I must admit, I’d always been partial to a Jack Russell Terrier! I had two Jack Russel Crosses and one pure Jack Russel in my lifetime. I love their energy and exciting personality. After my last one, I never thought that another dog would come into my life because it was so heartbreaking to lose one. But then, of course, you would be denying a good dog a good home and yourself the love of that good dog.
Over 2 years after the loss of our beautiful JRT Milo and following our wedding and honeymoon, we were finally ready for a new dog to come into our lives. Blake the Patterdale Terrier! It was my sister who first fell in love with him after seeing his sweet face on the RSPCA website. When we met him in person he took a liking to my husband Simon straight away and it seemed he was definitely the right dog for us!
Having never had a Patterdale before, but as Jack Russell owners previously, we were used to high energy dogs. We like a dog that gets us out and about walking. We also like intelligent terriers to train to do tricks and scent trails, and so the RSPCA knew that we could handle a Patterdale!
We were aware that Blake had been through a lot – he lived in an abusive home and there was also a domestic violence situation going on. And so he did not come without his problems.
He was quite barky and aggressive to strange men when we got him. For the first few days he was even wearing of me or my husband coming down the stairs – it seemed that any sudden movement would freak him out. Walking him was also a challenge – he nearly pulled me over in the first few weeks of having him!
However, once he knew he could trust us and had settled in he became a gorgeous family pet – always by our side when we sit in front of the TV, in the kitchen watching us cook and even sitting outside the bathroom when we went to the loo!
There was still more to do with Blake – he needed to get used to strangers so that he wasn’t aggressive to them. He also needed socialising with other dogs and training on recall. We had a one-to-one trainer first of all and then after a few sessions, he started going to classes. He is improving all the time.
He was and still is dog reactive on lead, but since we have seen him interact with other dogs we know now that he just wants to play! We have started to take him to doggy daycare to play with other dogs and this has helped to get some of his energy out and learn how to socialise. He is also doing well with recall and allowed off lead near dogs that we know and can trust.
After 18 months with Blake, we love him so much and just wouldn’t be without him now. While it’s understandable that dog rescue isn’t for everyone, we always feel that if you can rescue rather than buy you should. Having a rescue dog can be the most challenging yet also the most rewarding thing that you can ever do in your life.
A heartwarming story from Amy Green