Mags is our Red Fox Labrador who came to us after a relative could no longer look after her. She's a crazy little bundle of energy who brightens every single day.
She’s given us a new lease of life
I've got generalised anxiety disorder and OCD and she's helped me cope and just let go of things. My partner was also recently made redundant, but she's given him a purpose to get out of bed in the morning. She's given us both a new lease of life.
She loves stealing toilet rolls and chewing books, and she loves a bubble bath. She's so funny and energetic and just a beautiful soul. She loves everyone, including other dogs. She chases leaves and chases her tail – she’s just a bundle of joy.
I have owned Sam (or rather he has owned me) since he was a 12-week-old puppy. As I’ve been housebound for the last ten years, he’s been my constant companion while my husband’s at work
I love him, but he’s probably the most demanding dog in the world. He yaps and whines until he gets his own way and won’t leave me alone until I rearrange his bed for him!
He’s been my constant companion
Sam is particularly fond of cats and is friends with the three that live in the local area. He also loves walks at the beach with my husband. I treasure every single day I have with my dog, and I’m so grateful he cameinto our lives all those years ago.
My Ringo isn't just any dog, although I'm sure every dog owner says that! Ringo is actually my dual-purpose guide dog, which means he is trained as both my guide dog and my hearing dog, as I am visually and hearing impaired. There aren't many dual-purpose guide dogs in the UK because it involves so much learning and training that not all dogs are able to do it.
Trained as both my guide dog and my hearing dog
I've had Ringo for 14 months now and what amazes me about him is that he still grows and learns every single day. For example, I drop things on a regular basis, and he's learnt to pick them up and put them in my hand without any training. He's also a very strong dog – I have poor balance because of my ears, so when I start to feel wobbly on my feet, Ringo will stand still and help me until I’m surefooted again. He also knows how to alert me if my phone rings or the doorbell goes, in case I haven’t heard them.
Ringo may only be three years old, but he’s got a very wise head on his young shoulders. That being said, he’s also got a playful side, and when he’s not helping me he acts more like a puppy! We spend nearly every waking moment together, and I adore him more than words can say. He's loyal, faithful, happy and loves me unconditionally.
Alfie the Springer Spaniel is my best friend. He loves nothing more than spending time outdoors and so we spend hours exploring forests and nature trails together. He also enjoys snuggling and snoozing, and most evenings you can find him curled up on my daughter’s bed – she’s the family member that spoils him most!
Alfie always knows how to brighten my day
He is such a well-behaved dog. Recently, I was diagnosed with a visual impairment and started to struggle both physically and mentally. Luckily for me, Alfie always knows exactly how to brighten my day – it’s almost as if he can sense that I’m having problems with my sight. He sticks closely by my side no matter where I go and always likes to make sure I’m not left alone to struggle. He is my very own adorable hero.
Pablo originally lived in Gran Canaria. He came over to England in November 2019 and went to live with a foster mum in Sheffield through a charity called Pet Pals GC. Around this time, our beloved border collie, Barney, had been diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma and we were told he wouldn’t make it to Christmas. We sadly lost Barney in December and our hearts were truly shattered.
I was sad, but I also I knew I had the room in my heart to look after another dog. We’ve always had big dogs, but I had recently been diagnosed with arthritis in my spine and knees, so I felt a smaller breed would better fit the bill. I came across Pablo while browsing animal charities online and arranged to go and visit him in Sheffield the following week.
As soon as I met him, I could feel my heart melting
As soon as I met him, I could feel my heart mending a little bit, as he sat straight on my lap and covered me in kisses. A couple of weeks after taking Pablo home, we went into lockdown. We’d go out for walks every day around the golf course, where Pablo loves playing in the sand bunkers.
He makes us laugh and smile every single day. I still miss my Barney boy, but my heart is now full of love again thanks to our little Spanish street dog.
A few years ago, I lost one of my two dogs to a brain lesion. My other 16 year-old-dog, Tia, developed severe separation anxiety, and I was told that getting another dog to keep her company could help. I visited a rescue and was shown some pups that had come over from Romania. One of them stole my heart – he was called Aris, but I changed his name to Scooby, which suits him better.
Scooby was terrified when I first brought him home. He knew nothing and had never been in a house, so he was scared of everything, especially the television. It took weeks of sitting outside on the front doorstep with him before he would venture outside. Improving his confidence was a long process, but with lots of love and patience he blossomed into the amazing dog he is today.
He blossomed into the amazing dog he is today
As I expected, introducing a pup to a 16-year-old dog wasn't easy. Scooby would grab hold of Tia's legs and drag her around (in a playful way), but because Tia wouldn't tell him off, he didn't know he was doing anything wrong. Sadly, just seven months after bringing Scooby home, we had to put Tia down. I was distraught, but Scooby was my saviour. He needed me just as much as I needed him, and he gave me a reason to get up every day. Taking him for walks got me out of the house and talking to people, but more than anything, I’m grateful for what a calming and positive influence he was in that dark time.
He didn't ever pester or whine – he was my rock and always stayed by my side. Now Scooby has a little sister (another rescue dog I adopted two months ago), and they get on so well you’d think they had always lived together.