Sometimes life surprises you with blessings that seem quite unbelievable. Having been advised not to get two puppies when we got Oscar and instead bring one up, perhaps to the age of around 2, and then start thinking of adding to the family, we found ourselves with only Oscar until he was over 5 and then thought that it might be too late (and unfair on him) to bring a new puppy in. We never really stopped wondering but, let’s just say, we stopped actively looking.

Then one day, walking through the park as we did every day, Paul came across someone who was clearly not enjoying having a new pup. The stress was clear, the walk was rushed. Very quickly the conversation led to the puppy being offered to him… Paul didn’t take it seriously and shared the conversation with me as soon as he got home. Sure enough, a couple of days later, walking Oscar on my own, I bumped into the same person, who made the same offer to me. The fact that this little fella was exactly the same breed as Oscar – a Sprocker (Springer & Cocker mix) – obviously added to our interest because we were already quite familiar with the breed. But it was mainly the thought that, if someone didn’t take the pup home, he would soon be taken to Battersea Dogs’ Home instead. This didn’t sit well with us.

To add to the mix, we had always wanted to rescue a dog before. But because we both worked shifts and had no previous experience, we had decided that our first dog couldn’t come with baggage, traumas and a history. It wouldn’t be fair on it. Or us. This time around, we had 5 years’ experience with the same breed and more time in our hands, so saving this dog BEFORE he went into a shelter seemed the obvious thing to do.

I always love hearing people’s rescue stories and I’m fortunate enough to have assisted in a few. One lovely account is that of Sandra Oliveira, who did the right thing by a dog, yet to this day thinks she is the lucky one.

Welcome to our December DogBlog!


It was a cold, very humid day. One of those late afternoons when the evening cold could already be felt. The scenery was set by slight fog, in the distance you could hear the other animals in the farm, the barking of the little friends who had kept Kueen company in her short lifetime.

“Take her, go on… take good care of her, she’s yours now!” and he turned his back on me clearly upset… I was left with Kueen in my arms, she was still Bica then, her first name.

I was, once again, reliving that sensation of owning an animal, defenseless, wonderful and – from then on – totally dependant on me. I felt an immense happiness and joy and at the same time the weight of the responsibility of having a pet at home again.

Kueen came to me as an act of love!

The first owner, a vet, conscious that he would not be able to give her the life she needed, stability, time at home, comfort, cuddles, decided to find her a family. Chance worked in our favour and he came to us… it seemed like we ticked all the boxes to be the chosen family. You have to be a very altruistic person to give an animal you love away, so that it may have a life more in line with its needs and traits.

Bica, now Kueen, was never neglected, quite the contrary, but her owner thought that she needed to live in an apartment, warmer, close to people. She is a Whippet (Galgo), characteristically being very emotionally attached to its owners. They require a lot of human company, they need and appreciate home comforts. Maybe because he’s a vet and so conscious of animals’ needs, he decided to find her a new family.

We had lost our beloved Big but we weren’t looking, in fact we were even wondering if we’d ever have a pet again. I clearly wanted it, my husband not so much. When I got the call from a friend saying she had found the perfect dog for us, my instinct was immediately to go and get her, but of course I needed to consult my husband…

Wanna come? Are you ready?

He replied…

Yes, let’s go!

12th December 2019, Bica, who became Kueen Victória, entered our home and our hearts. Here begins the great LOVE story I tell you.

I believe that animals bring us what we need in that moment and will need for the duration of their lives with us. It may seem silly but that’s what I believe! Kueen came to me at the right time, I was going through challenging times, I had just quit my job and was going through a reset. I was overcoming periods of instability, fears and insecurities, resulting from the need to enter the labour market with my own project which, in itself, was unsettling me.

I confess I was not familiar with Whippets, I had to do some research to educate myself, but just by observing little Kueen the main breed traits were obvious – serene, loving, docile, polite, obedient, all characteristics which we had hoped we could reunite in one pet, I just never believed such pet could exist. There was no way back, I was in love with the breed and especially with our girl Kueen Victória.

Christmas 2019 was here and with it her first ever trip; we travelled north to join the family and everybody, even the more sceptic and less keen on animals, fell for her. In little or no time, she was already “the grandparents’ little girl”, “the friends’ little girl!”, “the uncles and aunties’ little girl” and “our little girl”! I started to notice that I had a dog unlike any other animal I’d ever had. It was love in exchange for nothing, it was love for everything, she IS love!

We went into lockdown!!! The afternoons on the sofa, the long morning and afternoon walks. The world stopped and us in our safe haven with so much love. The whole pandemic period came and went and life began to slowly go back to normal. Kueen became an excellent companion, she’s a very portable dog, she doesn’t just go everywhere but also adapts to every location. In reality, she is happy where her family is, never complains, never gets grumpy… she is essentially her owners’ follower.

Each day that goes by I understand more the emotion Nuno (Kueen’s first owner) went through when he gifted me this blessing. He left in my arms a hug of pure love, sweetness, goodness. The arrival of little Kueen came to, once more, confirm my conviction that animals choose us and bring us exactly what we need.

2021 was, so far, the most difficult and challenging year. As well as all the professional and personal obstacles, my husband had a serious health scare. Suddenly, the diagnostic of a threatening cardiac condition – and the floor is gone. It was a very tricky time but I am convinced that they would’ve been harder without our girl. I already knew she was special and she became my source of energy, hope, love… I entrusted in her my fears, my doubts, my insecurities… my tears. I could let things off my chest without my husband noticing (I needed to be “ok” for him).

In her eyes I saw understanding, serenity, the hope that everything would be ok. In the midst of my agitation and fear, I drank her calm, peace and love I needed at that moment. Her existence, and her needs, like her walks and the happiness which emanates from her, turned those moments into escapism and focus on her. Those walks were also a way of temporarily forgetting reality. She was without a doubt a strong pillar during the unkind moments which fortunately have now passed.

I often recall Nuno placing this blessing in my arms. I recall it because I feel enormous gratitude for the timing and the chance of all pieces fitting together towards this delivery. I remember it because I was gifted the purest form of love.

I understand now why no other animal had come to me, this place was hers. I understand now the reason why, though I had shown an interest, my husband insisted he wasn’t ready. I understand the need for this wait, this preparation to receive her.

As I said, I was unfamiliar with this breed, I had never given it much thought, but I am now totally sold; I had come across several incredible animals, namely my dear Big who shared his life with me for 14 years, but I must say I had never imagined one like this, my Kueen.

My gratitude is eternal! I hope she will remain in the family until old age.

To my Kueen, our girl Kueen Victória, who overflows with love!

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