I needed a purpose and after much thought decided to approach GSD 2000 to see if there was anything I could do to help these amazing dogs.  I could not have imagined where it would lead.  I wasn't even sure what my reception might be as I hadn't owned a dog for a very long time, so it took a while to pluck up courage.  I was prepared to help out in any way that I could, though my dream was to be involved in a "hands on" approach.

The first thing I did was to spend time with the puppies (the Charity had taken in a litter of five 8-week old puppies), just how amazing was that?  Then I had the privilege to foster a dog in my home.  The dog I fostered showed such spirit and character, she left my house leaving a huge empty space.  I'd known from the start that she wouldn't be staying, though I couldn't help but love her, and a little part of me went with her and a little part of her stayed behind in my heart.  Sad to see her go, but so very glad to have helped.  I was looking forward to fostering my next dog and would recommend it to anyone.

However, it wasn't long before a dog came into my life that I knew I didn't want to let go of, though that hadn't been my plan! Not everyone's ideal dog, but to me, if I had made a wish list she would have ticked every box.  She brings sunshine and laughter into my life every day, and from the very first I couldn't imagine life without her.  I have been so lucky, as Carlie just moved in as if she had always been there.  She's no trouble with other dogs, doesn't chew or destroy things and has a wisdom in her eyes that says she knows it all.  YES - she's an older dog, but there's nothing in this world that I would swap her for, as it would just tear me to pieces.

I've been asked why did I choose an older dog and had comments like "you may not have her very long" or "you'll be setting yourself up for all sorts of heartache".  I feel I've already had her for a lifetime and I didn't so much choose her, she chose me, and she has given me more than I could ever put in words.  Let's face it, if you got a puppy there's no guarantee that it will live a long time or be healthy.  It's my dog's mission in life to make ;people laugh and she does it all the time - she has brought joy into so many lives, not only to my neighbours and friends, but also to complete strangers.

There is one incident in particular that happened not long after Carlie moved in, when we were still getting to know each other. One night I was woken up by her barking frantically; this was not something she had done before.  I told her not to be silly, she'd wake the neighbours, but she wouldn't stop.  So I got up and took her to the door to show her there was nothing there to upset her.  However, when I opened the door it was me that got the shock because opposite our house was a massive van that was already alight, and the wooden frames and doorways of the nearby properties were starting to catch fire.  The fire brigade said that if they had not been notified so early, the buildings would have gone up.  Fortunately they managed to put the fire out before it reached the back of the van and the fuel tank.  If this had happened there would have been a huge explosion as they later found out that the petrol tank was full.  Next time she barks in the middle of the night i will know to find out why!

Everyone she meets loves her and she has made two firm friends in the park - a Jack Russell and a Labrador that she plays with every day.

I have made lots of new friends through my dog and have a constant companion who thinks I'm wonderful.  She has eyes to melt the hardest heart and an expression for every occasion, at least 50 to do with food!