Dog owner's dying wish for pets fulfilled
Lucie and Kadie couldn’t have been more loved. And so, when their devoted owner was left with just days to live, his priority was to make sure his precious dogs would continue to know happiness without him.
It was peace of mind that the team at our Bromsgrove rehoming centre desperately wanted to bring to David Perkins before he passed away and they quickly rallied in order to do so.
Caroline Oram, Animal Welfare Assistant, says: “Lucie and Kadie were his [David’s] world and he wanted to do all he could to ensure they would be taken care of. We were humbled by his strength at such a difficult time.”
David had initially planned to place Lucie, a greyhound, and Kadie, a saluki, on our Home Direct scheme to spare them the stress of going into kennels.
But, shortly after contacting us, he learnt that his cancer diagnosis would cut his life even shorter than first feared. It was now a race against the clock to get the dogs into Blue Cross care.
Jason Cortis, a Blue Cross Education Officer who lived nearby, stepped in to visit David to talk through Lucie and Kadie’s history before bringing them into the centre for an assessment. Caroline then quickly listed the dogs on the Blue Cross rehoming page before they were dropped back home to spend their final weekend at David’s bedside.
Caroline continues: “I told David over the phone that I would foster them myself if we didn’t have the space in kennels. He broke down in tears and said that we had given him such peace of mind.
"He hadn’t known what was going to happen to Lucie and Kadie but Blue Cross being there for him had taken a huge weight off his shoulders.”
By the following Monday, Caroline and the team had successfully matched Lucie and Kadie to new owners. She was able to deliver the news to a relieved David through a family member before Jason went to collect the dogs.
“Kadie didn’t want to leave David’s side,” says Caroline.
David died three days later, in 2019, and his family said he found great comfort in knowing his pets would be safe and loved.
“We spent lots of time with Kadie and Lucie when they came to the centre, helping them to settle. Their whole world had been turned upside down after being separated from the owner that they loved so dearly,” says Caroline.
As agreed by David, Lucie and Kadie were matched to separate homes due to their different needs and personalities, and it was only a matter of days before they travelled home to their new families.
Lucie, the more confident of the pair, went to live with the Graham family in Hampshire, while Kadie’s new quiet and rural setting with Alastair and Chris Macfarlane suited her worried nature.
Caroline added: “I know from the conversations I had with David just how very grateful he was to Blue Cross for being there in his time of need and being there for Lucie and Kadie.
"They stayed in my thoughts for a long time after. I know how very loved both dogs were with David and he was so reassured that we had been there saw it through to the end.”
“Within three months, it felt like she had been here forever,” says Alastair.
And new sides of Kadie’s sweet personality continue to shine through as the shy girl grows in confidence over time. The six-year-old has now been living with the couple in rural Gloucestershire for two years and, like David, they couldn’t love the white saluki any more.
“She brings us joy, we just love her. She’s a very important part of the family,” says Chris.
Each day, Kadie enjoys walks across sprawling countryside and frequent zoomies around the couple’s large back garden, playing with her ball – though, amusingly, she prefers to be chased than retrieve.
While she settled in well at their home from day one, Chris explained that they have seen “more and more from her” as she relaxed and adapted to her new life.
Unlike Lucie, who David had since a puppy, Kadie was found roaming the streets as a stray and needed more time and patience to build trust.
Chris explains: “She’s got a little scar on her nose which is very well healed, so it must be ancient. But when we first got her, she was worried about having her face touched.”
But soon enough – and with a little help from an old teddy bear she adopted as her own – Kadie started to thrive.
And just as Chris and Alastair have filled a void in her life, she has done the same for them. The couple had lost their previous Blue Cross rescue dog, Frannie, five years before and had desperately missed having a pet.
“We have lots and lots of walks now, which we love,” says Chris. “Kadie has really helped us explore the area and get to know all of the hills. We’ve met some really lovely other dog walkers as well – there’s now a little group of us, and she’s great with their dogs. She’s relaxed, has a sniff around and is very chilled with them.”
“She loves playing with us too,” says Alastair. “We have six or seven balls out in the garden. She loves to be chased, or she’ll throw the ball for herself – she loves the runs. It’s lovely to see the joy she finds in playing.”
For first time dog owners the Grahams, Lucie has been the perfect addition to their family.
Darren and Kathryn had wanted a dog for 10 years, and with their children Thomas and Holly now well into their teens, they felt it was finally the right time.
After meeting Lucie at the Bromsgrove centre, they knew she was the dog for them. Lucie, now eight, is at the heart of their family and joins them on all their adventures around the UK – travelling anywhere from Wales to the Lake District.
She’s also brought the four of them closer together, due to all the walks they now go on – particularly siblings Holly and Thomas. And when she’s not out exploring, she’s content sitting by the window, watching the world go by.
Kathryn says: “She’s brought a lot of fun. We just love her to bits. She’s brought us closer together because we now go on more walks. The kids are really good with her and take their responsibility seriously – coming home from school and taking her for a walk. It’s a really shared responsibility between all of us. She makes me exercise, too.”
Darren adds: “We’ve made more friends from having her as well, you get to know dog walkers in the park. And she gets us outside even it’s terrible weather.”
And for Lucie’s easy and lovely nature, they will always be thankful to David.
Kathryn adds: “We meet people out and about and they ask if we rescued her. We say ‘no, we rehomed her’ – as she clearly had a lovely life before. We don’t want to take any of the credit for how lovely she is. David had clearly done a lot of work with her. She’s brought a lot of fun. We just love her to bits.”