Updated: Feb 20
Holbrook Animal Rescue has a number of animals who now call Holbrook their home. It was never the intention to provide so many sanctuary places but for one reason or another the number grew and we now have 7 dogs, 2 horses, one Shetland pony, 3 chickens, 4 goats and 2 sheep.
Our main aim, particularly with dogs, is to find them a loving, family home. However some dogs are particularly hard to home, either for behavioural or medical reasons, and we then provide them with a permanent home with us. In truth they have a lovely life. The volunteers lavish affection, and treats, on them. They are taken for walks by Laura and various other volunteers as well as being part of the group walk. They sleep in the sunroom or kitchen on warm, comfy beds and have their pick of toys and games.
However the cost of caring for a dog, and the many other animals is not cheap, and takes a chunk of our income. Luckily we have some sponsors who help and allow us to continue helping those animals that need us the most.
Time goes by so quickly but we thought it was time to update you on our sanctuary animals and we are starting with our dogs. Part two will include all our other fabulous animals.
Nellie is the newest of our sanctuary dogs. We were contacted by another rescue and asked to take Nellie as she was finding it hard to settle in her new home. That was over a year ago and she is still with us. We thought she was about 8 years old but in fact seems much older and has certainly gained confidence in the time she’s been here. It makes our hearts sing that we can now sit and brush or stroke her, whereas in the early days she didn’t like to be touched. She even lets one of the volunteers put a lead on her and goes out for short walks. In fact, she has turned out to be quite a character. She is very vocal and has a distinctive wail which means please open the gate or please feed me or please let me in the sunroom. It’s not entirely clear but one thing is for certain, it’s her way of communicating and we’ve learnt that it is a happy sound.
Freddie has been with us since he was a puppy. He is like the naughty boy in the playground, always getting into mischief but really just wants a little bit more attention. He is a bit of a loner with regard to other dogs but has a number of favourite humans. When one of his beloved volunteers turns up he pushes his way to the front, tail wagging, smiling (yes he smiles) and says hello. Then he’s off, allowing the other dogs their turn. Poor Freddie feels the cold so we always keep one of the thicker coats for him, even if it might be a little large. He even has his own leather sofa.
Bertie has also been with us for some time. He has neurological problems due to mistreatment and has a habit of trying to chew his foot. We’re pleased to say that it happens far less these days and only when he is a little stressed. A real favourite with the volunteers, Bertie will push his head into your leg, almost tripping you up, just so that he gets a head rub.
Our beloved Tan is probably our oldest resident. She’s the matriarch of the pack and doesn’t put up with any nonsense. Still loves the walks. She plods around, tail permanently wagging, sniffing out treats. Although she may look like butter wouldn't melt she does have one rather distasteful habit that we won’t mention. Just try not to let her kiss you. 😊
Mika has stage 2 kidney failure. She is another character. Sitting in the kitchen at Holbrook she’ll curl up on your knee for a cuddle. On the lead she’s a force to be reckoned with. For such a small dog she is incredibly powerful and manic. Her aim seems to be to trip up whoever walks her. Her kidney condition is under control but we do worry. She is sometimes a little withdrawn and seems quiet but thankfully she soon rallies and is back to her usual energetic self.
If Tan is our matriarch, then Ollie is the patriarch. He thinks he’s in charge 😊 and he is quite vocal about it. However he absolutely adores Laura and woe betide you if you’re holding his lead when Laura is in front. There is no question – we have to catch up with her. We adore all our dogs but Ollie is special. He’s a big softie and there is a lovely story regarding something that happened a while ago. We had some tiny kittens and one of our dogs, who is quite a hunter, ran after them. Ollie stepped in the way and ensured that they were safe. Kind, caring, adorable giant.
Scampi, otherwise know as the grumbler, is getting on a bit now. He has had a rather traumatic past but is now firmly settled at Holbrook. However there is only one person he really trusts and that is Cliff, Laura’s husband. He is the only person Scamp permits to be affectionate. Although we think Scampi is a bit of a tease, getting a lead on him is a nerve racking experience as he snaps and growls but all the time wagging his tail.
And finally Poppy. Oh my goodness what a difference a year makes. When she arrived she hid in the kitchen for months. Then she gradually emerged and was happy to sleep in the kitchen and even accepted treats if offered in the right way. However over the last few months she has shown us another side, she plays with the other dogs occasionally, enjoys solving puzzles and can even tolerate a very gentle touch. We are trying to increase her confidence and trust. Slow steps.
All of our sanctuary dogs have a permanent home at Holbrook. However we never fully rule out finding them a family home. If a volunteer builds up a relationship and asks to adopt then obviously we wouldn’t say no. Unfortunately this is not likely to happen to most of these dogs but we will treat them as our own for every day of their life.
If you would like to help us then please sponsor one, we send out a certificate and key ring, and add you name to our new sponsor page (appearing soon on our website). Sanctuary Animals | Holbrook Animal Rescue