For Liz Haslam, her happiness stems from the love and care she puts into protecting dogs in need. It’s something she enjoys immensely, and the rewards are well worth it – unconditional love and gratitude from cure doggies. To say that she wouldn’t change who she is for anyone in the world is a complete understatement. But the happiness that she has today, was a result of one of the most important decisions she’s made in her life: choosing between her partner or her dogs.
Like most of us who get married, Liz thought she’d met the love of her life. She first met Mike when she was 16-years-old, and they fell in love. Upon finishing high school, the pair got married. Following the wedding, Liz moved out from her parents’ home into a new place to start her shared life with Mike. The two settled down in the English countryside, content in a 2-bedroom house beside a large rural garden located in Barnham, Suffolk. They were married for over 25 years, and had a their child Ollie. Unfortunately their love story wasn’t to end with happily ever after.
When they moved to the countryside, Liz came to the realization that there was plenty of room for her to start a business that was close to her heart: Beds for Bullies, a foundation that gives shelter to bull terriers in need. However, Mike felt that their relationship had begun to revolve solely around the dogs – many of which had medical and/or behavioral issues, which prevented them from finding their forever homes.
Family portrait!— Bedsforbullies (@bedsforbullies) June 4, 2018
Liz Haslam with some of her bullies…
It's only 5 but getting 5 to pose is hard enough!
One day, fed up with the situation that was trying the end of his patience, Mike had a confrontation with Liz.
“My husband said ‘It’s either the dogs or me.” Since that moment I have neither seen nor heard from him,” she declared.
The fact is, Mike was overwhelmed by the love that Liz felt for her rescue dogs. He knew that she had been raised with dogs most of her life. Her mother bred West Highland Terriers, while her father owned an animal feed company.
“I thought that, after 25 years, he should’ve known that giving up dogs was not a part of my intentions, not at all. He knew from the moment we got married what I was all about. I don’t know what he expected,” Liz confessed.
Naturally, not everyone can be as big an animal lover as some of us are, and that’s ok. Liz was well aware of this, and after a discussion, the couple came to the conclusion that the healthiest option for everyone involved would be to separate as their priorities had changed.
“We drifted apart. He was very busy with work, and he didn’t give me a chance. I didn’t want to be the woman married to a workaholic, so I took refuge in those who gave me love: my dogs,” Liz explained.
Liz was spends about 18 hours a day taking care of her dogs – walking them, feeding them – as well as spending hundreds on their medication and vet treatments. The high needs and demands of the dogs left Mike in the second and third place on the list of Liz’s priorities.
“My passion for dogs was too huge for Mike,” she said.
Despite everything, Beds for Bullies is still going strong thanks to generous donations from people. It’s a charity “that relies mostly on donations” as well as on a small business which accommodates pets whenever their owners go out of town. Liz is also very welcoming of rescued puppies that have been rejected by other shelters or rescues. She admits that she has rescued over 200 dogs over the years, and has continued to house more.
Liz’s commitment to rescuing dogs has left her with a veterinary bill of nearly $4,500. In addition, it has also forced Liz to live in a tent while she was unable to pay her rent. Regardless of her set backs Liz has managed to bounce back and she couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve chosen to do this, and I love it,” she shared.
There’s no doubt that she is an incredible woman with a good heart, and we wish her and her dogs the absolute best.