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Happy Pointer Stories

Nothing gives us more joy than seeing rescued Pointers happy and settled into loving homes.

We listen carefully to the needs of adopters and match our dogs according to their temperament,age, activity levels and any special needs. We support you through the process and beyond.

Here are just a few examples of how rewarding life is with these wonderful dogs.

We’d love to put your dog’s name in big bright lights – so if you’ve adopted one of our pointers and are happy to do a follow up story, please get in touch.

Our House

I like tracking things back to the point at which they began: a phone call from my school friend cancelling our arrangement to meet up on the first day of Fresher’s Week which altered who I spoke to that day and ultimately the friends I made at University; a trip made to the very north of Scotland twenty years later to visit one of said friends, which coincided with Sid the dog running away from home and his fate being sealed when my son Hamish, proclaimed “He’s just the right size!”

A whisper sent out into the Universe not long after about a dog called Nash which ten years later still, saw him come home. Out walking Sid the dog, Alastair and I used to see a couple walking a tricolour of Labradors. Speculating as to their names and dreaming of our own little pack, we settled on Crosby, Stills and Nash: Crosby for our new dog, Sid could become Stills and Nash was out there somewhere waiting for us (I don’t think we ever got as far as Young). If you have never heard of this folk rock supergroup, don’t worry, you’re not alone as neither had our boys, who discarded Crosby without a second thought and thus Dougal bounded into our lives.

Fast forward eight years with Sid no longer with us, the boys increasingly absent from our house, Dougal moping in the void, a glass of champagne too many dissolving my willpower never to look on dog adoption websites, and there he was, Nash. “It’s a sign! It’s a sign! Hic! He’s meant to be here….”

Once seen, never forgotten, he filled my nights with dreams and my waking moments with longing. There were too many reasons not to do it, except as my older son was quick to point out “they’re all just logistics” and in that moment I knew that I have taught him well and was reminded that we used to be a family who said ‘yes’ and then found a way to made it happen, like bringing a dog home with you from your holidays.

Not quite daring to believe it was real, and with more than a few doubts that it actually would happen, we waited (not so) patiently for news of his arrival from Greece. “Greece?!” What can I say? English Pointers don’t often need re-homing in the UK, they do in Greece. No he won’t understand us, but he’s not been trained, he doesn’t really ‘speak’ Greek either. “He’s not trained?!” No, he’ll learn the good from us and his bad habits from Dougal… all conversations I was perfectly willing to have in defence of our madness, but at the point where you’ve to say he’ll come in a dog transporter van from Athens to Calais, and another man with dog friendly van will bring him from Calais to our midnight rendezvous spot at Lymm Services on the M6, and yes we have sent money over the internet, it starts to sound and feel like we’re part of some elaborate scam. So we said nothing, in case it wasn’t real.

Except that it was, and he’s here, and our hearts have melted.

I don’t want to dwell on how anyone could abandon a dog to fend for itself, instead I prefer to marvel at the kindness of the man, Athanastasios (thank goodness it shortens to Nash!), who found him in the mountains and didn’t know what to do – but k

new he couldn’t do nothing, Maria who dropped everything and drove two hours to get him, Domo who made sure he was safe and well, the Pointers in Need team who paid for his upkeep and arranged getting him home to us, and the men to whom driving to collect and deliver dogs in the depth of the night is not a covert operation but part of their everyday lives. Beautiful souls doing wonderful work.

How is it going? Well, Dougal has been every bit as gracious in his put-outness that we knew he would be, Nash is growing in confidence by the hour (and let’s face it he’s only been here for 36), and our family feels again like it did at it’s best – living life and saying ‘Yes’.

Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good
Such a cosy room…. *

  • Our House (Lyrics by Graham Nash)
    (but I have a feeling that the cats might have scarpered out the yard!)

Olive is a big part of family life!

An update from adopter, Karen Hare: ‘I first came across Olive in January from the Pointers In Need website and fell in love. I spoke to my children and we agreed to have one of the 10 puppies but which one? That was a difficult decision.

Olive’s mum Gilly was rescued after being locked in shed and who had a crushed leg – which later had to be amputated. A terrible story.

We had to wait 7 months before Olive arrived. During the waiting period we were sent photos and videos most days so we could see her. Everything was done to keep Olive, her mum and the other pups safe.

I don’t think that I breathed at all that week – not until Olive arrived. Finally at 4am, Olive was with me. At long last I got to say hello to Olive and her siblings. We finally made it home when it was light so we let Olive have a good sniff around in the garden before she met our other dogs. I brought her in kitchen so that my dogs could see her through the gate. After just two minutes Olive found the stash of sweets that I hid in my washing basket from my kids. So while trying to keep my eyes open in the early morning, the kitchen went under some rearranging to cope with the new family member.

Now we wouldn’t be without our bundle of joy. Not even her naughty Pointer behaviour like ripping holes in my tops, digging the garden, taking my washing off the line, using my arm for chew toy or pinching our food and shoes – that’s just Olive.’

“We would like to thank Claire Stokes and her team for helping us to give Olive a new loving home.” Said Karen Hare. “Olive is such a big part of our family. it is also great that everyone involved and her siblings are still in touch with us.“

Ollie and Nellie rescued from Bosnia

Two beautiful fourteen month year old girls – Ollie and Nellie were rescued from a puppy farm in Bosnia where they lived their life in a transport box.

The volunteers at the refuge did what they could, but Ollie and Nellie needed a home environment in order to thrive. They were so traumatised, their body language said it all. When we saw the girls plight, there was no hesitation in bringing them to the UK to start a new life.

Pointers In Need agreed to help and within a month they both arrived safely at their fosterer’s home. The two girls endured a long journey from Bosnia, first travelling into Hungary and then on to the UK. They were so tired and exhausted, their fosterer had to carry them in to the garden.

Little by little and with the help of the fosterer’s other Pointers, Ollie and Nellie started to settle down.
Both girls were luck enough to find their forever homes. A happy ending for the girls!

Mr Magoo settles in just fine!

Mischievous Mr Magoo arrived with us after a long gruelling journey by road from Turkey, in June 2017.

Tired, thirsty and hungry, he slept pretty much most of the coming days. Along with our existing Pointer Bella, Magoo was understandably wary of his new company and thought of her as a threat, even though she is the most placid of dogs you could ever meet.

Mr Magoo is all legs, very gangly and when running at full speed he is all over the place, running into things, including me! He’s like Bambi.

The funniest trait Mr Magoo has is his groans of contentment. When getting ‘comfy’ he will moan and groan, normally doing 5-7 circles before finally lying down, which brings laughter to us all.

Now he has settled into his new life. Very mischievous, playful and most of all loving, he loves attention and human cuddles. Say “Mr Magoo” loudly and his tail wags none stop. There have been difficult times and times when we as a family wondered if he would ever ‘settle’ and be kind to his companion dog Bella, but gradually, with patience and training, he has become the most loyal, loving dog, that we knew he would eventually become.

Paxti has been adopted

Paxti is enjoying a new life with his house mate, 11 year old Ruby.

He had a brilliant journey home. Paxti popped his head up just before we came into the village as if to say are we home? He had a good explore of house and garden, then we took him for a walk. Paxti is extremely strong, my arms have grown about a metre – using a harness is a Godsend. We have met my friend’s dogs and we had no problems at all. Our cats have taken Paxti joining the family in their stride.

Patxi continues to make amazing progress – I can’t believe he has only been a part of the family for just over 10 days – it feels like forever! Paxti adores his walks and whizzing around the paddock chasing the pigeons and blackbirds. His recall is pretty good and he does come back to you. We go out of the paddock where Paxti is allowed to run and again he comes back. He also absolutely loves the car and cannot wait to get into it when we go out. Happy days for Paxti and our family!

Maeve settles in to family life

The Thornton family had a list of ‘must haves’ when considering adding another dog to their family. They pick up the story and explain the process of adoption.

“Pointers in Need were fantastic. We contacted Claire asking her to keep us on record, just in case a rare opportunity arose when an energetic, cat, dog and toddler-friendly Pointer was looking for a loving home. As luck would have it Claire came back to us soon after with news of a beautiful 11 month-old English Pointer called Maeve.

She’s been with us a little while now and is settling in brilliantly with our family. The adoption process was very friendly. It included a home check to make sure we could give Maeve everything she needs. We were also able to meet with Maeve and this enabled us to introduce her to our dog and toddler to check they got on. It was as simple as that.”

Crumpet – a perfect fit for the family

Rachel had been on the look out to rehome a Pointer once the time was right for her family. Here she explains the story of adopting Crumpet (Hawkfield Strumpet) from Pointers in Need in August 2016.

We had been ‘pointerless’ for over seven years after we lost our beloved Tatler just six weeks after our first son was born. I think I had been dog ‘broody’ for some time but with three small children and a full time job the ‘right time’ had never existed.

Then in Summer 2016 I was introduced to Claire Stokes. Within a very short time we had a home check and Claire contacted me to say there was a beautiful two-year-old girl local to me who sounded perfect to fit our mad family life. Crumpet had been part of another busy family with five children and four other dogs. After some long chats with Claire, Wendy her breeder and her current owner it sounded like we had found our perfect girl.

I had expected to have to wait a long time to rescue or rehome; after owning a pointer before I had also expected rehoming to bring some issues we would have to deal with. I did not expect to be able to find a dog who would just fit in almost from day one. Crumpet is a typical pointer; she loves everyone, she is fantastic with the children (more tolerant than any other being), loves to run, run, run, obsessed by birds and fast moving furries and loves nothing more than to be a sofa dog or a doggy heartbeat at your feet, on your lap or even your laptop!

She also has a day job. I work for a land-based college so as part of our canine team she has a role to play teaching students about anything canine from behaviour, anatomy and physiology to rehabilitation or training. She still has much to learn and I am so proud and excited that her wonderful temperament and enthusiastic nature is giving my children the opportunity to have a go at obedience and in future ringcraft.

I am so delighted to have been able to rehome Crumpet, getting an older dog rather than a puppy has been perfect for our family… so much so that one day we hope to find another pointer to join our mad but almost complete family.”

A loving new home for Dora

Unexpected life events meant that Dora, a beautiful 8 year-old Pointer needed a new home.

It was very important to her family that she would go to someone who could give her the attention and daily exercise she needed. Dora wasn’t spayed and a condition of the adoption with Pointers in Need included having the procedure done soon after rehoming.

Within a short time, Ian contacted us, he went to meet Dora and they ‘hit it off’ immediately. Here he takes up the story. “Dora has settled easily into our routine and is very keen to remind me about feeding time! She is very well behaved out on walks and she particularly loves Dartmoor and Woodbury Common where she has space to run endlessly. She is certainly getting me fit! She’s a real softie and seems so happy.”

It’s lovely to see Dora looking contented, and Ian and her previous owners keep in touch to share her progress.

Life with a golden oldie

I’d planned a ‘dog free’ year after losing my beloved pointer cross, but after seeing a photograph of Ricardo I couldn’t stop thinking about him. As he was getting on a bit – 7 or 8 but looked older still – I think he’d been overlooked.

When he arrived, I just melted. He was nervous and over excited. But it was clear he had a very gentle nature. He’d look at me, take a step forward. And wait. I’m not sure what for. Goodness knows what he’d endured in his life.

We are now inseparable. I live near the sea and we often have a beach walk. I take lessons to help with his recall which are great until he spots a seagull – then we end up in a tangled heap amongst the seaweed! Ricardo is a very funny dog. He likes doing his business in dense thickets of nettles, so I now carry marigold gloves with me when we go off for the day.

And in the evening, after dinner, he just snuggles up to me, his big old orange and white head resting on my lap while I rub coconut oil into the callouses on his elbows. I think he’s happy.

It can be daunting to take on a dog you’ve never met, and especially an older one. But it’s not their fault – they are just desperate for a home and stability. At some point I think you just have to take a leap of faith. I’m so glad I did.

Sancho, canicross and big adventures!

It’s now hard to believe that Sancho (previously Aaron) was a terribly sad dog when we first saw him in the summer 2016.
Released from a municipal pound he was shaking uncontrollably and had virtually shut down. It was clear that he would need a huge investment of experienced one-to-one care and support to help him recover from his ordeal.

His adopter, Carole, takes up the story: “Sancho has now been with us in his forever home for two weeks. He came over from Spain in July and spent just over three months in foster care with Jane Russell. Jane had clearly put in a great deal of work, love and care into his rehabilitation.

We spent the first two weeks with him out on a long line and concentrated on recall and meeting new friends! I even introduced him to a little bit of canicrossing which he loved. Sancho has come on leaps and bounds, learning the way we live and move around our home. He’s bonded with Corran our other Pointer really well too.

We now let him off lead to play and run free in an area that is fenced at the boundaries, Sancho is really good and responsive. He thoroughly enjoys running through the bracken and heather. It’s a joy to have him in our lives and to see him so happy. We are looking forward to lots of exciting adventures together out in the mountains.

Bill – a privilege to have in the family

Bill was found by our rescue friends in Serbia languishing in a municipal pound. He was thin and unwell and we helped sponsor him to be taken to private kennels where he received wonderful care and veterinary treatment. He’s now living in Bromley in the UK with Emma and her family.

Emma explains how she and her family arrived at the decision to adopt Bill. “Well what can I say … with a dog at home who can be a little ‘selective’ over who she wants to be friends with we took a leap of faith adopting a dog that we had never met. We have not had Pointers before but my research on the breed and the fact we had spent time with one previously, combined with Bill’s description from the team at Pointers in Need (and his sad little face) made us feel like he was the one for us.

ven though everything had gone very smoothly we still felt a little nervous going to pick him up from the kennels. But when we met him we knew that we had done the right thing. Bill is the sweetest loveliest dog I think I have ever met. All he wants is love and cuddles (oh and some food and a nice run everyday), we have all fallen madly in love with him. He is so good with our existing dog Coco that I think even she has a small soft spot for him. For a large dog he can make himself fit into the smallest empty spot on the sofa and he just wants to be loved.

It is so sad to think of what he must have gone through in his life but we are so happy and privileged to have him part of our family. I would definitely recommend rehoming a Pointer in need.”

Donations are essential to support the work we do in rescuing and rehoming Pointers in the UK and abroad. Please help us by making a donation now. Are you thinking about adopting a Pointer? Take a look at our dogs available for adoption and see the way they’ve transformed the lives of our adopters in our Happy Pointer stories. If you’d like to talk about any aspect of our work, please get in touch.