The rescue dog that rescued me: An illustrated story


rescue dog


Why did the car drive away and leave me all alone in the snow?


Was I naughty?


How could they leave me?


I walked and walked until a van stopped and picked me up. It took me to a scary place—cold, noisy and filled with dogs but no food.

They put me in a cage.

Then another cage, and then another—I was moved again and again.

I was frightened.

rescue dog


Finally, in the dark, in different country, I was put in a car next to a woman. She stroked me, and soon carried me into a warm, quiet house.

I had not been in a home for long, long time so I sniffed about cautiously. That evening, I had my first really tasty meal and curled up exhausted in a cosy bed. When I howled in the night, the woman sat quietly next to me.

rescue dog


rescue dog

I followed that woman, called Polly, everywhere. I didn’t let her out of my sight. I wanted to stay here, with her.

She was kind. I would lay under her table as she worked, and she worked a lot. I liked the smell of her slippers and would carefully nibble them. She didn’t even notice!

Polly named me Bertie, and as I liked her, I agreed to keep it. There were worse names she thought of, like Otto, Muttley or Jarvis.


rescue dog

Polly can be annoying sometimes. She washes me and my bedding just when we smell perfect. She talks on the phone and ignores me, so I take her washing down from the line and run about the garden with her knickers and socks—that usually gets her attention!

Every week she goes to a place called “the shops” and leaves me. But now I know she will always return… with treats! I welcome her back with unconditional love.


I have settled in. Who wouldn’t? I get two beds, two dinners and two walks a day.

Polly used to walk on a set route with no stiles (she is small), no fields with livestock (she is terrified of cows) and no mud (she likes to walk fast). But I fixed all that!

Now we amble off the track, taking in the views and the rustling of trees, watched by the deer in the forest and the egrets high above us. I try to make her see things through my eyes when we walk, and it slows her down.

rescue dog


I still remember my old life, in Romania, and panic. But I know this is my territory now, and I feel safe.

When the local people, who have what Polly calls “posh” dogs, ask about my breed, she says I am the “perfect” breed because I am rescued. She doesn’t care what I am, or that my teeth are broken and I am missing half an ear.

Polly says I’ve been as good for her as she’s been for me. I’m not sure what I saved her from, but I’m happy I did.

rescue dog

Follow Polly on Twitter at @pollymnoakes.