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Great
British Dogs

Meet Bertie

In the face of grief, Bertie has brought light to owner Dave and his wife’s life

Bertie has been the gift of life for my wife and I after we lost our baby daughter at only two weeks old.

Thank you, Bertie

The dark days are brighter with Bertie, and he shows love like no other can. He makes my wife smile again, which I never thought possible after the dreadful time we went through.

Thank you, Bertie. You're a furry angel in disguise.


Meet Buddy

Ever since he came into their lives, Buddy has been Victoria’s daughter’s closest companion

Buddy belongs to my 14-year-old daughter, Abbie. For four years, from the age of three, she wanted a dog. Eventually, she chose Buddy, a two-day-old red Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and we visited every other week until he could come home with us.

Abbie has been committed to Buddy ever since. She’s been taking him training twice a week, every week, since he was old enough to go to puppy classes. She feeds him and bathes him and does everything for him. She has even researched the best food for maintaining his health.

The bond they have is wonderful to see

The bond they have is wonderful to see. When Abbie is unwell or struggling with her asthma, Buddy never leaves her side, choosing to lay next to her until she is well. As a team, they have worked together, competing in Obedience and Rally shows around the region. They’ve also competed at Crufts and won first place many times. This year, they were even chosen to be part of the Northern Team for the Interregional Rally competition at Crufts, where they won first place again.

As well as training, they love to play. Buddy loves balloons and will bounce around for hours with one. He often has Abbie in fits of giggles. When it snows, Buddy tries to help Abbie build snowmen but usually ends up digging them until they fall! He doesn’t like water and will do anything to avoid puddles, but if he sees Abbie going into the sea, he always makes sure he stays with her.

Abbie is quiet around people, but Buddy gives her the confidence to talk. He’s brought her out of her shell and together they are amazing. He really is a special dog. Best friends for life!


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Meet Brewster

Life isn’t always easy for Rachel, but Brewster does everything he can to make each day a little better

Brewster is a rescue dog, but I think he’s saved me just as much as I saved him. I have severe endometriosis which causes me a lot of pain and I can sometimes feel very low. Brewster has only lived with me for a short while, but we already have such a strong bond, and he's changed my life immeasurably.

He loves exploring outside and has learned how to walk nicely on his lead. I'm so proud of him. Keeping active is good for me too, and I can already feel my health and mood improving because of our daily adventures.

I can already feel my health and mood improving

Brewster is such a perceptive boy and can always tell if I'm having a difficult day. He loves to play and can be quite boisterous, but when I'm feeling low, he's so gentle and will just come and rest his head on my leg or put his front paw over my hand. He lives for cuddles and adores having his face stroked.

I work from home, and Brewster likes to lie on the floor and keep my feet warm – which is always very welcome on those wet and cold days! My dog has had such a huge impact on my life in such a short space of time. He's loving, friendly and fun and I feel like the luckiest dog mum in the world.


Meet Lily

As a vicar, Jane spent much of the pandemic alone with her responsibilities weighing heavily on her shoulders, but Lily always helped lighten the load

Lily was adopted from Labrador Rescue North West in October 2009 at approximately two years old. The first few months were really challenging as she had chronic separation anxiety. After I helped her settle, she began to mend my broken heart following the death of my previous 14-year-old Labrador six weeks earlier.

I am a vicar and live on my own. Lily is always ready to cuddle and listen when I have faced a challenging pastoral encounter. She’s a really good timekeeper and when I’m busy with work, she will come and put her head on my knee when it’s time for walkies, as if to say ‘Take me out, I'm way more interesting than your computer’.

Lily’s also good when I have work meetings as she welcomes people, makes them feel at ease and offers cuddles when they’re upset. Pastoral walks can sometimes make it easier for people to talk about difficult things and Lily always comes along on those.

During the pandemic, Lily was what kept me going

During the pandemic, I struggled with anxiety. I felt the weight of my responsibility for those in my care, and I had no physical human contact for months as I live alone. Lily was what kept me going. She was my reason to go out daily, and those walks in nature when we couldn't go anywhere else were so important for my mental health.

Lily is a typical Labrador and will eat anything, which is not necessarily a good thing as she has a wheat allergy. She seemingly goes deaf on a walk if she's found something disgusting that she is enjoying eating or rolling in! She also loves water, the muddier the better.

Lily is now 12 and beginning to struggle with arthritis, but she will still play like a baby when she meets up with another of her canine friends. Just this week she had me laughing as she frolicked through a field of buttercups trying to instigate play with a three-year-old spaniel, who was too busy following her nose to join in.


Meet Kita

Kita has supported and protected Savannah in many different ways while she’s been living far away from her family

Kita is truly the best dog out there. She’s the happiest and friendliest dog. She’s never yet met a dog, person, or any other animal that she doesn’t love.

I live in the UK alone as all my family live in a different country, so having her has brought me so much joy and given me a purpose every single day. Not only that, I get so much exercise and am the healthiest I’ve ever been, all thanks to this cheeky girl.

I will forever be thankful to her

One of her fun quirks is that she doesn’t really run, she hops! When she’s excited or she’s found something fun like a stick or sock, she’ll grab it and hop around. And when she greets other dogs, she goes in paws first to hug their faces.

She’s also incredibly dramatic. She loves to yell if she doesn’t get her way and she yells at other dogs when they aren’t giving her enough attention. Her new favourite thing is pill bugs. She doesn’t want to eat them, she just used her paws to play with them.

The most special thing about her is that she saved me one time. Late one evening, we were walking alone in France due to travel delays, and some man was following us and trying to engage with me, despite my attempts to get him to leave. Although she was only eight months at the time, Kita took the hint and just barked her lungs out at him until he left us alone. He tried to return but she scared him off. I will forever be thankful to her for that evening. She really is the best.


Meet Hendrix

Rebecca had always dreamed of being a dog owner, and at 28 she finally got her wish when she and her partner adopted Hendrix – four months before their wedding!

I have dreamt of owning a dog since I was five years old. When I was a kid, I saved my pocket money and bought collars and leads dreaming of one day having a dog to put them on.

It wasn’t until I was 28 that I was finally ready to bring my first ever dog into my life. We were getting married in August 2019, and in March 2019 I saw an advert for Collie puppies. We were told we were mad to get a puppy four months before our wedding, but along came Hendrix in April. We used our honeymoon fund to buy him, so instead of a honeymoon we had a puppymoon!

Hendrix is a bundle of energy. He is a typical Collie – incredibly clever, always thinking ten steps ahead. For example, if we start getting ready to go out, he will know from our voices and movements whether he is coming with us or not. If he thinks he is, he will go and sit by the front door, but if he thinks he's not he will get up on the sofa and lay down. How he knows I will never understand!

Instead of a honeymoon we had a puppymoon!

We do trick training together and he is now an expert trick dog. We started because he had some hip issues so needed some extra mental stimulation, but we've carried on as he is an absolute natural and loves learning new things! It’s also had wonderful benefits on his mental health too. He is a very anxious lad and this has really built up his confidence.

He has completely and utterly changed our lives. I am disabled and used to lack motivation. I would sleep till gone noon and stay up all night. Now I am up by 8am every day with Hendrix. He wakes me up by licking my wrists every morning and then we start our day of adventures!

He gives me a sense of freedom that I never had before. He also makes us laugh so many times a day with his clumsy silliness. Hendrix is my absolute world and I love him so much!


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