Let’s shout about it! Find out everything there is to know about rescue dogs, re-homing projects, shelter tales and much anticipated success stories on our Travel Blog. Stay updated on the latest travel deal news and the latest animal rescue news all in one place!
Sadly, Alfie’s start in life was typical of many Greek hunting dogs. Once the hunting season was over he was dumped! Found tied up one morning outside the Lemnos shelter, Alfie resembled a bag of bones. He was taken in as a shelter dog, along with another white setter called Irina.
The dilapidated shelter is run by the handful of volunteers and is home to over 80 dogs: setters, spaniels, retrievers, pointers, Labrador look-a-likes and lots of small, cute fluffy mixes. All with one thing in common – they’re gorgeous – but stuck in a remote shelter, miles from anywhere, no-one knew about them!
For two years Alfie and Irina watched some of the smaller, fluffy breeds and cute puppies and shelter dogs get adopted, but along with all the other big breeds they were destined to be long term residents. Fotini, who manages all the adoptions, decided these gorgeous guys were overdue some great PR and so with a group of friends planned the shelter’s very first dog walk.
That’s when we first met Alfie.
Alfie was just one of those dogs you couldn’t ever forget; kind and respectful of all his shelter dog mates, not always the centre of attention but always where the attention was! Next visit we asked if Starlight Barking could help find him a home in England.
The Golden Opportunity
Fate then played an amazing hand. Within 20 minutes of Alfie’s photo appearing on Facebook, he was getting massive attention which would link us up with Tony Golden and family in Manchester.
This was Starlight Barking’s first adoption outside of immediate family and friends. We loved everything about Tony and his family and knew Alfie had fallen on his feet big time. But we had no idea, at that time, what Alfie’s Golden Opportunity would mean for rescue dogs everywhere.
Tony and wife, Tania, run Manchester Dog Care, a model doggie day care where families can leave their well-mannered dogs to run free and have the time of their lives and stay overnight when their owners are on holiday.
Tony’s family were currently without a dog of their own, but had always had retrievers and had been looking to offer a rescue retriever a home. When Tony saw Alfie’s picture on Facebook he contacted Starlight Barking and by November 2016 lucky Alfie was on his way to England.
PR boy for Rescue Dogs
Alfie quickly got the idea. He was now Alfie Golden, owner of Tony, Tania, Deven and Tyler Golden and was in doggie paradise living in a beautiful home, sleeping on sofas with great food and cuddles by the bucket load.
Instinctively, he knew that if he could market himself and greet all the day care owners and their dogs in his own special Alfie way, he could show the world that rescue dogs are special dogs. Then maybe some other shelter dogs would get lucky too.
One day, early in January this year, Alfie’s dream came true. Irina his old friend and shelter dog freind, the White Princess from Lemnos, arrived in Manchester.
Central Bark – The Big Idea for Rescue Dogs
Tony had approached Starlight Barking and suggested that if he offered foster places at Central Bark, his new doggie café in Manchester, we might be able to help a lot more rescue dogs find their perfect families.
So there followed – Sierra, Cally, Koritsi, Ella and Bea from Kozani in the North of Greece.
Then came George, Teddy, Lola, Lulu and Sissy from Lesvos.
And Bruno and Benny from Lemnos.
Paris and Ermis from Lesvos.
And just recently Marley and Molly from Lemnos.
Chilling with the other dogs, visitors to the café could get to know the dog’s real personality and help us find the perfectly matched family.
Ready for the Rescue Challenge?
More health-checked dogs from both Greece and the UK are on their way to Central Bark to be fostered. If you’re interested in rescuing a dog from anywhere, but have no idea where to start, please contact our resident dog rescuer Fiona – firstname.lastname@example.org .
With Fiona’s own dogs coming from Battersea Dogs Home and Many Tears in Wales, and now managing Starlight Barking, there isn’t much she doesn’t know about the challenges but huge rewards of adopting a rescue dog.