Hope the Staffie Cross is treated like a celebrity and has her own dressing room

Hope is a beautiful Staffie Cross that I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing at one of All Dogs Matter's Charity events in London, she enjoys the celebrity lifestyle and goes out on theatre tours. Her life was not always this glamorous to start with. When Hope was a puppy she was found abandoned by a dog warden in Stoke who took her to a dog’s home. She was eventually adopted by a couple but after a few weeks they had housing difficulties and were forced to move house. They sadly were unable to take Hope with them and tried to rehome her but no one showed any interest.
Hope’s new owner Jo heard about Hope’s situation and was informed that as no one was interested in her she would be taken back to the kennels. At first Jo was not sure about adopting a Staffie because she had not owned a dog before and knew nothing about dogs at all. The word ‘Hope’ was special to Jo as her local pub in West Norwood was called The Hope. Jo says “The Hope is a lovely place full of community spirit and because of the pubs name we felt it was a sign and made a dash to Stoke to go and meet this little 5 month old puppy. We fell in love with her straight away, she was utterly adorable and so loving and affectionate.”

Since Jo has had Hope people have overcome their discrimination of the Staffie breed, through meeting her they have seen how loving she is and not at all aggressive. From what Jo has said Hope has a very playful character. She loves other dogs and will sprint off to greet them in the woods, her best friend is Max the Chocolate Labrador who she met when she was younger. Jo says “They absolutely love each other and get so excited if they have a play date together. Her second best friend is Bumblebee the Spaniel who we walk with most days.”

Hope has really settled into her new home and loves people. When Jo has visitors Hope likes to keep an eye on them and check each room to see where everyone is. She has a funny habit of barking at people when they go past the front door and she will only stop barking when Jo has played the charade of looking through the peep hole and telling her how good she is for scaring off the burglars. She has a very cheeky side to her as I learnt from Jo, on one occassion Hope’s Dad Al, (Jo’s ex partner) had his dinner ready in the front room and Hope started her usual warning bark as if an intruder had walked past. He played the game of ‘let’s check the intruder has been scared away’ walked to the front door, checked no-one was there and came back to find the sausage was missing off his plate and Hope licking her lips. “Clever old Hope knew if she did the warning bark he’d get up and leave the room.”

Hope is good with children and does not mind them playing with her. Jo says “I have been to friend’s houses who have children, she will sit there and let them pat her. She did not even react when she got an impromptu tail pulling from a toddler.”

Jo is protective towards Hope and does not agree with breed discrimination, sometimes people will walk past Hope and pick up their own dog to avoid them. Jo says “I get so sad how Staffies are portrayed, they are the most loving breed. Anyone who has ever owned a Staffie will tell you that. The bad reputation comes from bad owners not bad dogs. No puppy is ever born aggressive. I am incredibly protective of her when I feel she is being judged. You will never find a more loving girl then our Hope.”

A friend of Jo previously volunteered for a dog charity and used to borrow Hope so she could have sessions with people and educate them on how loving Staffies are and hopefully encourage more Staffie adoption. From what Jo said the people who went to the sessions loved Hope so much they wanted to adopt her and take her home.

Hope has made a huge difference to Jo and she cannot imagine life without her. She says “Hope is my sun, moon and star. We rescued her but she saved me a million times over. She makes me laugh everyday and I feel so loved when she cuddles into me. When I previously had depression she was the reason I got out of bed as I had to walk her. She is the first dog I have ever had and it has opened a whole new world to me. I have learnt so much about rescue dogs and am passionate about helping other dogs in need which is all down to Hope. The way she will wag her tail and want to lick someone who looks at her with disgust is such an example to me of how dogs only see a person’s heart. They live in the moment and don’t hold grudges and are loving to all.”

When Jo’s ex partner went on his theatre tour Hope went along with him and  enjoyed the showbiz lifestyle, she even had her own dressing room. She says “She lives the showbiz life of a Princess. My ex partner Al who is still a good friend has been on tour most of the year in a theatre show so when he has her she is on the road backstage in theatres in her dressing room.” She has really settled into her new celebrity lifestyle.

If you would like to read more heartwarming stories of rescue Staffies please visit the following link and take a look at my book Nothing Beats A Staffie Smile. 20% of profits are donated between two rescue and rehoming charities All Dogs Matter Charity and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue





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