Bonnie, previously named Bony, was rescued from Xanthi in Greece after being found in a field with four of her puppies. Not much else is known about her background, however her timid nature and a number of scars is enough to indicate that her previous life was not a happy one. Once she came into the care of Pointers In Need it wasn’t long before she was spotted on the website and something immediately clicked with Maggie from London. After a lot of patience, care and even welcoming a new baby into the family, Bonnie has fully embraced the comforts of a loving forever home.
“We decided that we wanted a pointer as our first dog as we love the breed, and as we didn’t want to show or work the dog we felt that rehoming a rescue was the perfect option. Bonnie arrived with us in April 2021 and she is now seven years old. Having not met Bonnie before we adopted her we were a bit nervous about whether she would settle in and feel at home with us. The day she arrived we went to collect her at a nearby service station where she arrived with other dogs in horse boxes. As we approached we could see small groups of people and families gathering around, timidly getting closer to the big vans and asking for their dog – it was quite moving to see these tired and scared dogs meeting their forever families for the first time. Soon it was our turn to ask for Bonnie and we caught sight of her for the first time. She was very withdrawn and skinny, we were quite emotional and surprised by how skinny she was, you could see all of her ribs.
Bonnie was very anxious and timid at first and she would not move unless helped with a leash. Once we arrived home, Nick picked her up from the car boot and took her straight into the garden where she quickly fell asleep in the vegetable patch! She was exhausted after the long journey and it soon became clear that she was not used to being indoors as it took her some time to understand that it was ok to come into the house. Despite not being house trained Bonnie has always been clean inside – we taught her straight away to go to the toilet in the garden and think she was terrified of being told off previously so she learnt things quickly.
It wasn’t long before Bonnie settled into the house comforts on offer, however she remained timid and subdued for almost a year. We decided to do some training focused on helping her gain confidence and it’s been so rewarding to see her blossom. She now loves to run on Hampstead Heath in North London and knows all the local pubs and cafes, she even tries to pull us inside in the hope of getting a bit of croissant or some Sunday roast! Bonnie also loves a good snooze, she has one or two beds in her favourite places including at home, the grandparents and even the office. If we’re out and about then we must bring a blanket so that she can snuggle in it. In the evenings Bonnie loves to snooze on the couch with us and when it’s bedtime she takes herself off to our bedroom ready to be tucked into her bed!
A year after we welcomed Bonnie into our lives we found out that we were expecting our baby girl. From the start of the pregnancy Bonnie started to be even more clingy with Maggie and the week before the arrival she started to show signs of anxiety and stress, almost as if we were back to square one. It was really worrying but as soon as the labour started Bonnie was at Maggie’s side the whole time and once we were back from the hospital she was super excited to meet the new arrival and was soon back to her normal self. We think she must have felt the hormones changing and became nervous hoping that everything was going to be ok. It took Bonnie a couple of days to figure out where the high pitched crying was coming from but now she sleeps right through it, lucky her! We’re very proud of Bonnie being so sweet and respectful with our new family member.
Bonnie is still very much a calm and gentle dog but she now has moments of silliness and confidence which are such a joy to see. From being timid, insecure and shy she is now calm, gentle and sweet. She does still struggle with bangs, fireworks and thunderstorms but enjoys all the adventures we go on together as a family – from visits to the grandparents to office trips and weekly walks with her doggy pals. The biggest achievement with Bonnie, apart from gaining her trust, is her recall and being able to walk her off lead – it took us a year to build up to this, however she does still get selective hearing but it’s all about the timing of the recall and knowing the areas that are safe to let her off.
A couple of months after we rehomed Bonnie we found out that she had active Leishmaniasis. This is a parasite transmitted by sandflies and it’s endemic in Mediterranean countries. Unfortunately it can’t be cured but it can be kept under control if diagnosed in time. Pointers In Need do test for Leishmaniasis but sometimes the results can be false negatives due to the nature of the parasite that lives in the deep tissues. When we found out we were a bit shocked but with the support of PIN and a Living with Leish group we learnt all about it and were able to help get Bonnie back into shape. She now lives a normal life, needing a couple of pills a day and we take her for blood tests every 6 months or so. Our biggest learning from this is that a good and trusted vet that has knowledge of the issues dogs may experience from the area of origin and that works with rescues is so important, and can make a huge difference in a successful rehoming and forever after for the dog.