A few years ago, I lost my wife to a battle with cancer. It had always been our dream to get a dog and so the following January, I went to my local rescue centre. My intention had always been to adopt a German Shepherd – but beautiful, brindled Ginny (who’s a Greyhound-Saluki cross) stole my heart. Two weeks later, she came to live with me.
She understands my sorrow
The amount she’s helped me to cope with the bereavement and loneliness is immeasurable. She makes me smile, she understands my sorrow and she makes friends wherever she goes.
She’s been quite the ambassador for rescue dogs, appearing on TV and in magazines as well as newspapers. She’s even been to local schools with me, to talk about pets and emotions. She really is the best companion I could ask for.
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.
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.
My dog gave me my life back. I suffer from Anxiety and Depression and a few years ago, I couldn't speak and didn’t leave the house. My dad found an opportunity to train dogs for a charity, so I plucked up the courage and applied. A few months later a little eight-week-old Golden Retriever called Thelma came into our lives. She was a cute, golden ball of fluff who quickly melted our hearts. She is the best thing to ever happen to me.
Made our lives so much better!
Her smiley face and silly ways have brought us all so much joy. She alerts me when I'm having an anxiety attack by nudging me and giving me a cuddle, which really calms me down. This has helped me to leave the house on my own and find my voice again, because when I’m with her people don’t want to talk to me – it’s Thelma they’re interested in!
Thelma is the most happy, caring and loving dog you will ever meet, and she’ll always give you lots of kisses! She loves eating (who doesn't?) and helping people. She can pick things up for me, put things in the washer and out again and even does the dusting.
Everyone that meets her agrees she’s an amazing dog. Without her, I wouldn’t have a job or be where I am in life today. She’s changed my whole world and I couldn’t be without her.
I've grown up with dogs all my life. I used to have two German Shepherds, Sabre and Levi. By the time we sadly lost my two best friends, I was 21 and was just beginning my life after university. I met my partner and moved to Manchester for work. Since the beginning of our relationship, I made it clear that I wanted to have a dog in my life again. Sometimes, it felt like it might not happen for another 10 years with work and so on.
But everything fell into place in November 2019 when we brought Millie, our Labradoodle, into our lives. My boyfriend has never had a dog before and Millie has 100% stolen his heart and made him as dog-obsessed as me.
Having Millie in our life is like a hole has been filled
She's the most loving and chilled out puppy I have ever known. I was ready for the madness and chaos that comes with a puppy but we never really had it. She has many quirks, including sitting upright on the sofa like a human being. She loves to snuggle up into your arms and she's the perfect size to do so.
She is tennis ball-mad, and makes us take her out at 8 pm on the dot for her tennis ball chasing hour! Morning walks are reserved for a gentle stroll through our local woods.
Having Millie in our life is like a hole has been filled. Taking her for her morning walk gives me such a feeling of calm before the day ahead. It's our special time when nothing else in the world matters.
Our life now revolves around planning adventures with Millie and doing everything we can to give her the best years of her life. We often ask ourselves what we used to do before we had a dog. Watching her grown, learn and blossom into an adult dog fills us with so much pride – we can kind of see why people might have children!
We got Otto when I was waiting for an operation on my eye. He gave me a reason to get up every morning. He was 10 weeks old and needed an urgent new home due to flooding and so we went and got him.
He is the best friend I could ask for
He is the best friend I could ask for. He hasn’t had the best start in life – bad breeding meant he was underweight, and we found out a few months ago that he has severe hip dysplasia and needed both his hips replacing. He had his first operation in August at 11 months old and next week will be going for his other hip replacement surgery.
Despite all of that he has been as good as gold and kept me going. I’m at high risk of Covid so have had to stay home since March and again he made it all bearable. He’s just lovely and after saving for his operations I would love to give him a treat.