In March 2015, one month before my 21st birthday, myself and Niall thought it would be a good idea to get Chewy a friend to keep her company whilst we were out. So, we started looking about… I thought it would be a good idea to get a larger dog breed, as at that point I lived on my own with my daughter and Niall only stayed a few nights a week. And if I’m being 100% honest, I didn’t exactly feel very safe on the nights I was on my own. I wanted a big dog as a deterrent and that could protect me if needs be. And also, what an awesome early birthday present!
We looked and looked at lots of different breeds, including Akita’s, German Shepards etc. but just didn’t find one that caught our eye. Until we stumbled across an ad for a Rottweiler cross. I immediately fell in love, but there was something a little funny about the advert, he was being sold at a very cheap price and also the photos weren’t exactly what you would expect from a ‘litter’ but I didn’t think anything of it. I messaged to seller straight away to arrange a viewing!
A few days later and the time came for us to go and view our possible new family member. We all got in the car and headed to Evesham. As we got closer, the Sat Nav started to get confused. It decided that the destination was on a very busy dual carriage way… this obviously was wrong?! Surely. There wasn’t a house in sight.
I got straight on the phone and rang the people to ask for directions, a man picked up the phone and gave me directions and told me to ring him once we got closer as he said it was hard to find and he wasn’t home and would let his wife know. We carried on driving. The man rang back a few moments later to let us know that his wife would be waiting at the end of the driveway for us.
A few wrong turns later, we finally found the road we were meant to be on. The road was beautiful, it was surrounded by fields and huge, old farm houses. I thought wow, he really has come from an amazing place! Until… we turned around the next bend to find this woman stood on what I can only describe as the side of the road littered with endless amounts of rubbish, with a very sad looking puppy on the end of a rope, cowered next to her feet.
As we got closer and she guided us up this very bumpy ‘road’ to a gate. Where around 6 caravans and motor homes were parked. I of course, panic. I know, I know. Judging a book by it’s cover and all that but read on… I wasn’t wrong!
We got out the car and they lady asked us to come through the gates. I looked at Niall and we both walked in together, nervously. The next thing I saw were cages full of beat up dogs, dogs chained up outside and a few dogs running around loose in the confinement but no other puppies. My heart sunk. I know what this is, I know what’s happening here. These poor dogs are being used to fight and some are used as bait. We followed the lady to her caravan, when she shut the door behind us. I grabbed the puppy straight away with no hesitation and said ‘We’ll take him!’. We handed her the money and left the caravan.
Walking back out, I couldn’t help but look at all the dogs with such sadness. I wanted to take them all with me and give them the love and warmth they all deserved and needed. I knew I couldn’t I knew I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t want anything to happen to us or the puppy I knew I just saved.
We got in the car and absolutely floored it out of there. We looked at each other and didn’t want to speak it but we knew what we had just seen! I held this poor puppy so tight and didn’t want to let him go. He was so scared. We got him home and walked him into the house where we introduced him to Chewy. Welcome to our family Opie. You’re safe now!
What I didn’t realise is that Opie had never been inside a warm home, he had never met another dog that wasn’t told to attack him, he didn’t know what love was from a human, he had never experienced a carpet under his feet.
We took him upstairs and led him on our bed and finally I got to look at him properly.
I was shocked! I had never seen a dog that had been purposefully hurt, I’ve only seen that on TV. I didn’t think I would ever experience it first hand. He had has his ears cut, he whiskers were cut off completely down to skin, he has scabs all over his face, a cut next to his left eye and his body was swollen and sore. I just led next to him whilst he cried and stroked him, I wanted to squeeze him and tell him he was safe, but didn’t want to scare him.
His first night with us was hard work, he didn’t settle. He didn’t know what to do, he was very jumpy. I knew that this was going to be a long road. A few days later we took him to the vets to get him checked and explained where we got him. Safe to say that was a hard vets appointment. They gave him injection, flea stuff, worming, everything!
A week had past and we started walking him out and about to help socialise him but each walk with him was torture. He would jump at any sign of a car, bike, man, another dog. It was such hard work! I didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t give up! I also noticed that he still wouldn’t go anywhere near Niall. He was terrified of him. Of course he was. He had never met a nice male. Opie stuck by my side day in day out. Most nights that Niall was over, Opie would wee on him whilst he was in bed and then run away. Of course, this was a total pain in the ass and yes, I know a sign of dominance but we asked the vets and they said just continue what you are doing. So we did!
6 months passed and Opie still hadn’t been near Niall! Until, one day Niall came home from work and Opie went straight up to him and asked for a cuddle! I cried. I was in shock. My baby had finally found courage to go to him! This was serious progress!
The first year with Opie was hard work but amazing. We got into a routine and he loved it.
He helped me every night to put Acacia to bed and then would come curl up on the sofa with us and watch the TV. He’d always tell me when he was ready for bed and sit at the bottom of the stairs until I came with him upstairs. He was just brilliant.
He also fell in love with my neighbour and would jump up on the fence and pop his head over to say hi and get a cheeky kiss from her!
Believe me, he did so much to piss me off. Like the time he bought me a present in from the garden. This present being a dead frog and put it in the middle of my living room.
Or the time he ate my next door neighbours chicken and chased me around the garden with it and wouldn’t put it down! (Don’t worry, she wasn’t too mad!)
Or when he pooped in the middle of the livingroom floor and I stood in it. Or when he ripped my livingroom carpet because I left the room and shut the door. Or when he managed to turn the dead bolt on my front door whilst I was out so I couldn’t get in and my neighbour had to crowbar my front door open. Or the 4 Virgin TV remotes he has eaten!!
Just a side note to the assholes who did this too him! F**k you! A great big massive f**k you! I hope you end up with the ending you deserve. But hey, thanks for the dog asshole. *middle finger*
Fast forward to now, 2017. I still have a very jumpy, nervous boy who is basically afraid of everything and most dogs and is a total pain in the butt! But he is safe, he is happy and he is loved and best of all he is a massive mummy’s boy! My beautiful broken little soul.
My best friend, Opie.