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Friday 23 March 2012


Lesley Beeton whose has a great blog called Mad Dog Woman of Shackleford

Thank you to Jill at Christmas Pie Crafts for hosting my guest post. What a really good idea, and very friendly blogging.

A puppy saved my life – Brin’s story

We never thought it would happen to us.  Growing up in Johannesburg, crime was all around us, but somehow we were much more aware of danger then.  We moved to a village in Surrey. It all seemed idyllic, just what we had imagined, and longed for.  A large garden, neighbours separated by woods, no street lighting.  Surely no evil would be lurking here.

How wrong we were.  Just three months after moving in, still unpacking, decorating and renovating, a burglar broke in to our home.   He forced a bathroom window and ransacked our property. Nothing was left untouched.  And he stole just about everything of value, some items of great sentimental value.  Our lovely old rescue cat, Rosie, never quite recovered from the fright of it, and we lost her a few months later.

The Police came and rattled off the statistics about burglary in Surrey.  It wasn’t very reassuring but we withstood the assault and moved on with our lives.  It wasn’t going to happen to us again.  We beefed up window and door locks, fenced the garden and secured the garden gates.  No alarm system, we said. We don’t need it.

Oh, but we did need it.  Four months later, coming home from work early on a Friday afternoon, I saw a man at the front door, inside the front door, inside the house.  Almost in slow motion I jumped out of the car, trying to get the key in the front door, while dialing 999 and shouting at the operator for the Police.

Luckily for me, the burglar escaped through the broken window at the back of the house.  The Police dog arrived minutes later and gave chase, but never caught him.  He took nothing with him, but had caused several thousands pounds of damage breaking into the house.

We had a terrible weekend.  I suffered from flashbacks, thinking about what could have happened if he hadn’t run away.  I had run into the road to shout for help, but no-one could hear me. There was no-one around.

We ordered an alarm system, with monitoring and a link to the Police.  We paid a security company to be first call, so that I would never face a choice like that again.

And we found our darling Boxer dog, Brin.  My saviour. Brin has the most effervescent personality. He’s a real human dog, very sensitive. And he loves his walks. It was because of him that I started to leave the house again.  He depended on me and I needed to be brave. Slowly, the terrible migraines lifted.  The little panic attacks receded. I actually started to enjoy the walks, too.  And Brin grew into my steady companion.  He’s a big boy, so provides quite a presence to strangers, too.

I can honestly say that little puppy saved my life, gave me courage, and showed so much commitment to our relationship.

Five months later we brought Themba home. Themba means ‘hope’ in Zulu, and I will continue with ‘Themba’s story’ on my blog Mad dog woman of Shackleford. You can follow me @Shackleford_LB.


  1. Hi Jill,
    Thank you so much for hosting. The blog looks fab.
    Lesley x.

  2. Hi Lesley! What a sad story, but one with a happy ending (so far, I haven't been to your blog yet to read on). My sweet DeDe is afraid of her own shadow, but you let a stranger come into her yard and that all goes out the window as she barks her heart out to protect her home and family. And to think she was found at the trash dump.

  3. How awlful to come to the uk, a beautiful county for this to happen. Rosie will be happy at rainbow bridge and brin has bought happiness. Things can only get better.
    Bath bomb creations

  4. What a terrible thing to have happen Lesley, but glad Brin has helped you to be strong again x

  5. What an awful thing to have happened especially twice. So glad to hear about how Brin has helped you Mich x

  6. It's a terrible feeling when someone has 'invaded your space' I'm glad that your companions have helped you to feel less vulnerable.
    Thank you Jill for a lovely post.

    Jan x

  7. Thank you for all the lovely comments.

    I'm sure Jill won't mind me saying how enjoyable it has been to share our story with you all.

    Lesley x.


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