Toby and Bailey’s adoption story

This is Paulinna’s adoption story of Toby and Bailey.  

“My first adopted animal came from Gloria Jeans.It was roughly 4 months after the golden retriever I grew up with had passed away, and I had told myself, “No more dogs”, trying to avoid the heartache altogether.

So back to Gloria Jeans – my boyfriend (Simon) and I had driven out to a nearby Gloria Jeans café, which had closed for the day unusually early. Since we’d already driven out, we thought we’d try the franchise in the Liverpool Westfield shopping centre. We were waiting in line, discussing which drink we’d like to have, when a little tail wag appeared under the arm of the customer just before us in the queue. As the customer walked over to wait for her coffee, she exposed the most innocent, tiny white ball of fur curled up in her arm. 

Baby Toby on day 1.

I couldn’t help myself at all – I quickly ordered my drink, walked over to the lady and very creepily said, “Your puppy is just so, so cute! Can I please pet him?” Her response was one that I would never get over – “Yeah, sure! Would you like to keep him?”

Not knowing what had come over me – considering not too long ago I was against having a dog ever again – I found it so difficult to say no. I looked over at Simon who had the here-she-goes-again expression, and I finally shook my head, letting her know that I had just experienced the death of a family member. Still, I remember holding tightly onto the confused pup, not exactly ready to let go.

She proceeded to explain to us that she was actually the neighbour of the family who owned the litter of puppies and their parents. She had asked to take the litter from her neighbours because they were extremely abusive to the parents, leading to the mother’s death shortly after giving birth. Without their mother, the litter was fed cows’ milk and human solid food that the neighbours were eating. At less than 2 months old, it was unimaginable, the health risks these puppies were being exposed to. She let us know that the other puppies were a little more energetic, and very easily got the right attention and were adopted by her friends. This little guy was all that was left over, still looking for a home.

Once she had told me the puppy’s unfortunate start to life, I skipped looking over at Simon, and told her, “I’ll keep him.”

This triggered a steep realisation in my mind – how many more dogs have experienced such harsh lives and are waiting for a new home? What happens to those dogs who are waiting in cages, hearts and hopes shattered, waiting for someone to hopefully realize they exist too?

I’d always known about the option to adopt an animal. A lot of people do it. I guess having bought a golden retriever from a breeder, it was drilled into me that I needed to get a pup from a “legitimate breeder” and make sure they’re “pure breeds”.

But they’re all living, breathing, loving puppies at the end of the day. They all want a warm bed, toys to call their own, and a home with their very own human.

So we decided to do whatever we can to mend the little heart that had completely filled ours. We named him Toby.

It goes without saying, that my promise to “not have a dog ever again,” was utterly melted away by the love and licks little Toby had brought into my life. This so-called promise I made to myself was quite selfish, I realized. I realized that I love dogs, yet I had chosen to be that one person who could have made the world of a difference to one dog’s life and had said ‘no’ to protect myself.

Roughly a year later, Simon and I were asked whether we would home another pup – this time, one that was already 9 months old. At this point, Toby had become a spoiled brat and we weren’t sure whether he would be okay with having a much bigger little brother.

Bailey – yes, we ended up keeping him – was a Border Collie. An extremely under-stimulated, anxious border collie with an intense tendency to nip. This, of course, was not advised to us by the family who chose to give him up; the family who also chose to buy a new Pomeranian on the day we were picking Bailey up for a “3-day-trial”. Having witness the BORDER COLLIE, a WORK DOG, cooped up in a pen, with the corner of his eye injured and scabbed from running into the fence, we decided that we had to take him home. During this “3-day-trial” I had advised the owner that we would be taking Bailey to the vet to make sure he was going to be okay. To this, the owner replied, “I already told you not to. I will not be responsible for any vet fees!”

We couldn’t let him go back to a person who was going to prioritise her wallet over the well-being of a member of a family, and so Bailey became our second adopted baby.

Although it took a little getting-used-to, Toby and Bailey definitely recognise each other as family now, and it couldn’t be any more perfect.


I hope my story has shed a much brighter light on the reality of dog adoption. Every single pup in that shelter has a story, has emotions and has a longing for someone and somewhere to call home.

They’ve had a family and have been abandoned. So please, remember to think twice before you shop, and remember that there is a pup behind bars, waiting for you to adopt.

family pic.png

Bailey’s first birthday.

We would like to thank Paulinna for sharing her amazing story with us. we hope this would inspire others to adopt and don’t shop. 

#Adoptdontshop #savealife #doit4thepaws


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