Husky ‘cowered and shivered’ in fear when brought home

‘No dog will love you as much as a dog being rescued’


Siberian huskies are a breed not normally known for being suspicious of strangers but when a former puppy farm breeder dog was brought to her new home, she cowered away and shivered in fear.

Edel O’Callaghan had been unable to sleep after reading about the “horrific conditions” a Siberian husky had been kept in for years at a puppy farm.

Edel says she first saw Saoirse’s story online after she was rescued as a breeding dog with about 20 others in a farm.

“They were so badly damaged. I got so upset thinking about it. I decided I had to have her and give her all the love she deserves,” she says.

Edel, who lives in Dundrum, Co Dublin, says when she first brought the husky home three years ago, she was very nervous.

“The poor thing cowered and shivered in the corner. Once she learned we weren’t going to hurt her she came around to us. She was terrified of men at the start too,” she says.

Over the following weeks, the husky, who is about six-years-old, relaxed with her new family and started to learn new skills.

“She was so shut down and nervous. Her head was always down in the ground, she wouldn’t even look at you. But now she jumps around when we come down in the morning,” she says.

“Saoirse is a beautiful dog, so sweet and a great temperament. We’re all so madly in love with her.”

Edel says although it took years for Saoirse to make eye contact with people, with patience and training she adapted to her new environment.

“It’s the best thing I ever did. I’ve learned so much from her. She snuggles in beside me in the couch, tucks her head under my arm,” she says.

“She’d to learn everything and everything was new to her. She still is nervous to some things like loud sounds but overall doing great.”

This year, Edel made decision to adopt a one of the hundreds of rescued puppies from a farm.

She was was “shocked” by the scale of what went. “I wanted to do my piece,” she adds.

She took in a husky and golden retriever cross breed, who has a white coat and bright blue eyes, when she was 10 weeks old.

“Most of the dogs from there had psychological conditions. Winter is really hard work but is worth every single second,” says Edel.

“She had no contact with humans when I got her and was aggressive around food.”

However, it was not long until the pup’s “cheeky and bossy” side came out.

“Winter has a huge personality but still very nervous outside. I’ve always had a rule no dogs in the bed but she decided she’s sleeping there and that’s it. I love her to bits.”

Edel says she has no regrets about taking on former puppy farm dogs but warns people to be careful where they buy their dogs and adopt if they can.

“Go to rescue. It’s so worthwhile. I’m really glad I did. Anyone who has rescued a dog, it’s like the dog knows you rescued them. No dog will love you as much as a dog being rescued.”