Nikka is a smooth coat Labrador, cream-coloured. We have had her for 18 months, and she is a fantastic friend to Bentley who’s also 7. We got Nikka under sad circumstances as her previous owner sadly died, and to keep her in the family so the person's daughter could visit, we agreed to take her on.
Bentley our other Labrador has arthritis and has been struggling with it for some time. He was depressed and sad, no matter what we tried to cheer him up, including all sorts of medication both herbal and vet prescription.
Like a missing glove, they fitted perfectly
The day Nikka arrived she was a massive impact on us all. Bentley immediately wagged his tail and started to show off his toys snorting with delight. Like a missing glove, they fitted perfectly. They shared everything, slept together and played madly on pulley toys. Bentley was a new boy and Nikka settled so well.
Only unfortunately in the last six months she has developed cataracts and is now virtually blind. Bentley now guides her, takes her toys, gives her lots of loving licks and will wait for her in the garden to see her back indoors as she slips on the decking.
So Nikka helped Bentley but it turned and now Bentley helps Nikka – a perfect pair of loving Labradors. We are so lucky to have them and love them so much.
Stag and Harper are both ex-racing greyhounds. We adopted Stag when he was three years old, after he had broken his leg on a racetrack and been put into rescue. He is the perfect doting, quiet and gentle boy.
They are the perfect yin and yang and quietly best buddies!
One year after adopting him, we volunteered at his rescue sanctuary, and were asked to foster another three-year-old greyhound for four days over Christmas until her family could collect her. We agreed, but on Boxing Day her new family never showed up. We had her for months and months but no one would adopt her as she had a tiny limp, which was why she got ‘fired’ from racing after coming last in all six of her only races.
Eventually we gave in and adopted her, becoming failed foster parents. Harper had a tough life being moved from sanctuary to sanctuary and being unsuccessful in finding a home. She is the opposite of Stag – utterly bonkers and needy. But despite her background she is never happier than in the company of any and all humans. They are the perfect yin and yang and quietly best buddies! We’d love to take them away for a little break. Both are super well behaved and a joy to be around.
We have a long, emotional story, but I will try to keep it short. I got Bryn when I was going through a bad time personally. My whole world fell apart – job, house and marriage – and he really did keep me living. We soon became inseparable and I began to find myself again. He kept me on my toes with his mischievous ways and made me laugh every day.
Living our best life
In 2015 Bryn was diagnosed with epilepsy (a strange coincidence, as I also have epilepsy). At first I thought I was going to lose him, but after a few weeks of meds, I started to see the old Bryn return. Since then, we’ve been living our best life, climbing mountains, moving out of our old town and eventually getting my dream job working with animals (Bryn comes to work with me!).
In the last couple of years Bryn’s condition has got worse, but I have been so lucky to be able to take him to work with me so I don’t worry about leaving him alone. I very rarely go anywhere without him.
Teddy has a mischievous streak. Last Christmas, my mum made a super trifle. Unfortunately, no one noticed Teddy climb on the chair to reach the table, where he promptly started to eat it! My mum straightened up where he had nibbled and none of us noticed what he had done.
My favourite thing about Teddy is the way he gives me so much love
I had his DNA done, and he is a real mix – he’s part Dachshund, part Yorkshire Terrier and part Shih tzu!
My favourite thing about Teddy is the way he gives me so much love and seems to know how I am feeling. I have a learning disability and Teddy is a fantastic support to me.
Once a month he has a hydro session to help his front legs and ease his arthritis. He really enjoys this swimming and it is nice for him and me to do something together just the two of us.
My Golden Retriever, Rodney, is one in a million. Although he’s nine years old, he acts like he’s only nine months old. He still loves going for a run and adores a swim in the sea – he also loves a quick dunk in a muddy puddle!
A wagging tail and a smiling face
As an A&E nurse working through the Covid-19 pandemic, Rodney has really supported me. Every day when I get home from the end of a shift he’s there, with a wagging tail and a smiling face.
Some people have kept their distance since finding out where I work, but Rodney has stayed with me, lying on my knee and always keeping me company whenever I’m around him.
Blake was rehomed in March, when he was just eight months old. He’s a Pointer Cross and is very energetic, loving and playful. He had been through a couple of foster families before he found us, but we are his forever home.
He is a loving dog who enjoys cuddles, chest rubs and spending time with his humans. More than anything, he adores playing with a ball – though he doesn’t always like to give it back! Recently, he had his first taste of snow and just couldn’t get enough of it.
We are his forever home
Something else which he basks in is human affection – he’s featured in many a zoom call, always sneaking into the room when I have my back turned so that he can come and say hello. He’s even starred on a rugby pet calendar, for which he had to pose at Murrayfield stadium.
Earlier this year, my wife was made redundant and I had to undergo an unexpected operation. Blake has been a huge source of comfort to us both, and we simply couldn’t imagine our lives without him.