Hildy & Benny, Sylvester and Gracie

Growing up in Germany we always had at least one family dog. It was therefore always clear to me that one day I would own a dog again. I was very excited when we found a dog-friendly house to rent!

Even before we could move into the new house I started to look at rescue websites.  Surrendered to the pound at only ten months of age, Benny’s description on the pound website read: “very very scared at the moment.”  We drove out to the pound ‘only to have look’ at Benny. Benny sat in the corner of the enclosure and was very frightened whilst other little dogs were trying to get our attention.  When we spent some time with Benny outside the enclosure he revealed his beautiful nature straight away.  We fell in love and Benny became part of our family.

Given that Benny was very timid, we thought that he might benefit from a confident second dog in the house.  I first saw Sylvester on the Paws for Thought Facebook page. He was only six months old and described as very naughty.  I thought it would be great for Benny to see that another dog turns the house upside down and doesn’t get harmed as punishment for his behaviour. I contacted the rescue group and met with Sylvester, who was full of energy and loved giving kisses all around. There was no way we could have said no to this gorgeous puppy!

My dream was to have three dogs; however, given that we had a responsibility towards our two existing dogs, I wanted to make sure the third one would fit into our family perfectly. I found our ‘perfect match’ dog Gracie through Claws N Paws!

Hildy and rescue doggies. Photo: Jo Lyons Photography

We don’t know much about our dogs’ previous lives. Apparently, Benny lived with a family and another dog prior to being surrendered to the pound. Sylvester may have been found in a park and Gracie was rescued from a property in Mudgee together with other dogs. She was absolutely terrified. It took a lot of dedication, patience, and love from her wonderful foster carer and of course, her foster brother Lucky (a small rescue Pomeranian) until she learned what it is like to be a family dog and trust humans.

Benny and Gracie have gained a lot of confidence since we adopted them and I would like to think that Sylvester’s manners have improved! Our dogs have become very important members of our family.  A lot of weekend activities are planned around them, including for example their agility training, but can also be an early morning walk on the beach, a visit to a dog-friendly café, dog groomer or a dog event.

Just how important they are to us might be shown by the fact that my husband and I had a dog-themed wedding. Instead of table numbers, we had photos of dog breeds, dog bowls with flowers on the tables, dachshund table cards and Benny and Sylvester as a wedding cake topper, not to mention the ring bearers (we didn’t have Gracie at the time).

Benny, Sylvester, and Gracie have made a huge positive impact on my life.  They make me laugh when I come home after a stressful day and make every walk an adventure. I can’t even begin to count how many beautiful sunsets and sunrises I would have missed if it wasn’t for the three dogs wanting to go for a walk. I met the most amazing people through the dogs (e.g. Jo Lyons the photographer) and found wonderful new friends simply because we are both “dog nerds.”

Message to rescue

I truly admire people who work or volunteer in rescue. They put their heart and soul into the rescue animals knowing that eventually, they will have to say goodbye to them. Thank you for all the amazing work you do. Not only do you change the animals’ lives for the better but also the lives of the adopters.




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