Playing pet detective: tracing Tilley’s history

First picture of Tilley aka Scrappy at 6 months oldHere’s “Scrappy” when she was first rescued by Leitrim Animal Welfare in Ireland. Read all about how we traced her history…

We’ve now had our wonderful Tilley for seven weeks and we’re all having a ball. Everyone who meets her falls in love with this little cheeky, amusing, affectionate collie cross. “Such a pretty dog!” they exclaim. “Aren’t you a bonny one?” as she wriggles with excitement and tries to lick their ears off.

We couldn’t imagine life without her madly wagging tail greeting us every morning, her demands for belly rubs at every opportunity, her joyful running in figures of eight about the park, her cute squeaky yawns, or the way she plonks herself down for cuddles at night.

But we couldn’t help being curious about her past life and the experiences which brought her to live with us in a little market town at the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales.

We knew from Dog’s Trust Darlington that she’d been rescued in Ireland and brought over for rehoming, but nothing more. So I began the search by contacting the Dog’s Trust again to ask for any other information they might have on file for Scrappy, as she was known.

A very helpful response from Katie in Darlington came quickly: according to their records, Scrappy had been picked up as a stray and handed to the Dog’s Trust via Leitrim Animal Welfare, then transported from Belfast to Cairnryan in a purpose-built animal ambulance.

I discovered Leitrim Animal Welfare had a Facebook group so dropped them a quick message to ask if they by any chance remembered Scrappy (and her brother, Squishy). This morning we were rather choked up to receive the following lovely message about Tilley (Scrappy) from Andrea at Leitrim:

Oh wow – Vicky, thanks so much for getting in touch, I’m thrilled to see Tilly looking so happy and so well. I’ve printed the photos off to show the staff, they will be delighted! Tilley and Squishy came in to our centre on 13.07.2013. They were found on the N4 in Carrick-on-Shannon and it is a very busy main road. Linda, the person who found them held onto them for 3 weeks in the hope that their owner would come forwards, but no-one did, so presuming they had been dumped she bought them to our centre. I’m just so happy that you got in touch, thank you and we are all sending a huge hug for Tilley.

Andrea also sent the photograph – see the top picture – she has of ‘Scrappy’ when she first arrived at the Leitrim centre. As Andrea put it, “She just sat down and smiled as if to say, ‘OK, I’m here now, what’s the craic?'”! That seems to perfectly sum up the happy-go-lucky nature that we now know and love!

Tilley’s tired after her day of running around, but she’s managed a special message for everyone who helped her…

whats the craic
It seems incredible that Tilley, once wandering a busy road in serious danger, is now lying contented at my feet as I type this, thanks to the efforts of many caring people. We are very grateful to Linda, the lady who found and rescued Tilley, to Leitrim Animal Welfare and to the Dog’s Trust. You all gave Tilley the second chance she so deserved! We’re also happy to learn that her sibling, Squishy, appears also to have been rehomed from Darlington Dog’s Trust. All best wishes and wagging tails from Tilley to her brother.

We’ll be updating this blog about our life with Tilley, so watch this space!