Dogwatch veteran finds new home at last

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2013
Stacey McLean with Baz
BITTERSWEET PARTING: Stacey McLean with Baz, who got to eat the first slice of cake at his farewell party at Dogwatch.

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When Stacey McLean first set eyes on Baz last year she thought he'd be long gone by the time she would be ready to get a dog.

But the 3-year-old husky-labrador cross proved a tough sell to the pet market, and several months later he was still up for adoption on Dogwatch's website.

In fact, Baz is the longest-ever resident at Dogwatch, a sanctuary for abandoned pound dogs in Bromley, having lived there for just over a year.

When McLean and her partner, Julian Looser, visited Dogwatch last Thursday they both instantly "fell in love" with him.

McLean was sure Baz would have been adopted out by now, so their eventual match seemed like it was "meant to be".

Yesterday was Baz's last day at Dogwatch as the pair picked him up to take him to his new home in Dallington.

"We're really excited to have him and that we managed to get him," McLean said.

The adoption centre even threw a farewell party for its record-breaking resident.

"As soon as we knew he was going to a home we said 'we've got to have a . . . bash'," Dogwatch manager Pam Howard said.

Howard said it had been a "phenomenal week" for adoptions, with Baz and 10 other dogs finding new homes. Normally only one or two a week would be adopted, she said.

"Some people in Christchurch are becoming more settled and realising life goes on.

"If you want a dog you can't put it off, as long as you're in a stable situation."

Howard believed it took so long to find Baz a home because of to his breed, as huskies have a high prey drive.

"As soon as you say prey drive people misinterpret that.

"He's great with dogs, people and kids but he does like to hunt a wee bit."

Howard said she hoped they had found Baz his "perfect match" in McLean and Looser.

McLean recently spent a year working with sled dogs in the United States, so was familiar with the breed.

She planned to teach Baz dryland dog sledding.

Howard, who has fostered Baz for several months during his stay at Dogwatch, said the farewell was "bitter sweet".

"But it's the best for him. I'm pleased to see him go."

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- The Press

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