An open Letter to the Ceo of Battersea dogs home

Dear Ms Horton, 

I read your article in the Huffington post with a sinking heart and to be frank felt that it was incredibly biased.

If you had actually spoken to a reputable rescue, and asked how we actually do things and then informed your readers on what to look for, your article would have not looked like an attempt to stitch up those of us who do things the right way.

So let me introduce you to my little Spanish girl, top dog in the picture. She along with her brother was dumped into a plastic bag and left to die. She was rescued by one of our supporters and brought into rescue. She was given all the vaccinations we give ENGLISH DOGS, microchipped to the rescue, given a pet passport, and two rabies vaccinations. They are also tested for Mediterranean diseases and Leishmaniasis.

She travelled back to the UK, with her hero my other half, before this could happen she was cleared to travel by a vet. Our rescue sends dogs overseas using reputable transport companies via the Traces system. How do I know this, every one of our dogs I casework is issued one of these I deal with them on a daily basis. 

I found this picture online and to me it says it all. This is why I do overseas rescue. My inbox is full of happy adopters who are giving a second chance to one of our dogs. But let me tell you rescue is a blessing, I feel honoured to be involved but some days it’s downright soul destroying.  When the week hasnt even begun properly and we have had litters of puppies left in the sun to die, or a pregnant bitch that is very very thin and due to give birth, or someone happens across an ex hunting dog that has been hung from a tree to die. And this is never ending it’s all day everyday. We had to say that we could not take anymore dogs in, when was the last time battersea did that? 

I’m not denying that people do what you have said in your article, not in the slightest, they do it in the UK too, that latest fashionable cross of two breeds bred in someones house for a few hundred quid, without proper vaccinations or vet checks dies or ends up with lifelong illnesses. But people need to do their own research on organisations and people they choose to adopt from and make sure rescue back up is offered.  Just as people should research the breeds they are looking to adopt, do their homework on training and socialisation and actually make time for their pet and not expect a rescue dog to arrive with no issues and perfectly well trained.

Rescue is hard enough Ms Horton, especially for those of us who don’t have Paul o grady at our facility helping to rehome our dogs. Perhaps you could come out to Spain and see what we do? Volunteer in our kennels for a week. Surely the dogs come first? 

Kind regards

Anne Marie Chinn.


The Worst Part of being a Dog owner πŸ˜Ÿ


In actual fact it pretty much sucks.

Last week we faced what is the worst day in a dog owners life that final journey.  and man it’s painful.  but let me rewind back to the week before.  

I had been preparing myself for this for quite some time and when you get to that point in a dogs life each vet visit is met with an impending sense of doom. 

Things had progressed on since our last visit and I walked in and told the vet my concerns.  I was quite shocked when he suggested a stronger form of painkiller.  and reminded me that I kind of jumped the gun a bit earlier in the year.

Don’t get me wrong I loved my boy to the moon and back, but I also know that I can’t be selfish and have to do the right thing and in my pets best interests.

We spent a week with a wobbly dog who was clearly miserable and after speaking to the vets on and off during that week I called and asked for my vet to call me I wanted to cut these drugs out.  

That day we had a lovely day and I’m thankful for it.  I spent the day watching TV curled up with all three dogs and benji lay at my feet as he had done for years. around 5pm he attempted to stand up, he cried out which he never did he never showed pain. the rest Is far too painful to write but that visit ended in us letting him go.  there was nothing else we could do it was the only option.

I won’t go through the whole process I don’t want to upset anyone.  I wanted to share our last moments.  I left the room to get the vet and he tried to get off the table to follow me old faithful 😘.

I was determined to share one last experience with him and I knew that he loved reiki.  so I opened up and gave him the reiki he loved so much.  he was at peace and then he was gone. in love and light as it should be.

Both the girls had known.  for ages they had taken turns to comfort him and lie with him.  I think I knew as well.  the evening of his passing our 9 month old puppy had tried to snap him out of the funny turn he was having by nipping him and barking in his face.  our German Shepard assumed guard mode by the door.

I tried to tell myself I was okay, but I wasnt really.  I tried to be strong for the girls. P who were just as heart broken as we were.

One of the things we loved about benji was what we called his victory roll.  it never failed to make me smile.  and when we got back from holiday In august he was on his back victory rolling with delight.  not long after we lost him we were sat in the kitchen and river did a benji victory roll exactly as he used to do.

Now you could argue that she learnt that from him and I have no doubt she did but it certainly means that his memory will live on.  just as he assumed certain traits attributed to kai his previous friend sleeping in my washing pile was one of them.

I think each time you loose a dog you learn something.  benji was the only dog in the house for quite some time before the girls came along.  I will never do that again, he developed such a bond with kyla and I know that rivers puppy antics gave him great pleasure and he watched her with a twinkle in his eye. I wish he could have had that earlier.  

I totally understand that people say oh I could never have another dog it hurts too much and it does.  but believe me your dog doesn’t feel that way.  I have heard of dogs hanging on waiting and I knew that benji was waiting for the girls to take over.  kyla was a headstrong silly girl until river arrived then she became a leader.  

Ive been blessed with three dogs as an adult four if you count river and they have all been amazing loyal companions.  I could never imagine not having a dog in my life.  But that loyalty comes at a price and it’s so so high.

I threw myself into my rescue work.  He inspired me to do it every single day.  his story is in a previous post and I treasure it because it shows just how much he gave me back.  rescue is good for the soul.

If your reading this post then your obviously a dog person like me.  I usually have a meaning to every post I write and I think this time I will let you take from it what you will.  I can remember having a conversation with my son about rainbow bridge in which he described it in vivid detail for his age.  I was captivated and comforted.

I know this post is kind of sad but it’s also a celebration of a second chance well lived and a testement to an amazing friend.

Much love 

Anne-Marie πŸ•


Why adopt an older dog?Β 

People who know me know that I’ve had a dog in my adult life for nearly 20 years.  During that time I’ve only owned one dog that wasn’t an old age pensioner when I adopted them.  He was an exceptional case and he found and rescued me. However I stuck with him until the bitter end through thick and thin.

But when you visit rescue centres there seem to be an exceptional amount of dogs that are around the age of nine.  All waiting for their forever homes, and watching potential adopters head straight for the puppies.  Having taken a younger dog through that age and beyond I’m loath to understand why so many dogs end up in rescue around the age of nine. 

I get it that most people adopt a dog to become part of the family, I get it that older dogs can cost more money when they need vet care and I also get it that when they go over to the bridge it damn well hurts.  

Let me introduce you to my three:

The first dog I owned was a GSD x Lab called kai.

He lived until he was almost 13, and for those 11 years he and my son were my world.  He was a gentle beautiful wise dog who made everyone feel loved, he would ever so gently lay his head on your lap to be stroked.  When his time came I did what was necessary and he took a whole cross breed shaped hole out of my heart.

After loosing him I vowed that I would also adopt older dogs, and however swayed by husky and GSD puppy pics I know the oldies are the ones for me.

Next comes Benji 

AKA trash panda.  We adopted him from dogs trust almost six years ago.  And he has to be one of the most inspirational rescues I’ve ever met.  His story can be found in a previous post entitled confessions of a trash panda.

Benji was nine when we adopted him, a stunning lab x collie who celebrated his 15th birthday this year.

Next comes kyla, her paperwork says she’s nine.  She is a GSD x Collie.

She came to us from suki’s canine rescue.  A local rescue group who are amazing and live sleep and breathe dogs and rescue.  Kyla is whats known in the trade as a failed foster she was only meant to stay three days and she’s been with us almost a year.  She goes by various nickname miss slinky legs, moomin and princess.
Adopting older rescue dogs can mean that they come with some  baggage,  lets face it the older we get the more baggage me carry.  It’s taken benji almost six years to shed his and let me in and when kyla came to us it was clear she had some issues too.  But working through those issues creates a bond between you and your dog, it’s unshakeable and truly soulful.

Kyla filled the great big GSD hole in my heart and ensured that in keeping up with the family tradition I will never pee alone again πŸ˜‚.

πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆphoto spam alert πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

Can you see what rescues can do? When given the chance of a forever home? These guys aren’t spring chickens but they make sure they live life to the max.  They ride it like they stole it.  

Every dog is different as I hope I have shown by introducing all three but one thing they all have in common is that they have or do live life to the max despite their age.

So please if your reading this and considering Adopting a dog or know someone who is considering Adopting, firstly please look to rescue first but also please take a look at that dog with the grey or white muzzle.  The one that maybe doesn’t move as fast as the others or the soulful wise old eyes.   Please open your heart to an older dog I promise you they are worth it and you get so much back even if its only.for a few short years.

The photo spam above had a point, yes I love to show my dogs off every single one of them and why not they are all beautiful dogs, but also great examples that like with humans age is nothing but a number.

Thank you for reading, I only write about things I’m passionate about and my dream is to see every older dog in a forever home that accepts the quirky but also sees the potential in an old age pup.

  I wish there wasn’t a need for rescue at all, but I’ve not met anyone in rescue who hasn’t inspired me and that has to suffice for now.

Ciao Fidge 

(Old age pup mom) 

Confessions of a trash panda!


I thought that my rescue dog Benji deserved his own blog post, because to be totally honest I admire the old sausage. He has pretty much rode his second chance at a forever home like he stole it!

Benjis story we believe started in Ireland. He was a stray, and his vaccination card came from a vets in County Down. He was sent to England and ended up at Dogs Trust Kenilworth.

I discovered him online and fell in love. I went to visit but due to DT rules as we were going on holiday that weekend were unable to reserve him. I spent that whole weekend praying that he wouldnt be reserved. I need not have worried he was a black dog and had been reserved once.

I contented myself with sitting by his kennel. He was so sad and depressed it was heartbreaking. Once we were home from our holiday I reserved him and we were finally able to meet him. I wanted him so much. I introduced him to my other dog and things seemed okay. Benji showed us a cute little trick he had of sticking his paws in a bowl of water to cool down.



While we had been away Benjis rap sheet had been growing he was stressed in kennels and not coping with life in general. We saw the behaviourist things were that bad. My boy had dominence issues he humped people and had a variety of issues. We were also told he didnt like toys.2


Once he was adopted our first outing was to stratford and was memorable due to finding out that he loved water and chasing swans. There were also trips to the seaside with him barking in my ear the whole trip.



Benji had his issues and plenty of phonecalls went back and forth to dogs trust behaviour team, issues arose around rabbit seeking behaviour, weeing up the fireplace, raiding bins and humping. He also developed a taste for dirty underwear.

For the most part he got on really well with kai my other dog, there were some fights but I was amazed to come home and find them both standing on my bed barking out the window. Even more amazing was the fact that kai was going deaf and blind. From that day forward Benji became my hero.


I Struggled to bond with him despite my hero worship and it remained that way for a very long time, I loved him dont get me wrong but I wasnt as close as I was to kai.

After six months kai went to Rainbow bridge, it was a devastating time and poor Benji pined terribly. At this time he developed terrible separation anxiety. I despaired but refused to give up.

To cut a long story short my boy settled down to become the fantastic dog I had known all along he would be. As he got older he was diagnosed with arthritis and later began to nod. The vet told us that he was having seizures and that she didnt know what his life expectancy would be (over twelve months now).



As he aged Benji and I came to a better understanding. He became affectionate towards me but always on his terms. Always a very “Aloof” dog it was heart warming to have gained his trust.

I never have managed to stop him raiding the bins, I guess if I had gone hungry and he was very skinny when I got him I might be the same.

Recently my old soldier celebrated his 15th Birthday, I ordered a special birthday cake and party pack which included a hat. I never expected him to actually wear it. I trained him with treats and he greeted me that morning wearing his hat. Also my birthday too, although his paperwork says March 6th.


Hes had some health issues lately, his back legs havent been working properly. After some new meds hes back to his old self. He just seems to go on forever and ever. He always greets me at the door when I come home. Hes such a laid back chilled out dude. I really admire him. Some days you can just tell that everythings an effort yet he still has a grin and a wag of his tail for you.


I guess the point of my story is why dont we adopt black dogs? Why do we adopt a rescue dog and then give up on them when it gets too hard. Think long and hard before you get a rescue or any dog.


All the dogs ive had in my life have been rescues. They give so much back. Ive had nearly seven years with Benji. Please adopt older dogs.


Older dogs rule.

Ciao Fidge
( Old dog fan)

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