Introducing Heidi, one of PDWRA’s long term foster dogs and her remarkable journey. Thanks to the efforts of the PDWRA and the devoted volunteer Area Coordinator (VAC) and fosterer, Maureen, we have the privilege to share our interview with Maureen, offering a glimpse into Heidi’s inspiring story.

“PDWRA was Heidi’s last chance! A year ago, then 13 years old, we received an urgent call to pick Heidi up. It was around the time we were still being cautious in the aftermath of COVID and Heidi’s history, as told to us, was a little patchy, that her owner had been taken into hospital care. However, when we met Heidi, we could see that she was in a pretty bad way. Heidi weighed less than four kilos and was just coming up to be 13 years-old. She had a terrible diarrhoea condition, and obviously hadn’t been looked after properly for a long time.

When she was picked up from this house, there was no furniture, there was nothing there. It was just Heidi sat in the bed with nothing, not even a drink. The PDWRA asked the unknown person if Heidi could be taken to the vet straightaway and an appointment was booked. The woman never turned up to the appointment. She was rather mysterious and clearly didn’t want to go to the vets herself. Upon seeing Heidi, our vet confirmed that she had an ongoing upset stomach that had never been treated basically.

Heidi was brought home to my house. Then I was having to make the decision with Helen, one of PDWRA’s vet advisors, whether it was worth keeping her going because of the condition she was in. it. The vets thought they could treat her upset stomach which they thankfully did and within a week she had responded to the treatment they gave her. Her eyes and her ears were an absolute mess also, they appeared as if they’d never been cleaned or anything. And it was soon apparent that she was totally blind and totally deaf.

The next decision was, who was going to take her on? So the PDWRA asked if I would and I said yes. Oh, I couldn’t say no to her at that stage. Fortunately Heidi was microchipped so we knew exactly when she was born. So at some stage, we assume, she obviously did get looked after.

Anyway, Heidi was now home! She got better and now we communicate to her with little taps on her head to alert her that there’s something around and her sense of smell is terrific! She knows exactly when the food is coming up, and within a very short space of time, she got used to my dogs. Also, I live on the ground floor, in a bungalow so there’s no steps or anything to worry about so she adapted very quickly to where she was, how she got out and how she got back in. Pictures of her when she first came are not nice to show but now, she’s looking pretty. And one year later, she’s still here.

Heidi’s 14 now. She’s amazing. She could have costed PDWRA a fortune but they put the main things right straight away. And since then as there’s nothing that can be done for her sight or hearing, I basically just keep her clean and tidy and use the lubrication drops for her eyes, which I buy online myself. I have to clean them almost every day because she gets a lot of deposits coming out of her eyes, but they are quite clear now. There’s no scarring or anything, just black. Keeping her ears clean too, that’s all.

She’s so happy! Oh, and one little cheeky story, is that one of my pugs has got a big octopus toy. Well, Heidi insisted that this octopus was hers and kept stealing it from her. Eventually I thought, I’d see if I can get another one as a duplicate. So now she’s got two of them! See our main picture, they’re hers and nobody else’s! My other pugs respect that and don’t even go near them now.

My 5 pugs plus a Pekinese have a nice enclosed garden, and the older ones in my grumble have got to the stage where they don’t walk any distance. They’ve got access to come in and out when they want, and they follow each other around. The younger ones do go out walking, but the 13-year-olds don’t do that much exercise but they love going out in the car, if anyone’s got to go in the car, they love it!

Heidi has thankfully gone from strength to strength. She is enjoying every moment of her life despite her disabilities and loves all her resident companion Pug friends. She is well now, and such a special pug, it’s her diligence, you know. I think if you can make people aware that, even if it’s only for a short time, it makes them happy, then it’s worth it.”


If you think you could foster pugs in need, like Maureen, please read: Fostering | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (

To read Maureen’s fascinating life story with pugs, do read the following article:

Maureen’s Amazing Life-story with Pugs!

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