Phoebe, our dog, is loved by everyone who meets her…even those who’ve only seen photos!
She is so loving, friendly, and happy. But it didn’t start out that way.
Those close to us know what a journey we’ve been on with Phoebe, and I’d love to share it with you.
Here is the 1st in a 6 part Series of Phoebes Story.
Three years ago my partner and I moved in together, and getting a dog was quite high up my list.
I’ve always been an animal person. I grew up having dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, fish, a guinee pig.
Before moving to Edinburgh in 2011, I’d been travelling and living abroad, so no pets, then it was city student living, so not particularly pet friendly.
When we moved in together, we got a house, with a garden. I’m pretty sure I’d even fooled myself with the ‘Let’s just see, we will keep open minds…” as I drove us over to the Glasgow, SSPCA.
We filled in forms and had to get permission from our landlord to show the centre before we were allowed to even see the dogs. It was annoying, but totally responsible on their part to make sure there wouldn’t be any complications while rehoming.
After looking through the photos online, was had our eye on a beautiful, fluffy pooch called…Te Jazz.
Name aside, she looked like such a lovely dog, but she had a pretty rough back ground.
Initially she was brought to the centre with her son, by the mother of her previous owner. Her owner had died, leaving her two dogs. The mother couldn’t handle keeping them, so brought them in to be re-homed. But, after a few weeks she came back to take the son. She couldn’t handle both of them, but wanted to keep a reminder of her daughter.
Shortly after, Phoebe got a new home, but it was obviously short lived, as she was back at the centre within a matter of months. Her behaviour was now getting quite bad. She didn’t get on well with other dogs, and being so big was causing problems.
She managed a second rehoming, but a year later was found on the streets, with a Westie. They were buddies apparently, and had been roaming for a while. The centre didn’t know what had happened or why she was living on the streets. But now, taken back into the shelter, her behaviour towards other dogs was very aggressive. They were struggling to walk her at all. She weighed almost 50kg and was Strong.
She is a mix of German Shepherd and Malamute, so can be difficult to control.
When we arrived to meet her, the shelter workers took us to a big penned area in the middle of all the kennels. They brought her in and she was so skittish. The barking dogs all around us had her on edge.
Her coat was coarse, a bit matted, and dry. Her eyes and ears were constantly on alert, watching, listening.
The staff member advised us that her main problem, other than the dogs, was lack of human interaction. If one of them would walk past her kennel without stroking her, the cries would follow them.
Despite the anxiety, she still desperately wanted cuddles. She eventually came over and sat, on my foot, and leaned against my leg while watching what was going on. She still does this often.
At one point, another dog was brought out of his kennel to be moved. As the staff walked the dog around our enclosure, Phoebe, or Te Jazz as it was, took off. She ran straight for him, yelping, crying, teeth barred, snarling, chasing him round from the inside of the enclosure.
As soon as he was gone she returned as though nothing had happened, just a bit puffy.
It was a daunting and intimidating challenge, but she stole my heart and his.
Lord Geekus had never had a pet before, definitely not a dog, but with my experience and the fact we were both working from home, we knew we had to try and give her a happy home to live out her days.
A week later, we brought her home.
Find out how we got on with her in Part Two of Phoebes Story!