I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression since my teenage years, and over lockdown, I was in a really bad place. My fiancé and I had talked about getting a dog since we met, and after buying our first home last year, we decided that the time was finally right – enter Dash.
He is such a blessing. I’ve never known a dog as affectionate as he is! He’s obsessed with giving us cuddles and kisses, and always seems to know when I’m struggling. He gives my days a structure and fills them with light.
He gives my days a structure and fills them with light
I get up in the morning because I know I have to feed him, and I look forward to playing with him on our daily walks, which bring me such joy. Getting out of the house and exercising in the fresh air is good for both of us. I was crippled by my anxiety before and wouldn’t even leave the house, but Dash has given me a purpose and now I look forward to exploring new places together.
Dash absolutely loves playing, especially fetch with his favourite ball, or a game of tug. He’s never happier than when the three of us are out in the garden together, and I love seeing his tail wag as he bunny hops through the grass.
Nikka is a smooth coat Labrador, cream-coloured. We have had her for 18 months, and she is a fantastic friend to Bentley who’s also 7. We got Nikka under sad circumstances as her previous owner sadly died, and to keep her in the family so the person's daughter could visit, we agreed to take her on.
Bentley our other Labrador has arthritis and has been struggling with it for some time. He was depressed and sad, no matter what we tried to cheer him up, including all sorts of medication both herbal and vet prescription.
Like a missing glove, they fitted perfectly
The day Nikka arrived she was a massive impact on us all. Bentley immediately wagged his tail and started to show off his toys snorting with delight. Like a missing glove, they fitted perfectly. They shared everything, slept together and played madly on pulley toys. Bentley was a new boy and Nikka settled so well.
Only unfortunately in the last six months she has developed cataracts and is now virtually blind. Bentley now guides her, takes her toys, gives her lots of loving licks and will wait for her in the garden to see her back indoors as she slips on the decking.
So Nikka helped Bentley but it turned and now Bentley helps Nikka – a perfect pair of loving Labradors. We are so lucky to have them and love them so much.
Nova came into my life at a moment when I really needed something to give me a boost – and she sure did that! Her energy, playfulness and the love she gives my partner and I is second to none.
When she smiles and her tongue hangs out
She loves to go to the park so much that, even just a mention of it and she does a little hop and a skip, then runs off in search of her lead! In the evenings she does her ‘zoomies’, where she runs around in circles then jumps up onto the sofa and flips all the cushions off, which really makes us giggle.
My favourite thing about her is when she smiles and her tongue hangs out of the side of her mouth. I’ve yet to meet someone who isn’t taken in by Nova’s charms. Affectionate, caring, lovable and at times cheeky, she’s the best companion we could ever have and we absolutely adore her.
We treat Ruby like she’s our third daughter.I’d never had a dog before and I was scared about getting one, but having Ruby has made me see that all dogs are absolutely lovely. She has always been a mummy’s girl, and she won’t go for a walk with anyone else. We go to France twice a year and Ruby has come with us every time. It’s a long day of travelling, but right she’s always good as gold.
She won’t go for a walk with anyone else
She is so affectionate and loves nothing more than cuddles on the sofa. If you’re sad, she will snuggle and kiss you even more. I am so pleased my husband and children talked me in to getting a dog, as Ruby has made the past ten years of my life the happiest yet.
We adopted Sally from a rescue charity called Wolfies Legacy.She was originally a street dog in Tunisia where she suffered a gun wound. Both of her front elbows were severely damaged, and as she didn’t have access to a vet, her front legs ended up becoming set in a bent, upright position.
Despite all she’s been through, Sally is the most loving and trusting dog you could ever wish to meet.She's adapted to walking on her elbows, which we pad to protect, and can sit on her hind legs when she’s begging for treats or if she wants to be picked up. She’s incredibly fast when she wants to be and knows how to jump and hop at speed.
She’s a dog that lives for the moment
We run a home-boarding dog business and Sally is our guidance dog for all the new arrivals.She is super friendly and always makes them feel safeand welcome. Some dogs are a little puzzled by her, as they can't quite figure out why she won't run around with them, but we've noticed how easily they learn to play in ways that accommodate her. It’s truly heart-warming to watch how the dogs interact, accept and embrace Sally’s disabilities.
Being unable to walk very far hasn't stopped Sally from loving life and exploring. We take her out in her buggy every day, and she loves nothing more than to watch the world go by. She’s a dog that lives for the momentand enjoys everything life offers her. Having Sally is a constant reminder that life is what you make it.
Archie is a goofy, lovable and loyal chocolate Labrador, who loves people and food but hates the hoover and water.
In the first six months, he was an absolute angel and no trouble at all. Then things changed and Archie became the craziest, most belligerent whirlwind ever! We got asked to leave training because his disruptive behaviour was disturbing others, and we even contacted a behaviourist for help.
He has taught us so much and brings us so much joy
We thought we’d made a dreadful mistake in getting him, but we eventually started to realise it wasn’t just Archie who needed training, we needed it too!
Gradually with patience, encouragement, praise and love, we have all learnt together and, between us, we have (almost) got there.
Archie’s still got his crazy personality at times, but we have the most loving, loyal dog who has taught us so much and brings us so much joy. Lockdown was made easier thanks to him, and we got through it all as a team. He’s even got a new cocker spaniel sister, Bella, who he’s helping us with – but that’s another story!