Meet the PAWS Team
FOUNDER & HELPING PAW - East Anglia
Although I'd been obsessed with Irish Wolfhounds since I was 8 yrs old , I had to wait another 20 or so before finallybeing able to share my life with one. Willow joined our family at the beginning of 1990 and we have remained smitten with this wonderful breed ever since. Both my and my husband's families mostly owned "waifs and strays", so we have always felt a pull towards the welfare/rescue side of dog ownership. Having a purebred dog is something of a privilege, so being able to "give" towards dogs who are unwanted, injured, disadvantaged, or sick is important to us. We believe all dogs deserve to live happy lives.
We have shared our lives with Wolfhounds for 28 years, are members of the IW Club and IW Society and I have served on both the IW Health Group and the IW Club committee. I was also Secretary of the IW Rescue Trust from 2003-2008.
CO-FOUNDER & HELPING PAW
Dogs have always played an important part in my life, I grew up with a Wire Fox Terrier and Pembroke Corgi and an assortment of mongrels. I bought my first Dalmatian in 1978 and the following year I started showing - a decision I have never regretted. Our first Irish Wolfhound was from Kathy Johnson in 1991. Like many breeds, Wolfhounds are addictive; soon more followed and they blend well with the Dalmatians.
The administrative side of dog showing has always appealed to me and I have been Secretary of Southampton and District Canine Association since 1991. I am a member of the Windsor Championship Dog show committee and responsible for the co-ordination of the trade stands.
I am very proud to be District Representative for the British Dalmatian Club and help in Welfare matters whenever I am asked. I was also Secretary of the Irish Wolfhound Rescue Trust for two years, working alongside the late Peter Mitchell. Welfare of all dogs is very dear to my heart, and I strongly feel that we owe our canine friends a duty of care, and compassion to their owners in times of need.
CO-FOUNDER & HELPING PAW - East Anglia
My Interest in wolfhounds began when I was 16 and a trainee veterinary nurse. This magnificent, gentle, grey dog laid his head on the reception desk and I was captivated. However due to work commitments and a family, it would be many years before I was in a position to own one.
We got our first wolfhound from Diane & Dennis Redfern in 2005, a beautiful bitch we called Grace. She was followed by Lucy in 2006, then Saxon in 2008. Grace gave us our first litter in 2009 and we kept two daughters, Connie and Cait. They each had litters in 2013 and we kept Foxxi, a boy from Connie’s litter, who we are now showing.
The health, well-being and fitness of our hounds has always been at the forefront of anything we do and I am passionate about breeding healthy, sound, free moving hounds. The wolfhound is not the easiest of dogs to rear successfully. From puppyhood right through to adult, when things go wrong they can become catastrophic in a very short space of time. They also have a knack of getting unusual or rare complaints that can even mystify vets. There have been times when we have needed to call on friends for assistance and advice and by being a founder member of PAWS, I hope to contribute in some small way by giving either practical help or telephone support.
Co-Founder & Helping PAW - Shropshire
Wolfhounds have been my passion and my life since we had our first in 1985. I was totally bewitched by the breed from the minute we set eyes on what was to be our first Irish Wolfhound puppy. The responsibility of looking after such a special little person quickly made me realise it was not for the faint-hearted. After more than 30 years of living with this wonderful breed I am still aware that they keep throwing new challenges our way, in terms of health and behaviour. Owning Wolfhounds is both rewarding and heart breaking, luckily the happy times make the heartbreak bearable. I have shown and bred my Wolfhounds with moderate success. However, my main focus is on the happiness and well-being not just of my own hounds, but those I come into contact with for a wide variety of reasons.
I ran a boarding kennel for Wolfhounds for several years, when living in Staffordshire. It started small, but by word of mouth, built up to a 365 day venture in our converted stables! It was a very rewarding time as owners and hounds became friends and often contacted me regarding concerns, I think largely because they felt I had a love and empathy with their dogs from having looked after them. My mission was to provide a home from home for the hounds, for either short stays, or long term foster care. Two girls stayed with me for 6 months while their owner was overseas, and several others were cared for whilst awaiting new families, because their owners could no longer care for them. During these years I looked after some hounds with health and behavioural problems.
I have supported the IW Rescue Trust, assessing hounds and homes, so have been very involved in breed welfare behind the scenes for many years. Above everything else I want all Wolfhounds to have happy healthy lives. I am always available to discuss concerns and do what I can to help and give support to any Wolfhound family. Having laughed and cried with many lovely Wolfhound families over the last 30 years, I know how important it is to have the support of people who care and understand the needs of Wolfhounds.
Co-Founder & Helping PAW - East Anglia
Wolfhounds have been a part of my life since 2000 and I have made many good friends through them and associated activities.
I moved from Essex to my South Lincolnshire smallholding in 1994 originally embracing the full self-sufficiency lifestyle. Nowadays I only keep ducks & hens, my few remaining sheep are just grass cutters.
Having lived alone with a wolfhound whose mobility was declining, I have first hand experience of the practical difficulties that can be encountered. The help I received from friends was invaluable and being a PAW team member means I in turn may be able to assist others who find themselves in a similar situation to myself.
Barbora Bridges (Fundraising)
Co-founder & Helping PAW
I was born in the Czech Republic, but now I live in the UK. I have had a love for animals since childhood. When I was 15yrs old, I started an apprenticeship in Prague's dog shelter, where I trained on a veterinary basis. Later I worked for two years as a veterinary nurse in Prague. In my life there have been many races, but the Wolfhound charmed me most of all. My first Wolfhound was Rosemary a rescue, who came to me in 1999, after her owner died and her sons didn't care for her. Unfortunately, she died a few months later of pneumonia. Malpractice in her original home had weakened her body and treatment was too late.
In 2012 I started a campaign to help 7 Wolfhound puppies and their parents, who were being kept in disastrous conditions, in the Czech Republic. A big event was really needed to raise funds. I can afford to say that it was the first and largest fundraising experience for Irish Wolfhounds worldwide. A huge amount was raised and the puppies were saved and located with their new owners.
Now, with my husband Simon, we have Irish Wolfhounds and bred our first litter in 2014. Through my passion for the breed, I founded a social media group "Wolfhound Shires & Friends Social Walks”. These walks are held once a month and anyone is welcome to join in. I feel that the socialisation of our dogs is very important and we have had up to 40 dogs of all breeds attend the walks.
co-founder & helping Paw
I have owned Wolfhounds for around 10 years now and have made some wonderful friends during this time.
I have fostered and helped rehabilitate Wolfhounds who have had a bad start and find it extremely rewarding when they are ready to leave for their new, special, forever homes. At present we have three Wolfhounds; Rodney who is 5 years old and litter brother and sister Dave and Emily, who are 15 months and just starting their showing careers.
I recently lost my eldest hound Baloo, who had osteosarcoma (bone cancer). I was extremely grateful for the huge support that I received from Caroline and Maggie , during Baloo’s illness. Their advice and guidance, along with my own research, helped give my special boy a quality of life up to the end.