Guest post: Amy Askew

This February the month of love, we've been celebrating rescue dogs and cats. We feel that bringing a dog or cat into your home who has had a rough start in life is one of the ultimate signs of love and the humans who do so are just as wonderful. We spoke to Amy, who with her husband Mark, has provided a loving home to many dogs, cats and other furry friends. 

I'm Amy, and my Husband is Mark. We got married in October 2007, bought a house in April 2008 and went to pick up our first rescue dog, Sam in August 2008. Sam was a 3 year old collie who was in for the 4th time as he had such bad separation anxiety but I worked from home so that wasn't a problem. 

I had done some voluntary work at a local vets and in December 2009 a group of puppies were brought in, dumped in a box at just a few hours old. There was 10 and unfortunately most passed away but Sasha was hand reared and did well.

So when she was 6 weeks old I brought her home to be Sam's little sister. We had an amazing time, holidays and walks but then in February 2017 we lost Sam to lung Cancer. Not wanting Sasha to be on her own we went to a rescue centre where we were offered a 14 week old Lab cross, now known as Sidney. He had been brought in by the RSPCA after being kept in a cage 14 hours at a time. He was so skinny, scared of the outside and so quiet! Sasha took him straight under her wing so to speak and showed him what to do. She trained him and loved him. He excelled puppy class and at just 10 months old became one of the youngest dogs to register as a Pets As Therapy dog. He has worked in care homes, schools, pre-schools, people with autism and prisoners. 

Before becoming a PAT's dog, when Sidney was just 7 months the rescue rang us. Knowing our experience with Sasha when she was so young, they asked us to look after a 5 week old collie cross. He was found being thrown by children. He became Sirus and of course he never left. He is a fabulous little brother and despite his issues, he's coming on well. He's 4 now, and everyday he still grows in confidence to build up his trust in people. Yes he has some issues, but he's so loving once he trusts you! 

In November 2019 the vets we got Sasha from had another puppy after the mother dog had lived in the streets and wouldn't care for the puppy. They hand reared her and at 6 weeks old little Sierra came to live with us. Again Sasha took on the mummy role and the boys also helped. She's such a snuggle bug! Sierra has a natural talent to be calm with people so she was also registered as a Pets As Therapy dog at just 1 year old. She has worked in care homes however due to covid it's been been paused for a while. 

 

Last year, 2021 was a hard one for us. We found out Sasha has skin cancer but over 12 months later and she is still battling on and loving her walks and holidays. In March Sidney went to Fitzpatrick to have both elbows operated on due to displacement. Despite it absolutely braking our bank, we never wouldn't have given him the best. A year on he is back running about with his ball again (he loves a ball!) and has Hydrotherapy every 2 weeks. 

Then in June Sierra got a mystery illness. This was life threatening and we were told she wouldn't make it. But with me sleeping at the vets, 3 weeks of intensive care and one to one nursing, she's here! She was tube fed for weeks and on medication for humans as nothing else worked but, by some miracle she's alive and back to normal. We're still living on tinned beans after her bill haha! 

As well as these 4 beautiful and unique rescue dogs we have cats! 

Baggy came to us the day we moved in to our house. She was 8 months old and not wanted by her family as they just had a baby. She's now 15, and still looks and acts like a kitten. 

Dave was brought into the vets, found in a builders van so on the same day as we brought home little 5 week old Sasha back in January 2008, we brought home Dave. He always thought he was a dog. He grew up playing with Sasha and did this with the others as puppies too. He was registered as Pets As therapy Cat - one of just 50 in the UK. He was a huge soft teddy bear who loved people. Unfortunately in May 2021 we lost Dave to a rare brain tumour. 

Chance was found on the streets, a ginger tabby but he was so dirty, small, skinny and covered in fleas you couldn't tell. He was so nasty as had been so badly treated and was like this for years and so a rescue wouldn't take him on as he wouldn't be able to be rehomed. We battled through though and he's now 12 years old loving and settled.

The last cat addition was Opal. In January 2012 she was found with another kitten dumped in a box on the side of the A15 and so poorly. Of course we couldn't say no to helping and now she's a cheeky little madam who loves her food!! 

We've always rescued animals having rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters over the years, and even now with the 4 dogs and 3 cats we've just rescued 3 battery hens! 

Amy x

We loved hearing all your stories about your dear cats and dogs over the last month and send love to each and everyone one of you. Being able to foster, adopt or take in an animal who needs care and love is so special and we're so thankful that there are so many wonderful people who do so. 

Big woofs,

Poppy and the Hound quarters team