“If you are reading this you may be considering adopting a dog from Pointers In Need, or weighing the pros and cons of taking on a rescue dog. You may be having doubts, wondering if you are up to the challenge, or even be questioning how well you can really know a rescue dog whose history may be traumatic or unknown. I hope that by sharing our story I can help you answer your questions.
We are an active, working couple living in a semi-rural Staffordshire village. The kids are all grown up but we have little grandchildren and a pretty busy, sometime chaotic, household.
I grew up around dogs and in my adulthood Weimaraner’s were “my breed”. First there was Heidi who I raised from a puppy and she was my everything, and then along came my first rescue, Henry. When Henry passed away in 2018 at aged 14 I swore to myself that there would be no more dogs. I was utterly broken. I managed a full year before my aching heart yearned for that void to be filled again, and even then I worried if I was capable of loving another dog.
And then I saw him, quite by accident. – Agiax! Pitifully thin with sorrowful doe eyes, and from the first moment that was it for me. Something in those eyes called to me and wouldn’t let go.
Very little was known about him except that he was around two years of age, came from Greece where he had been abandoned to fend for himself, and that he was so fearful of humans that he took weeks to catch. Once in the care of Pointers In Need Agiax was moved to a foster – Dwra – who had a young child which gave her a better opportunity to assess his temperament. He had never been in a house before and consequently was very skittish, fearful, and obviously had zero training – Agiax was just a very “green” and nervous dog but his gentle nature was apparent. That was really my only prerequisite, and so we took a leap of faith. Soon after in October 2019, he travelled overland from Greece to southern England and we made a nine hour round trip to collect, sight unseen, one utterly exhausted and very apprehensive dog.
Those first weeks were…eventful! Jax, as he’s now known, was a Houdini who could somehow escape any crate or harness known to man. We survived “Windowgate” when he somehow managed to lever himself onto the kitchen counter, tear down and shred a wooden blind from a window. And he quickly developed a sock, shoe and underwear fetish! That first Christmas was Jax’s first ever in a home – he proudly peed on the real Christmas tree, and his first time off a long rein he ran and ran like something possessed, completely deaf, all recall training “forgotten”!
But oh, to see Jax now! We are four years down the line and he is THE most fantastic dog. Intelligent, loyal, loving and kind, his recall is exemplary and his manners are impeccable. There is nowhere we cannot take him. I work as a trauma focused psychotherapist and have even taken him to work on occasion when I had a very withdrawn client who loved dogs. Everyone adores Jax but I am especially blessed because – among countless other beautiful dogs, deserving dogs – he somehow found me.
And Jax now has a sibling, Olive…not officially a Pointers In Need dog but connected with the charity.
Olive (formerly Tonik) was abandoned with another dog in the middle of nowhere, tied to a tree. She had managed to break free and forage so was in slightly better physical shape than the other dog but she was still so, so traumatised. Her buddy, a Setter, was rehomed but no one wanted the little misfit and Olive’s opportunities looked bleak. We took her on trial – another leap of faith – with Jax having the deciding residency vote.
Suffice to say they are three years bonded and the best of friends. Olive still evidences her trauma through fear and anxiety of strangers, but with the steadying presence of Jax as her mentor she has grown enormously in confidence. Her natural character is affectionate, cheeky, funny and feisty. She pounces on Jax – always the provocative one – and they rough-and-tumble together with complete abandon. It’s sad to believe but Olive really did not know her tail wagged, but it now wags her whole bottom and whips the grandkids!
And THAT is the real joy of rescue. To see these dogs evolve and their true personalities emerge is nothing short of miraculous. I am immensely proud of them – how far they have come and how far we’ve come! Their resilience, forgiveness and capacity to trust and love again is something that us humans could learn from, and it’s an absolute privilege to be part of.
I will not say it is always easy and these dogs did not come to us as they are now. Patience and realistic expectations are critical, and a Pointer in NEED is to a varying degree a work in progress. But aren’t all dogs? They are what we make them, we reap what we sow – but a rescue really will reward you tenfold.
For me and our family, Jax and Olive brought the house back to life. They are everything I could ever have wished for and more than I ever expected. They are the heart of our home and I will always be grateful to Pointers In Need – to Claire, Karin and Domo – for completing us again.”
Adopter: Rachael Goodwin