Crunchie’s Story

When someone surrenders their dog to us, we guarantee that while they are in our care we will do whatever we can for them. While any dog under our guardianship has quality of life we will continue to fight for them. As we all know vets bills are not cheap. Crunchies bill is way into double figures with at least one more major operation to come. As a very small charity we rely on the good will and support of our followers and appreciate any donation no matter how small. 

Crunchies story is not a short read – but it is a worthy read, and if you take anything from his story it should be to always have the highest level of insurance you can afford, as one day this might be your dog. 


You may remember a post back in November about Crunchie a little boy who had undergone an urgent operation to stabalise his atlas and axis joint due to instability. Unfortunately what we hoped would be a straightforward operation and recuperation didn’t go to plan for Crunchie.

Crunchie had a scan 3 months post op to ensure that the implant was stable.  It was evident from the scan that at least one of the screws holding the implant in place had become loose, and a further operation would be needed. Crunchie had this operation at the beginning of February where the amazing vets put some additional screws in place to secure the implant.  Unfortunately 10 days after the operation Crunchie went downhill very rapidly. He was admitted to ICU and we were told that if he didn’t respond to treatment within the next hour then there was really nothing more that could be done. Remarkably in that hour his temperature rose by .5 degrees. This was the sign we all needed that he was fighting and deserved us to fight for him too. Remarkably Crunchie continued to respond exceptionally well to treatment and was discharged a few days later.  

In any usual update on a poorly dog this would be the part where the happy ending starts unfortunately this was not the case….. 4 days later after eating his breakfast and being relatively normal Crunchie suddenly suffered a seizure. The vets were consulted which ultimately resulted in Crunchie being referred to Davies Specialist Vets. Again Crunchie was very very poorly and every hour he survived was a blessing. Due to his implant the vets were unable to MRI and so carried out a CT scan with Ink which showed that Crunchie had a large abscess at the point of the operation spanning four discs. The abscess had also tracked along his spine and to his cerebellum, resulting in a large pocket of fluid along his spine. Crunchie was suffering from sepsis and again was a very poorly boy.  It also became apparent that due to the infection there was a very strong likelihood that the implants would have to be removed as they would never be clear of bacteria. 

We were unsure of what the options were going forward with regards to replacement of the implant or other alternative options. The costs for Crunchie were rising with every blink of an eye and his bills were already adding up to way into 5 figures. As a team we had to make the decision whether to continue with treatment and commit thousands of pounds more to what was quite literally an unknown outcome.  The team was unanimous in their view that whilst Crunchie was fighting so would we. 

Crunchie remained in the Vets for 6 days receiving antibiotics and fluids. He responded well to the medication and was discharged back to his fosterers. The plan going forward for crunchie is unclear, the implant will have to be removed, however the neurologist has confirmed to us that there are options available for him going forward however the main objective currently  is to get him clear of infection and strong enough to undergo what will be his 3rd major operation in 6 months.

YOUR DONATIONS help us to fund treatment for Crunchie and many other lifetime care dogs in our care… without your ongoing help we could not do what we do. Please help us to continue our work by getting involved in Spesh’s Legacy – an ongoing memorial fundraiser for our medical dogs.

To get involved click here

To make a donation:

Our bank details are sort code 309915, account number 26911068 and the business account name is The Red Foundation.
Paypal – [email protected] (please consider using family and friends)
If you’re a UK taxpayer, we can also claim gift aid if you’d be happy to fill in the form below.


Red – A year down the road….

One year ago today we collected Red as an emergency foster, and there began the most challenging 6 months of my life! One year on and we like to think we’ve reached our Happy Ever After with Red, but like all good fairy tales and Disney movies, the last year was not without its heartbreak, seemingly impossible challenges and a touch of magic. 

Having previous experience of animal rescue and rehabilitation, I always knew that if we were to get a dog, I’d want to adopt a rescue. Red came from a house of 12 dogs and not barely left the house in his 4 years of life, he hadn’t been on walks and didn’t go in the garden.

As an emergency foster he had not been assessed and his individual behavioural needs were unknown. On top of the predicted needs of toilet training and separation anxiety, came:

  • Fear of men
  • Severe hyper attachment to me 
  • Reactivity to noises, dogs, people, and pretty much anything that moved or made a noise (plus some things that do neither, like flower pots or shadows.) 

Red also had health conditions including urine infections, skin problems and had to have lots of teeth removed. 

The first few months consisted of living behind baby gates as Red was not crate trained and would chase, lunge and bark at my husband at every opportunity. 

Red was not food driven, which made training more of a challenge, and when something set him off, his barking was relentless. The Red Foundation were providing amazing training support, but it was slow progress. He was too reactive to go on walks beyond our drive way, so toilet training was slow and accidents frequent. He didn’t know how to play and showed no interest in toys or chews. Despite having many willing dog sitters lined up, I could barely leave the room, let alone leave the house without Red having a meltdown, and he equally hated people coming into ‘his house’ so visitors were out of the question. 

I spent every evening for months sat on the floor coaxing him and building up his trust to be near my husband. Red would also wake up whining at 4am without fail, and I was fast becoming so sleep deprived that it was affecting my day job. 

One trainer who helped us with Red predicted he would need at least 18 months of training to overcome his issues. We had hit rock bottom at this point, it felt pretty hopeless and I was an emotional wreck not knowing how best to help him.

Despite all this, he was becoming ever so loving with me, living up to the true ‘Velcro dog’ reputation of dachshunds and I loved him unconditionally. So we kept trying. But as the months went on we felt like my husbands safety was at risk and that Red was very unsettled around men. After long discussions with TRF and trainers, we came to the heart-breaking decision that Red would be better off in a female only home. Red remained up for adoption and I cried endlessly at the thought of having to say goodbye to him.

While we waited for his forever home, Red seemed to make small progress here and there, and we did our best to work on his training and to teach him that men were no threat.  

Eventually, a home was found, and we agreed and hand over date… but fate had other ideas and things changed with his prospective home, so he remained with us for a little longer. 

As if by magic, he started making really great progress. He was learning to show an interest in toys, he was almost toilet trained, the outdoors training was going well and we were managing short walks without him being a public menace, but best of all, he was starting to not only tolerate my husband’s presence but show him affection. 

After a truly difficult 6 months, life with Red began to feel manageable, and more importantly, we started to feel like he could be happy here. As the weeks went on, he was greeting my husband with a waggy tail when he came home and was falling asleep against him in the evening on the sofa. He was playing, he was loving his walks, and he truly seemed happy. We knew at this point that while he still had many issues to overcome, that he was settled here, and any move would likely halt his progress for a while, and that he no longer required a female only household. 

We formally adopted Red and since then he has continued every day to ‘be more dog,’ learning to play, learning to enjoy chews and wagging his tail so hard we genuinely fear he might fly off. He has become the biggest bundle of joy and has the most amazing, cheeky character. 

He is a wonderfully patient and gentle boy, never stealing food but instead waiting to be offered treats and taking them so softly with his little beardy mouth. He melts our hearts with his cuteness and he makes sure to remind us of the important things in life like cuddles and belly rubs. 

A few months in we didn’t believe that this happy ending was possible, but having gone through the difficulties in the early days, it feels so special to have gained his trust and the love he shows us is worth so much more. We are honoured to see him so happy in our home and we will continue to show him the patience and kindness he needs to get over his remaining issues and hope his health problems will continue to improve.


An update on Mash left paralysed from IVDD but thriving!

I have been asked to write a small amount about fostering Mash so hopefully this reads okay, I apologise in advance if it’s too long.

Our family consists of 2 teenagers, 2 cats (one an amputee), 2 rabbits and a dachshund Cross named Cocoa.

We had always discussed the possibility of extending our furbaby family, but never taken the next step. Then Mash came along and everything changed. We saw a photo of him on this group and instantly felt a bond, however there was 1 potential obstacle… Mash has been left paralysed after suffering an IVDD episode. We had no idea what extra care he might need, or what his quality of life would be or how he would adapt to a change of surroundings. So we took a step back, but life had a different idea.
We received a text asking if we would consider taking Mash as a foster placement to which our reply was yes!

So after a conversation with both The Red Foundation and his wonderful Foster mum, we made plans to visit him, with us bringing him home if things went well. They say you don’t ever choose a dog, they choose you… well they’re right. After a crash course in dressing his sores (from dragging over carpet, expressing his bladder and how to change his belly band it was decision time… so we asked Mash if he wanted to come with us to which me, and my partner, we’re given the biggest doggy kiss ever. The rest as they say is history. It is day 4. Mash has slept through every night, without worry, and is completely part of the family. He loves his new fur family (even the rabbits), the car and most of all using his wheels to go on walks with Cocoa.

So for anyone who has concerns about a paralysed dog, please don’t be scared because you can do it. They’ll forgive you if the first time you express their bladder you forget to hold one of their feet or if their belly band falls off because it was too loose etc! And if in doubt, open messenger and speak to the wonderful team at TRF, or one of the knowledgeable people they advise.

Love, Lisa, Mash and Family

Buster, our wire boy, has now been in his home for 2 1/2 years and has since gained a sister.

Buster was originally posted on Facebook when his owner died. We therefore contacted the family to offer our help so they removed the post and asked us to find his forever home.
Roll on two years and Ziva’s (black and tan smooth) owner was terminally ill so we needed to find her emergency foster. Buster’s adopted mum offered to help but Ziva soon won her heart and has became a Foster fail.
Meaning Buster has now got a sister Ziva and they’re both extremely happy. 
Dachshunds really do seem to be addictive and one is never enough!!

Josie & Bo

Another lovely forever home story… Here is Josie and Bo’s gotcha story by their new family

“After losing our dear lil’ miniature daxie, Freddie after 14years, our lives & home were not the same. We decided that if we were to have another dog it would, without doubt be a rescue daxie. I received an outpouring of kind messages from the daxie facebook group after losing Fred. Although it was very hard to see other sausages I remained a member & we are so pleased I did! It was here that I saw The Red Foundation & read about how it all started & the amazing work they do. It was then that we decided to complete an application form. A few days later when I received Hayley’s text of a potential match and she had emailed me the info. I was in a conference in London & my mind was so busy in work, when I initially read the text I thought I’d been matched on a dating site! I have been married for 16years so you can imagine my shock! Once I’d stopped & read Hayley’s email & found we had in fact been matched to two daxie girls!
Our middle aged girls had fortunately been cared for beautifully & her selfless owner had made the toughest decision to rehome them. The decision she made & responsibility we have to love & care them is not underestimated.
We recieve 100 times more love back everyday as they have settled in beautifully. Most of the time they can be found unconscious upside down on the sofa or in front of the fire. They rule the house & all our plans revolve around the girls. Thank you so much to The Red Foundation for matching us with our little girls, we are very grateful. You have made our house a happier one, once again.”


Time for another failure update – our gorgeous Sidney needed to find an emergency foster home. Luckily we had a family in the area who had fostered for us before and agreed to collect him asap. However, it didn’t take long until Sidney’s foster family realised they couldn’t say goodbye to him.

Sidney was originally an only dog but he soon discovered the joy of having dachshund sisters. He’s fitted in really well with the other two dogs and is loved very much by all the family.

We’ve said it before but we really appreciate the help that people give us when we need to find foster homes quickly as without this help, we couldn’t offer the service we do.

Dexter and Oakley

Dexter and Oakley have only been in their new home for a few weeks but it feels like they’ve always been there.

Their new family answered our post asking for people who could help with dogs with separation anxiety. However, since the boys moved to their new home, they haven’t shown any signs of SA. In fact, they feel so settled in their new home that they even chose to sleep in different rooms on the first night!

As an added bonus, Dexter and Oakley have helped the other dog in the house who was grieving the loss of their previous dachshund (Lhotse is a Rhodesian Ridgeback but thinks she is a Dachshund).

Stunning Sid

Often people have genuine reasons for needing to rehome their dog but don’t know that organisations such as The Red Foundation exist. They therefore resort to using selling sites.

Sid is one such dog so when someone alerted us to his advert, we contacted his family who were really pleased that we could help.

Sid was originally in Northern Ireland but as we couldn’t find him a suitable home, he travelled across to Scotland.

Sid has had a busy week as not only has he just reached his one year gotcha day, but he’s also celebrated his eighth birthday.

Sid is the first dog that I (Sharon) helped rehome with TRF and it’s lovely seeing how well he’s doing in his new home.

Lovely Lottie

Lottie, our wee 10 year old girl, is another dog where you told us about her advert on a selling site. Sadly her owner had died and although the family hoped to keep her, Lottie was used to constant human companionship and she didn’t do well having to spend time on her own.

Lottie’s new family had recently lost one of their dogs and was looking for a friend for their other dog Rosie.

Lottie now has constant companionship – either at home with different members of the family, or at church where her mum works.

Lottie is really settled in her new home and it didn’t her long to give up her dog bed and join Rosie on the sofa.

Hugo’s Story – Written by his New Dad

Hugo’s Story

Percy and Dexter, our two miniature Dachshunds are our first Dogs and are the loves of our lives.

Percy and Dexter

We had thought about getting another Puppy but decided against it and we said we’d only get another Dog if one ever needed a home.This is when I registered our names on The Red Foundation database after having contact with Sharon and hearing so many good things about them. It’s one thing registering interest, but, nothing quite prepares you for getting that phone call from TRF admin say there’s a Dog who needs a home – can you help?

This is what we signed up for so I asked Helen to send me the details. She told me he was a big lad for 19 weeks, with his present owners for only 4 weeks, unfortunately their marriage was breaking down and couldn’t keep him. They had taken great care of him and he wanted for nothing, he wasn’t a rescue, just needed to be re-homed.

I discussed this briefly with my wife Amanda and we of course said we’d take him.

That was the moment I promised to look after him forever.

Our first photo of Hugo as a Puppy

Before going to his first owners, Hugo had been smuggled into the UK from a Hungarian Puppy Farm and sold by a backyard puppy seller as a miniature – he certainly wasn’t a mini!  Thankfully he’s in great health, but I can’t stop thinking about his poor Mother.

The day after Helen called we got Hugo’s address and arranged to pick him up.  This in itself was a difficult thing to do – it was a massive decision for his current owners and I hadn’t realised how emotional it would be for all of us.

I kept thinking about Hugo, how he was waking up as normal, but, that day his life was going to change forever

We took Percy and Dexter into the house to meet him on his territory, I went into the house first, Hugo was in the back garden and came running in wagging his tail to greet me, he looked so happy, all I could say was “hello mate”

Such a beautiful looking lad, very friendly and full of fun.

It was a tearful goodbye as they obviously loved him – the last thing I said to them was I promise to look after him and love him forever.

We got him home, took him for a walk on the beach and he settled in very quickly. His only issue was his runny tummy, he came to us on Royal Canin and Hills Vet I/D food to try him settle his stomach. I started him immediately on a Raw diet and his stomach symptoms cleared up straight away – he’s never looked back!

I was filling in Hug’s adoption papers, I looked around and he was looking at me like this.

After a few teething problems, mainly to do with having three male Dogs, Hugo’s become an amazing part of our family.

He’s a beautiful Dog, so big and strong, 12kg of solid muscle, amazing temperament, so friendly, he’s loved by everyone, he loves everyone. Every day is a new adventure for him. He loves running on the beach, through the woods,barking through the window, playing with new friends – the bigger the better – he loves a bit of rough and tumble.

Hugo loves life and it’s such a pleasure to enjoy it with him. We couldn’t imagine life without him. We all adore him and absolutely love him. He’s a helluva lad.

Amanda and I are eternally grateful to The Red Foundation for bringing Hugo into our lives.

We are incredibly proud to give him his forever home and to be part of this amazing organisation

Thank You xxxxx

Percy, Dexter and Hugo Dawson aka The Sausage Brothers

He’s a big lad!

Dawson Family Vacation

The Main Man

Frankie’s New Home

We were contacted by an admin of one of the Dachshund Facebook groups who advised one of her members was looking at having to rehome her miniature dachshund and could we help. We arranged a call with said member and had a good chat about her current circumstances and unfortunately due to a relationship break down, being forced to move and trying to build her business she didn’t feel like she could give frankie the life she wanted him to have anymore. It was an emotional call with tears all round and we promised to find Frankie the perfect forever home. Frankie now has a big brother, a standard silver dapple called Trev and has settled in nicely with his new owners Sue and Simon. Here they both are. Am sure you can guess who is who!