It’s a bad idea to make people choose between you and their beloved canine companions.
Is it really so surprising when people choose the unconditional love of animals?
Liz Haslam and her husband Mike met when she was just 16 years old and got married right after she finished high school.
They lived out in the English countryside (in Barnham, Suffolk) in a 2-bedroom home next to a large rural garden. The couple was married for 17 years and had a son named Ollie.
For years before their split, Haslam had begun rescuing bull terriers in need. Once she had taken in 16 dogs (there are many more now), things got to be too much for her husband.
Then again, marriage is a lot more complicated than that – who’s to say the outcome wouldn’t have been the same with just one dog?
It shouldn’t have been a surprise to Mike that dogs would be part of their life together. Haslam’s mother raised West Highland Terriers and her father owned an animal feed company.
So some might say it was natural for her to find it in her heart to start Beds for Bullies, a foundation that rescues bull terriers. But when Mike gave his wife an ultimatum “me or the dogs,” she chose the dogs.
According to the organization’s website, Haslam set up Beds for Bullies in 2012.
It specializes in “helping to rescue and rehome bull breeds, particularly English Bull Terriers, many of whom have been abused or used as bait dogs.”
She also runs a boarding kennel called Can I Wag Your Tail to help fund the rescue.
From the unwanted to the horrifically mistreated, she both fosters and re-homes dogs.
But some are permanent residents.
“Liz dedicates her life to helping animals and works closely with police forces and animal rescue groups. She also offers a fostering service and cares for 16 bull terriers which cannot be re-homed. These include Dotty and Etta who both suffered horrific injuries after being used in sickening dog fights. Liz nursed them back to health and they remain healthy and happy in her care,” reads the Beds for Bullies website.
Haslam was interviewed on the UK talk show This Morning back in 2018 and explained how her divorce came about:
“Basically, my husband was a very hard worker and I decided I wasn’t going to become a work widow and I threw myself into looking after my dogs.”
While it appears there was an ultimatum, it’s a lot less sensational than most stories would have you believe.
“We kind of grew apart so it was a mutual agreement,” Haslam explained.
Whatever happened between the couple is less important than the work being done to help these dogs. And there are myriad ways you can participate too.
For example, you can get involved directly by adopting, fostering, or providing transportation to a bull terrier in need if you live in the area.
But you can also help from afar in one of the following ways:
- Purchasing a much-needed item from the organization’s Amazon wishlist,
- Participating in one of their Facebook auctions to help raise funds,
- Making a Paypal donation to firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Helping with the copious veterinary bills by donating directly to Haslam’s veterinarian of choice, Swayne & Partners,
- Or just helping spread the word about Haslam’s organization.
Be sure to scroll down below for an interview with Liz Haslam describing in her own words just how she came to put her dogs at the center of her life.
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