Charlie helps me to keep a work life balance and to stay healthy. I work as a nurse and no matter how exhausted I am, he gives me a reason to get up and make the most of each day
Charlie has encouraged me to get outdoors
Over lockdown, Charlie has encouraged me to get outdoors and to start growing my own vegetables. He loves it, as he gets fed fresh peas, peppers, and other scrumptious home grown produce as a treat when we are gardening. He also gives the best cuddles in the evening when we’re tired from a day of fresh air. Charlie is my best friend and I couldn’t be without him.
Poppy has been my little ray of sunshine through some pretty tough times. She never fails to make me smile, no matter what’s going on in my life. She is also the apple of my husband’s eye, and was a big part of our wedding – she wore her flower collar with pride and posed perfectly for all the photos!
She makes us laugh every day
We welcomed a baby into our lives in 2019, who has since become a typical toddler. He adores Poppy just as much as we do, and calls her his little ‘Poppy dog’. She really is the gentlest and most understanding dog I’ve ever known. Sadly, she’s battled with arthritis for many years now and has also ruptured her ligament, so we’ve had to swap her field-sprints for some slow and steady pram-walks, but I don’t think she minds too much.
She makes us laugh every day, particularly because she thinks we don’t know that she steals the cat’s biscuits the minute we go to bed – unfortunately for her, she’s clumsy and always knocks the big bowl over, which gives her away every time! Poppy is our crazy pup, always full of energy and ready to play, especially when there are bubbles and balloons involved. She is my constant companion and best friend.
After our beloved Westie sadly died, we knew we needed to get another dog. Having done a lot of research, we decided to give a retired Greyhound a home.
We went to visit the kennels to take some of the resident Greyhounds for a walk. Just as we were leaving, we felt as though we were being watched. Through the bars was this sad face looking at us with huge brown eyes. We couldn’t resist turning back and taking her for a walk.
I feel so proud of her!
As we walked, Puds suddenly stopped in her tracks and wouldn’t go any further. Confused, my daughter and I realised that she was waiting for my disabled husband to catch up. Of course, we knew there and then she was the one.
The lovely people at the kennels said that when we saw her, she had only been back for half an hour after a week’s unsuccessful placement. Talk about it being meant to be!
We brought her home a year ago now, and it hasn’t been plain sailing – it’s taken time to teach her that other dogs aren’t the enemy (or her lunch!) – but I feel so proud of her when she sits calmly and plays with other dogs.
She loves her cuddles, sleeps at the bottom of our daughter’s bed and is a brilliant personal trainer. She has enriched our lives and is a perfect example of how great it can be to give a dog a second home, even if they aren’t a puppy anymore.
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.
Our dog is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Silkie. We’ve had him since he was just 12 weeks old and he is now around 18 months. He is a dog that loves cuddles, playing, and just making the most of all life has to offer.
He’s made such a huge difference to our family, but particularly to my 17-year-old son Hayden, who has autism and multiple other needs. Prior to Silkie, Hayden was very withdrawn and almost didn't speak. He hadn’t left the house for months, not even to go into the garden. As his parents, we were at our wits end and so sad at the limited life he was leading.
From the moment we brought Silkie home, he and Hayden bonded. It was as if Silkie knew he needed a friend. Initially, cuddles and playing indoors were the order of the day. On a couple of occasions, Silkie would pick up his toy and go out of our back door to the garden, wagging his tail and prancing as if to say to Hayden 'Come out and play!'. At first, Hayden would just call Silkie back in, but eventually he went outside, moving further down the garden as he became more confident. Silkie encouraged him further, coaxing him out for longer and waiting patiently for him to follow, almost as if he knew he was scared.
Silkie knew Hayden needed a friend
Before we knew it, Hayden was running up and down the garden and confident enough to go out there on his own. Because he wanted to do his best for Silkie, Hayden even progressed to coming out with us on dog walks. Initially, this was just locally, but soon he began to take Silkie to more interesting places, like the vets. Thanks to Silkie, he’s no longer afraid of people, and will happily stop and chat to them about dogs. Sometimes, he even ventures into shops, which he would never even think of doing before.
Silkie has brought our family so much joy. He’s not only offered us all loyalty and companionship, but he’s transformed Hayden’s world. For the first time in a long while he is happy, and the confidence he’s gained has allowed him to grow in all areas in his life. He’s re-entered education (which he had missed for around 18 months), goes on outings and has his own friends. None of this would have happened without Silkie.
Bailey is the most amazing little best friend. He is a very cheeky chap and very quirky indeed. He has the craziest fun personality.
He has defied the odds and been a little hero
He has a heart murmur, has had 18 teeth pulled in one op and only last year decided to swallow a fisherman's hook, bait and line. But he has defied all odds and been the little hero throughout. He is also very talented and has a party piece of ringing the service bell for a treat. He makes us laugh, makes us smile but most of all he is full of endless love.