Dog Adoption Diaries – Volunteering at a Shelter (Jerry Green Dog Rescue)

Man’s best friend, loyal to the end

Not all of us who love dogs can commit to taking on a dog full time, so the next best thing is to support dogs and give help to local shelters. Jerry Green Dog Rescue in Blidworth, Nottinghamshire encourage people to visit and walk their dogs, this is a daily event and open to the public between 1pm and 3pm and both rewarding for the dogs and the walker.

Situated next door to Boundary Woods it’s an ideal place to let the dogs stretch their legs and get out and about. What amazed me when I first started walking dogs is how very different they are by nature and character, just like us they are individuals in their own right. Benji the first dog I walked is a male staffie and does not like being with other dogs so it was great for us two to go out walking alone. Although not ideal for me and my husband to adopt ourselves my husband has joined me walking Benji on a separate occasion, the difference in Benji was unbelievable.

Benji constantly kept looking up at my husband, I wondered was Benji looking to him for instruction, reassurance, affection or just that he totally respected the male hand that was leading him? Benji has not found a home yet and it does make me sad as I feel he would make a fantastic friend for anyone who just wanted the one dog.

left: Jo and Benji in Boundary Woods Right: Ali and Benji

I’ve walked a variety of dogs however most seem to be Staffordshire Bull Terriers and almost certainly a breed that are highly misunderstood. This bread I know from experience are not dangerous, knowing people who have had Staffies they have all told me they make fantastic pets and I have certainly found all the Staffies I’ve walked to be very loving and rewarding.

Although, I’ll never forget my experience with Mitch the staffie. Once out walking, Mitch got too hot and too tired in the heat, he lay on the floor and that was it we where going no further. So we crawled under a tree and sheltered in the shade whilst my mum fetched help. I stopped a passer by and requested water to cool him down and kept him calm. In the end we carried Mitch in our arms, back to the van and staff got him back safe where he cooled off in water.

It still makes me smile now, the picture in my head of Mitch having a pick me up just like a child, luckily Mitch got re-homed to a family of Staffie lovers.

Attending the Jerry Green Dog Rescue annual dog fair on Sunday 31 August I saw first hand just how many people enjoy owning a dog, all breads, all sizes and all different and a sign that families do love owning dogs. The very sad thing about that day was to see some longer term residents still in the shelter; some looking defeated, I wonder is there anyone out there who can love these animals? Nearly bringing me to tears my mum and I stood looking over Suzie and Charlie the 2 sisters we have walked in the past, both fantastic on the lead, quiet, not boisterous just loving and calm.

The announcement on the kennel gate, not up for adoption, looking for a foster home these sisters are terminally ill with cancer! As one lay on the floor, not looking up, not acknowledging our presence, her sister stood over her with her tail between her legs looking so awfully sad. A real shock to the system and a firm message that these dogs are very much like us, they have feelings and they get ill and like us we want comfort and love when ill. Unfortunately for Suzie and Charlie they had been re-homed and returned to the shelter.

After such upheaval Jerry Green Dog Rescue have decided to keep the sisters themselves and give them the love they deserve. But anyone wishing to sponsor Suzie and Charlie to help with ongoing treatment or to provide home comforts can by contacting Lana at Jerry Green Dog Rescue.

These dogs and others across the UK desperately need new homes, so ask yourself some questions; if you are considering having a dog, can you give a dog a home for life? If so why not take a trip to your local rescue and see just how many lovely dogs are available that desperately need loving homes. Would be owners and rescuers must be realistic taking on a dog is a big commitment so ensure you are 100% certain before you agree to adopt.

The worst thing you could do is take a dog back a month later, these animals very much have feelings and it is obvious to anyone looking that some are scared and upset at being placed in a shelter by owners who they thought loved them. The Jerry Green Dog Rescue undertake a fantastic job looking after all these dogs and I’d like to tell you some stories on behalf of the long term residents and the newcomers.

Benji loyal Staffie aged 7 years, a long term resident at the Shelter Benji is the first dog I took out for a walk, he loves attention, well behaved, however does not like to mix with other dogs but good with older children. Lana tells me he goes mad over getting a clean new blanket for his bed.

Whinnie the very shy Bullmastiff, aged 9 years. A large but beautiful dog who needs to build trust with someone, she has a slight bladder weakness, but she is adorable in every way. Whinnie is most comfortable and settled at the shelter so a soft and gentle approach will be needed for re-homing. Every time I visit I try and try to coax her to the gate but she wont come, she is a shy girl.

Ben a Rhodesian Ridgback cross aged 2½ years. A long term resident Ben is often overlooked but he is a lovely dog who is house trained but needs a little simple training and dedication, reflective of Bens age, still young but very adaptable if given the chance.

Newcomers

Tilly the little female Staffie aged 5 years a recent new comer and a very friendly dog, an ideal family dog.

Phoebe the Dobermann aged 7 years, very gentle and laid back, protective of the family but not nasty.

Puddles a Bull Terrier cross just 2 years old a little boisterous boy, but easily trained.

How can you help?

* Adopt or Foster a dog
* Donate food and blankets
* Sponsor a Kennel
* Walk the dogs
* Take part in fund raising events
* Become a life long member for £75

We have to remember these are Man’s best friend and they remain loyal until the very end. If you can help, please contact the Shelter or email them, but please no time wasters.

Jerry Green Dog Rescue

Warsop Lane
Blidworth
Mansfield
NG21 0PG

Tel: 01623 792886

Email: notts@jerrygreendogs.co.uk

Written by Jo Bekis of Mansfield, dog walker, animal lover and publisher of SociaBubble.com a social networking site for parents. In support of Dog Rescue Centres around the UK and www.dogsblog.com