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Celebrating National Pet Month

Rescue dog Toby finds his forever home with Laura, our head of finance.

Celebrating National Pet Month

As part of National Pet Month, we’re sharing the story of Toby, a Beagle who found his forever home with Laura Dowswell, Head of Finance here at Helplines Partnership.

Laura shares his story.

We adopted Toby (a Beagle) from Dogs Trust in Shoreham on 11 July 2023.

I had always wanted a Beagle as they seemed like so much fun and having previously had retired greyhounds who pretty much slept all day, I wanted a bit of a livelier dog who would enjoy our active lifestyle.

Toby was 18 months old and had had a difficult background, previously being adopted and returned.

Before we were allowed to adopt him, we had three meetings with Dogs Trust. The first was a meet and greet, where I fell in love with him and wanted to bring him home immediately, the second was a session with a trainer for us to learn how to train him and for them to watch us interacting with him, and the third visit was with a doggy behaviour expert who told us all about Beagle specific behaviours and what to expect. It was a very thorough process, and we felt fully prepared for when we took Toby home.

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We expected a few nights or possibly weeks of broken sleep, but the first night he got into his nice new cosy bed and stayed there till the morning—and has been a great sleeper since.

It has been a learning experience for us all as we each adjust to new ways, but it has been so much fun and very rewarding watching Toby’s confidence develop and his bond with us strengthen as he learns to trust us. He now seems to have realised that this is his forever home.

We live right by the sea, so have daily walks along the beach which are mostly just Toby being a typical Beagle and walking along with his nose to the ground.

We’ve taken him to dog skills classes, swimming lessons, on holiday, to scent training classes and are soon to start agility training with him. He’s also doing couch to 5k so that we can do canicross together.

Toby loves food, treats, learning new tricks in reward for more treats, the sofa, a blanket and lots of cuddles, and especially loves socialising and playing with other dogs. Having spent his young life in kennels, he seems to miss other dogs.

I have suggested to my husband that we adopt another Beagle for Toby to have a playmate, but that seems a step too far, although I’m still working on it 😊

Dogs Trust is a member of Helplines Partnership.

You can find out more about their work here.

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