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Happy Tails!

Read some Happy Tails from our success stories and find out what some of our rescued spaniels are up to now!

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On 30 June 2019 Dawn very kindly allowed us to adopt Snoopy - he was just under a year old and so very skinny.  

When we brought him home my niece thought he was a goat!!!!!


When we first got him he could not walk far, he would not be left behind, so he would walk as far as he could, then I would carry him - this was not nice as he was all bones.


With the right medication he has slowly put on weight - going from under 4kgs to just over 8kgs.  He will always be small but he looks so handsome and is full of life. 

A trip to the vet and a few tests later we discovered his pancreas was not working and he had a liver stent.  The vet advised 'he would not make old bones'.   He also had a tendency to eat his own poop and the vet stated it was probably a learned behaviour and he would not grow out of it (indeed he still tries, but I do my utmost to clean it up as soon as he has been - it's a battle of wills and I think I am winning, but he is becoming crafty!!).


When he is excited (people daring to come to the door, being fed or going for walk) he sounds as if he is being murdered!! I spend half my time expecting the RSPCA to call to check up on him!! 


He is a food thief and has eaten - a whole banana, part of a birthday cake, part of a wedding cake for which he had to go to the vets, as it was a rich fruit cake, with marzipan and icing (the cake was put out of his reach - or so we thought!!), when he came home from the vets he went looking for the cake and was disappointed it had been moved!


He is so very beautiful, loving, annoying, noisy and a food thief but we love him dearly.  


He has changed so much and lives happily with his 3 brothers and 1 sister.  We cannot thank Dawn enough for allowing us to adopt him.


I adopted Alfie in 2018 from his foster carer in Trowbridge Wiltshire. When he came to me he had fear of strangers and was a confused boy. I was already competing my other dog at Agility and thought that Alfie would be perfect. And I was right. As soon as we started training he showed lots of promise and was a quick learner.

We started before the pandemic, and our progress continued after it. We started at Grade 2 and within 12 months we were Grade 4. In 2022 we progressed to Grade 6 and we are now Grade 7 (the highest level in Agility under Kennel Club Rules).

He continues to have people issues but are carefully managed. 

Since doing Agility he has good from strength to strength. 

I call him my special boy.


In May 2022 I was contacted by Dawn Clough about this little boy. He was only 9 months old and was in a veterinary hospital in Bristol having had treatment for Giardia (which he is now clear of). I had no hesitation in saying yes having lost my older dog the previous August.

He took a while to settle in with only eating certain foods. So I made the decision to raw feed him and he’s never looked back. 

The plan with him was always to train him for Agility with no pressure for fun. 

When he started training he showed so much promise that I have decided to compete him. 

He has so much speed and potential and my trainer rates him very highly indeed. So much so that he is now sponsored by a natural food company based where I live in Melksham.

He made his debut in January 2022 and continues to progress. 

He has a huge future in agility. 

I am very grateful to Dawn Clough for allowing to rescue not only one but two boys from Spaniel Assist. I wouldn’t be without them in my life now.  And I know should I have any questions she is there for ongoing support. 

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Sam came to us over four years ago for a temporary two week foster! He came from a loving home but things changed and his mum decided to sign him over to SARR and we were lucky enough to adopt him. Sam is an amazing boy.


In July we lost our Spaniel Marley (not a SARR boy) and needed to find a companion for Sam.  We saw Millie on the website and Dawn agreed to let us foster her.  She was 2 years old and came from a bad place.  She had at least one litter but probably more and came to us with an open wound on her side.  She was very stressed when she arrived and needed time to decompress but we gave her all the time she needed and knew she was never going anywhere.  She is such a loving affectionate girl despite all that has happened to her, we are so lucky to have her.

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Mid November 2016  I met Reg for the first time , he was being fostered for spaniel assist by my friend Leanne , he had been moved around a bit to a few different fosters as their circumstances changed.  

I already had two re-homed Labradors but they were entering their twilight years . I agreed to have him in foster on trial to see how we went . This would be my first foster experience also my first spaniel. After a month I was pretty convinced Reg wasn’t going anywhere I loved his energy and speed and brightness, I was hoping he would love agility. I think my Labradors were less impressed initially  already I needed to feed Reg separately he resourced guarded food. Despite this I became a first-time failed fosterer! We have worked hard on all his issues setting clear expectations and with patience and time he has become a happy confident dog. 


So the journey began I quickly learned having a young spaniel was a world away from two middle aged Labradors! Luckily Reg loved my agility idea so we started in earnest. Reg was already two when I had him so he had lots of ground work to catch up on.  


However he progressed quickly and we started competing the following year and he had his first win at the end of 2017  

By the  middle of 2019 he had progressed from Kennel Club  Grade 3 to Grade 6 and now  we are two wins off Grade 7. He has competed in the Rescue finals for the past 4 years & reached UK Agility finals and has reached Champ Level. 

Reg has a big personality he loves being outside, he loves his tennis ball and loves going on walks. He still has lots of energy and will be 9 this year.  


Reg has been a huge learning curve his poor start in life meant he had a few issues, socially anxious and quick to defend himself if he felt intimidated by other dogs. However he has come a long way over the years  he has enjoyed holidays all over Wales & agility  shows all over the country I think one of his favourite places is the car as he knows he is off to do something fun! He enjoys his agility. He understands his role in and it has has boosted his confidence and his relationship with me.


He now shares his life with a young working cocker who he has accepted brilliantly. Reg still has loads of energy but also loves his downtime, he enjoys laying in the garden watching the world go by on a summer’s day. He is hugely affectionate and most of my photos of him you’ll see him grinning from ear to ear!  

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We had our home check for SARR back in 2016 as we were looking for a playmate for our beloved Ted (sadly passed away in 2019 aged 3) and we were constantly searching for a rescue. We didn’t hold out much hope of finding one as it seemed as soon as we expressed an interest in a particular dog it had already been chosen by someone else. 

We had given up hope and in February of 2017 we were on our way to see a litter of spaniel pups for sale and we had actually arrived at the house when I got a message from Dawn saying we were a great fit for Teddy (as she was known then) and we could go and visit her with her foster mum. It turned out that they were literally in the same area so I cancelled our puppy viewing and hot footed it over to the lovely Laila who had fostered Teddy for the last 5 weeks. We had Ted with us as it was crucial that they got on together and on first meeting they were off, chasing each other around the garden and so the deal was sealed! We arranged to go back the following week to collect her and formalise her adoption. We had to change her name as we couldn’t have two Teds and so we chose Tiggy as not too far a departure for her to get used to.

The first few months were quite challenging as she was showing signs of resource guarding and had her own ways of doing things, in fact after a few lunges and bites of my husband we almost gave up but we had promised her a loving home and that’s what we wanted to give her and so with more understanding and help from the lovely people at SARR we actually made progress with her.

Today we have just passed our 6th Gotcha Day and Tiggy is certainly a major part of our lives and we would definitely say she has Diva tendencies but then we’ve encouraged it! 

She is best mates (most of the time) with our Working Cocker Mac who was introduced to her as a tiny puppy back in January 2020. She was not impressed at all but as Mac grew his persistence paid off and now they even share a bed on occasions!

She is most certainly a water dog - we often refer to her as a “Swampdonkey” as she has to find the muddiest puddle to dive into, in fact she’ll go into any water, sea, river, stream and the occasional water trough - much to the amazement of the onlooking herd of cows! She loves to snorkel for rocks too, a particular party trick of hers is to search underwater for just the right rock and bring it to you to throw so she can go in search of it again - we’ve never seen this behaviour before but she is an expert and astounds us every time.

You often hear people say “oh we couldn’t have a rescue dog, you never know what baggage they’ll come with” and this is true to a certain degree but with kindness and solid direction anyone can give a dog a second chance. We did and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

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Mickey was my second foster dog and has been with me since May 2018, he quickly made himself at home and loves playing with my other dogs. 

Initially nervous of men and loud noises my 2 other dogs showed him the ropes and has overcome his fears. He gets very excited when we go out for run which he thinks is the best thing ever. Although afraid of water which is rare for a Spaniel he will follow me in for a swim. He is my wonder dog and always keen to please, he will try anything including racing around an agility course, canicross and pulling me along on my bike.


Beautiful Bonnie, a nine month old Springer, was matched with us just before Christmas 2021 and we drove to collect her from her amazing foster carers on 2nd January 2022. 

Bonnie was a dream passenger on the two hour drive home despite clearly being frightened. That first night, as it had been a long day, we ordered a takeaway. Bonnie was like something possessed - throwing herself at us and trying to jump onto the table to get to the food! She had a horrible start and had been starved so food was a big thing for her. It was a help when it came to training though and she quickly learned that she would always have a regular meal and stopped trying to steal (although I'd still never leave a cheese board unattended ). 


As the days passed we learnt that Bonnie was terrified of lots of things - other dogs, men, bikes, hi-vis jackets, umbrellas, anybody wearing a hat - you get the idea! She was very reactive on walks and we had some support from the behaviourist at Spaniel Assist who helped us understand that it was just fear and not aggression. 

She bonded with us as a family quite quickly but it was a while before she came to trust wider family and friends. About ten months after we got her, she just seemed to realise that she was safe and she can be friends with most people now. 


It took a long time and some training classes before I was confident to let her off lead but when I did, she was like a different dog. She tolerates other dogs, ignores people and is at her spaniel best charging after a ball or wallowing in mud. My mum is convinced she is part hippo. 


Bonnie is the best thing that ever happened to us as a family, she's totally daft,  snuggly, ball obsessed and never happier than when she's wet or dirty. 


We are very grateful for being chosen to be her furever family and want to say thanks to Dawn and the team at SARR


After fostering and then adopting Jessy, a 2 year old Cockapoo in Feb this year who was very nervous, not house trained, and no recall. I don't think she had been in a house as was very frightened of the television and we had to teach her how to go up and down steps. She is now a wonderful dog and a very fast learner.

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Jack was our first SARR foster dog. His owner died. He went to stay with family members, who couldn’t cope with him. He came to SARR. We collected him from his lovely foster mum Holly, in January 2020. Holly discovered he didn’t like cats, his paws wiped, having his photo taken and loved to steal things. He had a bite history, which didn’t put us off.


We fell in love with him instantly, quirks and all. Jack learned to trust us and eventually getting his paws wiped was easy. After a walk “Jack paws” and he lay on his back, waiting for us to get it over with. Jack loves to chase rabbits and squirrels, he has zero chance of catching them. At first he didn’t like water (strange for a spaniel) he would only paddle. His first holiday was to Cornwall. This is where he learned to swim. It was also when he realised he wasn’t leaving us, we were his forever home. It took him a good six months to settle. Jack now loves to swim and will swim after ducks, he can’t catch them either. It always worries me when Spaniel deafness kicks in and he’s a long way from the shore. He comes back eventually!


Jack is the most amazing foster brother, to six SARR fosters. One of those being Buddy in September 2021. Another one with a bite history. He was only ever meant to be a foster, but he got his paws firmly under the table and settled in. He is a bit of a grumpy old man at times, such a sweetie the rest. He drags his blanket around and falls asleep with it in his mouth. They both love a run round the woods.


We adopted Rosie 7 years ago this November, she is 9 years old now, and will be 10 in November. We are failed fosters, she is a mud magnet and a water baby, she loves nothing more than a splash in the sea or a muddy puddle. She loves to run after a tennis ball as well! 


We did live in Northamptonshire, but now live in Worle North Somerset, a 5 mins drive to the beach, she has a fur brother in Dino (deeno) and had a sister Lara, but she went to Rainbow Bridge last December. Rosie is fabulous and not a bad bone in her body. she is so tolerant of any situation, she hates loud bangs though! As you can see, she now lives her best life at the beach every day.

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So…this is Gem and Belle. They were abandoned with 3 other dogs and a cat in January 2020 and after my daughter sent me the link for them to be rehomed, I contacted Dawn and said I’d happily take them both. They were so scared when they came to us but we took it gently with them both and within a week they were happily having hugs and belly tickles. Gentle Gem is so laid back, she’s an ex worker so has earned her rest. She will be 11 in September this year. Brown eye Baby Belle was used for breeding and was still just a baby when she came to us. We think she’s around 6-7. They don’t bother other dogs, are fantastic off lead and could walk for miles. They love company but take themselves off upstairs when our 4 grandogs arrive

Then we have Reo. Originally Oreo, she came to us last April after hubby did a 7 hour round trip. No collar, lead, toys, bowls or treats….just her in an awful distressed state. She had bleeding nails due to constant scratching on concrete, stank and a matted coat. Poor girl was scared witless. She has been my most challenging spaniel ever and I’ve had this breed for over 30 years. Every day we see an improvement but she still spins, runs away even when the kettle switches off or the microwave dings. She is really good with our other dogs and curious when we have visitors. She’s our little dream and she’ll get there eventually.

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Front and centre is my most recent adoption Teddy the cockerpoo, who has fitted in well with the furry family. His interests are keeping on top of the movement of folk passing the house and watching dogs behaving badly. Immediately behind him is my other SARR boy Henry. At the time of foster was known as handsome humping Henry because he was attracted to the first fosters show cocker. They live with Wallace the springer and Jack the miniature yorkie.


This lovely little bundle of speed, cheekiness and love arrived on our doorstep 9 weeks ago. It was 4 am on a Sunday morning after a long journey from Spain. My husband was in tears as he brought her in cradled in his arms a bag of bones shaking and smelly she howled at night for days, running calling her friends, we think. Bella wouldn’t let us stroke her and fed fed like it was her last meal.


Fast forward to now, where she sleeps through the night ( on our bed) she has started listening to us and sits on command, but the absolute best thing is the kisses and hugs we get! We changed her name from Summer to Bella, which she answered to so quickly. Thank you Dawn for giving us this chance... was dreading the dog rescue centres looking for one but wanting to take them all. Our life is now complete.

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