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We had adopted Lucy from British Dalmatian Welfare two years earlier. Her’s was a horrific story of puppy farming and abuse. When she was rescued she was being beaten by her owner with a metal bar. He had got her, the runt of a litter and liver spotted, in a pub. British Dalmatian Welfare had her for nine months to bring her back to health. She hated men, but we persevered and adopted her having travelled down to Somerset to meet her. She became a loving and loved dog and in return she loved her master.
We adopted Toby two years later, he hadn’t been abused, but his owners had never trained him and had then had a baby. Toby at five months old and a bit of a character was sent to a British Dalmatian Welfare foster home in Oxfordshire to prepare him for adoption. We saw him and fell in love with him? Lucy loved him too. We were emigrating to Cyprus and started arrangements to transport both of the dogs. Sadly Lucy had a massive brain haemmorage and had to be put to sleep. The vet thinks this was a result of the beatings she had suffered before she was rescued.
In brief we came out here to Cyprus in September 2007 but they wouldn’t let us bring Toby in at that time because there was foot and mouth in the UK! Do dogs carry foot and mouth? I don’t think so but……..
He was in kennels in the UK for six weeks and Airpets made him their priority dog once the ban was lifted. He was the first dog to be airlifted out and Airpets said they would get him to the first available airport where a pressurised cargo hold was leaving for Cyprus.  In the end he came from our local airport, Heathrow. He then had to complete two weeks in quarantine in Cyprus. What a farce that was as he was met at the airport by a kennel worker in his lorry with four of his own dogs running about the lorry bed around Toby in his crate!
He arrived back to us on the same November day as our possessions arrived from the UK. One hugely excited Dalmatian and 137 packing cases! I guess you can imagine……From day one he settled to Cyprus loving the fire in winter and the sun in summer.He always reacted to one plane out of ten going overhead and we think it was probably the one with the pressurised hold, that he travelled in. Six hours with the engine noise and he never forgot the sound. He always heard it before it crossed the mountains and came into view, then he did his barking at the plane and dancing as it flew overhead, this he did every single night for the seven years he lived in Cyprus. Happy memories of a beautiful dog with not a nasty bone in his body.  He was our fourth Dalmatian totally bonkers but totally loveable. We appreciate hugely the work British Dalmatian Welfare do.
The last picture shows Toby with his Cypriot “sister” Kara. A pointer that we rescued here in Cyprus where dog abuse is common. Toby loved her from the outset and she mothered him, just as Lucy had done.  She brought Toby out of his kennalised mood and they did everything together. She is still pining for him. I think you can guess that Toby is very much missed. He is buried beneath the hibiscus tree beside the well and Kara seems to know as she frequently lies just there. Tear jerking to watch. Should we return to the UK with Kara, British Dalmatian Welfare will be one of our first contacts for adoption of another Dally…..
Anne Robinson.
Toby B Toby C Toby E
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