Diesel is the best dog ever. A few years back, I was really suffering with depression. On one particularly bad day I was in the house on my own feeling very low, and he noticed this and would not leave my side. He has always picked up when I don't feel well physically or mentally, and will never leave my side. It’s like he has to keep an eye on me!
He loves everyone he meets, always throwing himself on the floor at people’s feet. Whenever we go out he always has to have two tennis balls, as he won’t give the ball back unless he has another one to hold!
Will never leave my side
He knows his toys by the name, of "MyMine", which was started when he was a puppy and has just stuck. As soon as we say ‘go get your "MyMine"’ he will run off and come back with something, but it won't always be a toy – sometimes he’ll run off and then come back all excited with nothing in his mouth at all, just what looks like a huge grin!
Our neighbours will often give him a biscuit over the fence, and as soon as he hears them outside, he climbs into one of the flowerpots to make himself taller to make sure they see him. He is caring, loving and a bundle of fun, and everyone that meets him loves him.
We rescued Lenny from an animal sanctuary when he was 16-weeks-old. He had been born there and was adopted at 10 weeks, but the family eventually brought him back.
I have always been frightened of dogs, but my husband and children absolutely love animals. We initially went to the sanctuary to adopt a cat, to see how I would get on with my first pet. But instead, we came home with Lenny.
Loves being a part of the family
Lenny is a 32kg Lurcher cross, who thinks he is the size of a Jack Russell! Our nickname for him is ‘little Lenny longlegs’. He spends most of his time cuddling and dozing on the sofa – he loves being a part of the family. He has no concept of personal space, and often just jumps up onto your lap. He also enjoys playing with the kids in the garden and going for long walks in the forest, where he spends his time looking for squirrels.
Not long after he joined our family, we found out my husband’s friend had rehomed Lenny’s mum a few months before. This means Lenny is able to visit her on a regular basis.
He’s so loved and has brought a lot of joy into our family life. He’s soft and affectionate with all of us, and it’s safe to say I’m now a converted fan of dogs! You’ll often find me sat on the sofa, enjoying a long cuddle with Lenny.
While living in Canada in 2014, we visited an event called Bark in the Park and came across Teddy Bear who was offered for adoption. He melted my heart and as my husband worked away from home, knew he would be the perfect company for my son and I. He came home with us that day and we have never regretted it for a moment.
He joined our family and immediately became boss. His nickname was ‘Houdini’ as he managed to escape out of four crates – let's just say it was his way of telling us he hated to be penned in.
In 2016 we decided to move back to the UK and flew Teddy back on the same flight with us. We could never have left him behind.
He melted my heart
He's a big dog, German Shepherd and Husky cross. It took him some time to adjust to the new urban lifestyle as he missed the snow, but with lots of fuss from family he soon became a member of their family too. Teddy loves being outside so we taught him to ring a bell with his nose when he wants to go out – and yes, he rings them all the time!
His favourite thing to do is play ball. He’s a very clever pooch and loves to talk when he wants attention and cuddles. He also loves to be bushed and will just sit there all day wanting to be petted, brushed or massaged.
He also has a quirky one ear up and one ear down so always looks cute. As my husband works away Monday to Friday Teddy has become my main companion. My working life revolves around Teddy to ensure he is not left alone too long. He is my youngest baby and my best friend.
I know it sounds so cliché but my dog Misty really is one in a million. She is so smart and intelligent. Sometimes I think she’s human! I have two young children at home and needed to find something to mentally and physically challenge her, so we took up trick training.
We had no previous experience but by the time she was 11 months old, she’d already achieved her novice, intermediate, advanced and expert trick dog titles. She knows more tricks than I can count! She’s also got her silver good citizen award and is working towards her gold.
Misty stares straight into your soul
She’s such a brilliant family dog. She always knows when I’m down and will nuzzle her face into me to cheer me up. My children were arguing the other day over a toy and she jumped on the sofa, picked up the toy and brought it to me.
I couldn’t imagine my life without her. She brings everyone so much happiness. I know dogs don’t like direct eye contact but Misty stares straight into your soul! She has such mesmerising eyes.
Buddy is the heart of our family, and a lot more than a soft cuddly lump! Everybody loves Buddy! The grandparents always ask about him, friends always give him fuss and the neighbours always sneak him treats. You can't put your hands in your pockets without him thinking there might be a B word (biscuit) in there.
Buddy is the heart of our family
Buddy was a rescue and has been with us for three years now. He fit right in! He was the support we needed after losing our beloved family dog Tyson because Buddy knows exactly when you need a cuddle. Buddy has recently claimed some new decking for himself in the garden... we now call it Buddy's decking. It even has a sign to make sure everybody knows this!
Buddy loves to come running with me. We go all over town and make people smile. His tongue is so long it hits him in the face as he runs! He's the perfect running Buddy. I'd say Buddy's super power is his selective hearing because he responds better to biscuit or dinner than his own name.
Rhubarb, our Cocker Spaniel, was born to one of our other Cockers Poppi. Sadly, she only had two pups and Rhubarb was the only one to survive.
Rhubarb became a firm favourite in our household and quickly settled in with his mum and his ‘Uncle Bruce’, another Cocker eight years his senior. He followed Bruce everywhere and loved nothing better than to snuggle up with him. One day, we had gone out and left our daughter asleep in bed, with the back door left open for the dogs to go in and out. Rhubarb started barking and running around our daughter’s room. He wouldn’t stop, so she followed him out to find Bruce in the Koi fish pond!
Rhubarb had saved his life
The gate had been left open and Bruce had fallen in and couldn’t get out. He was swimming out of his depth and tiring quickly – he was getting old and had poor eyesight, which didn’t help. Luckily, my daughter is a veterinary nurse and she quickly pulled him out and put him in a warm shower. Rhubarb had saved his life.
Thankfully, Bruce suffered no long term consequences from his adventure and lived until he was 13. Rhubarb has continued to be a wonderful friend and constant companion to us all since. He loves playing with his toys and running around the estuary beach near our home. He will always be our little hero.
He’s on the far right in the photo, with his mum on the left and ‘Uncle Bruce’ in the middle.