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Great
British Dogs

Meet Billy

Billy has been a huge source of support for Patricia while her husband has been suffering from dementia

Billy is a rescue. He’s very special, as he rescued me, too. He was 14 months old when I got him, and he was three and a half kilos underweight, as he'd been kept in a cage with no exercise. He was a scared boy, but he soon came to trust me enough for me to train him.

He’s a clever Border Collie and picked things up very quickly. My husband, Tony, has dementia. And when he was still living at home, he couldn’t be left alone. So, when the carer came for an hour or so to get Tony ready for the day, Billy and I would escape to Woodbury Common, our happy place, and walk away our cares!

I really don’t know how I would have coped without him

Tony is now in a nursing home, and Billy and I visit him regularly. Billy has a routine – when he arrives, he goes to each resident in turn for them to give him a stroke, and he gives them his love in return. He’s always done this, right from day one. On the first day we visited, I let him off the lead and he went straight to the first wheelchair, sat beside it and lay his head very gently on the resident's lap.

I really don’t know how I would have coped with the stress of having a partner with dementia if I had not had my boy, Bill. Not only does he give me his unconditional love, but he also gives the same to Tony and his fellow residents, too. Billy is definitely my hero.


Meet Gimli

Since Rosie’s children have left home, Gimli has filled the gap they left with lots of laughs and constant support

Gimli is our sixth rehomed dog, and has been with us nearly five years. He's a joy. He loves humans and always invites them to tickle his ears. He also loves playing with the dogs he sees regularly on his walks.

His dedication to sniffing when he's outside always reminds us of a reader with a very good book. My husband now calls his walks ‘going to the library’.

Gimli stops us being empty nesters

Gimli’s my constant companion. When I fractured my femur last June, we had to wait 10.5 hours for an ambulance. For all that time, he sat quietly and supportively by my side, near the fracture. When the ambulance team came, he welcomed them and stood back quietly as they manoeuvred me onto a stretcher and into the ambulance.

Our children have flown the nest now to have their own lives (rightly so), but Gimli stops us being empty nesters. He fills the house with fun and welcomes all the affection we used to give the children with genial appreciation.


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Meet Oslo

Two years after the loss of her family’s first dog, Oslo came bounding into Emmie-Rosa’s life, bringing plenty of love and laughter with him

After the passing of our dearly loved family dog during lockdown, our household was deeply missing a four-legged companion, and all the fun and chaotic energy they bring. In May 2022, we decided that we were ready to bring a new pup into our lives. Little did we know that, less than 48 hours later, we’d be bringing a tiny little eight-week-old Rottsky pup called Oslo home with us.

We all look forward to a long, adventure-filled life with him!

Oslo has bought so much joy to our family in the 4½ months he’s been with us. He’s goofy, mischievous, playful and clever. He will huff and puff when you move him from his fave spot on the sofa, and then pretend to ignore you when you try and make up for it. He has the sweetest nature and so much energy. He loves to join us on every trip, whether it’s to a pub, a castle, a coffee shop or the woods.

Oslo is always by our sides. He loves everyone and everything, from adults and children to dogs and horses. He always wants to say hello. He really has been the missing piece in our family, and we all look forward to a long, adventure-filled life with him!


Meet Dovah

Four years after their first meeting, Keiba finally managed to rescue Dovah from her negligent owner and welcome her into the family

Dovah inspires me to live every day to its fullest. When she was six, I was asked to foster her for one month by her current owner who was going out of the country to study. I met Dovah once and her absolute love for life and instant desire to sit on my lap made me happily agree to help out.

One month quickly turned into six with little to no contact from her owner. By this point, myself and the cats living in the house had bonded deeply with Dovah. We were offered the chance to adopt her by the uninterested owner and, after we ecstatically agreed, the owner went back on her word and came and collected our sweet Dovah. She lived in a flat and Dovah was left for long hours daily, or sent to different dog sitters.

Dovah inspires me to live every day to its fullest

Eventually, after two years, I got the message I had always hoped for – Dovah was finally being rehomed. Right away I went to get her. By this time, we also had a second dog called Kleo. Although the cats came running to Dovah as soon as they saw her, she had returned to us with a whole host of behavioural issues. Adding to that, Kleo was in pain while waiting for surgery on her cruciate ligaments. Unfortunately, the girls would fight and we all had to work very hard to make things work out.

Fast forward to just days before Dovah’s 10th birthday and, after several surgeries for mammary cancer, she is fully bonded with Kleo in her forever home.

Despite this journey, every day Dovah gets up full of life. She loves harder, making you dedicate time in your day to cuddles and opening your heart to her. She runs out on the hill with more love for the outdoors than any dog or person I have ever met. She inspires me to live in the moment and keep my chin up.


Meet Fern

Fern’s life as a racing dog was far from easy, so now Karen is making sure she gets the love she’s always deserved

Fern has been with us a few weeks now. She’s an affectionate girl, learning to play, eat nicely, and come to terms with her young, bouncy four-legged brother. She loves a snuggle, she walks like an angel, and she’s always kind to both people and other dogs. She’s also always up for a fuss!

Fate brought Fern into our lives, and she will stay in them for the rest of hers

Before she came to us, she’d had a life in a cage, having to race and being hurt if she didn’t want to. Eventually she was too damaged by racing, so she was deemed useless and moved from Ireland to England. She was put into rescue kennels, then went to a home for a short while, but ended up back at the rescue, through no fault of her own.

Fate brought Fern into our lives, and she will stay in them for the rest of hers. She doesn’t know that yet, of course. She doesn’t know we love her and her gentle ways already. I love her tattooed ears, and the way her burn marks and scars have grown back as white fur on her grey coat. I love her weird jerky attempts at playing, and how she waits patiently for her meals. She will have the life she deserves now, and we will have less room on the sofa!


Meet Dora

After being rescued from her abusive trainer, life has only got better for Dora since she joined Claire’s family

Dora was rescued by the RSPCA in September 2022, and came into our lives when we adopted her in May 2023. She had survived starvation and neglect at the hands of her trainer, who was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison and given a lifetime ban from owning animals.

Dora is a sweet, bright and affectionate baby. She’s quite the comedian and wakes us up every morning by howling in our faces. She loves to 'curtsy' to greet people when they come into the house. She lightens up our work calls by laying on her back behind us and pulling goofy faces.

I want to give her as many experiences as I can to make up for her life before

Her favourite trick at the moment is to jump as high as she can when we leave the house on our walks. She also likes to outrun her best friend, Jadzia the German Shepherd, and play chase with her.

To me, Dora is an inspiration. She’s a reminder than no matter what you go through in life, you can't stop and wallow in misery. She’s a brave girl who genuinely loves humans and craves attention and affection. She makes my life better and I love thinking about the happy days I will give her.

She inspires me to look after myself, so that I can look after her. I’ve been to places I never would have gone, just because I want to give her as many experiences as I can to make up for her life before. She’s the best decision I've ever made.


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