2015: Theresa and Steve Burgess in the UK decided that a dog would complete their happy family.
This is how they all found each other.
Both my wife Theresa and I come from families that had dogs when we were growing up. Now, we have two sons aged 9 and 10 and for the past few years the subject of having a dog has come up on numerous occasions. The only reason we waited so long is because we were both working and we wanted to be able to care for the dog properly.
But then our family life had changed and we were able to think about welcoming a dog as part of the family.
We had decided we wanted to go down the rescue route – simply because we wanted to help.
We looked around the local UK centres and trawled through the internet. They had dogs, but nothing which caught our eye. We found the centres to have lots of staffs and terriers, and although they seemed lovely dogs, they were not what we were after.
So our search started to broaden, and by this we ended up leaving the UK and venturing into Europe looking at sites in Greece and soon after Bulgaria where we came across www.streetdogrescue.com (RSDR). We saw lots of photos of different dogs with more than one catching our eye, and then we read the about us page – that was it we thought, we need to help.
From finding the site to meeting “our girl” could not have been made any simpler by the great UK adoption team – all of whom are volunteers.
We filled in the application form and added our list of dogs we were interested in, this lead to a swift response from the team and additional help with our selection of dogs and possible others suited to our family. In our case this was having 2 young children, 2 small pets and other dogs visiting our home.
How can you choose a dog without meeting him/her first?
This was a question we asked ourselves, and to be honest, it did play on our minds. But not for long, with the assistance of the adoption team and the shelter team, all our concerns went away. Any questions we had were answered fully, and photos or videos requested were met with, “of course we can” and within a day were posted to us. This just fuelled our desire to have our new family member with us sooner.
We were very lucky not to have to wait too long as an adoption trip had already been planned and we were able to have our phone interview and home check done within the time so as to confirm her place on the trip.
This we followed with much anticipation and excitement and constantly looking out for trip updates to see where they were and how they were doing.
As for the day we finally met our girl, she was full of energy and happy to meet us (maybe it was the treats) and loved running around free with the other lucky dogs who were meeting there new family members.
Once you adopt an RSDR dog, you have the opportunity of joining a friendly community of other adopters, who we personally like to call the RSDR family. There is a Facebook page that is only open to adopters where you can share photos, ask questions and generally “chat” with others who have been in the same position as you or who are going through the same process. On a personal note we have found this invaluable, and the wealth of knowledge and experience has helped us immensely.
More than a year has passed since our girl’s “gotcha day”, and we have to say, it’s the best thing we have done. She is most definitely one of the family and we couldn’t imagine family life without her. It is also great to say, we have hugely extended our friendship ring with 2 legs and 4 legs alike, and it’s not uncommon for us to meet up with other RSDR family members for walks and catch-ups at the local pub.
Since welcoming Tegan into our family, we have had the privilege of fostering four dogs from RSDR. So far, we are happy to report that three have found their forever homes and loving their new families. Bessie is still with us and looking for her forever home.
If you would like to know more about RSDR and what they do please do have a look at the website.
Steve, Theresa, Jayden, Harley & Tegan.