Linda Hesp – Dachshund Rescue coordinator for Mid, South & West Wales
Linda Hesp is the newest coordinator team member, joining us in June 2022. She spoke with fellow coordinator Sue Page having seen our appeal for help and decided to volunteer.
After she was contacted by our Chair, Lynn Hall, it soon became clear that Linda would be a great asset to the group.
Linda is a retired PE and Science teacher, so she is used to dealing with people of all ages. Being a PE specialist, she totally understands the importance of teamwork and how people support each other.
She really enjoys learning from all the other coordinators and their experiences which is helping her with all the different situations her new role brings. During Linda’s final years in teaching, she acted as an assistant headteacher in a secondary school responsible for pastoral care and safeguarding.
These skills have really helped with her work for Dachshund Rescue and in her care for everyone involved in the process of rehoming.
Just to enlighten everyone as to Linda’s sporting prowess she represented Wales up to the age of 16 in Tennis and played circuits around England and Wales.
She specialised in Dance at PE college and choreographed lots of school dance routines for concerts during her teaching career. She has also worked on producing dance performances within local theatre shows.
Linda has had dachshunds in her life since the age of three. Her first dachshund was a standard and she has gone on to enjoy the ownership of all different dachshunds within the breed!!
Alongside her own dachshunds Linda and her family took in lots of rescue dogs whilst she was growing up. Her experience and knowledge cannot, therefore, be questioned!!!
At present Linda has three dachshunds, all of which are rescued, having sadly had two pass over the rainbow bridge earlier this year. Fletcher and Deefa had both lived to a wonderful age before cancer cruelly took its toll.
Her loss has enabled her to show great empathy towards people having to surrender their dogs, who can also undergo those heart-breaking emotions felt when losing their dachshunds.
Having retired from teaching Linda set up her own little business for boarding dachshunds and often had up to eight of them running around her home. She did this for six years. One of her boarders, Emily, ended up staying permanently!! Emily had severe anxiety and was only comfortable in Linda’s care.
Despite all this experience Linda feels she has fallen behind with all the changes going on with breeding in the world of dachshunds. She has come across “dilutes” and “double dapples” and feels there has been a massive increase in dachshunds developing back issues!!
Like many dachshund owners, she has concerns for the future of the breeds’ health and well-being. She has experienced IVDD with her dachshund Daisy, who for a while lost sensation in all four limbs.
With dedication and hard work, Daisy made a remarkable recovery, and her story can offer hope to others. Linda was someone who helped to set up the South Wales IVDD group with Charlotte Baldwin and Dachshund Rescue has helped in supporting this wonderful group.
Like so many of the team, Linda worries when a dachshund enters their new home. We all want everything to go well, and Linda’s greatest reward is when that happens, and she receives lovely feedback from the new owners.
All of our team are volunteers and Linda can struggle when owners want immediate action once, they have decided to surrender their dachshund. She understands that it is hard for people to keep their dogs a little longer having made the decision and that makes the emotions involved even more difficult.
Linda has a saying that “It takes as long as it takes” and assures owners that she will be doing her best to resolve everything as soon as she can, but her priority is always about the dachshund finding its best future life.
What little spare time Linda has now is spent listening to children reading at her local Primary School and singing with her local choir. Despite all her PE teaching and sporting knowledge, she chooses to support Arsenal!!!
This choice was made on her respect for manager Arsene Wenger who was the first to involve science within football training methods in this country (her two subjects combined). We’ll forgive her!!!