Just a few weeks ago, life was looking very different for Winnie. Found abandoned in Yorkshire, she had been taken to the local dog pound, no-one had come to claim her, her time was up and she was due to be put to sleep. Thank goodness a kind-hearted “pound-puller” had heard about her case, lined up a dog rescue willing to take Winnie and brought her out to safety in the nick of time. So it was that Winnie came under the wing of Lurcher SOS and into foster care with me. Winnie is a lovely calm, gentle girl with a beautiful nature who is so ready to give her heart and soul to the person who becomes her owner.
Alas she did not look very beautiful though. A big black and tan lurcher with a lot of saluki in her breeding, her long feathered coat was bedraggled, matted and filthy, after months of living rough. A quick brushing brought up a snowstorm of dandruff from her greasy coat. And I didn’t want to brush her too much because every single rib was sticking out and I was scared of hurting her. She had a voracious appetite and ate just about everything she was given. And she was so clearly grateful for every little bit of care and attention I gave her.
Let’s not dwell too much on those days when Winnie was at rock bottom. A couple of weeks later, she had put of plenty of weight and condition, and was looking and feeling much better. But her coat was still a bedraggled, matted mess and she was not going to win any beauty competitions in that state. Enter the lovely Ellis Kemp of Pawfect Companions, a professional dog groomer in Sunbury who agreed to give Winnie the makeover she badly needed. Ellis said Winnie is probably one of the best-behaved clients she has ever had. Good as gold while she was showered and clearly very happy indeed to be cleaner, Winnie careered around the place, bouncing and play-bowing, before stepping onto the grooming table for what proved to be a very long session indeed. Checking out the full extent of the problem, Ellis confirmed that Winnie’s ears in particular were extremely heavily matted and must be causing her great discomfort, her paws were full of mats too and there was so much fur under her pads that she must have had great difficulty getting traction on hard floors and surfaces. All that was about to change. I was so touched by the gentleness and patience with which Ellis tackled all those months and years of neglect, carefully trying to loosen and untangle the mats that clung to Winnie’s poor ears, tidying up her pads and sorting her overgrown nails. After nearly two hours, Winnie emerged looking like the princess she was always meant to be.
When we got back, she came and put her head on my knee and leaned hard against my leg – that’s Winnie’s way of saying “thank you”. No “before” photographs, because no princess wants to be seen looking less than perfect in public. But here is her studio portrait from the little photoshoot I did for her, celebrating her “after” condition. And the best news of all? Winnie is now adopted and has found a forever home that is perfect for her, with two lovely saluki lurcher sisters to play with.
Winnie was rescued by Lurcher SOS
She was groomed by Ellis Kemp of Pawfect Companions
And photographed by Madaboutgreys Photography