Alfie the Springer Spaniel is my best friend. He loves nothing more than spending time outdoors and so we spend hours exploring forests and nature trails together. He also enjoys snuggling and snoozing, and most evenings you can find him curled up on my daughter’s bed – she’s the family member that spoils him most!
Alfie always knows how to brighten my day
He is such a well-behaved dog. Recently, I was diagnosed with a visual impairment and started to struggle both physically and mentally. Luckily for me, Alfie always knows exactly how to brighten my day – it’s almost as if he can sense that I’m having problems with my sight. He sticks closely by my side no matter where I go and always likes to make sure I’m not left alone to struggle. He is my very own adorable hero.
Alfred is a Weimararner. He gets really anxious if he is left alone and is a very much-loved part of our family. We have a daughter with autism and Alf is her companion and helper, who always seems to sense and know when he needs to be with her and when she needs him. He is also my husband’s personal trainer, getting him outdoors and exercising.
Alf has some strange habits
Alf has some strange habits – he likes to sleep across the arms of two sofas, or if he’s on the sofa then he sleeps with all four legs in the air! He loves the freedom to run around the Dorset meadows at the end of the lane that we live on and is a happy chap with our two cats and always greets them by licking them.
He is such a handsome boy that people always comment on him when he is out and about. He is playful and has a box of toys, his favourite being Gilbert the sloth! He has a favourite kennel, which is in Turnpike in Motcombe Dorset and all the kennel workers love him! He like to ride in my car in the front seat, especially in the Summer with the top down and the wind blowing in his ears!
We have owned two Golden Retrievers over the last 30 years, but sadly our last beautiful boy died in November. For the first time in all these years, we were faced with a home with no dog – and the loss hit us hard.
Slowly the conversations began: should we think about getting a puppy? We agreed that it wouldn’t be a good idea and yet we started looking at puppies online. Before we knew it, we were suddenly puppy owners again. You think you could never love the same way again, but the first time we met Dudley, it was pure love.
29 February 2020 was D-day – Dudley day. And home he came. He was a beautiful, brave, bundle of fluff. For the next few weeks, he started to meet the extended family – including Rory, our beautiful grandchild, and Cooper his new doggy bestie. We had just established a routine when things changed.
We were isolated but not alone
Coronavirus and lockdown became the new reality. There we were isolated. No more family, cuddles with the children, eating together, laughing together, being together. We were isolated but not alone.
Amidst the surreal, there was Dudley. Beautiful, innocent, wide-eyed Dudley. Dudley who is growing bigger and bolder every day and who believes he rules the roost. In truth, he probably does!
We chose Dudley because there was a connection, we couldn’t say what at the time, but now we think we know. It feels like he was coming to us for reason. None of us knew what was to come and somehow, he came to fill the void. This year will be defined in history by the coronavirus, but for us, it will be defined by the year Dudley came to save us.
It’s sometimes hard to put into words what Roma means to me. She’s a dog from Romania, an ex-street dog to be precise.
I’ve never met a dog quite like Roma. She’s very deep, if that makes sense. She notices the slightest change and she remembers something for months! Once we found a dead squirrel on the path, so we avoided that walk for a couple of weeks. When we did return she went straight to the spot where that squirrel was!
Now we dance together
It took her a year to trust me when I first got her, and for us to truly bond. She taught me so much and continues to teach me every day. She even got me to be a dog trainer! That got me out and about meeting people. Now we dance together in front of a crowd, in heelwork to music competitions! In our first ever competition, we came fourth out of 17 other competitors.
It’s not always been easy. She came with baggage, but then again so did I. together we muddled our way through it all to end up here. Today I wouldn’t be without Roma, and I hope she feels the same.
My dog Scooby is a cross between a Jack Russell and a Schnauzer. He’s now eight years old. When I and my now departed wife went to the farm with our daughter, he was the last puppy left all alone in a barn. He was just too lovable to be left on his own.
He was just too lovable
He is a very friendly boy and always looks for attention. I am 69 and currently in isolation with an underlying health condition. I had to go to the hospital at the end of March and the poor little soul didn’t know what was going on – he broke through the fence looking for me! My son-in-law went looking for him and I got a call from the person who had caught him. Luckily, I came home that night and we were reunited.
I also have a Husky (Mia), a kitten (Tommy) and a budgie (Clyde). They all get on with each other, which is a blessing in the current climate!
Patch is such a loving dog. He enjoys nothing more than a good cuddle – but don’t be fooled, because he can also be a cheeky little rascal! One of his worst habits is unplugging things from their sockets. Once, he even managed to unplug my freezer! I’ve had to strategically place objects around the house now in an effort to deter him.
He can also be a cheeky little rascal!
One of the things I love most about Patch is his quirkiness. He likes to make himself comfortable, so every day he jumps up onto the sofa and rearranges the cushions so he has a stack of pillows to rest his head on. It makes us laugh every time!
He’s also extremely protective of me. Patch loves to sit and look out of the window, but if he sees someone approaching the house he barks like mad at them. Of course, that’s not to say he doesn’t know how to behave – every evening after I’ve done the dishes, he sits and waits patiently for me to give him his treat.