Her friends may think she’s barking mad for agreeing to adopt a dog from half way around the world.
But it was love at first site for Julie Birkett, when she saw a photograph of Britney, kept in a Thailand shelter for the last six years. The eight-year-old dog had been looked after by Soi Dog Foundation which rehomes pooches around the world, and is now on her way to Penwortham as Julie’s Border Terrier’s “Thai bride”.
“She’s a normal-looking dog, she’s eight years old and I think it’s the fact she had been in the shelter for six years and she had always been overlooked, I thought I’ve got to have her”, said Julie.
She said: “I’m a massive animal lover. I’ve been abroad before and it always upsets when I see stray dogs and cats.
“I don’t know how I came across the Soi Dogs, but I looked at what they do and I was really touched by the work they did.”
The foundation, set up in 2003, treats sick and injured animals, shelters animals that have been the victim of cruelty, and rehomes them around the world if suitable.
It also aims to reduce over-population through sterilisation, educate communities about animal welfare and stop the illegal dog meat trade and support dogs rescued from it.
Julie, 38, said: “One day this dog came along called Britney who just looked like a normal dog, and there was something about her, I just fell in love with her. It’s a massive thing we are doing, it’s not just a local dog, it’s coming over from Thailand.”
Britney is being brought over to the UK from Phuket, and is due to arrive in Harwich, Essex, this weekend.
Julie said: “It’s like an adoption process. They have to make sure we are right for the dog. Luckily, myself and my boyfriend, Elton, because of our hours of work, there’s always somebody at home.
“They check we’re right for the dog and the dog is right for us. Then it’s in quarantine for four to six months, so it’s a long process. There are actually six dogs flying over from Thailand, they fly to Holland then they get a ferry into Essex.”
Julie already has a Border Terrier – seven-year-old Oscar.
She said: “I treat him like a little prince and treat him like a son really. I like to call her his Thai bride. I’m really excited.
“We’ve no children yet but a psychic did say to me you’re going to have a little girl this year and I think that’s my little girl.
“I just hope she likes us, that’s all that matters. But she will be spoilt.”