It took our dog, Meg, about nine years to be able to play with a toy without totally destroying it. She adopted her first cushion football after rooting through a charity bag of toys and claiming it. We’ve since bought her plenty more because she becomes so attached to them. She plays with them, takes them out into the garden and even falls asleep next to them!
She becomes so attached to them
Meg is not amused when we put her toys in the wash. We’re only forgiven when she can get them back out quickly, sometimes before they’re fully dried. The funniest thing about her obsession is that if you say football, she goes and finds one! She’s a great dog who’s always filling our days with laughter.
Hero, a rescue dog, came into my life after my husband died. I took him in initially to be part of the family and to train up at agility.
But dealing with the death of my husband then took its toll on me and I now find life very hard to deal with. There is so much that I feel unable to do without support – and that support is coming from all my dogs, but especially Hero who is constantly by my side.
It’s almost as if we’re healing each other
He reads my emotions and responds in the way he feels best. He is now on the way to becoming my emotional support dog. He was such a mess when I took him on, it’s almost as if we’re healing each other. With his help, I hope to get back some normality and I eventually want to see him compete with the rest of our dogs in agility.
When my parents first came home with a hyperactive Springer Spaniel puppy in their arms, I was sceptical to say the least. I have struggled with a phobia of dogs since I was a child, crossing the road whenever I came within barking distance of a dog, no matter how small they were. So, the day they adopted Mei I sat alone by the backdoor, watching my family interact with this tiny, floppy-eared being rolling in the grass and scampering under the garden furniture.
I stopped flinching at every bark
Eventually, my mother dragged me out into the garden and sat me on a deck chair, in the centre of all the action. Mei immediately bounded over to me, sniffing and biting my shoelaces. It was the closest I had been to a dog my whole life. She must have liked the smell of my shoes because she soon fell asleep on them. While she slept, I felt brave enough to strokeher fur.
Over the coming months, I stopped flinching at every bark, and I even played with her and taught her a few tricks. Now, when I come across a dog in the street or park I react with interest and joy, rather than the fear and anxiety I had always lived with.
Brody is the most loving dog. He brought my partner and I closer togetherwhen we took him on his daily walks during lockdown. He is patient, caring and playful, and he always looks after our new-born son, laying with him when he cries, or staying at our feet when we feed him.
He always looks after our new-born son
He also has a great sense of humour and a very playful character. For instance, he likes to survey the neighbourhood as though he’s a watchdog, he barks at his treats and spends hours playing with his ball. Brody is a truly special dog.
Wolfgang came to us as he was born blind with no eyes. When we first got him, he was very timid – wouldn’t walk, eat or play. But by the second day he was running and playing like a normal puppy.
He doesn’t let his disability stop him in any way
He doesn’t let his disability stop him in any way and likes to play with his toys and our other two dogs. He’s come on great in the five weeks we’ve had him, going from 0.9kg to nearly 2kg! He is looking forward to experiencing his first Christmas and getting to play with all the wrapping paper.
Paddington love climbing trees, roofs, ladders – basically anything! She was named after Paddington Bear and she definitely lives up to the legacy.
She has her own routine!
She loves spending time on our farm helping with digging or driving the tractors. She has her own routine of following different people around, depending who needs her help.
We call her a ‘free-range’ dog because she has her own life and we are just here to provide her with treats and food!