Lola was a little over a year old when a hunter left her tied up in an abandoned building to die.
Luckily for her, someone heard her and she was brought to a kennel in Foggia, in the south of Italy. Marco, the volunteer who worked with her, posted photos of her on social media where she came to the attention of the Spinoni groups.
Although it became clear (particularly from her size) that she was a Spinone mix rather than pure bred, she is very much a Spinone type so we were happy to help.
Kirstine and Mark offered her a home in Scotland and we planned a relay for her journey.
She said goodbye to her saviour Marco and travelled on a regular dog shuttle from the south of Italy to Milan. They were very kind to her though of course this was scary for her. She has a scarf from Marco for comfort.
Martha and Nick picked her up in Milan. She was very brave and soon recovered from her journey, beginning to calm down almost as soon as she was in the car. They took her to Chamonix in France, where she spent a little time in foster with them.
A sofa was a new experience for her but she caught on fast!
Whilst in France, we began to get her more accustomed to car journeys and we were able to start basic training including house training. She did very well and learned fast.
Having a calm and confident dog to be with was a big reassurance for Lola.
She crossed to the UK and spent a few days in London. The plan had been to keep her very quiet and just take her for gentle walks in parks, but she proved so happy and confident that she came out to the pub with us, where she loved having a fuss made of her by everyone!
The next step was to drive to Leeds on Christmas Eve, the day she was to meet her new owners at last.
She arrived at her forever home on Christmas Eve 2016 for a special surprise for the children – a perfect fairytale ending.
Along the way she captured the hearts of everyone who met her – a very special, brave and loving dog who is a perfect mini-Spinone!
Initially the rescue in Italy had been worried about letting her go so far but our constant updates and photos were a big help and we thank Marco and everyone at the refuge for trusting us to find the very best forever home.
This was also a good illustration of how useful it is to foster a dog for a little while. Kirstine was able to get a good idea of her personality before she arrived, enabling them to plan the introduction to the family and dogs. Lola proved to be a happy, brave, adaptable girl so we were able to give her new owners the good news that she was likely to enjoy a family Christmas as her first day, whereas some rescue dogs would have found it overwhelming.
If you might be interesting in fostering a dog, please do contact us.