This time last year, elderly dog Jack was facing the prospect of spending Christmas sad and all alone in kennels after his beloved family were left with no other option but to give him up.

The poor boy had only ever known the same owners for all of his 12 years and, quite understandably, struggled to cope without them when he found himself in the care of the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Thirsk, north Yorkshire.

While he spent his days being showered with love and attention in the reception area, Jack cried long into the night once everyone went home, hating every aspect of kennel life.

In his twilight years and missing his old life desperately, Jack was quite simply heartbroken – just as his devastated owners must have been – and our worried team put out an urgent appeal on social media to find him a home.

Thankfully, Laura and Terry Lloyd were looking for a dog at the same time and saw the photo of Jack’s sad, grey-muzzled face pop up on their screen.

Laura said: “We saw him on Facebook by pure chance. I’ve been a Blue Cross supporter for years, but it was a friend that lives across the road that also rescues animals who shared his photo and I just happened to see it.

“And there he was, with his sad little face and big brown eyes. The post said that because he was so old he was being overlooked as nobody wanted to take on an older dog, and he had to be the only dog in the home.”

Terry throws a ball for Jack out in his garden

The couple filled out an application form for Jack there and then, expecting him to be inundated with offers of a home. So Laura and Terry were overjoyed when the centre called and asked them to meet him.

“We arrived at the centre and he was there behind reception as he couldn’t bear to be in the kennels. He whoops at new people – he did it to us and I just started crying because it was so cute,” said Laura. “We spent a few hours getting to know him and letting him get to know us, and we just fell in love with him straight away.”

Amy Younger, Assistant Manager at Thirsk, said: “Everyone was so gutted for Jack that he had come to us at that stage in his life. He was really struggling in kennels, but was a different dog when he came into the office and was with people; he was just a delight to have around and greeted any visitors.

“We were so grateful that Laura and Terry came along. He is a lovely dog, but because of his age he could have ended up being with us for a long time and he just wasn’t coping.“

Jack on sofa with Laura
Jack wasted no time settling into his new home and was straight onto the sofa for cuddles.

And so, after 35 days in our care and an emotional farewell, on the 16th December 2017 Jack’s Christmas wish for a new family came true when he left Blue Cross – wearing a shiny red festive bow bought for him by Laura and Terry – to start his new life some 150 miles away in the Welsh countryside.

There, he joined the couple’s rescue cat Harry, a chinchilla, budgies and a flock of former factory-farmed hens.

He also loves to join Laura each day at the stable yard nearby where she keeps her two horses.

“He just loves everything and everyone,” said Laura. “As soon as we got him home he jumped on the settee and just settled in straight away. He lived with three cats previously and loves Harry – they even snuggle up together.”

Jack on the sofa with eyes to camera

And it seems that Jack’s new home and family has also given him a new lease of life, with him becoming more and more active. In doing so, he’s also got Laura and Terry out and about more too.

“At the centre he wasn’t too fussed about walking, and he just loved his tennis balls. Well now, he insists on walking – and likes to go three times a day,” said Laura.

Terry continued: “We’re both actively out walking with him every day before and after work, and at the weekends.”

Laura added: “When we’re not at work he’s literally with us all the time – he’s great company and comes everywhere with us. When we’re at work, he goes to my mum’s house as he doesn’t like being alone.

Jack enjoying a walk through the countryside surrounding his home.
Jack enjoying a walk through the countryside surrounding his home.

"We’re just really enjoying having him in our lives; he’s made such a huge difference to us. He’s just perfect.”

And for Laura and Terry, who set out to rehome an older dog because they felt that they didn’t have the time to invest in bringing up a puppy, the rewards of giving Jack the retirement home he deserved are beyond measure.

“To anyone that is looking to rehome a dog, I’d say that age is just a number at the end of the day. Don’t dismiss a dog just because they’re in their advanced years, because they’ve still got a huge amount to offer," said Laura.

“Jack is now coming up to 13 but he’s still full of beans and is really active. He’s such a fantastic dog and we’re so glad that we picked him.”

Amy added: “Everyone is so happy for Jack. We get regular updates, and he’s clearly living his best life. His story shows just how much older dogs have to offer when they are given a chance.”

Jack in front of fire

— Page last updated 7/03/2019