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Sonny – a happy adoption story

21 January 2021

We lost our beloved lurcher, Woody, on 2 November 2020 to kidney disease, aged 12.  Heartbroken, we agreed not to get another dog for a couple of years.

Sonny arrived from Spain 7 weeks later on 20 December 2020.

There was just such a void in the house, and with another lockdown looming I found myself looking at dog rescue websites.  Somebody mentioned rescuing from Romania, but I was drawn to the Spanish Stray Dogs website.  Rescue dogs in the UK get a better life than those abroad whilst waiting to be rehomed and it felt the right thing to do, to give a good home to one of these poor souls.

I fell in love at first sight with Sonny on the website within minutes. He was my kind of dog. Black and tan, with film star good looks. They said he was about 3 years old and his name was Fernando.  My husband agreed he was the boy for us – we renamed him Sonny and started the adoption process.

The charity Spanish Stray Dogs is excellent and really cares about their dogs, we had a virtual home visit and masses of advice and support on how to help these types of dogs adapt to life in the UK.

The date of his arrival drew closer – as experienced dog owners we know how much hard work a dog with behaviour problems can be, so we were quite apprehensive. The charity said he was a loving dog, but they also said a lot of the dogs can freak out at certain things and can leap 6 foot fences to escape!

We were instructed to pick him up from Cobham services at 1pm on 20 December.  We duly arrived and soon two vans with “Animals in Transit” on the side arrived.  Expectant new owners circled the vans to collect their dogs.  We waited patiently while dogs were got out of the vans, one by one, and handed over.

As the excitement was building, my phone rang and a man with a Spanish accent informed me that Sonny was delayed by 2 hours.  “Oh no, it’s ok, “I said, “he’s here now, we are just waiting for him to be got out of the van.”   The man said he didn’t know what I was talking about and repeated the 2 hour delay.

My husband went over to one of the men getting the dogs from the vans.” Are you with Spanish Stray Dogs?” He replied, “No, Mate, we’re Greek Stray dogs!”

2 hours later Sonny arrived.   He had been on the road for 30 hours and was shattered.  Just as lovely in real life, we popped in the car and bought him home.   He slept for 2 days solid, then he decided to let himself out of the utility room by opening the handle (street smarts) and came and laid beside our bed. He was home.

He is an absolute joy, a dream to train and already a much loved member of the family.

We are going to keep him bi-lingual, just for the fun of it.  Buen perro, Sonny, te amamos!