I was off work after being diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression and had been thinking about getting a dog for a while. We decided it would provide me with a focus, and since I would be at home, I’d have the time to help with the house training.
My husband, sister in law and I went to the breeders. She had a room of six-week-old puppies. As we talked, her 'house' dogs and a three-month-old pup wandered into the room. She was the runt of the previous litter, and the breeder had kept her back to build her up, but the arrival of the new puppies meant no one wanted her. Well, I did!
You couldn’t get a playing card between us
We took her home and named her Whiskey. From the very first day she was 'my' dog. She slept next to me, snuggled with me on the sofa (you couldn't get a playing card between us) and followed me everywhere.
I have since returned to work, but she is still my security blanket, my treasure and my dog. When I’m at work she stays with my husband, but I’m still her favourite. In a household of men, we stick together!
This past year and a half have been quite hard on me and my mum, as we have lost a lot of family members due to a number of reasons, even our beloved dog Ceaser. Things were very bad, and for the first time I felt depressed and tired of life. But then we brought our beloved puppy, Julio the German shepherd, into our lives, and slowly but surely things changed for the better.
He has been a blessing to us
He helped me make new friends on all of our walks. Ok – he does drag me along rather than walk with me, but even that helps as it’s a great workout and cheers us all up! He has a lot of energy in him, and even though that can tire me out at times, it keeps me on my toes and helps me stay motivated.
He loves my 14-year-old son, and he loves him too and has learnt a sense of responsibility thanks to Julio. In short, he has been a blessing to us – although, our sofa definitely does not feel the same way, as he’s chewed it all up!
I think it's important to start by saying I wasn't convinced about getting a dog. I had never had one before and was concerned about the commitment. I knew that if we had one, it would be our responsibility to meet all their needs and give them an amazing life, and that isn’t always easy. My wife, however, was sold on the idea, so I went along!
As it turns out, she was completely right – getting a dog was 100% the right decision for us. We found gorgeous Hope, a Border Collie working dog who hadn't quite made the grade on the farm. It didn’t take her long to become part of the family. The moment she saw all her new toys and comfy bed, she was instantly settled.
She tries to herd us around the house
I think she still has some of her old farm habits, because sometimes she tries to herd us around the house. If me and my wife are in separate rooms, she’ll flit between us until we’re all in the same place. She just wants our little family to be cuddled up together, which is why you'll normally find her sitting in-between me and my wife on the sofa.
She always greets me at the door when I finish work, even in the early hours. Hope has completed our family and I wouldn't change anything in the world about her.
We got Winnie as a companion for our autistic son. She was due to come home to us the week of the first lock down, and sadly the process ended up being delayed. We felt so sorry for her as it meant had to stay at the shelter for a little while longer. But, we kept our hopes up and as soon as the restrictions eased, we were told we could come and collect her.
We’re always here to protect her
At first, she was extremely shy and wouldn’t come near us, but we gave her space and over time she stared to realise just how much we love her. We’ve had to build up her confidence bit by bit and show her the joys of the big wide world – but also reassure her that we’re always here to protect her.
Winnie is now a loved member of our family, and is not only a true friend to our son Jake, but also a pal to our other pets. Jake loves her so much, and she’s been a huge help to him throughout these uncertain times.
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.
Bobby Dog came to us from Romania back in 2016. He was nervous but trusting, and he soon settled into our mad house.
He is very caring and loves us all!
He is so loving and funny, and he’s brought a lot of laughter into our lives. He is very caring, and he loves us all, but he has a particularly special bond with his Man Cub, (my son) Harvey. The two of them are best buds!
Bobby Dog always comes on adventures with us and enjoys life to the full.