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'A dog can be for Christmas too,' says the Lynn News editor

In our latest 'From The Newsroom' column, editor Jeremy Ransome talks about the joys of taking on a rescue dog...

Last Christmas we welcomed a new addition into our family – and he’s changed our lives.

We hadn’t planned bringing another dog into the family – we already had our beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Harry... and three teenage children. However, this was a special case and we wanted to help.

Smiley Riley's first Christmas with us (60180245)
Smiley Riley's first Christmas with us (60180245)

My wife Josi was told about four elderly dogs that needed rehoming after their owner, also elderly, was no longer able to care for them.

We were sent a picture of the four and straight away picked a particularly fluffy one – but said we would happily take any of them. The thought of a loved old dog going into a rescue centre broke our hearts. Luckily, Riley, the German Spitz Klein, was available. We arranged to meet him and brought him home on December 23.

I’d always said I wouldn’t want an older rescue dog, rather selfishly because I knew I’d fall in love and that relationship might not last very long. But Riley is only 11, he’s as healthy as can be and has a life expectancy of 14-16 years, so there really is plenty of life in the old dog yet, as the saying goes.

Head and Shoulders Pictures of Lynn News Editorial Staff October 2022..Jeremy Ransome (Group Editor)... (59914269)
Head and Shoulders Pictures of Lynn News Editorial Staff October 2022..Jeremy Ransome (Group Editor)... (59914269)

Now, Smiley Riley (that’s his full name) seemed to love us from the start, and we love him. When we found out he’d been re-homed three times previously (always because of family situations rather than lack of love or bad behaviour) we felt the need to make him more loved than ever.

He follows us around the house wherever we go, barks joyously when we return from work and is constantly looking for his next belly tickle. I wouldn’t say he and Harry are best friends, but they certainly get on okay and hunt in pairs when looking for their next meal or treat.

Riley really is a special boy and we love him so much. I suppose the message I want to give is, if you’re looking for a dog, please take on a rescue, and, even more importantly, don’t overlook the older ones. They need your love too.

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