They say that there is someone out there for everyone, asoulmateyou are destined to spend your life with. Perhaps the same can be said about dogs- that somewhere out there, there exists a dog that was destined to be yours. That is destined to complete you. And in Amy's case, she didn't find that dog, that dog found her.

One could argue that it was the fair shores of Sri Lanka that turned Amy towards rescuing strays. Hailing from England, she said that she has "never had a dog. Never, ever" before she came to live in Sri Lanka a little over a year ago. She was moved by the dogs she saw at every turn on the street and then finally caved and took on the role of a loving foster parent to wayward strays when her husband called her attention to seven puppies in a construction site he was working in. "He said to me oh god Amy do something. And I was like, do what?" She recalls. And of course being the doer that she is, she immediately took them home. "I just took them, completely unprepared. I had no plan. They were adorable".

She then sent out an email on an expat mailing list hoping to find possible owners for her seven little pups. "Two of the dogs found a home in Trinco. So I literally took a road trip to Trinco just to drop them off" She pauses briefly before adding "I sound completely mad don't I? Taking a road trip all that way with the dogs. But they are absolutely gorgeous now healthy and happy." Left with another five to rehome while researching online she stumbled across Embark. "I rang Embark up and they said oh no problem, if you can foster them we can find them homes. And actually three got adopted even before the adoption day. We were going to keep the other two but we had to go to England and Shane (my husband) was saying we had to find them homes. So we did in the end"

Talking about how she opened her home to adopt a pregnant adult dog, Amy remembers first coming in to contact with Ashani from the Embark team. "I hadn't even met Ashani at this point and she rang me up one day and said, oh hello how are you and we have this very pregnant dog...." and the rest as they say is history.

The very pregnant Bella arrived at Amy's soon after and was HUGE she recalls. And the very next day four puppies were born. "They were really cute and actually all of Bella's boys were adopted very quickly. Only the two girls were left. And then came another call from Ashani who said there were another five puppies whose mother did not have milk and maybe Bella would accept them" said Amy. "So the remaining two from Bella's litter went to another foster and the new pups moved in"

And thus began Amy's successful career as one of Embark's favourite foster parents. But though puppies have come and gone, Bella remains as Amy's family dog. "Ah Bella" she sighed. "Bella's fabulous. So trusting and so grateful. You can see it in her eyes. She was so good to the other puppies;she didn't attack them or anything"

In addition to Bella, Amy also has a cat called Sudu who she rescued from a drain and states that Sudu is like a foster brother to all who come to their house. "He's basically a dog you know, he has a leash. He comes out anyway when I take Bella out for a walk so I got him a cat harness so he doesn't get lost" We laughed and told her the neighbours must love seeing her walk a dog and a cat but she swiftly replied "oh no I do it late at night when no one's watching".

Amy is set to experience some major changes in her life as in addition to helping animals in need she also hopes to soon adopt a baby. She is not worried about how Bella will react to the child as she believes that Bella will know they have brought the baby into the house. "Bella is like a big softie. And it is very positive to grow up with an animal. I wish I had" she says.

We asked Amy if she had any advice for any aspiring foster parents and she had this to say "It's the best idea especially for those who don't want the commitment of having a dog full time. Maybe you have a job where you have to travel a lot or in the case of expats, relocating a pet is not easy and it can cost a lot. When you foster you only have them for a short while"

It is clear that as Amy's life may change, perhaps with her work as a public health scientist, or with her new baby, but her animals will always be considered as part of the family, even if only for a short time. She is known in our world as the one who takes "skanky" as she says, looking animals and returns them fatter, rounder and happier. She is an inspiration to us all, and a shining example to the fact that sometimes, you just need to change the lives of a few to make a difference.


Changing the world, one puppy at a time