When her husband said, “it’s either the dogs or me,” she chose the dogs and has not seen or heard from him since.Liz Haslam met her ‘soul mate’, Mike, when she was sixteen years old and still in high school. The pair fell in love and married soon after high school graduation. Blissfully happy, they moved to the English country side of Barnham, Suffolk to start their life together. They had one child, a son named Ollie.
Their home in the country had a lot of space so Liz began rescuing dogs and started her foundation, Beds for Bullies. The cause was near and dear to her heart and provided shelter for bull terriers in need.Liz is an animal lover and grew up around dogs. Her mother raised Highland terriers and her father owned a feed store. For Liz, it was a dream come true to be able to help dogs that needed her.
However, Mike began to get overwhelmed by the number of dogs living with them and the amount of time Liz spent with them. The dogs Liz rescued were not easy to find homes for since many had medical or behavior problems.
As the number of dogs increased to 30 so apparently did Mike’s frustration. One day, after 25 years of marriage, he confronted her and said, “It’s either the dogs or me.”
Liz chose the dogs and has not seen or heard from Mike since. Elaborating on the story, she said:
“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.”
“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.”
She says that her passion for the dogs was too much for Mike and continues to care for her rescues. It is a lot of work because the dogs all require different levels of care, medication, and affection. She often spends 18 hours a day caring for them and has invested heavily into their medical care.
Beds for Bullies is now operating at 200 dogs and counting. It is supported by donations and a pet sitting business. At one point, the rescue was so financially strapped that Liz was forced to live in a tent after she couldn’t afford to pay rent.
Despite the struggle, they have found accommodation and Liz says, “I’ve chosen to do this, and I love it.”