When Lazlo came into our life, we had not long adopted our children. He helped them to understand that we were their forever family.
A while later, when I temporarily lost sight in one eye, Lazlo was my loyal companion. He guided me until I was better, always looking out for me to make sure I was ok. He’s such a calming influence and adapts so well to any situation.
Lazlo was my loyal companion
He fits in perfectly with our family and looks after his furry companions as much as his human ones. He has two sister cats, Flossie and Raven, two house rabbits called Harley and Quinn, and this year, he even got a new sister puppy, Lyra.
Lazlo is so protective of us all that he can sometimes get quite ‘barky’ when anyone new approaches us. He may be a dog, but he’s got the heart of a lion!
We have owned two Golden Retrievers over the last 30 years, but sadly our last beautiful boy died in November. For the first time in all these years, we were faced with a home with no dog – and the loss hit us hard.
Slowly the conversations began: should we think about getting a puppy? We agreed that it wouldn’t be a good idea and yet we started looking at puppies online. Before we knew it, we were suddenly puppy owners again. You think you could never love the same way again, but the first time we met Dudley, it was pure love.
29 February 2020 was D-day – Dudley day. And home he came. He was a beautiful, brave, bundle of fluff. For the next few weeks, he started to meet the extended family – including Rory, our beautiful grandchild, and Cooper his new doggy bestie. We had just established a routine when things changed.
We were isolated but not alone
Coronavirus and lockdown became the new reality. There we were isolated. No more family, cuddles with the children, eating together, laughing together, being together. We were isolated but not alone.
Amidst the surreal, there was Dudley. Beautiful, innocent, wide-eyed Dudley. Dudley who is growing bigger and bolder every day and who believes he rules the roost. In truth, he probably does!
We chose Dudley because there was a connection, we couldn’t say what at the time, but now we think we know. It feels like he was coming to us for reason. None of us knew what was to come and somehow, he came to fill the void. This year will be defined in history by the coronavirus, but for us, it will be defined by the year Dudley came to save us.
My boy is amazing. Three years ago, he went for routine op and sadly became very ill and near death. Through all the treatment he had, he survived and stayed loving, and now we have diagnosed a haemophiliac dog.
That dog has saved my life
His life has changed, but he's the most loving, happy dog. Every day, I wake up to him wagging his tail because he’s so pleased to see me. He has helped me during the worst times – I lost my brother during lockdown and also had a heart op, but that dog has saved my life.
The strength he has to be happy and to go through so much being so ill means I couldn't wish for a better dog. He’s my life. Bless him.
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.
Mac is a two-year-old Golden Retriever and he is the most wonderful boy. He loves toys, especially stuffed animals. His favourites include a shark, a teddy bear, two hedgehogs, two sheep plus many more.
He loves toys, especially stuffed animals
Whenever someone comes to our front door, Mac always greets them witha toy, regardless of whether they want it or not. He’s got such a friendly nature that he insists we say hello to all of the dogs and people we see on our walks. He also adores running, sliding and rolling around outside, particularly when it’s snowy or if he’s near the water.
Working from home has been a strange adjustment but having Mac around has made it so much easier, and he gives me the motivation I need to carry on each day. It’s amazing the difference a happy dog can make to your life. Mac is a bundle of joy.
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.