The rescue dogs that rescued us

Open for cute dog pics 🐾

We’re rapidly approaching the second anniversary of adopting our first rescue dog, Potter. I’ve written in-depth about Potter before, including an entire issue about that time he fell over in the park in a harrowing reminder of his mortality.

The start of April is a big one at CBTS HQ, as it’s both Potter’s gotcha day and Harmony’s birthday - she’ll be turning four on 8th April. Special days bring with them a sense of nostalgia, so I thought it would be nice to dedicate this issue to all the rescue dogs (and the odd cat) that end up rescuing us.

I’ve shared the story about adopting Potter a few times, but if you’re new here, then here’s the lowdown. Back in 2016, we were doing what every mid-twenties couple living in rented accommodation does: browsing dogs online that we could never adopt. That’s when we saw Potter, a three-year-old tuxedo boy at Northumberland Greyhound Rescue. A few weeks later, he was taken off the site, so we assumed he was adopted, and we went on with our lives, including quitting our jobs to travel South East Asia and Australia.

Messenger conversation between Craig and me when we first saw Potter online back in 2016.

Then 2019 hit me like a ton of bricks. I returned home from Sydney to care for my Mam, who was dying of pancreatic cancer. One day, I opened Facebook and there he was… Potter, in need of an urgent home. After two years in a home, his family brought him back to the kennels.

Potter reappearing on the Northumberland Greyhound Rescue page in 2019, after two years in a home.

A couple of days of begging Craig to let me go and meet him (who am I kidding? I was going to drive up there regardless!) and before I knew it, we were up in Chevington, Northumberland meeting my boy.

First impressions were, well, odd. He was (and still is) pretty aloof; some would go so far as to say he’s ignorant. We walked him around the local area and he was annoying. He pulled and twisted his neck to catch up with other dogs who were walking ahead. I knew this lad was going to be a handful, but I didn’t care.

At the same time, Craig walked Potter’s kennel mate, a shy black girl called Chick. We argued about who to adopt on the drive home - it was Potter or bust for me, but Craig had a soft spot for little Chick. Of course, I pulled the ‘my Mam is dying’ card and, a week later, Potter was mine (after a quick flat inspection from the charity, of course).

Over the last two years, I have experienced the love that only a dog can give - unconditional and without judgement. Potter’s cheeky yet aloof personality remains: you can guarantee that if there is a single crumb of food within reach, he’ll steal it. But I wouldn’t have him any other way.

Me and my son

Oh yeah, and did I mention that Potter is now the star of the Northumberland Greyhound Rescue website (that we built)?

I asked the lovely people of freelance Twitter to send me photos and stories about the rescue pets who rescued them, and here are a few of the wonderful responses I received:

Fellow North East copywriter Mark and his partner Sinéad adopted Winnie from Cyprus last year and she’s an absolute gem.

So many more wonderful responses in the thread! Tell me about the rescue animals who rescued you on Twitter or reply to this email for a chat in confidence.

☀ This beautiful weather! (Not that I want to tempt fate…)

📚 Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson

📺 The Bold Type (Netflix)

🎵 Ben Howard - Collections From the White Out

Ep #8 of our podcast is out now!

Along the same lines as this newsletter, the podcast was all about the wonder of rescue dogs. From reminiscing about the time we worked at an animal shelter in Thailand to the first time we saw Potter, and finally how Harmony joined - and completed - our family.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:

24 March: Feelings are meant to be felt

17 March: I sent a newsletter every week for a year

10 March: I’m triggered

3 March: Balancing creativity and getting paid

24 February: The day I lost a client

17 February: How to talk to someone who is struggling

10 February: Learning to say no and other lessons from two years of self-employment

3 February: Learning to find joy in the mundane

27 January: No you can’t

20 January: I’ll be happy when

13 January: Why you’re tired all the time

6 January: Just keep going