My dog gave me my life back. I suffer from Anxiety and Depression and a few years ago, I couldn't speak and didn’t leave the house. My dad found an opportunity to train dogs for a charity, so I plucked up the courage and applied. A few months later a little eight-week-old Golden Retriever called Thelma came into our lives. She was a cute, golden ball of fluff who quickly melted our hearts. She is the best thing to ever happen to me.
Made our lives so much better!
Her smiley face and silly ways have brought us all so much joy. She alerts me when I'm having an anxiety attack by nudging me and giving me a cuddle, which really calms me down. This has helped me to leave the house on my own and find my voice again, because when I’m with her people don’t want to talk to me – it’s Thelma they’re interested in!
Thelma is the most happy, caring and loving dog you will ever meet, and she’ll always give you lots of kisses! She loves eating (who doesn't?) and helping people. She can pick things up for me, put things in the washer and out again and even does the dusting.
Everyone that meets her agrees she’s an amazing dog. Without her, I wouldn’t have a job or be where I am in life today. She’s changed my whole world and I couldn’t be without her.
Milly is so loving and friendly. I suffer with depression and she seems to know when I’m not feeling good and will come and put her head on my lap. She is also a real hero because she has donated blood to the pet blood bank on a regular basis since she was two years old – in September just gone she made her 16th donation!
She has donated blood since she was two
She loves holidays by the beach with her other half, Daisy, and she has lots of friends that come to our house for play days. She acts all brave when she thinks she has to, but in reality, she’s a big sissy and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Milly always greets people with one of her toys, although she does do a submissive wee wee at the same time, so I have to tell them to watch their feet! She also loves to swim in any water she comes across on our walks and likes to get very muddy, running through all the puddles.
Fynn is our sailing buddy. As a Labrador, he delights in all forms of water!
He splashes through the waves
Since he was a puppy he has come on board with us on our dinghy, and has always enjoyed every moment of it. We love his company as he splashes through the waves, trying his hardest to catch flotsam and jetsam and make other water users smile.
His company is somewhat less enjoyable in our canoe due to his excited dashes from side to side in order to look over into the water. He is indeed a water dog through and through, and a sail would not be the same without him!
Gracie is a lovely Golden Retriever, who lives with her daughter Sophie. Sophie turned two years old on the first of December, but she didn't take much notice of her birthday celebrations. She was much more interested in chasing the pheasants that roam across the fields near our house – they make a wonderful chucking sound when they leave the ground, and Gracie loves nothing more than to watch her run after them.
Dogs are an example to us all
On one occasion, the pair of them decided to chase after a herd of about 50 deer. Of course, they never manage to catch anything, but it is quite entertaining to watch them try!
Dogs are an example to us all. While we moan and groan, dogs are always positive and happy to be here. In the morning, we have to have a cup of tea or coffee before we can get anything done – but dogs are up with a shake of their head and a wag of their tail, bright and happy whatever the weather and however early it is. We can learn so much from our four-legged best friends.
Denzil is a Morkie and we bought him from a registered kennel in Wales. His story is very special as he is the only dog to survive severe GME (Meningitis). He has had a research paper done on him by Liverpool University, veterinary hospital.
Problems started just after his first booster at our vets. We thought he was just having a reaction to his injections, then a few days after finishing his medication, he collapsed in our garden! We took him to our vet straight away and luckily one of the vets was from Germany and said that she thought it could be meningitis. They referred us to Liverpool university Wraith animal hospital.
His story is very special
What ensued was 18 months of IV treatment, 32 tablets a day and five 10-hour chemotherapy sessions. I researched the best foods to give him, and I also used aromatherapy massage to help ease the muscles in his spine and he started to respond. Finally, at nearly 3 years old he was given the all clear! Denzil now has his own Facebook page to raise awareness of this terrible disease and to encourage vets to refer immediately.
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.