Maggie is feeling very sad. She told us “Today, we had to say farewell to our darling Hollypop as
our vet found lots of secondary tumours particularly in her lungs.

We fostered Holly and ended up adopting her in May 2012 when she was 8yrs. She shared
our lives for 5 wonderful years making her 13'ish.

There is now a Holly shaped hole in our lives.

Missing you so much. Run free over Rainbow Bridge, Hollypop”.

For sure, dear Holly is now happily reunited with her old friend Teddy. 


In 2012, Holly was 8 yeas old and was surrendered due to her owner's ill health.


Holly has an excellent nature and temperament. She has been used to living outside and enjoyed playing in the garden during the day.

She loves being petted and being the centre of attention. She has not lived with children and might be happier in a home without young children; although she has always been fine when children have visited.


Holly arrived just over 48 hours ago. She has since been to the groomers for a wash and brush up so I think she feels much better.

She is approximately 8 years old. She is very overweight so could do with shedding a fair few pounds! Holly craves attention and will not leave your side. It's not clear yet whether that is just the way she is or whether she is just lacking in self-confidence. She seems so sad and bewildered; I think she wonders what on earth is going on.

Holly is not bothered with the cats; in fact she totally ignores them. She is not too good on the lead, she doesn't pull but she does wander all over the place. I am sure that will be resolved in time. She hasn't been tested with children in our home environment. She will be a great companion for someone who is at home a lot to give her lots of love and attention.

Holly has moved to a new foster home near Reading in Berkshire. 


On Sunday we took Teddy and Holly out for a walk in our local field together, even though Teddy is losing his sight he knows it better than the back of his paw. Obviously we kept Holly on a lead and she thoroughly enjoyed all the new smells etc. She did pull on the lead on the way to the field but was fine once we got there. We met another family we know with a dog and she was fine with the dog and the people.

She is happy to go in her crate when there is no-one in the house, she barks a couple of times just to make her point but settles quickly – the same at bedtime. Her crate door is left open during the day and she wanders in and out if I am busy and she can’t lie close to me. She loves cuddles and being stroked, and when she goes outside, she checks to make sure someone is going out with her.

Holly is friendly with our other dogs and with our daughter’s male toy poodle. She has also met our chickens: they got out of their run yesterday and met her at the back door, obviously a new concept to her and she totally ignored them.

Our grandsons (10 and 8) live 3 doors away so are regular visitors, a great source of cuddles particularly Holly and our younger grandson are already best mates.


Indoors Holly is my shadow; she follows me everywhere, but has learnt to wait outside the loo door for me!

Holly’s toilet training is progressing; some days are better than others and a lot depends on whether she has been anxious about something as to whether she has accidents in the house.
Today she is being a star. She has had a long walk with the grandsons so she is snoozing at my feet. We let her off the lead on Sunday with both of us walking and she was as good as gold. She stays reasonably close, comes back when called, not always absolutely immediately but I haven’t had to call more than twice and she slides to your feet planting her bum firmly on the floor. She understands basic commands and I reckon at some point has been fairly well trained because she always goes round the back of me to my left side when on the lead. She still pulls and we can try and improve that when I take her out on her own.
Oh, she likes ripping cardboard, newspapers, magazines, envelopes that she can reach! Much more fun than taking toys from the doggy toy box to play with.


Holly is beginning to chill and relax; she occasionally leaves my side of her own accord! If she can’t get to me she now waits patiently on the other side of the nearest door. Andy only has to find her to know exactly where I am! She still craves attention but has learnt that if we put the palm of our hand in front of her and stop eye contact that means the attention has stopped so ‘no more’. She immediately moves away and lies down albeit as close as she can get.

Her walking on the lead is improving, by having the lead a bit shorter she can’t weave about in front of you so much. The other day I tried to take her out on her own but we got 20 metres from the house and she lay down and wouldn’t budge. I think it was because Teddy wasn’t with us and she wasn’t going to let me forget him. As it was raining hard, I gave in and she trotted back home with a big grin on her face.

She is ‘pushy’, she likes to be first in the queue for cuddles, for having leads put on before walks, for treats on walks etc.

She is fabulous with children, she leaves my side when they’re here, will go to Ben (aged 9) when he calls and they often cuddle and watch TV together. She loves meeting other children when out as well.

We left her on Sunday for a few hours with my daughter in our house and Becky reported she was as good as gold.

She has given up using the crate, it is still up but she hasn’t been in it for a couple of weeks so we plan to take it down and see if that unsettles her in which case we will put it back. She and Teddy sleep in the utility room without any fuss.

She is food motivated, but doesn’t attempt to take Teddy’s food, he is a much slower eater than she is and they eat in the utility room at the same time without any bother. Teddy doesn’t take a lot of notice of her but she is starting to look after him, sometimes walks beside him as if to say ‘I know you can’t see properly so stay with me’. She also gives him quick licks to reassure him.

I managed to persuade her, with a lot of bribery, to get in the car. Teddy and visiting toy poodle (Brick) were already in the car to show her that it was an ok place to be. Once in the car she was fine, no fuss. We drove round to where we usually walk so a really short journey, we had a fun walk and she got back in the car to go home with only the slightest hesitation. So we will do that again with a slightly longer drive and a different walk to explore soon.




2011 Irish Retriever Rescue UK