Dovah inspires me to live every day to its fullest. When she was six, I was asked to foster her for one month by her current owner who was going out of the country to study. I met Dovah once and her absolute love for life and instant desire to sit on my lap made me happily agree to help out.
One month quickly turned into six with little to no contact from her owner. By this point, myself and the cats living in the house had bonded deeply with Dovah. We were offered the chance to adopt her by the uninterested owner and, after we ecstatically agreed, the owner went back on her word and came and collected our sweet Dovah. She lived in a flat and Dovah was left for long hours daily, or sent to different dog sitters.
Dovah inspires me to live every day to its fullest
Eventually, after two years, I got the message I had always hoped for – Dovah was finally being rehomed. Right away I went to get her. By this time, we also had a second dog called Kleo. Although the cats came running to Dovah as soon as they saw her, she had returned to us with a whole host of behavioural issues. Adding to that, Kleo was in pain while waiting for surgery on her cruciate ligaments. Unfortunately, the girls would fight and we all had to work very hard to make things work out.
Fast forward to just days before Dovah’s 10th birthday and, after several surgeries for mammary cancer, she is fully bonded with Kleo in her forever home.
Despite this journey, every day Dovah gets up full of life. She loves harder, making you dedicate time in your day to cuddles and opening your heart to her. She runs out on the hill with more love for the outdoors than any dog or person I have ever met. She inspires me to live in the moment and keep my chin up.
Max has been renamed ‘Super Max’ by all the local children as he often goes into schools to meet them. We have a programme where we teach young children how to be safe around animals, and their favourite part is coming to stroke him at the end of the lesson.
Max is amazing with all the children and can walk into any environment calmly, making everyone feel instantly relaxed. A lot of children who were initially too scared to sit with the class during the first part of the session will build up confidence to come and say hello to him by the end.
He’s been renamed ‘Super Max’ by all the local children
He has also helped me hand-rear lots of rescue kittens over the years, and more recently a litter of wild baby rabbits. He loves the babies and will protect and clean them like they’re his own.
On top of everything, Max has helped a lot of other dogs build up their social skills. He is such a kind and calming influence. He always knows they’re nervous so he’s very patient with them.
Over the last five years, he has come out with me on all my training sessions as my wingman and he’s never put a foot wrong! He really is the bestest boy through and through.
I have two border collie dogs: Poppy (who is 11years old) and Molly (8 months). Molly was a lockdown rescue pup when her owners bought her then decided not to have her! I am a Chaplain in a school and take both dogs in with me every day.
Poppy and Molly deserve a treat!
They are great pastoral assistants! Poppy is a big teddy bear who loves to be hugged, Molly is a mischief and allows some of our ‘naughtier’ children to relate to her! We’ve worked all the way through the lockdown and Poppy and Molly deserve a treat!
Nemo is the light and heart of our family. He hasn't had it easy as he was a rescue dog. He was so untrusting and agitated when he came home, but now he's so trusting, loving and playful.
It's very hard to think of a time when we hadn't got Nemo. He's still like a puppy – he greets us every time we leave him even if it’s for one minute. He's also a fantastic guard dog as whenever anyone rings the doorbell they back off. It’s quite funny really seeing a big burly delivery man running to the top of the driveway!
It's very hard to think of a time when we hadn't got Nemo
I'm disabled myself and Nemo is at my side when I really need him. His instincts are spot on. My heart bleeds for him as I think about what his life was like before. He is our rock as he makes our lives much richer and he lights up the whole house with his zoomies round the garden, his barking at the doorbell (realistically the only time he barks), the way he plays with his toys with love and hugs and the occasional tugging of the stuffing.
I could go on forever praising him but I think I've said enough for now. So Nemo thank you for making our lives so glorious and I hope he has a safe and restful life with us because he's certainly made a huge difference to ours.
Fergus has been an absolute blessing during the last year. I’ve had to shield, and he’s been by my side the whole way through.
We’ve passed away the days away together, and he’s been a great help to me in the garden. Fergus loves nothing more than to dig holes, although I often catch him digging in places he really shouldn’t!
He’s been by my side the whole way through
He’s such a loving and friendly dog, and with him to look after, I have a reason to get up early in the morning – although usually, it’s because he’s jumping on my head in an attempt to tell me he’s ready for his breakfast.
Fergus, along with his big brother Henry, have their own social media page and have kept hundreds of followers entertained with their antics during lockdown. I would be lost without my constant companion.
Bramble is such a positive influence in my life. She’s always so happy and loves nothing more than making me laugh. One of her favourite things to play with is her Frisbee, especially when we’re on the beach.
She enjoys keeping me company and is always there to lend a paw. When I’m gardening, for instance, she’ll help me out by putting her ball in the trug. Bramble is also very affectionate, and won’t go to bed until she’s had her nightly kisses and cuddles.
Won’t go to bed until she’s had her nightly kisses
As a very clever dog, she knows exactly when it’s time for her treats in the morning and afternoon. I often find her waiting for me by the cupboard, and she won’t move until I’ve handed them over! Bramble has a love-hate relationship with our cat Alfie. I know she adores him, but he often rejects her with just a flick of his paw – it never seems to deter her from trying though.
Having a dog is great because they always wants to go for a walk. This means that even on the most wet and dismal days, I’m forced to get out and enjoy some fresh air, which really does help to keep me fit. Every day is special with Bramble in my life – she gives me a reason to carry on.