Paddy arrived at the rescue centre where I volunteered in November 2009. He was so terrified that he was put straight into a quiet area, where I sat with him. I took him home as a foster dog, and before long, he had become a permanent member of my family.
We had to Paddy-proof the house
He is quite a character. He counter-surfed until we trained him not to, still raids the bin if he gets chance, he can open doors and also jumps very high. We had to Paddy-proof the house to make sure he was safe!
My dog has helped me through some really tough times over the years. He’s so loving once you earn his trust, and he adores children. Paddy is best friends with our cats and likes to help other timid animals to come out of their shell. He also works to raise awareness about Lurchers and show what fabulous pets they can be with the right care and attention.
Charlie helps me to keep a work life balance and to stay healthy. I work as a nurse and no matter how exhausted I am, he gives me a reason to get up and make the most of each day
Charlie has encouraged me to get outdoors
Over lockdown, Charlie has encouraged me to get outdoors and to start growing my own vegetables. He loves it, as he gets fed fresh peas, peppers, and other scrumptious home grown produce as a treat when we are gardening. He also gives the best cuddles in the evening when we’re tired from a day of fresh air. Charlie is my best friend and I couldn’t be without him.
My dogs, Angus and Will, are the reason I get up in the morning. They keep me going when things get difficult, make me smile, keep me sane and convince me life is worth living.
I am an elderly, arthritic, asthmatic widow without neighbours or family, not unlike many pensioners in this country. However, the difference is having Angus and Will in my life – they are my family.
I am honoured (Will) has transferred his love and loyalty to me
Angus is a laid-back, rehomed springer with a joint problem who shadows me all day (and night). Even when I’m gardening, he has to lie down at my feet, covering up all the weeds. In the spring, his waving tail ‘picks’ daffodils to take into the house.
Will is a complex rescued sprollie who had a difficult start in life and desperately wants to be loved. His grin is priceless. He was my husband’s companion, happy to do a bit of gardening or DIY. He stayed with my husband before he died, keeping him company and keeping him warm. Now I am honoured that he has transferred his love and loyalty to me.
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.
Lola, a white and black Staffie, burst into our lives in 2018 as a seven-year-old rescue dog. Our other dogs had died that year and Lola was the bundle of joy we all needed. She came on a visit from the Rescue centre and never left.
She gets super excited every time she sees an adult and always greets them with enthusiasm. When she sees children, however, she’s much calmer and more relaxed. Lola is our granddaughter’s best friend.
Lola is our granddaughter’s best friend
Once, a little lamb found its way into our garden and got its head stuck in the fence. Lola stayed beside the lamb and started to bark until I came to find her. She helped me to save that small creature’s life, which is just another example of how loving and sensitive she is.
Brodie is known as the ‘sun worshipper’, because he likes to carry his bed around the house and place it wherever he can soak up the best rays! Another of his hilarious antics involves finding and carrying sticks that are at least three times as large as him. If you get in his way, he won’t walk around you but instead keeps bashing into your leg until you move.
Keeps bashing your leg until you move
He likes to help me in the garden – although help is a loose term, as mostly he just puts his tennis ball where I’m about to plant something. Brodie didn’t have the best start in life, as he was put into a recuse centre, but now he’s truly flourished and is our very own little prince.