John and Tilly, NSW

John shares his heartwarming story of adopting Tilly.

When I lost my beautiful Tenterfield Terrier, Max, to cancer, I thought I never thought I would find another to fill his place. He left a huge hole in my heart as he was my constant and loyal companion. I was missing him badly, so I decided to search through rescue websites for a Tenterfield Terrier cross.

I came across Sydney Animal Second Chance (SAS) and started to browse their up-for-adoption dogs – that’s where I noticed a dog called Nahla (aka Tilly). She had the same markings as Max, it was unreal. It was fate. Plus, I was really grumpy at work. Since, Tilly I’m back to my old self again!

I changed Nahla’s name to Tilly – short for Matilda. We had a competition at work to rename her as we thought that Nahla was an aggressive name. Later we found out that Nahla was from the Lion King movie. None of us blokes realised that!

Tilly is about six years old now and is a part of the fabric of my life and for those around her as well. She knows every day she is loved and valued. Tilly is free to be herself – to be curious, involved, goofy, energetic, loyal and devoted. Her life now involves being with her human 24/7, trips to the beach, adventures on the high seas, endless pats on building sites. She always has food in her belly and a warm bed at night. She never has to doubt she is home or be fearful she will be discarded again.

When I adopted Tilly, she did not fill Max’s place; she made her own place in my life. I have a constant companion who provides me with endless moments of joy or just quiet and non-judgmental support.  I have a companion to take with me as I explore the great outdoors. And as dogs do, she has widened my circle of friends every time we go for a walk.

Message to rescue

I enormously admire anyone who works in any form of rescue. It’s often thankless and excruciatingly sad work with I am sure more lows than highs. To put yourself out there, again and again, to take on any species and give them a second chance just leaves me in awe.

My message to you (rehoming organisations) is never think we don’t notice. Never think that we don’t care. Never underestimate the profound impact you have not just on the animal’s life but also that of the adopter. Thank you.



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