At the age of 16, Liz Haslam met someone who she believed was the love of her life: Mike.
Several years later, they would get married, have their child Ollie, and live in a lovely Barnham, Suffolk 2-bedroom home with a nice, big rural garden.
For 25 years, the pair were happily married and survived numerous trials and tribulations – and then it all came crashing when Mike told her that she had to choose: him, or the dogs.
How did this all begin?
Well, when the family first began living in their lovely country home, Liz decided to put all the space they had to good use.
She founded a foundation made specially for sheltering and rescuing bull terriers called Beds for Bullies.
She’d always loved dogs so much, even as a child, and grew up around them, so it made sense for her.
But then her life began to revolve around these dogs, many of which couldn’t be rehomed due to medical problems or behavioral troubles, and Mike started losing patience.
Mike knew how much dogs meant to Liz.
He knew about the West Highland Terriers she grew up with, and he knew that a life without dogs was not something she had ever planned for.
But Mike didn’t feel the same way for the animals, and he likely hadn’t expected her passion for them to go this far.
He also became very busy with his career, which Liz said isolated her, so she turned to those whose love she could count on – the pups!
The couple continued to drift apart as Mike’s priorities lay with his work and Liz’s priorities shifted to her dogs.
It was too much for Mike to stand, especially when the number of canines in their home hit 30 and Liz had to spend approximately 18 hours daily looking after them.
She spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on their medical needs and countless hours of time on their care and affection, leaving little to no time for herself – and therefore even less for her husband.
Liz and Mike’s goals had changed, and their priorities were no longer each other.
As such, the healthiest choice for them was to separate, and Liz knew she would choose those dogs over him time and time again.
Since then, she has continued to manage Bed for Bullies, which, while it is primarily a donation-dependent charity, it also offers pet accommodations as a small business for extra funds.
Liz has made multiple sacrifices for her beloved pooches. She has paid a US$4,500 vet invoice.
She has become homeless after being unable to pay for rent, leaving her in a tent as she continued to provide for the dogs.
Still, she has survived those trials, and, after taking in more than 200 dogs and counting, she continues to survive on generous donations and pure determination.
Despite how much her life has changed because of her decision, Liz has never been happier.
This was her choice, and it’s one that makes her happy, and one that she would make again in a heartbeat.
Share away, people!