How a nervous dog from a Cyprus animal shelter ended up loved and cared for by one of the UK’s most high-profile couples
By Annette Chrysostomou
One lucky dog from Cyprus has recently found a new home with a very famous English couple, former Liverpool and England footballer Jamie Redknapp and his wife, singer and TV presenter, Louise.
Eve Moore, a 21-year-old student from Mirfield, West Yorkshire, who last year rehomed more than a hundred dogs from Cyprus’ animal shelters mostly to new homes in the UK, had to take a very nervous Corky to his new owners who live in Majorca.
Months ago, as part of her job as the rehoming manager of the international animal welfare charity ‘Wild at Heart Foundation’, she had uploaded a photo of Corky with a host of other dogs onto the foundation’s website.
Though good looking, Corky – a Jura hound cross – was described as a nervous dog who needed patience and consistency to help him adapt to a new life, and Eve knew he would be the hardest of the lot to rehome.
And indeed, nothing happened for several months.
Then, suddenly, it did. Louise Redknapp – presenter on British TV’s So You Think You Can Dance and a singer who has sold 15 million records in the UK alone – contacted the foundation, saying that she liked Corky and wanted to give him a new life in Majorca.
That got the ball rolling, and earlier this month it fell to Eve to accompany Corky on his journey.
All dogs about to be rehomed get a minder to accompany them. Eve, whose father lives in Cyprus, has been actively involved in rescuing dogs in Cyprus for several years, but it was her first time travelling with a rehomed dog.
It was to be a challenging trip.
First, she had to fly from Gatwick to Cyprus to collect Corky and escort him to the Redknapps in Majorca, flying from Cyprus via Athens.
Second, Corky really was a nervous dog.
Upon her arrival in Cyprus, Eve met with Corky for the first time and immediately fell in love with him. However, the dog avoided her.
“The best way to describe him was skittish,” she wrote on her blog. “He was happy and excitable, but seemed constantly on edge and anxious.”
The next day, it took Eve almost an hour to put the nervous dog into a crate, only to discover the crate was too big for the car and had to be dissembled and assembled again at the airport.
Before the dog could board he had to be weighed, paid for, and his crate had to be X-rayed. After his pet passport was checked, he was finally ready, but by that time Eve had to sprint to catch her flight.
More panic ensued when the two reached Athens, with Eve trying to catch a connecting flight while making sure that the dog was on board the plane. Finally, they both made it to Palma de Majorca.
As it was night time when they arrived, it had been decided to introduce the dog to its new owners the next day. This meant Eve and Corky spending a night at a hotel.
“Knowing that Corky hated the lead and would refuse to walk with it meant that I had to transport him everywhere in the crate. He weighed almost 30kg, with the crate adding an additional 10kg,” said Eve. “I was having to move more or less the equivalent of my own body weight, and I’m only 5’3ft as well so trust me, it was difficult!”
Although Corky had become relaxed in Eve’s presence, the next big challenge was meeting his new owners.
First to visit was Louise. “Corky peed on the floor, ran into the corner of the room, and growled relentlessly. My heart broke seeing him so scared. Even though there was no threat, he was just so uncomfortable,” wrote Eve.
Eventually, after offering him steak without success, Louise just approached him and once she stroked him, he stopped growling, realising that no one was going to hurt him.
When Jamie Redknapp entered the room with the family’s two Sharpei dogs, Corky started up again but this time calmed down quickly.
Once at the Redknapp’s home, Corky was surprisingly quick to get his bearings.
“The previous day I had been introduced to an easily spooked, nervous dog that would avoid coming too close at all costs,” Eve wrote. “Today I was watching a dog with relaxed body language and a wagging tail receive cuddles from his new family members.”
The Redknapp family reported that over the next few days Corky had found the confidence to climb onto the sofa and eat chicken out of people’s hands. Most importantly, they had been able to take him out on walks and he had behaved perfectly on the lead.
And the dog is not the only one that benefited from the adoption. The Redknapps are also happy with their choice.
“We are all really proud to have adopted, and I think more people should try it,” said Louise Redknapp earlier this week. “Corky is a sweetheart and he will be so loved.”