The life of young Rowland the lurcher did not have the best of starts.
In February 2018, barely six months old, he was a stray animal found by local authorities and taken to the Dogs Trust Placement Center in Darlington where he spent the next three years of his life.
In early 2020, Rowland had to undergo a complete amputation of his left rear leg due to injuries he sustained while fending for himself on the street.
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And despite the staff’s best efforts to find Rowland a forever home, the “loving and sensitive” puppy saw many dogs come and go from the shelter while he remained in their care.
But now he has finally found his forever home after his new owners Sara Trewhitt and Tim Askew spotted Rowland on the Dogs Trust website and immediately fell in love with him.
Sara said: “Rowland is amazing and I can’t imagine life without him now.
“He’s a comedy dog. He always has a big smile on his face and always wags his tail – and he sings a lot too!”
Rowland, who was greeted by Sara and Tim in August 2021, is making himself comfortable in his new home which he shares with fellow lurchers Fergus and Daisy.
The couple, from Snape, near Bedale, North Yorkshire, also had another lurcher named Louis by the time Rowland was relocated, but sadly passed away a month later due to old age.
Sara, 57, added: “We had three lurchers and I was always teasing Tim about getting a fourth, so I went online and saw a video of Rowland.
“It mentioned that Rowland had been at the shelter for a long time and thought I couldn’t leave him there, so I called and made arrangements to meet with him.
“Now I feel like he’s been part of the family forever and I wish I had found him years ago because I love him so much.”
When Sara first met Rowland at the shelter, he was playing with soft toys, which staff explained was one of Rowland’s favorite pastimes.
She waited nearby and Rowland soon decided to go say hello to Sara. Following the successful visit, a number of additional visits were organized that week.
Sara took her other dogs to visit the shelter on one occasion, and after another successful reunion, Rowland was able to visit Sara and Tim’s home.
It was then agreed that Rowland would spend a weekend with the couple to see how he would adjust to life in his potential home.
But the visit went so well that Rowland never returned to the shelter and he continued to adjust perfectly to his new life.
Sara said: “The staff called to see how he was doing this weekend and I didn’t want him to return to the kennel if possible because he has fitted in so well.
“I just thought I couldn’t let him come back, that would be too emotional.
“He’s been here ever since, with the exception of a visit for a vet exam.
“When we got back to the vet, many of the staff caring for the dogs at the shelter came to say goodbye.
“I found it very moving because he had been there for so long and you could tell there was so much love and trust from him and the staff.
“He was running towards them and playing with them and they were hugging him and I thought it was amazing how much he was loved – he is fabulous.”
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