By Boxing Day, it was all over for Pip.

The then two-month-old lurcher puppy was bought as a Christmas gift but the novelty soon wore off and he was given up on 26 December.

He ended up at a rescue centre in Ireland and was later brought over to our Blue Cross rehoming centre in Lewknor, Oxfordshire, so that we could give him a second chance of a happy future. 

When Pip [pictured top as a puppy] arrived at Blue Cross he was in a bit of a state – covered in marks, with bald patches all over his body. But, despite what he had been through, he was a happy little puppy who just wanted to be loved. Although he had a confusing start to life, Pip was a confident young chap and loved to get involved in everything.

Jess Hollis, the Animal Welfare Assistant who helped to look after Pip, says: “Unfortunately in January we sometimes see an increase in unwanted puppies as the novelty has either worn off or the puppy has not settled well after being bought as a Christmas present.”

Pip’s journey to happiness was not over yet as it took him a little while to find his forever home and he spent many weeks at Blue Cross waiting for someone to choose him.

Lurcher Pip smiles at owner Stacey, who smiles back

But it was worth the wait. Fast forward four years and Pip is part of the loving family that took a chance on the unwanted gift all those years ago.

This year, he’s looking forward to another Christmas curled up on the sofa with loving owners Stacey Calladine and her partner Craig. 
Stacey, who fell for Pip after hearing his sad story, says: “I wanted a rescue dog who may, for one reason or another, have been at the centre for quite a long time and really needed a good home. Pip’s story fitted into this. 

“I felt so sorry for him and I couldn’t believe that someone could just throw him out like an unwanted Christmas present.” 

This Christmas, Pip will be spending the day as part of a loving family. He's looking forward to presents!

Stacey remembers: “When we went to meet him he was very bouncy and full of life, and we instantly felt really drawn to him, especially Craig – he’s a real man’s dog! We spent a good few hours with him over a few visits and that was that, we wanted him to come home with us.”

When giving a pup as a gift, some people seem to forget that puppies grow into dogs and are a long-term commitment. With his sad past behind him, Pip has never had to doubt the commitment of Stacey and Craig.

Pip has suffered with separation anxiety; a condition that’s sadly not uncommon in rescue dogs who have known more than one home through no fault of their own. Understandably, he worries at being left alone – probably due to the ghost of that first Christmas past that still haunts him to this day.

Stacey and Craig have worked with our Blue Cross Behaviour Team to help Pip overcome his worries and cope with those occasions when it’s necessary for him to be left for very short periods of time. By taking things slowly and going at Pip’s own pace, his family have helped the once-abandoned dog to learn he no longer needs to feel afraid.

Pip walks alongside his owner Stacey and they smile at each other

The lovable lurcher goes to work with Stacey too, and enjoys lapping up the attention he gets in the office, and he loves to lie down and watch the world go by. 

Stacey says: “He absolutely adores cuddly toys and anything with fluff to arrange on his bed and cuddle up to. When he’s excited he bows his front end down and wiggles his back end and tail at you.”

This Christmas, Pip will be spending Christmas in Yorkshire with his family. He will be having lots of lovely long woodland walks by day and spend the evenings sleeping in front of the fire. On Christmas day he will have his own present to unwrap, which he loves doing! And will probably want to help open everyone else’s too. 

Blue Cross’s doors do remain open over the Christmas period. While we never rehome on impulse or to people wanting to give pets as a surprise gift, for some, the festive season is a perfect time to give a rescue pet a home; especially if time off work means more time to settle a new addition in, or if it will be a quiet festive season.

Pets should never be thought of as a surprise gift, but for a homeless pet, a loving and dedicated family – just like Pip’s - is the greatest gift of all. 

Pip in bed with big smile

— Page last updated 11/12/2017