The life of a shelter dog can be a difficult one. They may have been abused or abandoned or both. Sometimes it takes longer than anyone would want for them to be adopted, often because they’re thought of as too old or not perfect in some way. They’re given free haircuts, beautiful pictures are taken of them and sometimes they even create art, all in attempts to find them permanent, loving homes.
For two rescue dogs in the United Kingdom, their story started much the same way.
“Gordon was abandoned on the streets of London at 2 years old,” Josanne Griffin-Mason, Gordon’s owner, told Petcha.com. “He was taken in by The Mayhew Animal Home, who quickly realized he was 100 percent deaf (he was the only dog who would miss the breakfast call because he couldn’t hear staff entering his kennel!). Gordon’s deafness made it almost impossible for him to find a home, and he stayed in the shelter for nearly a year without any potential adopters coming to visit him — until we (Griffin-Mason and her partner, Richard Neenan) showed up!”
Gordon’s chances of adoption were also hindered by the fact that he’s a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
“In the U.K., the majority of dogs in shelters are Staffies, who struggle to find homes because they’ve been tarnished with an undeserved bad reputation, much like Pit Bulls in the U.S.,” Griffin-Mason told Petcha.com. “I was brought up with a Staffie and know exactly how wonderful they are, so it was important for us to give rescued Staffies a good home.”
Griffin-Mason and Neenan adopted Gordon in August 2015.
“We chose him because he was The Mayhew Animal Home’s longest staying resident and his chances of finding a home were becoming bleaker by the day,” Griffin-Mason said.
Despite his deafness, Griffin-Mason told us Gordon lives his life just as any other dog would.
“The only difference is that he wears a vibration collar when we’re outside for recall, so when we need him to return to us, we’ll simply press the button to call him back,” she said.
Gordon also learned sign language at The Mayhew Animal Home and now “understands more than 20 sign language commands, from the basic ‘sit’ and ‘stay,’ all the way through to advanced moves, such as ‘dancing’ and ‘speaking,'” Griffin-Mason said.
Mookie, also a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, benefitted greatly from Griffin-Mason and Neenan adopting her.
“Mookie was abandoned on the streets of Bristol as a puppy and was due to be euthanized before Mutts With Friends Dog Rescue stepped forward to save her life,” Griffin-Mason said. “She’s been abused and starved by previous owners, yet remains such a friendly and affectionate girl – it’s incredible how forgiving of humans dogs are.”
The couple adopted Mookie in March 2016 “when we thought it was time for Gordon to become a big brother!” Griffin-Mason said.
Gordon And Mookie
Most misunderstood dogs are just that: misunderstood. They’re often “wonderful characters and incredibly loving,” as Griffin-Mason describes her two Staffies. Three-year-old Gordon “gives full-on hugs, accompanied by a shower of kisses, and loves snuggling in for a nap, [while 2-year-old] Mookie is the explorer. She loves going to the woods, splashing around in lakes and then sprawling out on the sofa to unwind.”
Together, they are the best of friends and have been since their first day together. Griffin-Mason told Petcha.com that “Gordon loves playing tug-of-war, so he’s always grabbing his rope from the toy box and bringing it over to Mookie to play with. Mookie enjoys a good game of chase, so she’ll nibble Gordon’s collar until he runs with her. Afterwards, they curl up on the sofa together and fall asleep, with Gordon usually using Mookie’s back for a pillow.”
And their adventures don’t begin and end at home.
The Adventuresome Duo
Gordon and Mookie have taken the Internet by storm, showcasing their adventures on Facebook and in a blog. The two have gone to various places in the United Kingdom with their human counterparts, and all four of them seem to get a lot out of these adventures, which started on Griffin-Mason’s birthday last year.
“I wanted to get out of London but I didn’t want to spend my birthday without Gordon, so we looked for dog-friendly accommodation and found an awesome medieval guesthouse to stay in,” Griffin-Mason told Petcha.com. “Ever since, we’ve made a real effort to go on regular short breaks with the dogs and day trips on the weekend.
“Gordon and Mookie love getting out of the city because of all of the interesting sights, smells and sounds there are to behold! So far, we’ve been to the seaside in Brighton, countryside breaks in the Cotswolds and Peak District, picturesque English towns such as Bath, and we’ve even travelled up to Scotland. Scotland was great because we saw a whole new side to Gordon whilst there when stumbling upon an adventure playground. Usually Gordon is a bit of a lap dog, but suddenly, he was leaping on top of wooden trucks, scrambling through tunnels and sliding down slides! My favorite memory of Mookie is when we went to Box Hill in Surrey. It was our first trip anywhere with her, and she was just incredibly happy to be there, exploring everything and making loads of doggy friends along the way. She taught Gordon how to swim that day too!”
We’re pretty sure Gordon and Mookie will have many more adventures to come.