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!
Little Ruaridh came into our lives only one month ago but the impact he has made has been substantial. Although extremely hard work, he has already made our little family happier and healthier in every way. From getting us up bright and early (5am!) to getting us out in the fresh air more – he really has improved our wellbeing.
He really has improved our wellbeing
He’s the greediest dog and the loves to explore the world through his mouth. The strangest thing he enjoyed eating was the binmen’s gloves after the binman tried to give him a cuddle.
As he grows, so do Ruaridh’s eyebrows and his long golden hair often glimmers in the sun. We love our little bundle of fluff and would love to spend some quality time away with him on his first holiday.
I have Muscular Dystrophy and am in a wheelchair, so I wasn’t sure how a puppy would fit into our lives initially, but I knew I wanted the love and companionship only a furry friend could provide.
Kylo is now one year old and has already exceeded all of my expectations. He is such a loving dog and is never happier than when he’s sitting with us and getting lots of attention. He is very sensitive to my disability and will sit by my legs as though protecting me from the world (something he doesn’t do to anyone else). He also sits and waits patiently whenever I go past in my wheelchair, and even seems to sense when my feet and legs are painful.
He has brought such love, joy and affection
He has recently learnt to bring me my socks when I ask him to, after many months of grabbing them and taking off! We all utterly adore him, and he has brought such joy, love and affection into our family life.
Whenever you enter room, he will always greet you with a very enthusiastic tail wag – we call it the helicopter. He’s so smart and learnt all his commands and tricks in no time. Although, despite his intelligence, he is stillabsolutely terrified of the microwave!
Five years ago, I was the victim of an armed robbery attack at my workplace. I was left badly shaken and very frightened. As soon as I was brought home from the police station, Oscar came to me and sat with me, and when I went to change from my uniform he followed me closely.
He’d stay close by my side
Not long after the incident, my dad had to go and visit my mum in hospital, which meant leaving me home alone. Oscar lay beside me the couch for the entire time dad was away. And, for the whole week I was off work Oscar followed me around the house, sitting in the bathroom doorway and sleeping right beside me every night. Even when we were out on a walk, he’d stay close by my side if someone came towards us.
Throughout the months it took me to recover Oscar was there – and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
Nearly three years ago, we brought Barna, a Hungarian Vizsla puppy, into our lives to be a loving pet and companion, yet he has proven to be so much more than that. I live with a serious and complex neurological condition that causes me to collapse regularly. I myself have no awareness of these onsets, and would often be injured or be admitted into hospital, but all that changed when Barna was six months old.
Changed my life for the better
We discovered that Barna could detect the minute changes in the pheromones my body released in the lead-up to a collapse. He would ‘alert’ me via a series of behaviours, including intense staring, refusal to do as asked and a single bark. These are my five-minute warnings, which gives me a chance to make myself safe. Realising Barna’s potential to detect an oncoming episode, we contacted the charity Medical Detection Dogs.
Nearly a year and a half later, we were given the amazing news that Barna is now a fully accredited Medical Alert Assistance dog. As a family, we can’t put into words how much both the charity and Barna have changed my life for the better. He is the first Hungarian Vizsla to be accredited as a medical alert assistance dog (as far as the charity is aware) in the UK, so he is flying the flag for all other breeds that may not be conventionally thought of as great assistance dogs.
My boy has had a hugely positive influence in my life. I’d already owned two dogs before I got him last November. I sadly lost one in January and getting Vali helped me to deal with my grief.
A hugely positive influence in my life
During these recent tough months, he’s been my reason to go out each day. I love photography and he’s inspired me to get back out into the world and pursue my passion, since he enjoys coming with me.
Vali is an amazing dog – he is very sweet-natured and a bit of a clown, so he keeps me smiling and laughing each day.