020, we didn’t think we would want another dog. The house was too empty though and bit by bit we decided that we wanted a furry friend to share our lives with, and that this time around we wanted a rescue dog.

There are so many UK rescue centres, but we really wanted to rescue a dog from abroad. Having travelled ourselves, we knew how desperate some of these dogs can be, and we wanted to give a good life to a dog that otherwise may have no hope.

I did a lot of research, and we decided on a dog from Turkey and AFOT. Having not had a rescue dog before, we wanted to ensure that proper processes were in place and that the welfare of the dog was paramount. We knew with our lack of experience there would be little point in having a dog with significant emotional issues. Never mind how much they played on our heartstrings, in the long term it would not be fair on the dog if we didn’t know how to help them.

After submitting the application form I had a long chat with Carol. Then Rob and I both had a detailed discussion with Gail, where we were asked lots of questions about our experience, how we would handle certain things, our attitude to feeding, exercise and so on. It was all very friendly, not intimidating at all, and as stated previously we were very happy that if we passed, then it would be the right dog matched to us. Thankfully we did. We agreed to make some changes to our garden to make it secure.

When Carol next called she explained that the dog we had applied for had already been allocated to someone, but were we interested in Kyra. She was in foster, had been rescued from life at the end of a chain. She was affectionate and no significant issues, even after her difficult life. Having reviewed her, we agreed we would be happy for her to be matched with us, and then the next stage began.

A date was given for her to come to the UK and join us, but unfortunately we were due to be away on holiday that that time. Having had the logistical difficulties explained to us, we agreed to change our holiday so we were around when she arrived.

When the journey was due to start, a private group was set up so that we could received regular updates and photos of the journey. Katrina kept in touch with us every step of the way. When Kyra arrived she was frightened and bewildered, as to be expected. After all she had been rescued from a dreadful life and then spent time with her foster mum where she must have thought all her wishes had come true. Only to be uprooted again to come to us. Of course, we knew she was going to have a great life, but she didn’t bless her! Katrina stayed with us for over an hour while Kyra settled as best she could.

She settled in quite quickly. Carol called a few days in to see how she was doing and if we had any questions. All was good.

A few weeks in she did start to display a few behavioural issues, like growling at people when we were out walking. I called AFOT and was put in touch with a great dog psychologist who explained where the behaviour was coming from and how to address the root cause of it. It was a few weeks of hard work, but it paid off.

Kyra is a well adjusted, very affectionate little dog. She loves playing with other dogs, loves a fuss and a cuddle and we really couldn’t imagine life without her.

I would recommend AFOT to anyone looking to rescue a dog. Making sure you are right for the dog and the dog is right for you is absolutely the right thing to do and the reason that processes are in place.

We have felt supported every step of the way and know that if ever we need anything, they are very ready to step in and help.

Angela Hutchinson