I got Bob from Gumtree, because his old owner said he didn’t get along with her other dogs. At this point he was 18 months old and had never really been on a walk outside, he had always been pushed around in a dog pram because he just refused to walk!
The special thing about Bob is he has three legs, as his front left leg never properly formed. The day he came to live with me I popped him down on the pavement and with no issue at all he started hopping along next to me! He now loves his long walks along the local canal with my grandad, my mum and her dogs, managing about eight miles which is pretty good for a three-legged Chihuahua!
He now loves his long walks
He hasn’t just brightened up my life but also all of my family members lives too. The first thing any of them say to me is always ‘How’s bob doing?’.
This cheeky little monkey loves nothing more than playing fetch, eating lots of treats and receiving lots of belly rubs. His favourite place in the world is the beach, although he thinks he owns the place once he gets there!
He is such an inspiration with how he gets on with his life and adapts to everything in his path no problem. More recently, throughout this pandemic he has been a true star. Things were so strange, but getting out every morning for a long walk with Bob really helped me through it all. I can’t say the same for the poor little guy though, he couldn’t wait for me to stop working from home so he could enjoy his naps uninterrupted!
I was off work after being diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression and had been thinking about getting a dog for a while. We decided it would provide me with a focus, and since I would be at home, I’d have the time to help with the house training.
My husband, sister in law and I went to the breeders. She had a room of six-week-old puppies. As we talked, her 'house' dogs and a three-month-old pup wandered into the room. She was the runt of the previous litter, and the breeder had kept her back to build her up, but the arrival of the new puppies meant no one wanted her. Well, I did!
You couldn’t get a playing card between us
We took her home and named her Whiskey. From the very first day she was 'my' dog. She slept next to me, snuggled with me on the sofa (you couldn't get a playing card between us) and followed me everywhere.
I have since returned to work, but she is still my security blanket, my treasure and my dog. When I’m at work she stays with my husband, but I’m still her favourite. In a household of men, we stick together!
My Border Collie Finn never fails to make me smile. He adores the TV and will watch any animal programme, but he especially loves adverts with animals in them. As soon as one comes on, he’ll grab one of his many toys and start prancing around in front of the screen, barking loudly.
Finn seems to have an internal clock
Finn seems to have an internal clock, and he always gets restless around his mealtimes. If you miss the mark, he’ll badger you until you feed him! He also knows when I usually go to bed and will often sit and stare at me when it’s around that time, as if he’s saying goodnight.
He’s so funny and makes us laugh every single day, like when he tries to avoid puddles on our walks by doing a little sidestep dance, or when he helps his dad out with the gardening by doing some digging.
I have struggled with poor mental health, but Lola has been my saviour and my reason to get better. She needed me when I didn’t need myself.
Lola is an intelligent, energetic and entertaining pooch. She loves long walks and getting super muddy, but I don’t mind as she’s great company and has helped me forget about the world this last year. When out and about she’s a whirling dervish but always comes back and taps her nose on my hand when called. She loves drinking fresh water, so much so that she always lies down in the puddle or pond in order to lap it all up!
Lola has been my saviour
One of her favourite things to do is to sniff out a tennis ball in the long, wild meadows. She also loves being out in the garden with her best friend,our cat Shadow. They frolic and play together, though the cat definitely has the upper hand with his climbing prowess.
When Lola gets really excited, she runs around the fire pit and randomly digs up the ground. Thankfully, the garden is a wildlife friendly area, so wedon’t mind it getting ripped up a bit in the name of fun. If she’s tired, she loves a good nap and curls herself up into some strange positions, sleeping around our necks and against the back of the sofa.
Lola’s needs aren’t that different from my own. Long walks on wet and rainy days, exploring, observing and snuggling have helped us both to getthrough this last year.
McLaren is a Canine Partner Assistance Dog, so not only is he a great companion, but he is a brilliant help to me in my everyday life. He picks up dropped items, lends me a paw when I’m doing the washing and even gives me more confidence when we go out and about.
He’s such a cheeky chap
Everyone loves McLaren, he’s such a great ice breaker. He’s a cheeky chap, and loves to clown around and make you laugh. He also has a penchant for gloves and socks, and will happily steal them and parade round the house, hoping to be bribed with treats for their safe return!
I’ve been shielding since March and I haven’t been able to go out to the shops or see friends or family, so having McLaren with me has had a huge positive impact on my wellbeing. He cheers me up if I’m feeling lonely, is always up for an adventure and loves playing games of hide and seek or dancing to music. He is my hero.
Broden has been with us from eight weeks old – always rather stubborn but the best family dog ever. He’s welcomed new grandchildren into the family, loving their cuddles.
The best family dog ever
He became a Pets as Therapy dog and has visited care homes and schools. If faced with a person in a wheelchair he will lay his big head on their knees so they can stroke him. He has helped schoolchildren read and helped a child overcome a fear of dogs.
Since my husband retired he has been his walking companion, even walking the Cotswold Way and the Coast to Coast with him. He’s slowing down a bit now, but still has the biggest heart and personality.