On the 21st January 2018, myself and Carol visited a place that has changed our lives forever. Now, I appreciate that sounds a tad dramatic but, I cannot think of any other way to describe Ash Rescue Centre in Dartmouth Devon than a place that changes your life forever. That rainy, muddy, miserable day was the start of a journey not just for us, but for all concerned. It was also the day we met Jacob the Wonder Dog…………
So, picture this. Carol and myself slip sliding around a field with the wonderful Frances Lloyd who is the event planner for Ash Rescue Centre weddings and events. It was muddy, up to your knees muddy but we persevered. We had arranged to meet Frances to discuss Woofstock UK in the hope that we may have just found the most perfect place to move to in 2019. What we ended up doing was actually planning our wedding!
When we had arrived we were greeted by 5 of the most gorgeous dogs. One look into these beautiful dogs eyes and you realised that they were something very special. The kind of special that remains with you and penetrates right through to your very soul. Each had a story to tell, a story of how they had not had the very best start in life but now, at their forever home, had gained their strength and been allowed to heal through the love of Jenny who runs Ash Rescue Centre. Fred, Nunkie, Tye, Noah and Jacob are inspirational in their own right.
Having slipped and slid around for a bit with much laughter we headed back to the yard and site office. The dogs had joined us and Jenny told us each of their stories in turn. Each heart wrenching, each unique, each touching our very souls and causing tears to well up in our eyes. Then it was Jacobs turn to have his story shared with us.
Jacob arrived at Ash Rescue Centre (ARC) in March 2017 too weak to walk too beaten up both mentally and physically to care anymore. Yet, he was still clinging onto life with any remaining energy he had. Jenny had seen a film of Jacob on-line in a Romanian kill shelter frozen in fear to the concrete floor of the kennels. He could not stand and was too gentle to fight for food to sustain him. This is when Jacob’s journey to a new life began. Jenny without hesitation offered Jacob a home, a place where he could learn that not all humans are cruel. Somewhere he could be brave enough to put his faith and trust back into people. A home where he could heal.
He was in a bad way with cuts and sores, malnourished, hardly any teeth and evidence of old broken bones that had healed not quite right. For 48 hours, after a bath and some food, Jacob slept. he slept and slept finding a place for himself on the sofa in Jenny’s home. The healing had begun.
We asked Jenny yesterday to tell us about Jacob her response was this;
“When Jacob arrived at ARC in March 2017, he was too weak to walk. I knew he would be in a poor state having seen the film footage of him on-line in a Romanian shelter, too weak to stand, too gentle to fight for food and frozen to the concrete floor. I regularly get asked to take older dogs and horses in but, there was something about Jacob that I could not stop thinking about. Jacob is a truly wonderful dog, he is the most loyal, loving and trusting dog I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I am so proud of Jacob and that he hasn’t let his sad and troubled past stand in the way of a lovely retirement surrounded by his new family.”
Carol and myself made a special trip to ARC yesterday to present Jacob with the Woofstock UK 2018 Bravery Award. Jenny had no idea this was happening and thanks to Frances it has been kept top secret for many months. Bravery comes in all guises from dogs alerting families to danger, to service dogs protecting their handlers. This year we wanted to honour a different type of bravery. A type that does not get recognised enough. A dog that has been through the most appalling time and has yet been brave enough to put his trust and faith back into human beings. That is brave.
Jenny said upon receiving the award with Jacob;
“Jacob really deserves this amazing award for the bravery he has shown in trusting people again and bringing so much joy to all of us.”
A truly moving, inspiring and afternoon full of love and hope was shared yesterday. You can learn more about ARC by following this link
Please do follow Jacob the Wonder Dog on his very own FB page Jacob the Wonder Dog
Well done Jacob and thank you for giving humans a second chance.
Heather and Carol xx