I recently had surgery and was diagnosed with cancer. My Leonberger, Juno, has been an absolute life saver. After being released from hospital, she instinctively understood that she couldn’t jump up on me or paw me in the stomach – she was so gentle and careful.
She made me smile with her sweet, goofy face
When I was at my lowest, she made me smile with her sweet, goofy face or had me laughing as she played tirelessly with her favourite squeaky ball. She really is an incredible girl, and everyone who meets her falls in love.
Her favourite activities are bog snorkelling and visiting the local farmer’s market, where the stallholders always spoil her with treats and attention. I’m truly blessed to have this special girl in my life.
Pepsi is a 9-month-old female border collie. We knew that she was a great dog, but she really proved that when Walt, my ambulance technician partner, got COVID-19. I'm a community nurse so I looked after him at home for four days. Pepsi sat on the decking below his bedroom window listening to him cough. He was so ill that he was unable to move. She couldn't understand what was happening.
After four days, he really deteriorated and was admitted to a hospital 80 miles away. I was lost. I didn't know if I'd ever see him again alive. I didn't want to get up – the days were too long and scary. However, I knew Pepsi needed me so we sat in the garden and played ball. If I cried after seeing Walt on a videocall she would jump up and cuddle me.
Life is on the up again
Walt began to give up the fight in the hospital. He hated being away from us and he was so ill with the constant cough and fatigue. We sent videos of the dog and encouraged him to stay strong so he could come home to his ‘therapet’ (we always called her that). When he was finally discharged, she rarely left his side and I know he needed her every bit as much as he needed me to nurse him.
Now, Pepsi is his reason to fight the fatigue and get out. She has recently learned to swim, so we go places where Walt can just sit and watch her play.
I know every dog is their owner’s best friend but Pepsi is an ace dog who has really earned her ‘therapet’ nickname. We love her. She loves us. Life is on the up again.
My Cavapoo Barney is such a huge part of my life. During all the lockdown periods, he has always been the one who cheers me up, makes me laugh and most importantly, doesn't judge me for my questionable fashion choices!
He is a very sensitive dog and reacts to my moods, especially if I’m feeling down. When he can sense that I’m upset, he’ll comfort me by cuddling up for a snuggle.
He can sense that I’m upset
Barney is very cute, but he knows it, and so he’s always trying to wrangle an extra treat or two. This would be fine if it was just from me, but he has been known to creep up behind strangers in the park because he can smell treats in their pockets. We try to be strict with him, but we’re yet to succeed with that.
Paddington love climbing trees, roofs, ladders – basically anything! She was named after Paddington Bear and she definitely lives up to the legacy.
She has her own routine!
She loves spending time on our farm helping with digging or driving the tractors. She has her own routine of following different people around, depending who needs her help.
We call her a ‘free-range’ dog because she has her own life and we are just here to provide her with treats and food!
Charlie came into our lives unexpectedly, after a text came through from a family member who knew how upset I was after losing my dog Bella. Lockdown was tough enough and without my sidekick, I was struggling.
Cute and cheeky Charlie
A change of circumstances meant Charlie faced the prospect of going back to the kennels, which was unideal seeing as he’d been through rescue centre twice already. He came for a visit one Friday night, just for a trial run – and he hasn't left since!
Initially we didn’t feel ready for another dog, but as soon as we saw him, we knew instantly that cute and cheeky Charlie was meant to be a part of our family. He’s so full of love and character, and such a happy dog.