Duncan Oldham

Just under 2 years ago I rescued a young puppy that had been abandoned. I had been open to the idea of having another dog after Rodderz died but hadn’t really actively looked for one until I saw a particular Facebook appeal from the local dog shelter that tugged like hell on my heart strings.

If I was to get a new dog I had planned on calling him Frank after Francis Underwood from my favourite TV series, House of Cards. Frank is an absolute ruthless bastard so he’s obviously a hero of mine! However, this was a her, so I had to shelve that idea. Instead, she was named Zoe after Zoe Barnes from the same series.

Duncan Oldham

Zoe and Frank from U.S. political series House of Cards

Ever since adopting Zoe, I’d toyed with the idea of maybe finding a Frank to keep her company, just like in the series, right? Well, kinda! The concern, however, was that Zoe is an exceptionally well behaved and trained dog. She settled in quickly and she’s the most well behaved dog I’ve ever had. Would any new addition be a nightmare? Would Zoe’s personality change? She’s very timid. There was the additional expense, noise and commitment to consider. Everything pointed at binning the idea off … until the dog shelter published last week that they were in need of a home for young male dog that had been abandoned a couple of months ago. He was small like Zoe and according to the volunteers at the shelter, he was also very timid. You obviously know where this is going!

So far so good. However, I’ve had my mum’s cat since she died, so again, how would that work? The shelter performed a ‘cat test’ at the weekend which consisted of walking him through the cattery to see how he reacted. I was in Newcastle at the time but they sent me a couple of videos of him just looking at the cats as if to say ‘meh, what’s your problem’. He wasn’t interested in them so this was another tick.

This morning, now that I’m back in Spain, I popped down to the shelter with Zoe to see how they both got on – and they were fine! Neither wanted to kill the other and I’m happy to report that I quickly handed over my €150 adoption fee so that the shelter could now arrange his blood tests, vaccinations and castration. Sorry pal, but it’s a condition of adoption and it’s out of my hands!

Frank will be moving into his first home on 24th October! Until then, I kinda feel a bit sad that he’s still caged up at the shelter but they’ve gotta do their thing and that gives me plenty of time to prepare for his arrival.

Duncan Oldham

Although today resulted in a very rewarding and warm outcome, it was also extremely depressing having to walk past all the dogs that are yet to find someone. It kills me every time I visit. I wish I could do more. Adopting another dog is more commitment and more cost but I keep telling myself that it’s about making a difference, not only to Frank, but also to the local community and society in general. Adopting 2 dogs from the shelter is a big help, that’s what I keep telling myself.

It’s been a rewarding time having Zoe. She was dumped at the side of the road when she was a puppy along with her sister. Both of them had parvovirus and were seriously ill. Her sister died but Zoe pulled through and survived. She’s the cutest dog you could ever meet and she looks so content and happy now. It’s such a nice feeling knowing that she was given a loving home. Later this month it will be Frank’s turn to be loved by someone and I can’t wait to bring him home.

Duncan Oldham

Before signing off I want to acknowledge the amazing volunteers at the shelter (above). When you approach the shelter you soon become aware of the amount of people that exercise the dogs. These people are absolute legends in my eyes and deserve medals for all the hard work they put in. Not only do they give up their free time but they’re running around trying to exercise the dogs in the often unbearable heat before returning the dogs to the kennels to collect others to do the same again. They are also the nicest and friendliest people you could meet. We constantly see, hear and read about the bad people in the world but every now and then it’s nice to be reminded that there’s some angels out there too.

Today has been a good day!