“I really was made to think I was too old,” Maureen continued. “But my daughter told me that I wasn’t, and said that I had a lot of love to give, was active and had a lovely home.”
Thankfully, Emma came across Blue Cross, where age is no barrier to rehoming a pet.
She found a Chihuahua called Bandit at our Tiverton centre in Devon, described as a “tiny chap with a big personality”; he too had plenty of love to give and was at his happiest around people. It sounded like a perfect match.
Emma and Maureen were soon embarking on the seven hour-round trip from Walsall, West Midlands, to meet the two-year-old dog, who had to be given up by his previous owner due to a change in circumstances. The rest is history.
“Myself and Bandit gelled straight away,” said Maureen. “He walked through the door and the first person he made for was me, and he was straight on my lap and all over me.”
And Bandit wasted no time in settling in with Maureen at home either. They go for a walk each morning and then play in the house with Bandit’s forever-expanding collection of toys.
Bandit sits and watches as Maureen – who is a whizz with her electric saw – crafts furniture in the garden, and in the evening he snuggles up on her lap while she watches TV and crochets.
On the day Blue Cross visits, Maureen is working on a new blanket for one of Bandit’s Christmas presents, and he contently curls up underneath it while she works away. They’re simply inseparable.
“He’s just adorable, the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Maureen said. “He makes me want to get up in the morning. In fact, I think he’s given me a new lease of life – I feel younger now than I did at the beginning of the year. So we’re just right for each other.”
She continued: “He’s brought me a lot of love and a lot of joy. We have great times together; we play in the house and we go on little walks. All the family love him. The grandchildren idolise him. And I take him to see my daughter-in-law’s mum and dad, so he’s getting a lot of love.”
He makes me want to get up in the morning. In fact, I think he’s given me a new lease of life – I feel younger now than I did at the beginning of the year. Maureen, Bandit's owner
And the incredible bond they share is clear for everyone to see. Her daughter Emma added: “I haven’t seen mum smile like this since before we lost dad. To say it’s a match made in heaven would be an understatement.”
Charlotte Gowing, Animal Welfare Assistant at Blue Cross Tiverton, who fostered Bandit during his time in our care, said: “I was honestly so disappointed for Maureen when she said that other rehoming organisations had refused to give her a dog before she even talked about the amazing support network she had.
"Maureen has given Bandit a life better than some people half her age could offer.”