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Herbie Rides Again

Milton Keynes Citizen, June 7, 2012

All things must pass away, or such is the sad inevitability of this mortal existence.

And while it’s always distressing when a close relative or friend ascends to the great beyond, as equally upsetting can be the void left when a family pet succumbs to its allotted span.

In fact this was the recent case of our aged dog, and so after a decent interval it was time to seek a replacement at HULA, Aspley Guise. As an independent charity they have a long tradition of caring for unwanted animals but new owners are carefully vetted, for the last thing a prospective pet needs is to be thrust back into its previous trauma.

Indeed, it was because of an irresponsible owner that the charity began, when a local vet refused to put down a young puppy because the woman was ‘going on holiday and couldn’t afford kennel fees.’

The first sanctuary was in a back garden in Luton but in 1978 a move to Aspley Guise took place, where the finance is now solely provided by such means as donations, fetes, and a shop in Woburn Sands.

All the monies are invested into the welfare of the animals, and all the prospective pets are micro chipped and vaccinated. In the case of dogs, to ensure that enquirers are genuine, two ‘bonding’ visits are necessary and with the family circumstances taken into account a home check is also made.

So began my acquaintance with Herbie, who while all the other dogs seemed to bark ‘Pick me, Pick me,’ merely awoke from a snooze to briefly cast an eye over the cause of this annoying intrusion, ending his assessment with a look of ‘Um, I suppose you might do