LibbyAs regular readers will know one of the nightmare scenarios at Rescue occurs when a bitch arrives here and is suspected of being pregnant. In cases such as Pippa last year several questions need answering before you merely solve the problem with surgery and in her case of course she was so advanced that we had to let her have them.

In January 2003 Libby was brought here from a sanctuary in Liverpool. A Friend in that area had taken a day off to be her chauffeur. She had completed her “days” waiting for her owner to come forward, but he never did. This was actually a bit of a surprise as she was a little stunner and so loving and friendly and at only around a year old you could have been forgiven for thinking that she was someone's pride and joy.

What was immediately noticeable about her was that she appeared to be IN SEASON. A trip to the vets confirmed that she was probably at the end of this cycle and it didn’t need Sherlock Holmes to tell us that she was probably at her most receptive peak time whilst she had been actually wandering the streets of Liverpool.

Normally it is wise to spey bitches midway between their seasons to prevent any hormone imbalance occurring, but Libby was not going to wait that long. If she had been caught—and God only knows by what—the prospect of puppies at Waterside again was not exactly filling anyone here with glee and delight.

Libby after operationThe vet advised us that the best time to neuter Libby and thus terminate her pregnancy would be in 3 weeks. This, of course presented us with a further problem—what to do with her for so long a period and where could she recover post surgery.


It was good ol’ Gayle and Kevin Mansell that answered this call for help and they agreed to foster her and bring her through this traumatic time. They had just been bereaved of their beautiful Stafford, Khan, a cherished old boy who was both charismatic and enigmatic, and they wanted to help others whilst not ready to commit fully to another just yet.

This help over the next few weeks was invaluable and of course we all secretly wished that Libby would help them overcome their own grief so much that they would adopt her themselves. But, it was not to be, or they didn’t say!

Two hundred miles away in Shrewsbury one of our Life Friends Simon Pryce was also grieving. He had rung to say that Caer a lovely little bitch that Tracey O’Donovan had rescued several years ago had just died.

Simon had once taken a photo of Caer which I had managed to get published in the SBTC newsletter (1998 Issue) sat in his classic TVR. Simon and his wife were devastated at their huge loss and I delicately mentioned the plight of Libby to them.

It was later that evening this sleek, but chunky silver monster glided up the drive (no, it wasn’t Bob coming back from the pub!). Simon had just three loves in life - his wife, his dog and THAT CAR. He always adds …… “but not necessarily in that order!”

From that moment there was no doubt where Libby's future lay as of course when she jumped into the TVR she really did look like she had finally arrived.

Libby’s story is typical of many cases who arrive here each year, but her story does highlight how much we depend on our Friends. It is true that the income from this source represents around 25% of our total annual resources, but the contribution made on top of that in voluntary care is immeasurable. The Friends has been running for well over ten years now and boasts hundreds of members, largely made up of people who have or have had one of our dogs. As each of these treasures passes away, extremely sad as it is this Rescue is left with a pool of experienced Stafford owners that we MUST target and persuade them to use their, experience to the full to help another. I truly believe that for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier to survive it is that experience and the knowledge of just exactly what it is you are responsible for is will enable it to do so.

As long as we have the support of our Friends great things will continue to be achieved. You are a great team to work with—even if some of you do live abroad— being so far away doesn’t mean you can’t be included (Our E-Group alone will see to that and ensure you feel part of things).

Libby with KevinLibby's case proves the Friends make that VITAL difference. The Rescue here is manned solely by unpaid volunteers who do it purely because of their love for this breed, and want to help. Money alone will not solve all the Staffords problems and there is a very serious side to this Rescue that means you can get your “hands on” at anytime for as much and for as long as you like.

Homecheckers (vetting potential future homes), Chauffeurs, Taxiers to and from the vets, dog walkers, fosterers and carers. Stafford owners come from all walks of life, but unless we know what your skills are in any field across the spectrum between typist to Judge of the Realm we simply would not know who to ask for advice and help if the dog has a problem.

And make a difference to the destitute members of our beloved breed.

They may never be able to say your name,
but they’ll always know they had a Friend
who stepped in when all hope seemed to have gone.


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