I have two dogs – Teddy is almost two and George is just six months old. They’re still puppies, but in truth, they’ll always be my babies. I’ve not had my dogs very long and yet I can’t imagine my life without them. I never thought two fluffy little boys would make such a huge impact on me.
Animal lovers get it. We understand that pets are part of the family and that they hold special places in our hearts.
Growing up, we always had dogs. My family work with dogs, and we’re all massive fans of the barking species. I grew up knowing the love an animal can give, so once I was settled with my partner we decided (after a bit of convincing from my side) to get our own little canine.
A girl’s best friend
Being chronically ill and spending the majority of my days at home, I wanted a companion. A best friend that didn’t mind if I couldn’t go out a lot and who would spend days in bed with me when I wasn’t feeling great.
What I didn’t realise was how astute Teddy, my red cockapoo, would turn out to be. From just three months old he would be able to read me and my conditions like a book. As soon as we brought him home we bonded and he recognised that I wasn’t able to do all the things my boyfriend could. I couldn’t play for as long, I couldn’t play tug or catch, and I certainly couldn’t keep getting up and down.
He quickly learnt my limits and didn’t push them, and still doesn’t.
When he was four months old I had a fall in the house. My boyfriend was in another room with music playing and couldn’t hear me calling for his help. Teddy ran to the room my boyfriend was in, and scratched and barked frantically at the door, before coming back to check on me, then back to the door to continue the scratching and barking until my boyfriend heard him and swiftly followed Ted to me.
The month after that I dislocated my shoulder and had to spend the day in bed recuperating. Teddy lay with me, licking my shoulder and refusing to leave my side. It was as if he was nursing me better.
He’s done so many little things like this when I have injured myself and I can’t quite believe how perceptive he is. He picks up on when I’m feeling anxious and stays close by my side during these times. When I am flaring, he will gladly spend days in bed with me.