Years ago, a pair of Labradors would come by and bark at our gate. They would visit us nearly every day, sniffing around, barking, as if they were asking to be let in. I would go outside, and they would play, sniff, then run away. I was never quick enough to catch them. Then they stopped coming. I thought all was well.
A few weeks later, our neighbor gives us a call asking if we would like to adopt two Labrador brothers, Buddy and Snowball. I knew exactly who she was talking about. Apparently, Buddy and Snowball’s humans abandoned them when they suddenly had to leave for Canada. The dogs were just a few months old. The humans entrusted the dogs to someone, who just ended up locking them in a cage, forgetting about them. Maybe hoping they will just die. Our neighbor found out, and started bringing them food. From there, she thought she had to find them a forever home.
I guess Buddy and Snowball knew exactly where to go when they were left to fend for themselves. They chose us, we just didn’t know it. Others aren’t as lucky.
Monday and Friday
A few years before that, we had taken in Friday (we named him such because we found him on a Friday). He found his way into the village, and the guards just couldn’t get him to leave. We started asking about him, and they were about to cook him for their dinner since no one claimed him! We quickly took him in, and he quickly ran in and made himself at home.
A year later, same story. A stray made her way into the village. This time, she wasn’t as friendly as Friday. It took weeks for her to trust us. We would leave food outside for her, and little by little, she started to trust. Finally, she made it through the door. We named her Monday, after that glorious day she finally decided to make us family.
We Thought Enough Was Enough
When we hit 17 dogs, my husband said “NO MORE ADOPTING”. Then we get a call from our neighbor, who told us about Brita. Brie is a gorgeous Rottweiler that was abandoned in a small cage. When our neighbor found her, she was barely ten kilos. Imagine, a full grown female not even reaching ten kilos. Weeks at the vet, Brie was ready to come home. She needed a forever home. This is where we came in. How could we say no to such a sweet dog?
We often wondered why Brie would sleep through anything. We could walk over her, wake up in the morning, and she just slept through it all. One day, she was facing the kitchen door, and I kept calling out her name. She ignored me. So I came up behind her and gave her a tap on the back. She got up, completely startled. Brie was deaf!! We assumed this is why she was abandoned. Not even our neighbor picked up the fact that she was deaf. Her previous owner probably just didn’t have the patience for her, bred her until he was done, then abandoned her. Humans can be so cruel.
Our most recent canine adoptions are Tornado and Royce. We found Tornado mangey, skin and bones, walking the road to HHF. Of course we fed him, led him into the centre, and sent him to the vet. Royce was an abandoned little puppy our groom found on the road. Now, they’re happy, healthy puppies.
21 Dogs Later
Fast forward to today, we have 21 dogs, and forever homes. We’ve been blessed to have three locations to put our dogs in. Our city house, HHF, and our farm house. We do not own a single dog cage, we do not chain them up, and we do not lock them up. Our dogs are given freedom in a safe home. And what do we have? Three packs that give abundant love to all of us whenever we see them. The advantage of having three homes is that we managed to put our packs together. Depending on the personality, this is where they go. And it’s worked!
We know we can’t rescue every dog, or animal, we find. But we want to provide them all with love, freedom, affection. So each dog is given the chance to show us their personalities. We are not like other rescue or adoption centres that keep their dogs in kennels, or on long chains, all our animals are part of our family. We will never stop taking in animals, we just can’t. I would rather buy dog or horse food than buy myself a new bag or wardrobe.
Our rescues and adoptions range from dogs, cats, birds, horses, all animals in all shapes and sizes! And we choose quality lives, over quantity. We want to provide our animals with equal love, and not just the end of a chain to live on, or a kennel to pace in. Our animals are our family, regardless of their size!
Some of our horse adoptions are China, who turned out to be our star school horse. Norman is also an adoption, and he is my absolute joy. Pietro, our perfectly handsome warmblood was adopted this year. And our two most recent adoptions are ex-polo ponies Sonia and Gould.
The funny thing is, not just the previous owners choose us, the animals choose us too. Often times at HHF, dogs make us their home. Tornado 2, DOG, Cookies and Cream, Bear, with our most recent, two kittens we found in our parking lot. They find us, they choose us. And it makes our lives complete.
If you want us to keep doing what we do, support our centre. When you visit HHF, it helps us keep our animals. It helps us provide our animals with the life they deserve. We do accept donations of food, leashes, collars, food bowls, and the like. So if ever you’re close by, do visit us, so we can provide our animals with the life they deserve.
All our dogs and cats are spayed and neutered, and we do have a few scheduled for the procedure: Tornado, Bear, Royce, S’mores and Graham. If you would like to support us in this way, please do send us a message.