Nisha and Talía (Negreta and Lulú).... a journey.


In the early hours of Wednesday morning, I saw the official confirmation that the kennels in our neighbouring village was going to close, and that all the dogs would need to find a home by the end of the year. On the surface, that might sound amazing, but some of these dogs were born in the shelter. Some of them were born terrified of humans. Some of them aren't fit for any home, however well-meaning.

Enter Negreta, stage left.

We don't have a complete history for her, but she has been in the shelter for at least ten years. That's impressive; she really doesn't look like a ten-year old dog who has never had any significant exercise. In reality, she must be older than that. Marce is the wonderful volunteer who has visited the shelter every weekend for the last decade, to work all day, both days, for nothing. She remembers Negreta being there when she arrived, and she wasn't a puppy then.

I was drawn to her from the start. She looks nothing like Willow, and yet she is Willow. She is Willow at her most frightened. Those days when Willow barked at children, or strangers, or just into the blackness. Those days Willow was at her most afraid. That is Negreta's life. I cried for Willow and I have cried for Negreta. But there was nothing I could do for her: I can't be a five-dog household. She could not just move in here. It would be too difficult.

Yet I always kept that glimmer of hope that, once we had everything in order, we'd be able to foster her. To have her in our kennel block and at least give her some love and quiet and whatever she needed to get through a day without being scared. But we didn't find that time. Our kennels are on the back burner (of many, many burners) to get our house in a workable state first.

Then came the notice of closure from the shelter.

I couldn't... I can't... let her go to someone who doesn't understand. Who will either continue to just ignore her or will try to coerce her into a role she can't fulfill. There are so many dogs, and so many who are in the same situation. It's awful, heartbreaking. But I know I can do something to help Negreta. I know I can make her last years peaceful and happy, given the time.

So that is our plan. With the blessing of the shelter, we will visit a couple of times a week to try to gain her trust enough to get her in a car. To bring her here. She will go in our disused kennel block for some space. She will be reintroduced to her old roomie, Ginny, and the beautiful soul that is our Squidge, to settle in as she needs it. She will have beds and sofas and kongs and chicken feet and the best food a doggo could expect. If she can't cope in the new place alone, we'll bring her existing kennel mate, Lulú along for a few weeks until she's settled. Hell, maybe Lulú will end up staying, too.

In time, we hope she will be able to come into the family. If not, that's OK, too. We will give her what she needs, not what we want.

I didn't expect or want this to happen like this.

But it's the right thing to do, and I do it happily for her.

So, welcome to the MLF family, my beautiful, scared, scarred, perfect, Negreta.

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Biscuit Tin Guardian
Oh I'm SO glad you're doing this! I was worried about her too after your earlier post, and kept thinking about her. I hope it all goes reasonably smoothly. Well done!


Bristol, UK
I had a feeling that she would be joining your family from the post you wrote the other day. I hope things go well in building that relationship with her x


Oh god Fiona, I've not been on the forum much recently but I read your post the other day with such trepidation... and now I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. That is such good news, and you and J are wonderful people. I must admit, I did hope you could find a way to help her... but this is beyond anything I hoped for. xxx


Negreta, you are magical, and now have a magical life ahead of you. There is just something in that face, I am completely drawn to her.