Here we are at the best time of the day, time to meet another beautiful doggo. This time around, its off to Waterford, to catch up with Darcy, a puppy mill rescue who has been through so much but continues to be a best pal to his human Mary. Another one of our new pals from the 99k initiative, lets take a look at how awesome this doggy is and how strong this bond is between him and Mary.
Dogs Name: Darcy:
Hails from: Waterford
Breed: Chihuahua x Dachshund
Darcy Date of birth: He won’t tell me how old he is. Guess is roughly 10
Tell us a bit more about you – the human
UI/UXDesigner, who went back to college due to illness and it’s best thing I’ve ever done-silver lining to a bad situation. Retraining to do what I love. Love anything creative-painting, sketching, photography and love music. Dabbled in stained glass and would love to do more. The dream is to have a home studio of my own full of senior rescue dogs
Why did you part in the 99k for Canines initiative?
I was drawn to it as I wanted a challenge for both me and Darcy. Due to my own illness I have chronic pain and find it hard to get moving some days. Darcy has arthritis and tracheal collapse and needs to lose some weight so I thought it’d be a positive thing for both of us to do and also support a cause that’s so close to our hearts. Those were the initial reasons but it’s become so much more than that now that we’ve taken part.
What have been the major benefits for you of the challenge?
It’s been such a good mental boost. The Facebook group that we’re part of has been such craic. Also there are people in the same boat that are struggling with health issues and I feel less alone. I can at times feel like I’m out on a limb on my own being quite young (35 is young, right?) and not many people understand the daily struggles when you’ve lifelong, long-term illness that dictates your daily life. It’s been a lovely social outlet and a very encouraging environment. Also it’s always good to meet other dog-mad people.
What do you feel have been the biggest benefits for your dog during the challenge?
Darcy is moving better and has been enjoying walks more too. I’ve not noticed a massive weight difference but he’s on meds that make that a little harder. I have noticed a difference in his fitness capabilities however. I feel like the challenge has dug us both out of a rut. We’re not even finished, only half way there so will still be pounding the pavement for the month of July but that’s cool!! I always knew we’d be slower than the rest but it’s not a race.
Fundraising target: €233
Distance to date:
Now the important part – The Doggy details
Tell us all about Darcy
Darcy is a puppy mill rescue. I adopted him sick and traumatized in 2011. He was feral and terrified of everything. After only a few weeks of living with me, he needed a blood transfusion in the UCD Animal Hospital. I nearly lost him. This was due to an autoimmune condition and it’s now under control. He’s had skin problems and thyroid problems too. It’s not been easy on him to have all of this and such a rough start to life.
At the start, it took months for him to trust me and everything was done on his terms. It took about a year for him to wag his tail, he still doesn’t really understand how to play but tries to anyway. It took such a long time for him to come out of his shell. I used to sit at the bus stop in Dublin just to let him watch the people and traffic and be ok with it. Over time he learned how to be calm and to cope with noises and people. It took a long time and to this day I still see remnants of the trauma in his behavior. It can’t be totally eradicated unfortunately. I wish it could.
It’s almost as if once he was ok, I got sick and the roles reversed. I call him the freelance therapy dog. He checks on me on bad days, comes to bed with me and never leaves my side. Then last Christmas I noticed he was alerting me to episodes that I was having. He might have been doing it longer but I only joined the dots then. I experience rapid drops in blood pressure in which I lose consciousness. Darcy now comes and scratches at my legs before I even start to feel it come on. My heart rate becomes erratic and I think he picks up on it. He’s after preventing 3 serious falls since then. The attacks came on so fast that I definitely would have hit my head. He’s had no training whatsoever and even my specialist is baffled by it. So now he’s a freelance medics alert dog too! He’s so special to me and such a character that I set up an Instagram account for him a few months back and have met a network of friends there too who are going through similar stuff or who just share an extra special bond with their dogs. @snaggletoofdarcy has been rapidly growing and I haven’t even shared this part of his story on there yet. I will soon though.
When I’m not well, he can go downhill so I find myself sometimes faking being ok just for the dog. People probably think I’m nuts but a “bonded pair” is a real thing. We’re very in tune with one another. I’ve often brought him to the vet saying “somethings wrong- he’s just not himself” and they’ll do a blood panel and there will be an issue. We pick up on tiny things with each other.
He bonds better with women and is very much attached to my mother and sister if I’m away and need someone to mind him. My sister even specified to her wedding venue that a dog would be attending as I wouldn’t have had anyone to mind him. So he was a groomsman.
Dog people will get it, the rest will think we’re mad. So be it!
Darcy’s Favourite snack
Cream! I’d like to say that he’ll do anything for cream but Darcy doesn’t care about getting approval and won’t do tricks. Just give him the damn cream
Darcy’s Favourite toy?
Doesn’t do toys at all. Never cared about them. But loves his blankets. He has to be covered (security thing). He waits to be tucked in every night
Darcy’s Favourite park
When we lived in Dublin, he loved Marley Park. Now his favorite place is the beach in the evenings when it’s quiet
Darcy’s Favourite walk
Waterford Greenway, The Cunnigar or The White Strand
Loves to play with other dogs
What is your favourite activity that you and Darcy complete together?
We like road trips but we equally enjoy a snuggle on the couch
What is the funniest/most random thing Darcy has ever done?
He thinks that the rug in one sitting room is his personal toilet paper and the one in the other room is exclusively for puking on. He never mixes those up.
How do you describe your relationship with Darcy?
Co-dependent! He might just be the love of my life. To me, he’s my baby and I’ll do anything for him. He’s all character and personality and it honestly makes me so happy to see more and more confidence coming from him. He’s smelly, snaggled and perfect!
Top 5 moments you’ve had with Darcy
The very first time he came to me for a cuddle after months of gaining his trust
When he wagged his tail for the first time. To this day the only time he does it is when he sees me for the first time each day or if return from being away
When he smiles at me when we’re in the car or out in walks
When he comforts me on bad days. Sometimes in the night I see his little head pop up to check on me. I tell him I’m ok, and he lies back down again. He’s just so sweet
Everyday is honestly a moment worth mentioning but he can’t stand his OWN farts. When he does on while he’s on my lap, he looks at ME with disgust and leaves the room. It always makes me laugh
What top 3 words would you use to describe Darcy
Give details of one thing that your Darcy has done to help change your life/improve your life for the better.
Adopting him has been the best thing I’ve ever done for all the reasons already outlined. He makes me smile when I don’t want to