In January we received a call from the Dogs Trust centre in Ilfracombe. Our old dog Finn, the inspiration behind Knitbone Pepper, came to us as a puppy from there about 13 years ago. After he died I’d visited the centre a few times, hoping to find a friend for Sam, our Border Terrier. But thing was that Sam, a typical terrier, only likes certain dogs (we think he missed Finn) and finding the right one was tricky.
I’d almost given up when I got a call out of the blue, a year after my last visit: “Hello? Mrs Barker? We think we have the right dog for you. She’s called Luna and she’s a two and a half year old French Bulldog. She’s so sweet and we all love her, but she does have problems. You work at home don’t you? Aren’t you a writer? It’s just that she hates being left alone…”
Sam and I went over to the centre and met her. They played for a while in the introduction room and, despite Luna barking in his ear for quite a long time, he really seemed to like her! And not only this, our whole family ADORED her: she is the sweetest little soul who yowls like a little cat when she is sad and sort of purrs when she’s happy. All of this is remarkable when you realise that Luna had a such a terrible start in life. Caged for 15 hours a day, she had dreadful separation anxiety. She kept being sick, her fur was sparse in places and her ribs stuck out. She hated going outside and had to eat special prescription food five times a day, as well as take two different types of medication.The situation was so bad that she came on a full foster plan, which means her vet bills are covered for life. The centre had done their very best with her but they knew that what she really needed was a special someone.
Now it is March and she has been a part of our family for over two months. Already the transformation in her is amazing. She plays all day long with Sam and then goes for runs in the woods where she gambols like a little lamb.
She eats all sorts these days ( cheese and chicken are her favourite treats at the moment) and is never sick any more and the tablets are history. She’s putting on weight and her coat is glossy and full. She can even be left at home alone for up to 4 hours at a time quite happily. Best of all she doesn’t run away from her lead and loves the outdoors. She’s cheeky, funny, very loving and such a wonderful new addition to our family. It’s been a real joy watching her learn how to love being a dog again. The Dogs Trust didn’t give up on little Luna, or me. And thank goodness for that.