pet parent stories: Kate & Bilbo
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Pet Parent Stories: Kate & Bilbo

Pet Parent Stories: Kate & Bilbo

At Bounce and Bella, our community of Pet Parents is at the heart of everything that we do because we’re pet parents too and know how confusing and vague the pet industry can be. So, if we can help by providing information and support for our community, then that’s what we’ll do. 

A few months ago, we launched our Lovely Dogs Page for our community so that they could show us their dogs, their stories and, of course, what their favourite Bounce and Bella treats are. But we were overwhelmed with the support and love that the page got, and since not every pet parent’s journey is the same, we thought we’d feature some of those Pet Parent stories here on the blog. 

We’ve previously featured Dawn’s Pet Parent story about how her two Hungarian Vizsler’s, Ruben and Neve and how they were experiencing itchy skin and stomach problems too. 

Welcome to Pet Parent Kate & Bilbo

While looking through our lovely dog’s submissions. I came across Kate and her submission of her dog Bilbo, a Spanish rescue, and had to know more, so I got in touch with Kate to find out more about her Pet Parent Journey and, of course, Bilbo. 

Kate & Bilbo’s Story

I would love to tell you about Bilbo. I adopted him from a very small rescue that has only just received charity status, Spanish Griffon Rescue. They are amazing people, and they need all the help they can get.  Obviously, Bilbo isn’t a Griffon, but he was in the shelter, picked up as a street puppy, and they took him under their protective wing. 

Last July, I had to make the very hard decision to have my 16-year-old JR cross Lui put to sleep. It was the right thing to do, but being in lockdown made it so much harder. You know what it’s like when you have a dog; home just isn’t home once they’ve gone. 

So, I decided to look for a rescue after a while, but places like Battersea and Dogs Trust didn’t have many dogs and had none suitable to rehome with my old cat.  Someone suggested looking further afield, and I came across the Spanish Griffon Rescue on Facebook. 

I got in touch to ask about adopting one of the puppies they had on their page (I figured a puppy would be a safe bet with my cat), but they had all been reserved. Lucy, a volunteer from the rescue, sent me a message saying they had a couple of dogs that hadn’t been put up for adoption. My Bilbo (was Luk), at four and a half months old, looked so thin and sad; I said yes almost immediately. This was 30th September 2020.

I filled in a questionnaire for the home check, and I took a video of my garden. I was asked to raise the fence with trellis to make it 5 ft high just to make it totally secure. After that, I paid the adoption fee and waited.  

Once the dogs are adopted or fostered, they get a place on the DEFRA bus, which drives them over via Euro tunnel and meets pet parents at the nearest service station to their home town. There’s a separate fee for a place on the bus which covers transport through Europe and across to Great Britain.

Bilbo was due to come over on the freedom bus on 7 November, but his blood tests showed that he wasn’t well enough to travel. He was sent off to a specialist vet clinic, paid for by the rescue, and was diagnosed with severe anaemia. They think it was caused by the huge amount of antibiotics given to him to help fight the severe gut infection that he had when he was first rescued. I was told that he almost didn’t make it. But after a course of steroids, probiotics and some special food, he was eventually cleared to travel. The week before he was due to come, Brexit threw a spanner in the works. The freedom bus had to re-register to travel through the Eurotunnel, the rescue wasn’t a registered charity then, and it was mayhem. 

Everyone involved worked hard to get things sorted, and Bilbo arrived at Macdonald’s service station in Dartford on December 20th. We had a WhatsApp group and regular updates for the two days it took to transport the dogs. Best day ever!! 

It’s been six months since that day and Bilbo has gone from a thin, weak, scrawny 12kg pup to a big strong 27 kg champion. 

I did send his DNA off to see what breeds he could be because he just kept growing. He is 38% Labrador, 15% Boxer, 14% German Shepherd,13% Collie, 10% Maremma sheepdog, 6% Basset hound and 4% White Swiss shepherd. 

What a wonderful mix!! 

So that’s my boy. I bought your treats for him because he hasn’t really got over the gut problems yet, and he has an upset tummy quite regularly, and I had assumed that less wheat and nasties would help. I love the whole concept of Bounce and Bella, and he absolutely loves the treats.

Thank you, Kate, for sharing your journey of rescuing Bilbo and giving him a forever home! It sounds like his arrival made the perfect Christmas for you, and it’s lovely to see in the photographs how he’s grown. 

If you’d like to share your journey and story of becoming a Pet Parent, then let us know and contact us via info@bounceandbella.co.uk, as we’d love to share more of our community of pet parents stories.

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Kate Wise
Kate Wise
9 months ago

Just an update. Bilbo has a little ‘big brother arriving from the same shelter tomorrow. Evo aged 2.

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Hannah
Hannah
9 months ago
Reply to  Kate Wise

Congratulations, Kate and Bilbo, on the new addition to the family! Hello Evo and welcome!