The name Fiadh means ‘wild’ in Irish. A name that her human Laura, who is from Ireland, deliberately chose so that one day when they go back to live there, Fiadh fits right in. Laura adopted Fiadh in July 2021. “Fiadh and I fell for each other almost immediately,” she said. “So, I got her a salmon and chicken flavoured ‘gotcha’ cake and celebrated the beginning of our life together.”
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What is Fiadh’s backstory?
Laura: Fiadh was rescued from Al Ain. She had been badly abused and as a result, was extremely underweight, covered in scars and had lost most of the sight in one of her eyes. I saw a picture of her on the animal rescue site and fell in love with her immediately. When I went to visit her at her foster home, the family said that Fiadh had hid away from those who had come to see her in the past. But it was an altogether different story when we met. It really seemed as if Fiadh and I fell for each other almost immediately – hook, line and sinker!
After two days of having Fiadh at home with me, I realised she didn’t react to sound in any way. I took her to the vet who confirmed that Fiadh was completely deaf and suffers from ‘dog dwarifsm’. That explained the Corgi resemblance.
How has life changed since you welcomed Fiadh home?
Laura: Fiadh has changed my life completely. Due to her disabilities, she relies on me to be her ‘ears’. However, I must say that I’ve never had any issues with recall because she constantly checks to see where I’m and uses me as her guide. The level of trust she has in me is incredible. She is not intimidated by anything. Fiadh simply adores people, particularly children and babies and is fantastic with other dogs. When other dogs bark at her, it’s water off a duck’s back because she can’t hear. So, she usually meets their growling with licks. Fiadh has turned into a local celebrity on the Palm where we live. She is incapable of walking past someone without expecting ‘pets’ and is without question, the smiliest, friendliest ‘dwerp’ of a dog.
What are some of your favourite things to do with her?
Laura: I always wonder whether Fiadh is also part seal. She is obsessed with water. I moved from Downtown to the Palm so Fiadh could spend her mornings at the beach. We usually spend our weekends at My Second Home so Fiadh can do lengths of the pool. My favourite thing in the world is to walk Fiadh along West Palm beach in the morning. Then have breakfast together at Jones the Grocer. The guys there adore her, and usually bring her poached eggs with the occasional scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Fiadh is also a regular at February 30, she loves ‘people watching’ and usually ends up getting about five cuddles a night from complete strangers. She’s been kayaking in Hatta, and regularly climbed Jebel Jais with us when the temperature was cooler. Fiadh also loves going to Bark Park. She is totally infatuated with camels and loves running up and down the sand dunes and paddling in the dog pond. Fiadh goes to day care at DogHouse where she is fondly known as the ‘queen’. She tends to have at least three boyfriends in circulation at any given time. A total flirt!
Has there ever been an incident wherein you felt Fiadh taught you a life lesson?
Laura: Fiadh is my shadow. Before having her I only ever had to look after myself, but with Fiadh my priorities in life have changed. She has taught me to be much more patient and understanding. There is no point in getting frustrated with any of her ‘Fiadh-isms’ because she is impossible to be angry at. Particularly when you see what she has had to deal with in life in terms of her disabilities, and what she has survived. My white bedsheets stay white all for a day, but life isn’t meant to be perfect and watching Fiadh zoomie across the bedroom (even after a day at the beach) brings me so much joy. Fiadh has the most gentle nature. If life has to go a bit slower because Fiadh wants to stop and smell every single piece of grass, that can only ever be a good thing.
The weather in this region isn’t suitable for breeds like husky. What are some things that you mindfully do to ensure Fiadh’s overall wellbeing?
Laura: Having a husky in this region is anything but ideal. One day I want Fiadh to be able to zoomie through green fields and come with me hiking up mountains in Ireland. But until then, we make do with what we have. We usually wake up at 4.30AM so she can have her first of two morning walks. Fiadh has endless energy and ultimately, is a working dog so I try to make sure that she is never bored. She goes to day care five days a week, usually from 7AM to around 6PM, and spends the entire time playing with other dogs. When she gets home, we go for another walk along West Palm or Golden Mile around 8PM. Over the weekends, we usually go to MySecondHome so she can have a swimming session. Because of her dwarfism, she is more susceptible to arthritis. So keeping Fiadh at the right weight and ensuring that she regularly swims, will help her joints in the long run.
Finally, one message that you’d like to send out to our readers, especially those who are considering adopting a dog.
Laura: Having a dog can be hard work. They are like permanent toddlers and at times, this can be overwhelming. Vet bills and day care can be costly, and particularly with the summer weather, it can at times feel like you’re constantly having to find ways to keep them entertained. These are important things to bear in mind before adopting a dog. That being said, to quote M. K. Clinton: “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” When Fiadh wakes me up in the morning with a paw to the face, or when she runs to the door to greet me when I get back from work there is nothing that makes me feel more loved and needed. Adopting a dog will help fill an emptiness that you probably didn’t even know you had. They will make you whole.
[Laura, Dubai, UAE]