Hitchin dog trainer hopes to fulfil dream of rescue centre in Spain
- Credit: Archant
A Hitchin-based dog trainer and behaviourist is determined to fulfil her dream of opening a rescue and training centre in Spain after her ambitions were put on hold by a cancer diagnosis.
Nicky Visser has always had a passion for dogs. Her passion was heightened during a visit to Santorini, where she realised that there were many strays who were treated poorly.
She embarked on the challenge to open up a rescue centre in Greece. As a visitor in the country, it was difficult for her to establish herself.
Luckily, a rescue centre was set up by locals – however, the issue is still ongoing in other countries.
Nicky said: “When I returned to England, I felt lost but still decided to cling onto that dream, in the hope that one day I can make it happen. I then decided to turn my hobby into a business and became a successful dog trainer and behaviourist.
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“While I was doing this, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. My world came crashing down and I felt alone and vulnerable. I decided that I had to fight and had a lumpectomy done.
“In 2018, hoping I might have beaten this, I was diagnosed again for a second time with the same cancer, this time it took so much from me – a second diagnosis totally floored me. I had to have a mastectomy but I kept telling myself that I needed to stand strong and not be defeated, but slowly saw my dream disappearing in front of my eyes.
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“When COVID-19 hit the world, it made me think about my life and work here in the UK. I really feel that I can be far more valuable setting up a rescue and help these poor animals, as well as setting up my dog training school as I have here.
“I decided that I do not want to give up on my dream of helping the animals in Spain. I need it to prove to myself that I can still have a life that is giving, rewarding, and selfless.
“I will be travelling as far as I can to help the neediest dogs to provide them with veterinary care and a safe place to call home.”
Nicky has set up a Go Fund Me page to help get her venture started.
Money would go towards securing a suitable property to run the shelter from, with adequate living spaces for the animals through summer and winter.
To support Nicky, go to https://gf.me/u/ysptg8.