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Duana and Mike

My name is Mike and I live, with my wife Jill, in Cornwall at the most southerly point in Great Britain.

In 2004, I adopted an extremely traumatised Standard Poodle bitch. 10 years later she died suddenly and I was heartbroken. By early 2016, my wife said that I was beginning to make the house look untidy,  that I should stop mourning Bella and offer a home to another dog in need.

Then it happened. We were both researching hypoallergenic breeds, mindful of my allergic asthma, when a beautiful IWS bitch appeared on the IWS Association’s Rescue webpage.


Duana’s previous owner was very reluctant to let her go but circumstances were such that re-homing had become a necessity. I was subjected to a very thorough vetting process including references being taken up but, eventually, the day arrived for the handover to take place. Duana was absolutely stunning from the moment I first saw her in the flesh. She clearly had no idea what was happening but did leave her tearful owner and jump into the back of my estate car for the long drive back to Cornwall. We stopped twice on the journey – once for a toilet break and once to make sure that Duana was still alive. She was obviously used to car travel and settled straight down to sleep as soon as the car started moving.

Interestingly, Duana seems to see the back of my car as her ‘safe place’ and she is still quite happy to spend her resting time in there, lying on her Vet Bed, with a bowl of water at her side. She is also a great Guard Dog, letting us know when there are strangers about.

As soon as we arrived home in Cornwall, Duana put down her marker for what was to come. We made up her bed, gave her the meal that her previous owner had provided together with a bowl of water. Then we sat down to eat the sandwiches we had bought, but not eaten, on the journey home. The phone rang, I answered it and when I looked down at my plate, Duana was just finishing off my supper – right from under my nose!

And so it has continued. Recently, one Sunday afternoon, my wife waved a clean oval dish under my nose and asked ‘where’s the chicken’? What chicken? ‘The one I cooked for lunch; did you open the door to the veranda?’ Yes. ‘Then YOUR dog has eaten the chicken – bones and all!’ We raced off to the Veterinary Hospital, 30 miles away, for an emergency emetic. After the injection, we were ushered outside to a drain. The Vet came out to see what was going on and said ‘my God, did all that come out of one dog?’ Keeping food and Duana apart is a continuous exercise - just one split second of lapsed attention and it’s all over.

Neutering was one of the conditions of my re-homing Duana and this was done, by my Vet, shortly after she had settled into her new home. She is enrolled in the Healthy Pet Club and receives her regular medications and check ups.

I walk with her 4 times daily and we cover between 5 and 6 miles each day. Additionally, one of our neighbours is a trail runner and very kindly takes her out with him on his training runs 2 to 3 times weekly. He says the only problem is that he cannot run fast enough to make her do anything more energetic than an extended walk.

Duana is a real character and has become very much part of the local community in the 12 months that I have cared for her. She gets on well with most other dogs that we meet, is particularly gentle with puppies and just loves children. All the villagers seem to know her by name and it’s not unusual for a complete stranger (to me) to greet her by name when we are out walking. I presume they meet her when she is out ‘running’ with our neighbour.

Duana has an incredibly accurate internal clock. She knows when it’s mealtime – to the minute. She sleeps on the foot of my bed and never fails to wake me up at her breakfast time.

Duana’s food obsession is a real challenge and we worry about her welfare when we see her picking up such things as sheep droppings. But, on the other hand, I can take anything out of her mouth without any fear of being bitten. It’s just a case of spotting what she has done before it’s too late.

It was a very sad day for her previous owner, when Duana came into our lives, but a life changing day for me and Jill. We love her dearly and are looking forward to many more happy years of the intellectual challenge of caring for our ‘baby’.


Mike Moseley

  Lois Ferrans
IWSA Welfare and Rescue.
Contact Lois on 01704 541051 or email
loisandtrader@btinternet.com  giving your name, address / contact details and experience please, for further details.

The Irish Water Spaniel Association does not charge for any of its
re-homing services, but we do welcome donations however small, which may help another IWS in the future.