Max's Story

15 February 2013


Dogs have always been in my life, and I'm insistent that they always will be. When I was 6, we were getting a new Jack Russell Terrier, and as the little madam I was at that age, I picked up this tiny black and white Jack Russell puppy from a litter we were visiting, and that was that. He was ours, but always my dog. Eddie was the best companion I ever could have wanted growing up. He was cheeky, funny and sweet, and typically loyal, and I had never loved anything so much. We ended up getting another Jack Russell called Buzz when I was 11 and that was our Jack Russell duo. Over the years, Eddie never aged - yes he lost colouring in his fur as is natural, but he was as fit as a fiddle and the vets could never quite believe how healthy he truly was.

Eddie and I

Eddie and Buzz

When I moved down to Dorset at the end of August in 2011, I gave Eddie a huge cuddle and told him I'd come and visit during the holidays when I wasn't teaching. However, in early October, something just 'pinged' in his back and he lost the use of his legs. The vets said that even though he was 15, he had the health of a 7 year old dog, but my parents didn't want him to suffer and so he was put down in my Dad's arms. I never got to say goodbye. I truly believe I grieved as you would do a human and I really did struggle at work, especially being on my own with my partner Jonny away with the Royal Navy most of the time. Buzz became my substitute but it wasn't the same..I love Buzz but he wasn't mine in a sense. There was a hole in my life and I needed to fill it.

Eddie ready for Christmas

Jonny and Eddie

Buzz and Eddie

In January 2012, I started looking at rehoming a dog. I realised that it was the only way I could move on - some people find they can't get another animal for years, but for me, it was the only way I could deal with it. Fortunately, Jonny was happy to get a dog and we set about looking. I will admit that I didn't find rehoming the easiest process. A lot of charities or rehoming centres have quite odd rules, and it just seemed to hinder us in giving a dog a loving home which is surely what all rehoming centres want ultimately. Finally, after checking daily on The Blue Cross' website, I found their advert for a one year old Jack Russell called Max.

Max when he first arrived at The Blue Cross in Tiverton, Devon (thank you for the photo!)

Max in his Royal Navy jumper that Jonny's mum knitted for when he returned from deployment

Lots of rehoming centres get you to come and visit, let you walk around the centre etc and if you like the look of a dog, then the process starts. With The Blue Cross, you fill in an application before you go and visit the dog, with all of your details including work, pet history, family life etc, which is actually a really good way of doing it - compatibility is extremely important. I'd only sent the application off within 30 minutes and I'd had a call saying they thought Max and I were a perfect match and they'd like me to visit. I went two days later (unfortunately Jonny couldn't be there that day) and Max and I had our first meeting.

Buzz and Max

IMG_3671 (2)-001
Family hug a few minutes after Jonny had arrived back in the UK after 6 months apart

We met in a private room, and then they let me take him on a walk in their designated areas so you can see how you get on without watchful eyes, and then you could go in their enclosed field and play with them for as long as you liked. I was in love straight away and knew he had to be mine. I went back and signed all the documents and said I'd be back a week later as I wanted Jonny to be there so Max was aware he was family and not a stranger. A week later, he was home with us and asleep in Jonny's arms.

Jonny and Max chilling with a glass of wine..both looking a little tipsy

Max sitting on my desk in the office

Not much is known about Max's history. He was abandoned at the side of a road in Ireland by what they assume are gypsy travellers. At first, he was terrified of roads because of this, and also bin bags (we believe he may have been tied up in one) and we had to work with helping him through this. But, plus sides were that he'd learnt his name quickly at the centre and was pretty much toilet trained. It makes me angry to think that someone could just leave an animal at the side of a road - how can these people exist? I get so frustrated with animal cruelty..there should be harsher punishments for it in the UK. So many people get away with such horrible deeds.

Max at the pub waiting for a few pork scratchings to be thrown his way

Max trying to beat Jonny in a race...he did overtake him and won by a mile

We've now had Max a year and rehoming him was one of the best decisions of my life. He comes everywhere with me now - to work, the pub, car journeys, shopping trips, he has tons of 'dog cousins and friends' (including my parents new Siamese cat Rufus!), all his hang-ups are gone, and any trace of his past has disappeared. He hasn't replaced my Eddie, but he filled the hole that was so evident and he's a new generation of Jack Russell's in my family. He may be the most spoilt little dog in the world, but after his previous life, he only deserves what he should have had as a puppy. I love that so many of my readers comment on Max and say how sweet he is - it means particularly a lot when you know he's now so loved and in a new life.

Max viewing the scenery at Montacute House

Max making sure he has optimum choice of his toys

If you were looking to rehome, I would recommend The Blue Cross. We used the Tiverton centre in North Devon but they have centres all over the UK. Their process was easy, logical, and caring, not to mention relatively cheap - Max was £90 and that included microchipping him, all his up to date vaccinations and neutering which would all be expensive separately. But at the heart of it, I would have paid anything to give my little chap a loving home. I'm hoping to have many more years of fun and laughter with him :)

-Tamsin xxx


  1. I loved reading Max's story, he's such a cute dog! It's great that you have been able to give him such a loving home after a horrible start in life.

    Laura x

  2. This is a wonderful story. Max is so handsome and lucky to have found such a great family to go to!


  3. Aw Max is so adorable! I've rescued cats before it's such a nice way to do things as they all need homes!
    I totally understand what you mean in the sense of grieving for the loss of a pet is just like grieving for a human, they are your bestfriend and you see them almost everyday and have raised them since they were a baby.
    I hope Eddie's memory lives on through your adventures with Max :) xx

  4. Max is so gorgeous and he is so lucky to have you :) and you him! It's a lovely story and I'm glad you found each other! My dogs are like my family members too and would grieve like I would losing a human member so I understand this 100% !

    I live in Dorset too! If you'd ever like to take a dog walk with me I would love that! I can just bring Bella as she is a similar size to Max (Roscoe will still be a puppy and might get a little over excited) but i would like to make new friends with pooches so the offer is there :) (I hope that doesn't sound like a weird stalker comment. I'm not I promise I'm a nice girl!) xx

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  6. This is such a lovely post :) I have always had 'second hand' dogs. It was hard, but I started looking for another very soon after my childhood dog died, there was a fluffy hole in my life.

    I'm really pleased Max has such a lovely home :) However I do think that some rescue places are too strict with rehoming. I understand they have the animals best interests at heart but you can still give a dog a loving home if you are away from the house for more than 2 hours a day!

  7. Aw this is such a sweet story. I always go to shelters when choosing a cat/dog, its nice to give them a home although I always end up wanting to take them all home!
    Carissa xx
    Vanilla Crush Blog

  8. Awww what a sweet story, so sorry about Eddie, we lost our 12 year old border collie Meg in august of last year and I was inconsolable. Two months later we felt like something was missing in our life, now we have a 5 month old puppy called Daisy. As a dog lover it breaks my heat to think that someone could be so evil to hurt these poor animals. Max is gorgeous and I'm so glad he now has a loving home. :-)

  9. he is gorgeous! so glad he's in a loving home :) x

  10. Aww I no how u felt, a pet becomes one of the family, all of them are so cute xx

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  11. I really enjoyed reading Max's story. Sorry for your loss of Eddie, I love the picture of him and Buzz touching noses :) Max is super cute and it's lovely that you re-homed him. :) x

  12. That's such a sweet story! I have two dogs (and one is more 'mine' like Eddie was yours) and I can't bear to picture not having them. It must have been horrible losing Eddie, but at least you have Max- who is so cute!
    Daniella x


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