With her experience with dogs who require some extra TLC, Romeo was the perfect fit for Rose who had the time, patience and care to deal with his anxiety.
As little Romeo wandered in to meet Rose for the first time she cried out, “How could someone not love you?” And from there, Rose and Romeo’s story only just began.
“I was such a sad sack on The Dog House as you may remember,” Rose told 10 play. “I was unemployed, going through lockdown with no family or a partner and had not long before lost my dog after 16 and a half years.
“It was a really tough, sad time. Now I am employed with a great new mate and even back at the gym and swimming as, together, we found our confidence again,” Rose continued.
“I think Romeo and I have both known how it feels to have been let down and hurt by people, and that we both needed each other to have a bit of courage to get back out into the world. We have done this together.”
While it may have been love at first sight for Rose, the adjustment for Romeo after finding his forever home took a bit of time.
“It seemed like he had not seen anything of the outside world,” Rose said. “I will never forget the first time I took him to the park and he just hung beside me, staring at the other dogs and people with this realisation as to how much bigger his world now was.
“It was heartbreaking to think that, for my little mate, the idea of playing was totally terrifying,” she said. “He was already 15 months old and it looked like this was a new experience for him.
“It was the same at home, the first few nights he would just glare at me from his bed. It looked like he was expecting to find himself somewhere new the next day so he was not going to let himself get close just in case.”
Trying to coax him into being more comfortable, Rose said she had no set agenda, but just let Romeo take things at his own pace, “with lots of cuddles, pats, treats and to tell him how much I adored him and that he was home”.
Gradually, Romeo found his courage and even started to engage with other dogs. “He went through this incredibly gorgeous and funny stage where he was like the awkward kid at school,” Rose said.
“He would be trying to play but had not yet worked out all the rules, and you could see the other dogs giving him the WTF stare, but my little mate didn’t let that stop him, and now he goes gang-busters in the park, making a heap of doggy friends and having so much fun.”
Having fully settled into his new life, Rose said Romeo has also worked out that she is “wrapped around his paw”, and will occasionally get jealous - making sure any nearby dogs know that she’s his mum and not theirs.
Thinking back to her experience with AWL, Rose said she would never be able to thank the staff enough for introducing her to Romeo.
“I found the love of my life and hopefully Romeo is now living his best doggo life. He is a joy beyond joy,” she said.
“I will never be able to thank the Fairy Dog Mothers and Fathers for making it all happen and, truly, you all are — as he is — so, so, so, so special.”