Juliet and Andrew reached out to Pointers In Need during Covid while they were mourning the sudden and unexpected loss of their much-loved Pointer Cross Tilly.
“We chose Pointers in Need as we had just lost Tilly and she set in our love for the breed,” says Juliet. “We have had rescues before and always prefer to help dogs in need rather than have a puppy.”
Juliet and Andrew were experienced dog owners, having had Pointers before in one guise or another, as well as two German Pointers, a Fennlander and a very headstrong Jack Russell.
Through Pointers In Need, Juliet and Andrew first found five-year-old sisters Paige and Fleur during lockdown in January 2021. They were English Pointers, who had been bred for show, but turned out to be unsuitable because they were not quite to breed standard. Unusually for the dogs that Pointers In Need helps, they had not been mistreated, and their breeder just wanted them to have a normal life in a nice home.
“We got permission to travel during lockdown,” says Andrew, “and we set off and brought Paige and Fleur back to Hertfordshire in January 2021. We loved the girls from the minute we saw them, and they helped to heal our very broken hearts as we had not long lost Tilly.”
Juliet says that the girls settled reasonably quickly. “Both girls slept on our bed from day one. Paige adjusted faster to her new life than Fleur as Fleur is quite nervous and doesn’t like the unknown,” she says. “Paige is a cuddle monster, while Fleur is not as liberal with her kisses as Paige, but she is definitely more cuddly than she used to be. They are now 8.5 years old, and love life to the full.”
In April 2021, Juliet and Andrew moved from Hertfordshire to mid-Devon, and marked the occasion a year later by adopting another dog through Pointers in Need. Alix had been found tied to a tree as a puppy, to which he had, horrifyingly, apparently been tied for most of his very young life. Pointers In Need’s Claire had taken Alix into care in the hope that they could find him a suitable home in the UK.
“We saw our boy Alix on the Pointers In Need website and chose him because we thought that maybe he would be overlooked due to his wonky nose,” says Juliet. “We knew that we could offer him a loving home with two big sisters to look after him.
“We got in touch with Karin, who had looked after us with the girls, and has always been there whenever we have needed help from Pointers In Need,” continues Juliet. “Karin helped us with the rehoming process, as did Rachel, who fostered Alix before we took him. They both helped to make the rehoming process very easy.”
Alix came to Juliet and Andrew at the end of May 2022. “He was very excitable, and on bringing him into the house for the first time,” says Andrew, “and he went from room to room for ages before he started to settle. For the first few nights he slept on a dog bed in our bedroom, but he soon realised he could sleep on our bed with us and the girls. We’ve bought a bigger bed to accommodate three Pointers and two humans, but for some reason Juliet and I still only get two inches on the end either side!”
Alix will be three in November and Andrew has discovered that he is mostly English Pointer with some Bracco in his genes. He says that he is now starting to understand what a cuddle is all about and loves to be close to one of us unless it’s play time. “He and Fleur are true partners in crime and no bird, bee or fly is safe in their company,” he says. “They are forever running around, chasing each other and playing. Paige loves toys and is quite possessive with them, and Alix takes great delight in rushing in to steal Paige’s toy and take it off her to play with it. We often have to go round the garden collecting the toys that Alix has left in it.”
Juliet and Andrew’s new home in Devon is surrounded by good country walks and forestry land where the girls can go for a good run. “Paige and Fleur were very well behaved when they came to us and had excellent recall, so we’ve always been able to let them safely off lead,” says Juliet. “Unfortunately, we are still working on Alix’s recall, so he must remain on lead, especially as he has a very high prey drive. We give him a treat a couple of times a week, where we can take him to a secure dog paddock and let him have a run and play. We have since found a 30-acre paddock over the border in Cornwall, where we try and take him for a run at least once a month.
“Andrew and I cannot thank Pointers in Need enough for allowing us to offer Paige, Fleur and Alix a home,” adds Juliet. “They have always been there if we have questions, and even today we stay in touch with Karin and Rachel.”