Madge is quite simply my heart and soul. We understand each other on a level that cannot be described, and she is my constant shadow and best friend.
I have a photography project where I travel around the UK photographing the UK’s rare breeds of ponies. Madge accompanied me on a major expedition to the Outer Hebrides and the Highlands of Scotland. It was just us, meeting wonderful people along the way, and she was that piece of home when it started to feel lonely.
We understand each other on a level that cannot be described
We even went to Snowdonia in Wales on our own, when I wanted to get away from the world and just be with her surrounded by the hills and wildlife.
We also love visiting the sea, where we are starting to paddle board. The first day, when I put the board in the water and went to get on (having never been on before), Madge was at my side with her paw on the board ready to join me. She soon jumped on when I set off and we learned to balance together – she pays close attention to my movements so she knows which way we are going.
Madge loves to be with her family. She always greets me with an excited wag and wants to be cuddled immediately. She loves to do tricks, especially if there is a play or treat involved after. She always knows when I need her to be with me, and she is able to help me relax and de-stress. She is simply perfect and what she means to me cannot be summarised in a paragraph.
I am a serving police officer, and have been for the last five years. I recently suffered a breakup with a long-term partner and went through the torrid time of organising the separation and dividing assets. Once this was completed, I looked to adopt a stray puppy, a puppy that I could come home to and who would give a bit of companionship.
All she asks for in return is a bit of cuddling on the sofa and some attention
I found Coco online and couldn’t resist applying for her having heard how she was found hung up in a bag in a tree and just abandoned. I was successful with my application and this little bundle of fluff came into my life. She’s been so good with everything that’s been thrown at her – her training is going well, she walks on the lead nicely, she listens to commands, and all she asks for in return is a bit of cuddling on the sofa and some attention.
She is the same colours as the rugby team I play for, and is a firm club favourite whenever I play, finding herself on the sideline distracting people from the game. I’ve attached the photo that shows her favourite place in the house, a little sun trap that overlooks the street we live on, where I will always find her when she isn’t snoozing away on the sofa.
Since Graham has come into my life, he’s inspired me to get out and explore new places, as well as meet new people. I have never been a confident or particularly sociable person but having Graham by my side helps me to feel better and there isn’t anywhere I would go without him!
He’s come with me on a seven-mile-hike around the Peak District, travelled up to my hometown of Sheffield and even comes with me into cafes. Having him has pushed my partner and I to hire a camper van and travel around the Scottish Highlands. It’s always been a dream of mine, and now it’s even more special because he can come along with us!
Helps me to feel better
Graham is a very loving dog and is everyone’s best friend, even if he’s just met them. He is always up for a cuddle and loves giving people a ‘hug’ (where he puts his paw over your arm). I think meeting new people is one of his favourite things, along with food! He loves all food and will shamelessly do tricks for you in an attempt to get some – I haven’t found anything he won’t eat yet, even lettuce!
He’s also a pro at posing for the camera. Because of him photography is now a new hobby of mine, and of course he’s my favourite thing to take photos of. He is such a special dog and I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without him.
I can't help but smile when I see my buddy, Roky.There's something about coming home and opening the door to a burst of energy powering towards me that makes my heart sing and melts away all the negativity from my day.
Helps me to get out and connect with the world
Not only is Roky good for my soul, but he's good for my health too. He gives my life a structure and makes sure I never lack purpose. He helps me to get out and connect with the world around me.
He's such a beautiful dog that people often stop to ask me about him. Thisis both a blessing and a curse.I get to meet so many new people, but he'salso very protective of me, and that means he's not always as interested in those new people as they are in him.
Roky doesn't like little dogs who are cuter than him, or anyone dressed in bright colours. It makes putting his raincoat on a nightmare!
I first fell in love with Monty when I saw his photo on a Labrador rescue site. By the time I had registered with them, he had been taken. To my amazement, he was back two weeks later as the lady that had taken him couldn’t cope. The following day I was off to collect him.
I took him to a field to do recall training and soon learned that he loves water! He sniffed out that there was water nearby and took off. The lead went through my hands like butter. He went swimming in the lake with all the ducks, and I ended up in the hospital with second-degree burns. He’s a typical teenager but I still love him!
He’s a typical teenager but I still love him
We couldn’t go past any stream, river or canal as he would want to be in it – and usually was. So, I took him to the local hydro pool for dogs. He loves it and now goes once a month. He cannot wait to be in the pool.
He is a retriever by name and by nature. If it’s on the floor, he will bring it to you, whether you want it or not. If he’s bored, he will fetch you anything he can find, and then run around the living room with it.
He is also a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, so he visits our local hospital, as well as one in Leeds. They all love him, have his photo on the walls, and know when he will be coming to their ward. We walk into our local hospital and everyone seems to know him. You can be walking down a corridor and hear someone say “Look, Monty is coming”.
I lost my hair in 2017 due to alopecia and developed chronic fatigue syndrome in the same year as a result of severe stress. It was a real blow, as I used to be outdoorsy and sporty, and I was left spending a lot of my time indoors and isolated.
I’d wanted a dog for years, but my working life meant it was never really possible for me to get one. In February 2018, I finally convinced my partner that a dog would be great for my confidence, for my mental health, for companionship and to encourage me to get outside again. Shortly after, we drove two hours to Leeds and back to bring home Rogue, our German Shorthaired Pointer.
She even brings me the post
She’s given me a reason to get out of bed and to get outside (twice a day, every day for at least an hour). I’ve trained her to pick things up and carry them for me including light shopping bags from the car, and she even brings me the post.
A while ago, we moved to a house with a two-acre garden and completed a two-year renovation. At every stage she was there to “help” the tradesmen and to “quality inspect” any materials arriving on site by running off down the garden with them and throwing them around in the air. She was checking their sturdiness for the job, clearly.
Now the house is finished she spends most of her time with me in the garden. I’m planning to start a veg bed and flower patch, so she helps by digging holes – just not always where I want them!