I met Duke when I was on holiday in Zante, visiting the dog shelter we often volunteer at. The day we arrived, a little dog was running around inside, clearly terrified. We had to use our ham sandwiches to try and coax him towards us! Luckily it worked, and we got him back into his pen. We kept an eye on him for the next week or so, but sadly, on the last day of our trip, he became ill and had to go to the vets. We sat with him right up until we had to get on our plane home – it was heartbreaking.
The vet kept us up-to-date and a week later, Duke had recovered and was allowed back to the shelter. By this point, we had decided to adopt him and bring him home to live with us when he was ready.
Duke is now a solid part of the family
He arrived three months later, extremely nervous and unsure of everything. We took him to meet my parents’ three other dogs, who are also from Greece. He was nervous at first but he did well, soon becoming best friends with one of the dogs Ella. Ten months on and Duke is now a solid part of the family. Since I work from home, he’s had to learn how to deal with my constant company. He likes to come and poke his head into the camera while I’m on a call to say hello to my colleagues!
He still has his moments and he's a very skittish boy, but once he's approved you (he does this by sticking his nose in your face and licking your ears), he’ll happily sit on top of you and wait for a tummy rub!
Like all the other rescues we work with, Duke has his 'quirks', some of which will stay with him forever and some that will disappear the more confident he gets. It’s lovely to watch his character grow as he gets more comfortable around us. He’s come such a long way already, both physically and mentally, and I can’t wait to watch him blossom even more.
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!
Misto is such a special dog, and he appeared in my life when I was really struggling. My mum had died a few months before and my daughter had moved out, leaving me quite lonely and down.
I went on holiday to Sicily with my niece, staying in a remote spot and one day Misto just appeared! He took a shine to me (and me to him!) and would fine me every day, curling up beside me wherever I was. It felt like my mum had sent him to me, and so we named him Misto in her memory - her favourite greyhound was a brindle called misty, so we ‘italianised’ the name to Misto - which is fitting, as in Italian it means ‘mixed’!
In Italian it means mixed
When I asked hotel staff about him they said he was just a stray - they’d had quite a few pups and various Italian visitors had adopted them but he was the last one. I asked about the possibility of me adopting him, and they put me in contact with an Italian woman who takes in strays and finds homes for them - not usually as far away as England though
Communicating largely through google translate, we arranged for her to take him in. she kept him for about six weeks, got all his jabs, pet passport and arranged his flight over, and he finally arrived at Heathrow in December 2016.
He brings unimaginable joy to my life. I live by the sea and we both love walks and runs on the beach - which is where the photo was taken.
Shortly after Rocco was gifted to me as a Valentine’s Day present, I underwent major knee surgery, resulting in me having to learn to walk again rather than devoting my full attention to my puppy. As I regained my mobility, Rocco was a vital part of my recovery, providing unconditional love and support along with companionship when I was back on my feet.
Rocco was a vital part of my recovery
Earlier this year, as a personal challenge I committed to walking 100,000 steps in seven days for charity. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it was incredibly challenging for me to do, and my hound was with me every step of the way. He joined in the early morning walks when he would prefer to be snoozing in bed, he trotted alongside me each lunchtime delaying his set time for dog biscuits, and he continued with me every evening exploring each new location I took him to. At the end of the week, I had done 4000 extra steps and Rocco had earned consecutive exercise badges on his doggy fitness tracker attached to his collar.
Izzy is my whole world. I’m 64 and live alone with multiple health issues, so Izzy gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. She always puts a smile on my face and is adored by everyone who meets her. She's the most affectionate dog I've ever met, showering everyone with kisses and cuddles.
She always puts a smile on my face
Izzy is just amazing and has an enthusiasm for everything in life – especially playing with other dogs!
Mabel is a blonde bundle of fluffy fun, with a laid-back personality. She loves everyone and she thinks that everyone automatically loves her!
She thinks that everyone automatically loves her!
I love that she is a bit of a monkey, who totally doesn’t care if she has done something wrong. She just looks at you with her big brown eyes as if to say ‘what’s the problem?’
My favourite thing to do is cuddle her, as well as teaching her new tricks. Now she can high-five, beg, give a paw and roll over.