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Hampton, Victoria, Australia

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Love Tails - Jo with Hunter and Raff

When I was accepted into this fab group, I had the most magnificent man-dog, a Keeshond named Hunter, who came to us via Save A Dog Scheme otherwise known as SADS - the things people throw away!

 

Hunter was an integral part of our lives. He was factored into everything we did, and boy did we do it in style! He got to dine with us in the most lovely dog-friendly restaurants and cafes, where he was loved by all. On the Peninsula and Bayside, there are so many wonderful places that welcome us with our best friends.

 

He made friends wherever he went, not only on account of his stunning looks, but his way of looking at folk he met who 'got' dogs, full on in the eye. Weeping a tad as I recount that people said 'he has kind eyes' because he really did.

 

It’s not for nothing his breed is known as 'The Velcro Dog' and 'The Smiling Dutchman' - he gave me so much joy.

 

Moving along. He died. Far too young and entirely unexpectedly. Oh boy, the point here, I guess, is that Hunty had walked all the beaches on the Peninsula and Bayside with us, and I was chuffed to join this cool group and hang out with both like minded dogs and their people.

 

Hunter had little contact with, and impact upon, our fab group. That’s sad.  As a tribute to my soulmate - never a replacement - Raphael Epstein AKA Raff came to live with us. 

 

We gave him a loving home, he was living in a horrific ‘rescue’ and had been there for over a year. I knew what I was getting into. I also knew I would improve his life beyond belief, as I have done with previous dogs.  But the cost to me and my family has been enormous.  Our dear bloke has come a long way in the 18 months I have called him mine (and I’m very proud of him) but he has a long way to go!

Here’s where our group really comes in…

Raff has cancer. Nasty cancer. Canine T-Zone Lymphoma. He was diagnosed about 6 months ago.  Can you believe it? After all he’s been through.

 

Distraught, I put it to the group to give him their best wishes, to provide any info they may have.  OMG the group was amazing!  There were heartfelt messages of love and best wishes, so much information.  There were offers of FREE second opinions from vet clinics - you name it, I got it in spades!  Beautiful, empathetic, compassionate people.  People I’d never met, as Raff is an ‘enthusiastic greeter’ hence not a fella who is up to playing with other Bayside puppas….yet.

The level of comfort for us was huge.

He is in remission. The next step - to do whatever can be done to maximise his joy of life i.e. get a great trainer for him.  Once again, I put out the call. The response, again, fantastically, wonderfully informative! For our boy, with his issues, the name that came up again and again was Billy Cheron from ITrainDogs, and he is currently working with Raff.  Results so far are great.

So - thank you to all who took the time to respond to my calls - you were all magnificent, and all let me know I was never alone!