Time to Change challenge no.96 was originally to meet a dog of a less commonly-known breed, but after a visit to Maxi’s Mates Rescue and Rehoming Centre near Guisborough, I thought it would be right to modify the wording to meeting “a special dog”.
The original task was arguably still completed when Elaine and I were introduced to Roxy, a Malinois puppy who hasn’t yet reached her first birthday.
The Malinois is a breed of Belgian sheepdog. It is similar to a German Shepherd in appearance, but they are smaller, fawn, red, or brown-coloured dogs with a black face, and they have a straight back, as opposed to the sloping back of the German Shepherd. Malinois are energetic, intelligent, agile dogs, that are often used in police work.
Roxy had been available for adoption, but unfortunately, she has had a bit of a setback over the past week, and is currently awaiting a rescue transfer to the south of England where she will hopefully thrive.
Maxi’s Mates does some amazing work in taking in stray dogs, and providing them with all the love, care and attention they need to ensure they are in the best possible position to find a permanent home with the right family.
What strikes you when you arrive is that inside each kennel is a dog with a story to tell—from the badly treated, to dogs who have issues and need a bit more care. The fact is that without organisations like Maxi’s Mates and the people who give so much time and effort to protect and strengthen these animals, many would be put to sleep without ever having known life within a loving family….
Which brings me on to Rico.
Rico is a two-year old white Lurcher (with a brown patch over his right eye). He had a tendency to bite (or rather nip) when he got excited, and for a time it looked like Rico might be put to sleep, but thankfully a member of the owner’s family decided to contact Maxi’s Mates and they immediately stepped in to give Rico a home.
I’m not sure quite how high Rico’s kennel was—maybe eight feet—but he was easily able to reach the top of the cage from a standing spring, so the possibility of leaping over a fence was something of a concern when we took him for a walk and a run around the nearby paddock (Rico was going to do the running around… not me).
As you can see from the pictures, Rico is a handsome dog, and he was fine when we let him off the lead. He just trotted round the perimeter of the paddock, and wasn’t fazed at all by being with strangers—in fact he did a pretty good job of ignoring us completely; he had more important things to do… you know, doggy stuff.
Watching him bounding across the grass, it was hard to imagine that without Jane (who was kind enough to show us round) and everyone at Maxi’s mates, Rico probably wouldn’t be alive. Yet in the right home with the right people, he will hopefully enjoy a happy life, and bring his own brand of happiness to his new family.
There are a number of other dogs in the adjoining kennels, all waiting for the right owner to appear. Obviously looking after the medical, physical and emotional needs of the animals is as costly as it is time-consuming, and as with any registered charity, Maxi’s Mates relies on donations to be able to do their work. If you want to have a look at their website, see some of the dogs and read some of the stories, here is the link.
On what was a fascinating, but undeniably thought-provoking morning, my challenge was to meet a special dog….
I did; his name is Rico.