Meet Robbie! Adopting a westie from Brysons Animal Shelter

SAY HELLO TO ROBBIE HINDS, our little westie !

This has got to be the most exciting post I’ve ever written on my blog. I own a dog.

As you all know, Rob and I are westie daft. You only have to look at our instagrams and see all the photos of Teemo that we borrow using Borrowmydoggy, to see how much we love this breed.

Borrowing Teemo for the past year has given us a taste of the westie owner life, their behaviours, their traits and just how loveable they are. We have been keeping an eye out for a westie to adopt in the local shelters, and thats when we spotted Robbie in August.

We adopted him from Brysons Animal Shelter, who do amazing work rescuing and offer shelter to many animals: cats, dogs, horses and small animals. With it being fairly local, I’ve been up a few times over the years, volunteering with university and dog-walking.

Rob and I have kept Brysons on our radar, for the day we got a dog. We both agreed that definitely a rescue dog was something we wanted to do, and in particular, we wanted a rescue westie.

We’ve talked and talked about dogs since our first date and when we saw Robbies photo awhile ago on the website and just cooed and awwed at him without much thought to actually adopting a dog.

Then the website changed, saying that he was now available for rehoming after his settling in period ( and neutering!). We looked at each other and laughed about maybe going to see him.

Our own westie ?

I rang without a moments hesitation. We jumped in with both feet and headed there the next morning.

He came out on his lead ready for his walk. Excited and alert, his little tail standing straight up! It was instant love at first sight. He was so good on the lead, and excited to explore. We took him for a good run around. We realised we had to try to adopt him, even though it may not happen as there were other couples interested in him.

We went to see him everyday for 3 days, the first two were just walks. On the second day after the walk, we were asked if we wanted to take him home for the day. Obviously, we said yes.

We brought him home for his trial day on the bus and he loved it. Nosying out the window and sitting in the middle of the aisle, and jumping onto our laps for a better view. We got him home and he ran straight round the house sniffing everything, curling up on the sofa and running all around the garden!

He was so chilled in the house. From day one, it was like he was happy here and meant to be here.

That night we raced down to the shops in the car, throwing every essential we could think of into the trolley. We came home and laid it all out and that’s when it really hit us. We were going to have a dog in the morning. Not even ashamed to say I cried with excitement and happiness and barely slept that night!

The manager of the shelter came for the home visit that evening ( it all went very fast, I was sure we would have to wait ages to see if we were eligible!) and we were approved. She even dropped him off for us the next morning after his final trip to the vet.

He was home.

We’ve been following the advice of the shelter manager, and being strict with him and introducing training from the get go. He’s being clicker trained, and he’s already learned to spin! ( He could already sit down and stay).

We’re recruiting the help of a professional dog trainer to help with his jumping up and general training. We’re not too sure what his life was like beforehand, but obviously living in a shelter wasn’t the best for him. He definitely has some anxiety issues, so we’ve bought quite a few calming products and looking for techniques that work, especially with separation anxiety. We have a big old road ahead of us to get him truly settled here and I’m looking forward to it.

He’s been at home for a week now. I’ve gotten used to my early rises compared to normal and it’s quite clear he’s taken to me. He follows me everywhere and does what I say pretty much most of the time.

We’ve been crate training him too, getting him used to the idea that his crate is his space. Last night, he went in with no fuss, ate his treats, curled up and fell asleep. He only jumped up on the bed half an hour before I normally wake up!

To help with his anxiety, we’ve bought quite a few calming products. I’ll do a blog post in the next month or so about how these products have worked or not worked for us.

I’m so happy to have this wee chunk in our family. He’s so soft and loveable and all he wants is cuddles and belly rubs and to drag me around outside for 2 hours everyday. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have it any other way! The house now feels so much more like a home with a dog in it. Having that wee face greet you at the end of the day and every morning is one of the best things ever.

I’m so glad we’ve gone and got a shelter dog, yes he needs work and training, but seeing how happy he is to be in a house and not in a shelter, makes me very happy indeed.

Welcome to the family Robbie Hinds Junior! haha