One major hurdle we faced was that my partner is hugely allergic to many dogs and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what sets her off. So, this summer when we felt we were in a suitable position to approach the Dog's Trust, we were not expecting it to happen fast.
Like so many, I bond quickly with dogs. So I was digging in expecting to have my heart broken each time we saw a potential match.
Then came Harvey!
Harvey was aloof, stressed out and a bit of a dick to other dogs. He was a stray from Wales, who was not house trained but knew some tricks and had a chip so must have been homed at some point.
He was beautiful.
We met him, my girlfriend did not explode, and we took him for a walk. He played and responded to treats. He was a gent.
Harvey is what you call 'unsocialised', meaning that he probably didn't spend time with other puppies while growing up. He also knew how to sit, paw and lie down, which again reinforces that he must have spent some time in a home.
Skipping to the end a little; we had him on a trial and have now adopted him officially. I walk him at unsociable hours in remote places to minimise his contact until he is more comfortable, if ever, with other dogs. In almost every other way conceivable, he is the perfect gentleman at home. His house training seems to have been in place all along, just hampered by the stress of being in a kennel. He is playful and intelligent.
I wanted to post this to urge anyone thinking of getting a dog, to consider adopting if your circumstances are right. If you're nervous then talk to the trust. They are just amazing human beings who are always willing to help you make their dog's life better in spite of being insanely busy. The support is of great value to us and I can't applaud them enough.