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I'm Heather and I found SYESSR by accident in 1999 when looking for a dog, not necessarily a Springer but something energetic and friendly (at that time I was still under the misguided impression that all Spaniels were friendly, you live and learn!). I visited kennels and left with Woody, a gorgeous 5 year old boy with a huge character and desperately in need of a haircut. He was a relatively easy dog with only a few quirks and a joy to have, he fitted in our lives perfectly from day one.

I'm not really sure what happened then!!

I attended a few events/walks and then in 2002 received a letter asking if I would consider becoming a trustee.  At the time I worked full time was so a little worried about how much time this might entail but was assured it wouldn’t be much so I agreed (It just goes to show how young and naive I was back then!  Fast forward a few years and if I'm not at work or out with my own dogs I seem to be doing something for rescue.  I do a little do a bit of everything whether that be dealing with dogs coming or going, walking the dogs, doing vet/groomer trips etc, working at the shop, fundraising, taking calls and updating the internet.  There aren't enough of us so it means that it can be very hard work at times but when you see a dog (especially a long term one) go off to a new home, it is all worth it.

Not long after I became a trustee Jack joined our family, he was 3yrs old, skin & bone, very hyper and had no recall, everyone who came to see him decided he was too much (they were right!) and so he remained in kennels. However he was very loving and had the most gorgeous face.  I fell in love, so home with me he came. He wasn’t the easiest dog, in the house he was a complete angel and no trouble at all, outside however, he was a nightmare as his recall never improved despite trying almost any method of training suggested.  I spent many an hour looking or waiting for him and twice had to go home without him to fetch reinforcements.  On top of that his party trick was to swim across lakes and get out the other side; unfortunately he didn’t swim back which could be interesting if it was a large lake!

Next came Bella.  We lost Woody to cancer on Boxing Day 2007 and the following month I went to collect a little bitch who's owners no longer had the time for her.  She was too young to go into kennels so I took her home. Bella is the complete opposite of Jack. In the house she doesn't settle much, she is completely ball obsessed and if she has one drives you mad playing with it, if she doesn't she drives you mad looking for one. She likes to put ball under things and then barks to get them back, for the first couple of weeks she barked constantly (I'm surprised the neighbours didn't complain) and we even resorted to taking all the legs off the sofas to stop her putting things under them!  Outside on a walk, however, she is fabulous. She never strays far from your side whether you are walking or cycling, she is good with any person or dog she meets and can be walked through livestock of any description without a care.

And then there is Nellie, when we lost Jack in 2016 I basically looked at all the dogs in kennels and took the one home that had been with us the longest.  That was Nellie (affectionately known as Nippy Nellie Nutjob) she had been with rescue 6 months, rehomed and returned twice.  She is deaf (from birth), noisy, steals food, is reactive on her lead, very excitable and when excited nips us.  She is however very intelligent, loving and loyal which means she has stolen our hearts and is here forever.

Reading this back makes me wonder why I have them, but their good points far outweigh the bad and I wouldn't be without them.  You can keep all your lotions, potions and pills.  Having a Springer (preferably more than one) keeps you young, fit (sadly not thin too) and more importantly happy.

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