As part of our 25th anniversary we’ll be posting 25 stories, from the very start of Tia to where we are now.
We have sold Mill Race Farm. Although it’s in the early stages i am confident that it will go through, so we are looking for Tia’s next and permanent home. When we bought Moorside Farm we paid the mortgage off in 6 years and i am wanting to do this again so that Tia’s future is secure. Please help us achieve this by buying a brick for Tia, as part of our ‘25 years of Tia brick appeal‘.
A couple of years on from leaving the Police, I had taken over the stables behind the tip, collected garden sheds from all over Yorkshire and Tia Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue had begun. I saw lots of neglected dogs, sad dogs, starved dogs, betrayed dogs. Volunteers, helpers, dog walkers and fundraisers just seemed to find us. We would sit for hours in the field watching the world go by.
On the 11th February 1998 I went to the stray kennel in Huddersfield, which was a notorious hell hole on every level. They fetched out a greyhound and how I kept my hands off them for keeping him for a week, with no veterinary treatment, I will never know.
I took him back to the stables/sheds but I couldn’t leave him there, he could barely stand he was so weak and the look in his eyes spoke volumes. He had almost given up….so home he came. A comfy bed was set up under the radiator and he could see my giant rabbits through the patio doors bouncing about…I swear they kept him going. An early form of recreational therapy no doubt.
Brandon was a massive dog, reduced to skeletal proportions, his skin was rotting. I had to carry him outside, which wasn’t difficult apart from trying not to hurt him. He had to be fed a small handful of food every 2 hours and each time I went into see him, I’d say “Hello Brandon”. In truth I was never sure if he was going to be alive or not.
Weeks went by and every day he got a little bit stronger. I knew early on that if he survived I would never part with him. I never did.
He was a gentleman, my Brandon. Never put a foot wrong even though he was a huge, huge dog. He had been a coursing dog, Tiger Pursuit was his official name, owned by a magistrate. I found out who had owned him, who had starved him and gave the details to the RSPCA, I even complained the to chief inspector because they wouldn’t do anything.
” Oh dear” he said…”we don’t have the time to chase greyhound abusers around the country” (swear words insert here)
This big lad fought for his life and managed another five years, five wonderful years. In 1999 we even got a trophy in London, a grand affair, we got a Wag award Willing and Giving, Personality of the Year Award, yes really. Made much more interesting by the rabbit in a cage at the next table and I had to wear a dress.
The day he slipped through my fingers I’ll never forget. I knew it was coming and had stuffed him on things I wouldn’t dream of giving him normally. Kit Kats and Milk Tray, what did it matter now. I looked through the window and he looked right back. I knew he had waited for me. I opened the door and he ran to me, he collapsed in my arms and left for the bridge, leaving a sobbing mess and priceless memories.
See you on the bridge darling.