(was ESKA)


A devastated Lara told us “I'm writing to give you the sad news that our dear dog Clover
passed away last Wednesday 26th April.

She had an ongoing heart condition for which we were medicating her. Clover actually liked
two of the pills and ate them quite happily but not her Frusecare so we had to be imaginative
in making sure she took it without realising!

We all thought her condition was stable but, suddenly, she deteriorated last week, with
her not being able to breathe properly, and there was no other way than having her put to sleep.

She was such a lovely dog and an integral, much loved part of our family and we are so
grateful to IRR for helping us to enjoy such a wonderful friend and companion in our lives.

We have lovely pictures to help us remember, some of which make us all smile. 

Simon and Julie were her foster carers and we met up with them at a Reunion held near
Bristol a few years ago. They helped get her on the right road to adoption and were a lovely
family, so dedicated and caring. We really appreciated all that they did for her. 

It must be very sad for them to hear about the loss of one of their special girls especially
so soon after Milly’s loss and only seven months after losing their own dear Bonnie.

We were looking at the first few entries on the website about Clover, and how young she
looked and how small our children looked too. We have come a long way together on
this life's journey.

She is buried in the garden next to our cat who lived for 18 years. I keep her company
sitting outside with my cup of tea in the mornings and afternoons and we all think about her
so much of the time and feel her loss very deeply and in all sorts of different ways. 

Thank you to the people at IRR for your kind words. It helps us through the sadness
knowing that there are caring people like yourselves who totally understand and want to help”.

We would like to say a big thankyou to Lara and family for all you did and for the wonderful
life you gave to our lovely little lady.

Run free and be happy and well again at the Bridge, sweet Clover.


Eska is a golden retriever who was approximately two to three years old when she was rescued by IRR. She had obviously given birth to at least one litter of puppies before being spayed.

She appeared to be very fit and healthy and had a lovely temperament. Eska was fostered by Simon and his family.

FIRST REPORT – 22/02/2009

Eska came to stay with us early Saturday morning and in the past 36 hours she’s been an absolute joy to look after. Initially she investigated our house and generally had a good sniff around checking out all the interesting smells that she could find. It took a few hours for her to complete this task but once she was done and had received plenty of fuss then she was ready to settle on the living room rug.

She’s a very affectionate dog and always ready to be fussed and she will seek out attention by either nuzzling your hand or putting her paws in your lap. She’s also happy to accept strangers who come calling and to receive fuss off them so I don’t think she’d make a very good guard dog !!!

I’ve now had chance to take Eska for a number of walks and each one proves to be easier than the last. She will start off by pulling on the lead but once you get going then she eases off and life becomes much more laid back. Today we went to a secure field where I was able to let her run free. I was amazed at how well she responded to a recall command, almost immediately she would come bounding back. Also while off the lead she didn’t stray far either and didn’t seem to get distracted by the local wildlife (birds, rabbits and squirrels). She also met a Cocker Spaniel who she had great fun playing chase with.

Eska has been superb with my children and their friends. She’s been particularly tolerant of my our two year old son Thomas who as you can imagine is into everything and nothing stops him getting to his chosen destination even a resting dog…..why go around when you can go over the top !!!

We are now just starting to see Eska’s playful nature, as she has just started to take an interest in the various soft dog toys that are in the toy basket. Also she’s started to take an interest in playing with my other dogs whether that’s chasing tennis balls with Bruno (she hasn’t worked out that your’re supposed to bring them back though !!!) or play fighting with Candy.

We’ve had the opportunity to meet a cat whilst out on our walks and she’s disinterested in them. She’s also met our Chinchillas and again she seems to be disinterested.

All in all, Eska is a wonderful dog with a very easy going nature and would be a superb addition to any large active family.


Today Eska met Lara, Chris and their two adorable children, William and Summer and I'm pleased to say that it was love at first sight (to use an old cliche).

Eska graciously accepted fuss from all of them and was particularly gentle with the children, although Summer was a bit surprised by the wet nose in the face trick!! lots of laughs. After that there were no doubts in our minds that Lara and her family were going to be Eska's new guardians.

Myself and Julie wish them all the very best in their new life together but as ever it's with some sadness that we say goodbye to our beautiful Eska. I know that Eska will have a loving, caring home and will share in the many adventures that William and Summer will have as they grow up."


Lara said,“Just to let you know that Eska (Clover) is doing very well here in her new ‘forever home!!’ We had always wanted something that symbolised where she came from and Clover just seemed to fit…and perhaps was a little more delicate for our furry girl. I had already done some research into the Shamrock being a type of clover, and made sure through some websites that it was an okay name for dogs! I found three with the name, and friends thought it sounded good too…and of course, it matches her lovely name tag!

And most importantly (and somewhat surprisingly!) she answers to it already!! We started calling her the name in the car, with a little whistle of the lips, and she just took to it…by that night she was coming back into the lounge to answer to it!

She slept well in the kitchen…we had to shut the partly glassed door, because as we were eating dinner, she silently glided over the stair gate! She went out for a wee at 6am…and then nothing… but I misread some signals I think (thought she was whining at the bunnies outside) and we had a little mishap on the spare room floor!

She is very focussed on the bunnies…but does respond to some redirection, particularly from Chris and his male voice. Her recall is fantastic. We had some time in the kitchen with the dog and cat together, as she had jumped up and growled last night at Mollie…it seemed to calm things down somewhat, Mollie up on the worktop (safe and hissing!)…Clover given positive reinforcement every time she ignored her, and stopped growling…she did calm down after a while which was very encouraging. We just have to avoid the chasing at this stage and we want to keep getting these two together (under controlled conditions!!) The one and only time we have heard Clover bark is at the cat…we are so pleased about that – some dogs are real chatterboxes!

Clover had a lovely walk in the gale force wind this afternoon. She does pull a fair bit – and then suddenly walks perfectly to heel and is relaxed for a time, then back to the pull. We are trying to encourage the latter with positive reinforcement (treats and praise)…and she was just as interested as the kids in the baby lambs (!!!!?)

She is fantastic with the children and is docile and calm and they want to be with her, but also give her space. She isn’t taking their toys, and is just the perfect friend for them; she makes wonderful company.

I will also send pictures as soon as I have time to upload them! It’s trying to catch that moment!! Working with dogs and children is so tricky! Nobody looks the right way all at once!

We all want to say a HUGE thank you for finding Clover (Eska) for us. Also Simon and Julie were lovely people – and have done a great job assessing and looking after her…our hats off to them, because if it wasn’t for them taking on dogs to assess with their children (in a family environment), Clover (Eska) may well have gone to a family with older children or none at all I suppose. Our appreciation is beyond measure.


Lara said. “Clover is a dream dog for sure. She has settled in with us tremendously well…everyone who meets her says how beautiful and calm she is. We thought perhaps once she got her ‘feet under the table’ we were in for a slightly different Clover – but no, she remains a placid easy-going dog who fits in with whatever we are doing, and is a joy to be with.

In fact, the one problem we do have is that she just has to be with us all the time, to the point where her eyes are closing as she is wandering about, refusing to lie in her bed in the lounge or anywhere where we are not!! So we invested in a dog gate 42” high, to fit the kitchen so she has to go and rest when we think she really needs it, unless we are chilling out with her in the lounge. However, she has just perfected the art of getting herself over that…so at least we are blessed with a non-destructive dog who doesn’t chew if she is left overnight downstairs (although the sofa is covered in blond hairs the next day – hummmm!).

Clover now takes part on the school run – and is happy to wait with the other dogs while I drop Will off in the mornings. She walks brilliantly on her Halti, and I now alternate between that and her lead attached to her collar, to get her weaned off it in time. – which works very well. We have let her off the lead and her recall is great. She runs off only a short way, now and comes back and stays with us…we think she is identifying with us more now as her new ‘pack’.

The children behave very well with her, although I am doing small bouts of ‘training’ with my youngest…and she is soooo very loving and cuddly with Clover. It is wonderful watching the bond that is truly developing between them all and how Clover just loves to join in, in her own doggy way. Her favourite toy has and probably always will be the one that Simon and Julie gave her…she goes to sleep with it in her mouth, like a comforter!!

Clover behaves extremely well with our friends and their children. We have had quite a few groups of people around, and she doesn’t jump up and is friendly and relaxed with strangers. She just wants to cuddle up and relax when little ones are on the floor and everyone we meet say they cannot believe she is only 2-3 years old. Clover acts like she has been on a 5 mile hike most of the time she is so docile …and yet she has the spirit and vitality of a dog her age, going running with Chris on the beach for an hour (and happy to run about beside him when he flaked out!)

Initially Clover was rather obsessed with our bunnies and guinea-pigs…but now she has got used to them and goes up to have a run around with Flopsy (yes, the bunny actually comes out to run first one way, then another around the run with Clover on the outside – he will actually come out to look for the dog, its crazy! ).

They frequently go nose to nose, Clover licking and wagging her tail - alternating between playful and hungry!.

Clover has become better behaved with the cat – I used to bring the cat downstairs to go out…and Clover initially jumped up and growled…but now she ‘stays’ and even lies down, if I tell her! Now, Clover is downstairs only with a stairgate (upstairs on special invitation!). She ‘stays’ anyway, if we tell her, she is so obedient.

Clover has found her voice – but we love it…she barks at the gate and at birds, and plastic bags stuck in trees…but she is not persistent and is just letting people know this is her place.

She is a much loved, much wanted member of our family…we are more active and busier than we were before – we love her companionship and what she has brought to our lives. We are so glad we could give her a better life…she so deserves it.”


Lara says "I am so pleased to say that Clover is doing brilliantly. Will plays games with her and enjoys doing some clicker training too...he asks to do this without our encouragement and he is always laughing at her antics (like digging alongside him at the beach for a bone that isn't there!)

Clover has done well at the local kennels and gets on well with other dogs, she is always put together with another one within her sleeping area. When she is out with us, her recall is superb and she will have a sniff around other dogs, and people and then come right back.

She is a lovely dog - everyone loves her...people still comment about how lovely she looks and what a great temperament she has...

We went away recently for 10 days and I think I imagined our reunion every day of the second week we were there...and having her back in the house again, and us all together just made us feel complete!"

UPDATE 18/06/2010 

 Lara says "Clover is doing very well, she is very, very relaxed and easy going and a lovely dog to have in the family...she is very loving and great company wherever we are, especially the beach and in any body of water she can find!

We lost my mum recently and my dad loves having her over for company/comfort and is looking forward to having her while we go camping later in the year. All we need to do now is get Clover to retrieve...any tips welcome!!

Our family has expanded this Spring with the birth of our little Barney in March! Clover I am sure knew all along I was pregnant and since Barney came home hasn’t batted an eyelid! It’s like she was just waiting for his arrival and more noise in the house... Barney has just started noticing her and has the odd dusting with her wagging tail now and then, which is probably quite a pleasant sensation!"


Click here to see Clover’s montage

2009 Irish Retriever Rescue UK