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British Dogs
Dog of the Year 2019/20

Meet Pepsi

Jacqui’s life was turned upside down when her husband was diagnosed with COVID-19. But thankfully Pepsi has been there every step of the way.

Pepsi is a 9-month-old female border collie. We knew that she was a great dog, but she really proved that when Walt, my ambulance technician partner, got COVID-19. I'm a community nurse so I looked after him at home for four days. Pepsi sat on the decking below his bedroom window listening to him cough. He was so ill that he was unable to move. She couldn't understand what was happening.

After four days, he really deteriorated and was admitted to a hospital 80 miles away. I was lost. I didn't know if I'd ever see him again alive. I didn't want to get up – the days were too long and scary. However, I knew Pepsi needed me so we sat in the garden and played ball. If I cried after seeing Walt on a videocall she would jump up and cuddle me.

Life is on the up again

Walt began to give up the fight in the hospital. He hated being away from us and he was so ill with the constant cough and fatigue. We sent videos of the dog and encouraged him to stay strong so he could come home to his ‘therapet’ (we always called her that). When he was finally discharged, she rarely left his side and I know he needed her every bit as much as he needed me to nurse him.

Now, Pepsi is his reason to fight the fatigue and get out. She has recently learned to swim, so we go places where Walt can just sit and watch her play.

I know every dog is their owner’s best friend but Pepsi is an ace dog who has really earned her ‘therapet’ nickname. We love her. She loves us. Life is on the up again.

Meet Chloe

When it comes to who’s in charge, Leigh is under no illusion that it’s her dog Chloe who rules the roost

Chloe lights up my day every day. When I come home from work she’s so happy to see me, it’s almost as though I’ve been gone for months. She’s a very clever dog, so we have to watch what we say around her – for example, she used to get so excited every time she heard us use the word ‘chicken’, we now have to refer to it as ‘cluck’!

A little ray of sunshine

One of her favourite things to do is chase the wildlife living in the garden – that is, when she isn’t playing with her extensive collection of toys. She adores her little stuffed bear, which she’s had since she was tiny. Chloe also loves to snuggle, so every night at around 7pm, she’ll sit and nudge her blanket until you move it onto the sofa for her to cosy up under!

I couldn’t imagine my life without my beautiful dog – she is truly a little ray of sunshine and joy. Even though she’s nearly nine years old now, she’s still a lively little puppy at heart.


Meet Belle

Little Belle hasn’t just been a friend to owner Faye, she’s opened up her entire world

I rescued Belle two years ago after losing my previous dog Obi. I’d suffered terrible mental health and PTSD around the same time and would wake up in the night with terrible panic attacks, but Belle has filled a very big hole in my life with the love she shows.

She really is a joy in my life and always keeps a smile on my face

With her love, loyalty and companionship, I started to get on the road to recovery. I would attend regular therapy and, with the comfort of knowing Belle was waiting for me at home, I saw the next few years through. My confidence has grown, the attacks have stopped, and I am back in a full-time job.

She makes me laugh so very much with her funny little noises and habits. She also loves to grunt like a pig when snuggled up and spins around and dances when it’s time for food. She really is a joy in my life and always keeps a smile on my face.

Meet Wolfgang

Ever since settling in with owner Kerri, Wolfgang hasn’t let blindness stop him living life to the fullest

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.

Meet Piper

Ever since rescuing Piper, life’s been all fun and games for owner Samantha and family

We rescued Piper from Bosnia. It took months of stress and heartache to get her and we really thought she was never going to get here.

Since she arrived the day before my birthday (perhaps that was fate) she has brought so much joy into our lives. She's so much fun, so cheeky and compassionate. We could never imagine life without her.

She's too clever for her own good, or ours more to the point!

She's too clever for her own good, or ours more to the point! She's learnt so much since she has been with us. She didn't know how to sit, but now she can sit pretty, as well as roll over and play dead. The list goes on and she absolutely loves training and learning.

"Find it" is her favourite game. Well, almost. I think her real favourite is playing victim and being chased around the house. We always know when she wants to play this – we get a slap from both paws on the backside, then it's game on. I may be very biased, but she's the most amazing puppy in the world!

Meet Rhian and William

Rhian and his family fell for William as soon as they saw him, and now he makes the perfect addition to their happy family.

We visited Llys Nini RSPCA rescue centre back in the Summer holidays, and instantly fell in love with William the Corgi. We’re told that William and his brother Harry had been found wandering the streets of Swansea. He was extremely unkempt and malnourished.

He is thriving!

After lots of socialisation visits, William finally came to his forever home a few weeks later. As you can see, he is thriving! He’s now a healthy, happy little dog and entertains us every day. As we live near lots of beaches, he enjoys long beach walks (although he’s yet to get his paws wet in the sea!) and cosy evenings in front of the fire.

My daughter was diagnosed with a chronic condition in May and William never fails to cheer her up on her down days. They are the best of friends. William really is the best dog ever.


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