As I was growing up, my family pet was always a blue heeler – from Booga to Rocky and now Buddy. After moving away from home I desperately wanted another ‘puppy’, but my husband and I lived in a duplex and didn’t think it would be fair to have a medium size dog in a courtyard. I said to him “We need to find a miniature blue heeler”, but didn’t think I’d find that at the AWLQ.

We went anyway and walked the aisle, until we spotted ‘King’. He was a 5 month old blue heeler x corgi – what a cutie – who had been surrendered under Council order.

We had a play and decided straight away, he would join our family.

Within the first couple of weeks we discovered that ‘King’, now re-named Percy, had showed some anxiety towards other dogs. He would get very scared and bark and want to attack other dogs while we were on walks etc. We took him to training, but it was very difficult as he couldn’t be around other dogs.

We found a K9 Dog Training centre and learned how to control Percy so we could still take him out.

We eventually got him to a point where he could play with my parents’ dog and he would get so excited when we would stay at their house. We realised he needed a full-time friend as it was too dangerous to have him play with strangers.

When Percy was almost 2 we moved into a house with a big yard and adopted Polly from a family as a puppy. After an initial few snaps, Percy learned to love his sister and they are now inseparable.

I believe our story shows: it’s not you who chooses the dog, but the dog that chooses you.

We have many friends and family who ask us why we have persevered so much with Percy and not just given him up. But how could we? Would a parent do that to a child with Autism or other behavioural issues?

He is such a smart, loving, playful little fella when he is in his comfort zone and we love him so much. You will see in one of the photos how well he plays with my 5 year old nephews. We can take him to the park on Brown Street in Labrador as it’s a smaller enclosure and we can see if other dogs are coming in. He loves swimming in the Broadwater, so we just go to a more secluded area and keep him on a long line as Polly plays and swims freely.

I hope through sharing our story other people are encouraged to adopt an older dog and give it a life that someone else either doesn’t have the patience or time for and instead realise how much dogs give without expecting anything in return.

 Thank you for giving us Percy.