We got Monty just before lockdown this year, after years of talking about having a dog. He was seven months old and a bit of a teenager, but he has changed and enhanced our lives for the better.
He is the sweetest, gentlest dog who has what I firmly believe is a genuine sense of humour. He can tell when I am getting stressed while working from home and will hide his toys under a table or chair and invite me down onto the floor to retrieve them for him. Once I’m there, he’ll happily chew my hair and lick my ears and squirm around to show how pleased he is. I give him back his toy, with a big cuddle and go back to work. Five minutes later the toy is miraculously back in an inaccessible place.
He has even won over our two cats
He has the biggest, best doggy smile (like most Golden Retrievers) and his general exuberance and love for life is infectious. He has even won over our two cats – who were less than impressed that I had brought a big, hairy stranger into their lives!
We recently had a garden redo and the builder made it clear he didn’t like dogs, so we cordoned off the bit of the garden that he was working in. Monty sat politely in a garden chair watching everything and accepting an occasional pat. By the end of the three weeks, the builder was greeting him enthusiastically and stopping by for a proper pet. They are now firm friends – even when Monty was accidentally let into the wrong part of the garden and ended up belly-deep in the freshly poured concrete footings for the wall!
Monty is the heart and soul of my life.
Roxy came to me as a last minute foster dog. Since I already had a Bull Terrier in the house, I was worried about how the pair of them would get along, but they became such fast friends that it only took two days for me to decide to permanently adopt her.
I got to witness her cheeky side!
It was tricky at times, because Roxy hadn’t always been treated well before she found her home with me. I had to learn quickly what she was comfortable with and what scared her. But, after a few months she started to come out of her shell, and I got to witness her cheeky side!
Now we have had plenty of adventures together. Over the years we have climbed mountains and hiked all over the moors. She's helped me through so much, and is always there to look after me on my bad days. Roxy is my absolute world.
Nora is the dog that saved my life. When I was 27, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of arthritis and was in constant pain. Small tasks such as putting on my socks became difficult, and had it not been for Nora, I think I would have given up.
Because of my dog, I have a purpose
She was always there for me, helping me through the pain and giving me a reason to carry on. Taking her on walks got me up and out in the morning. It took me almost a year to be officially diagnosed and then another year to get the right medication so that the pain was tolerable. I’ve had to give up so much since then, but Nora has remained by my side throughout it all.
If I’m having a bad pain day she seems to know and will do something silly just to make me smile. On good days, we enjoy going out together and taking in the fresh air. Nora has given me back the dreams I thought I’d lost. Because of my dog, I have a purpose. With her by my side, I can take on any challenge that life throws at me. We’ll get through it together.
I had hit rock bottom before I picked up Forest. I felt like I had no purpose in life and he completely saved me. I have never felt a love like it. Getting up and walking with him each morning has been incredible for my mental health and I have loved taking him to all my favourite National Trust spots.
The most loving dog
He loves his walks but is a little bit of a diva in this weather and manages to skirt his way around all the mud and puddles. I love the way he lies down when he sees other dogs coming almost as if he’s ready to pounce and play with them, and also his little squeaks every time he yawns. His walk has been described as more of a strut – cute and he knows it!
His name came from my favourite film, Forrest Gump, and we have had many a laugh shouting ‘run Forrest run!’ while working on his off-the-lead training.
He’s very foxy looking and it’s been so funny hearing everyone walk past him and gasp about how much he looks like one. He’s the best thing to every happen to me. Without a doubt he saved my life and I’m already so excited to take him on many more adventures.
Daisy came into my life when I was really struggling. I had lost my dad a few years prior and had only just started grieving properly. Daisy acted as a support dog for me every single day, especially on days where I was heavily contemplating no long being around.
I trust her judgement
She gives me the motivation to get up in the mornings rather than just sleep through the day. Waking up to her, all excited to see me, reminds me that it isn’t all about me, as she needs me.
She’s been a very positive influence when it comes to meeting new people as well, as I feel she has a really good sense of character, and so I trust her judgement. She has been my best friend in the whole world for three years now, and I couldn’t be more grateful to my little girl for showing me that there is more to life.
Patsy was two when we adopted her from Bath Cats and Dogs Home. She had just had a litter of pups and was handed in. She was tiny, seemed so scared and frail, and we were nervous taking her home. We were so wrong! She walked in, took the bone out of our other dog Eddie’s mouth, pushed him out of his bed and made herself at home. She treated Eddie like her puppy and still does.
Over the months it was clear that Patsy hadn't had the best start. House training was a nightmare, she couldn't walk far as she had little muscle and very cracked pads, she was also scared of walking sticks, but loved people. Six years on and she is so different. She’s much more confident and a local favourite! Patsy loves people and loves a cuddle, and everyone is willing to oblige.
She is our family and we love her
She loves Eddie and still cleans his face every day – even though we don’t think he actually likes it he still lets her do it. Some days she won’t walk, some days it’s like walking a bag of potatoes, but as soon as she’s in the woods, she comes alive! Exploring, chasing squirrels and having fun. And, although she’s not built for swimming (her body to leg ratio is not great) she loves the water and will always paddle in streams and loves a beach trip.
She is getting old, has terrible wind, snores like a steam train and is stubborn like I’ve never known before, but she is our family and we love her. She’s great for a cuddle on the sofa and the comedy value is priceless.