My lovely Teddy has been the best possible medicine for me over the Covid-19 crisis. I work as a complex care nurse, and he helps me to unwind after a busy and stressful shift. There’s nothing better than being greeted at the door by my big, happy, soft boy.
His happiness is contagious
We like to go out as soon as I get home from work and walk in the local valley, Teddy chasing the squirrels and splashing about it the local stream. His happiness is contagious and I can soon feel the stress of the day leaving my body.
Teddy is true to his name, he is so soft and gentle. He loves to play with all the dogs in our local park and is a bit of a local star in our village, everyone knows him (my husband and myself, don’t get a look in!).
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.
Since Graham has come into my life, he’s inspired me to get out and explore new places, as well as meet new people. I have never been a confident or particularly sociable person but having Graham by my side helps me to feel better and there isn’t anywhere I would go without him!
He’s come with me on a seven-mile-hike around the Peak District, travelled up to my hometown of Sheffield and even comes with me into cafes. Having him has pushed my partner and I to hire a camper van and travel around the Scottish Highlands. It’s always been a dream of mine, and now it’s even more special because he can come along with us!
Helps me to feel better
Graham is a very loving dog and is everyone’s best friend, even if he’s just met them. He is always up for a cuddle and loves giving people a ‘hug’ (where he puts his paw over your arm). I think meeting new people is one of his favourite things, along with food! He loves all food and will shamelessly do tricks for you in an attempt to get some – I haven’t found anything he won’t eat yet, even lettuce!
He’s also a pro at posing for the camera. Because of him photography is now a new hobby of mine, and of course he’s my favourite thing to take photos of. He is such a special dog and I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without him.
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.
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.
Sasha is my side-kick, my plus one, my absolute everything. I have grown up with Spaniels all my life, but when I lost my last boy Louis, I didn’t think I’d be able to ever get another one. Then, along came Sasha and she stole my heart from the moment I met her.
She stole my heart
She is the most sociable, friendly, loving dog I have ever known. It’s been just the two of us through lockdown and she has got me through it, getting me out and about on our walks every day and spending time in the garden with me.
Everyone needs a Sasha in their life.