Learning to Love Again - Reginald's Story - News - Leicester Animal Aidfeature image

Learning to Love Again - Reginald's Story

Reggie and Rainbow couldn’t be more different – one is a 16-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback and the other a little kitten born with no eyes.  One thing they do have in common is they’ve learnt to LOVE again. 

Reggie’s story

It’s often said that dogs are ‘a man’s best friend,’ giving their love, loyalty, and companionship unconditionally.  Whilst there are lots of pampered pooches out there, sadly there are those that have suffered terrible treatment at the hands of cruel people. With patience, understanding, and kindness some of these dogs can learn to love again and we’re going to meet one who did just that.

Around nine years ago, a stray Rhodesian Ridgeback was bought into Leicester Animal Aid by the dog warden.  He was underweight and had cigarette type burns on his back.  Naturally, he was very frightened and didn’t want to engage with the staff.  He was named ‘Reginald’ and during his vet check-up was aged at around 7.

Reginald avoided interaction with his carers, trying to hide and not looking at anyone.  Staff soon recognised he was a gentle giant that had sadly learnt not to trust humans.  It was clear he needed a very special forever home. 

Linda and Phil had previously adopted two dogs from LAA, Dennis and Charlie. Sadly, they had recently lost Dennis, a German Shepherd, and had no plans to get another dog.  However, after hearing Reginald’s story they felt that they couldn’t turn him away.  So, Charlie, a Rottweiler who’d also previously suffered from abuse, gained a playmate. 

For the first few weeks Reggie kept away from the family, choosing to live outside, taking up temporary residence in a field shelter.  Charlie did her best to reassure him and gradually he ventured closer to the house, still avoiding contact but getting a little braver and more curious.  The doors were left open for when he decided to take those first steps into the house.  

The day he tentatively stepped through the door, with Charlie leading the way, was the breakthrough the family had hoped for.   Although he’d leave if someone came close or there was an unfamiliar noise, his confidence slowly grew.  He was given all the time and space he needed and within a couple of months, was learning that home wasn’t such a scary place.

We’re pleased to say that Reggie is still going strong at the grand old age of 16 and his story shows what patience, understanding and love can do.  He does have a few health issues now he’s older, but he lives a happy and contented life with his family.  He loves pottering round the garden, snoozing in front of the fire and eating!     

Reggie is still suspicious and mistrusting of strangers and won’t engage without his mum, Linda, by his side.  He follows her everywhere and the relationship they have is truly heart-warming. 

Without the support from our friends, supporters and local community we couldn’t do the work we do which enables us to rescue dogs like Reggie.

You could help to make a real difference by donating to our Vet Cost Appeal. Your kind donation could help towards the cost of a health check and vaccination for a new arrival, which is around £35 for a dog.  

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