Evelyn Sengendo a true friend to the Dobermann

Sadly Evelyn passed away on Saturday 11th October after a long illness. A lovely lady who was a true friend to the Dobermann.

No one could love the Dobermann breed more than Evelyn, her knowledge of pedigrees was encyclopaedic, she was well known on the show circuit and her astute nature meant no one pulled the wool over her eyes.

Evelyn became involved with rehoming Dobermanns more than 25 years ago when she was introduced to Kath Miller who at that time was a director of the Dobermann Welfare Association. Kath just had to pick up the telephone, tell Evelyn that there was a Dobe in distress and at the ‘drop of a hat’ Evelyn would travel wherever necessary and collect the Dobe in need. Their favourite meeting place prior to the advent of the M77 was at a service area on the A77 where they would chat over a coffee and roll before the Dobe needing a new home was transported on to Kath’s kennels.

Evelyn never tolerated fools or negligence to her beloved breed and on Kath’s advice would always ensure that the rescued Dobe was safely locked in her car before dressing down an uncaring owner. She was never afraid to go into any situation and Evelyn never walked away from confrontation, if something needed saying she would say it and not mince her words!

I was a member of DWA from 1992 and in 2007 sponsored and ran their website dealing with rescue cases and rehoming when I was introduced to Evelyn their representative in Scotland via a telephone call. Evelyn and I lived over five hours apart, she in Southern Scotland and me in the North East corner. Though we worked together for more than six years, speaking on the ‘phone almost every day, strange as it may seem we never physically met. Between us we rehomed many, many Dobermanns throughout the north of England and in Scotland. Some were kennelled in Aberdeenshire but the majority were housed in kennels close to Evelyn in Irvine. Evelyn would give me the descriptions of the dog needing a new home and send me photographs. There was no one more brilliant at conducting a telephone interview as to the potential of a possible new owner for a dog or to find out from an owner who was relinquishing a dog whether they were telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, she had a sixth sense and never missed a trick. Her memory was phenomenal.

Early in 2011 having become frustrated by the lack of support from DWA I decided to start my own rescue organisation with my friend and colleague Louise Greig and FOND was born to try and be there for some of the many Dobermanns needing homes in Scotland and the North of England. Evelyn gave us her wholehearted backing and was an inspiration and invaluable with her support in the background and immense knowledge of breeders and pedigrees. Between us we had established many invaluable contacts and supporters; aided by the confidence Evelyn gave us FOND has now rehomed over 125 Dobes in three years.

I tried without success to drag Evelyn into the 21st century to use a computer but she would have none of it so nearly every night we would have long telephone conversations whilst my partner rolled his eyes in dismay as he waited for his supper!

Maddie and Jodie

Shortly after our working relationship began Evelyn took in two siblings for DWA, Roxy and Jenna who needed to be rehomed. She learnt they had spent months in kennels after their owner became ill and when Evelyn visited she discovered that prior to this the dogs were being kept in a windowless cellar with no apparent bedding. After reading Evelyn’s description of Jenna she instantly appealed to me and I just knew she was the Dobe for us. My partner and I had recently lost our Bullmastiff bitch leaving Arnold our Dobermann on his own and so Jenna came into our lives whilst we discovered that another litter sister, Jodie, was already living with Evelyn.

A few months before I parted company with DWA Evelyn’s health problems had begun, originally she thought it was as a result of receiving a bite from an unstable Dobie bitch that she went to assess, but the bite became continually infected and sadly it transpired to be more sinister and cancer was diagnosed. Over the next three years as the cancer progressed Evelyn became increasingly incapacitated until she could no longer care for her two dogs. It was with heavy hearts that my colleague Louise and I realised earlier this year that we would eventually loose Evelyn to her cruel illness.

Evelyn as ever, putting her dogs first, had to come to terms with making the heart wrenching decision to ask for help with her dogs as she could no longer care for them. John and I were asked if we could take Maddie and Jodie into our home and in June two of Evelyn’s good friends drove them to Lonmay. After losing Jenna to cancer earlier this year we now have her sister to look after. We are honoured to be entrusted with their care and although they clearly missed their Mum most terribly to begin with, especially Jodie they are now very much part of our family and we believe happy with their new lives.

Evelyn is survived by her daughter Janeen Sengendo to whom all at FOND extended their heartfelt sympathies.

Pam Hall
14th October 2014

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