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How has your dog helped you? Share with Sleepeezee - £300 voucher and dog bed to be won

(223 Posts)
YanaGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 23-Aug-19 13:45:17

Sleepeezee have recently released personalised dog beds, and to celebrate International Dog Day on the 26th August and dogs all year round, they’d like to hear about the ways your dogs have helped you.

Here’s what Sleepeezee has to say: “British bed manufacturer Sleepeezee is proud to launch a collection of dog beds, in partnership with Battersea Dogs Home, which offer your companion a great sleep. Two distinct styles are available in a selection of sizes and colours, all of which can be personalised with your dogs name on.”

Perhaps the need to get out and walk your dog each day has helped you feel fitter and stronger? Have you learned any important lessons from your dog? Maybe being greeted by your dog’s smiling face and wagging tail at the end of a tough day helps you deal with stress?

However your dog has helped you, share on the thread below and you’ll be entered into a prize draw where one GNer will win a £300 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list) and a Sleepeezee dog bed.

Thanks and good luck!


Insight Terms and Conditions apply

NanaandGrampy Fri 23-Aug-19 18:54:42

Our house is definitely better with a dog in it.

We have had dogs almost all our married lives and now in retirement we have the perfect dog for us. He's gentle, loving and happy to be dressed up by the grandchildren but more importantly , he gives Grampy a reason to get out for a long walk every day.

When the vet recently mentioned gently that Sam was looking a bit' portly' it spurred both Sam and Grampy on to take more exercise ( and lose weight !) Now Grampy is 4 stone lighter, Sam is at the perfect weight for his breed and our house is very much a home !

mumofmadboys Fri 23-Aug-19 19:33:16

We have recently lost our much loved dog. She was nearly16. It was great taking her out for walks- it kept us fit, gave me thinking time and helped me appreciate the beautiful countryside.

amberdogxK9 Fri 23-Aug-19 20:31:03

My dog is a rescue from Spain - he suffered a great deal as a puppy of just four months old after being left for dead with broken bones , cruelly docked tail and ear lugs scissored off . He was lucky to be rescued and healed by two amazing young Mums and their families and other pets ....... before coming to me after viewing photos at 9 months old . The following year I took him back to visit his rescuers and stayed for 6 weeks . A big adventure for me - before taking care of GS then aged two . That little dog is full of joy for living and is well adjusted and loving . He is my shadow, constant companion and my best pal . He keeps me walking up hill and down dale - and his utter delight at the simple things in life is a daily lesson to me to appreciate each day - to enjoy each moment and leave the past behind where it belongs . My mental and physical health have improved- there’s nothing that a walk with my dog can’t help with . So thank you my Earless Tailless Andalusian chorizo Hound . Aka Rufus Vincent Cobo Corbera (the mongrel )

mosaicwarts Fri 23-Aug-19 20:50:20

I love my shetland sheepdog, and he loves me. Since my husband died he's been my alarm clock, my daily exercise motivation, my confidante, and lastly, my burgular alarm. I'd be lost without him.

Cherrytree59 Fri 23-Aug-19 21:23:06

We sadly lost our dog, a lovely staffie cross when she developed a tumour. sad

She was an unexpected surprise.
My DD had a holiday job at a kennels and had fallen in love with a little dog who had been placed in kennels by a couple who were divorcing and were having a lengthy argument who would or would not have custody .
After months of this neither one of the couple claimed her back, so my DD who had been taking dog treats and blankets out of her own money for the poor dog asked if we could have her.

I will never forget the day I went to pick up my DD and 4nd our new family member.
I opened the car door and she flew in.
She was an absolute joy from the moment on. (12yrs)

No welcoming bark or lick when we turn the lock in the door just silence.

If we were lucky enough to win the lovely new dog bed, it would be a subtle hint that it is time for the pitter patter of 4 little paws.🐕

Charleygirl5 Fri 23-Aug-19 21:27:22

I do not have a dog but I have a cat and she is so intelligent and loving. She had two dreadful homes before she came to me aged 2 years.

Last year she was in a cattery because I had a knee replacement. When we were both home again, I had to go to the loo around 3 times each night. the minute I switched my light on and she heard me get out of bed using my crutches, she escorted me to the loo, waited outside the door and then walked me back to bed again. She returned to her bed in another room when she knew I had switched off my light.

A few weeks later she decided I could cope on my own and stayed in her bed. She is a lovely friend.

Grannyknot Fri 23-Aug-19 21:40:41

What lovely pet stories. We were in Yorkshire recently and stopped at a pub where there was a sign outside that read The best therapist has fur and four legs. I tend to agree.

When my son became really unwell due to stress in his final year at University, our Labrador who had been with our children since they were all mere pups, literally did not leave his side. She knew something was wrong. She accompanied him everywhere without even being on a lead, like some kind of Guardian Angel, sitting quietly waiting when he went walk-about. And continued to do this until he had recovered months later.

In doing this, she helped as much as any human carer would have or could have.

merlotgran Fri 23-Aug-19 22:02:07

We have two Jack Russells but the older one, Millie is on borrowed time. She was diagnosed with a tumour last April and was not expected to live for more than a few weeks. This was at the same time our daughter was diagnosed with a rare cancer that was soon to claim her life.

Throughout that terrible time, Millie was my comfort and loyal companion and thankfully she is responding well to treatment. Her tail never stops wagging. We have been warned. however. we are in a one way street so every day with her is precious.

Her daughter Peggy entertains us with her hilarious antics and keeps us on our toes. Her intelligence and perception comes in very handy, especially when she alerts me to the fact my text bleep has gone off and I haven't heard it.

The positive effects of having a dog in our lives cannot be understated. Unconditional love is a gift.

pinkjj27 Fri 23-Aug-19 22:34:50

My husband was a dog lover we had dogs when we were younger but when the kids left and we were both working long hours we decided to wait to get another one until we retired. Then my husband was diagnosed with cancer, he said” I am sad I will never get a dog” so I encouraged him to get one.
Even though a dog is a big responsibility and hard work I am so glad we did it. He went to the rescue centre and picked out a staffy ( not the little dog I had expected) It was love at first site on both their parts.
Even though some days DH was too ill to walk him they shared many happy times together . My DH had been given a matter of weeks yet I cared for him for 2 more years and I am sure having a dog per longed his life. He was getting out and walking the dog, running about in the garden with it and just caring for it and I think it helped him live a bit loger.
The dog seemed to know my DH was ill and would sometimes just refuse to leave his side. When I lost my DH the dog just put his head in my lap comforting me. My husband has been gone almost four years now I work long hours as a lecturer I felt it was unfair on the dog so he went to live with my daughter and her five kids he seems so much happier being a family dog he is always very excited to see me though.

BradfordLass72 Sat 24-Aug-19 01:31:09

I'm not eligible for the competition but I love dogs and wish I could have another but where I live now, it is not allowed.
I could have a cat but I am not a cat person at all.

Just seeing a dog, even a picture, softens something inside me and I adore friend's dogs.

There is something very special about the soul of a dog which is usually loving and giving.
They don't pretend to like you, or miss you when you're away, they genuinely do and their greeting when you come back is sincere, never manipulative.

They are perceptive and clever, full of intelligence and even have a great sense of humour in some cases.

Reading about the many achievements of dogs, from
those which sniff out land mines, to those which can detect cancer, tells you just what special creatures they are.

Nanabanana1 Sat 24-Aug-19 07:59:23

I got my dog after losing my husband, wasn’t going to but my son persuaded me to. I am so glad I did, he’s my constant companion and his love has helped me through the grief of losing my husband and my daughter 18 months later, he is a gentle soul and much loved by all the family.

Molly10 Sat 24-Aug-19 09:34:39

You can't beat a dog for getting your lazy bum of the seat and getting outside for some exercise in all weathers. And boy don't you feel better after it with a hot cup of something and changed out of your wet clothes relaxing back in that chair.
Dogs are great for kids and teach them loads. A shy timid child will come on loads with their best friend at their side. Woof!

notoveryet Sat 24-Aug-19 11:41:09

I was widowed six months ago. My dogs have been my lifelines. I had to get out of bed when I could easily have stayed with the duvet over my head, they are big dogs so I have to walk for a couple of hours a day with them.They mean I never walk into an empty house, they're always happy to see me. The collie was a rescue dog, had an awful start in life but these past few months it's been him rescuing me!

glammanana Sat 24-Aug-19 13:30:28

We have always been a household of dogs from when the children where babies.
Over the years we have fostered many some for a few days if owners are poorly or for longer periods if they needed rehoming (some obviously stayed) and there is always one that tug's on your heart strings isn't there.
She came in the form of Rosie the black lab who was 3yrs old when the knock on the door came from the charity and in she came straight towards my OH and pushed her nose under his hand wanting petting,she stayed next to him all night until we went to bed.
Never a murmer from her she followed OH everywhere,went in the car with him,waited for him to come home from work and was his shadow for the next 13yrs OH was heartbroken when she went the whole family devastated we miss her to this day but have gone on to rescue many more at present we have Poppy who was found in a flat with her owner who had died 5 days previous she has been with us 6yrs now and rules the roost,having dogs over the years has taught my DCs & DGCs respect for all animals and over the years we have fostered or rehomed more than 18dogs none have ever had to be put to sleep because of bad behaviour all have been a joy to look after.

midgey Sat 24-Aug-19 14:13:07

My dog has driven me demented but kept me sane!

lemongrove Sat 24-Aug-19 15:16:51

It’s a long time since I had a dog, but a few years ago I started helping an elderly neighbour by walking her dog,a standard poodle, which I did think might be too much for me,I had visions of him taking me for a walk instead!
However he’s a very gentle old boy and our walks around the village are really enjoyable.Being fairly new to the village I hardly knew anyone, but thanks to Abercrombie ( ! ) I met so many people as everyone knew him ( he’s like a slim curly black bear) and they all stopped to talk to me.A dog is a wonderful ice breaker with strangers.

Tillybelle Sat 24-Aug-19 15:21:53

Maisy said she was "scared that he was going to kick her for weeing and she was only 8 weeks old but the Breeder couldn't give the money back and she had to be found another home immediately!" That is what Maisy said anyway. I drove down the M1 and returned with a little black fuzzy thing about the size of a tennis ball, with spiky hair sticking out all over and distinctive bits of long hair sticking up like rushes out of her huge pointed ears. They said she was a Schnoodle. There's no poodle in her, I assure you! Plenty of terrier. Now an adult, about as tall as my hand-span and only that because she has long legs which look like stalks. She is the bossiest dog I have ever had. She and her first offspring, demonstrate that they simply adore me and Maisy wags her whole body and sneaks with delight if I simply look out her. We are inseparable.

A phone call: My two incredible miniature poodles who had kept me from going under after a terrible bereavement, had died, just after Maisy had sent out her SOS. The phone call said:
"This may be too soon. But we've been given one of our poodles back in a state. She's a toy poodle, about four. She had a good home but we don't know what happened. She's been starved and hasn't any fur. She needs a lady owner who's in all day. We immediately thought you'd be perfect."

Poppy looked nothing like a poodle. Nothing like a dog. She looked like creased grey tissue paper bag wrapped round a carcass. Her eyes looked at me, more heart-breaking than I have ever seen. I took her and she nestled so closely to me that I could not see her by looking down.

Over the months, with a special diet and more food additives, she regrew her fur, and started to walk around behind me. She remained terrified of others and stayed hiding from them. The first time she barked, a year later, I cried. Then she came to me with the others when I called them to get treats and she began a little circling dance! I guessed she might have been taught this. Now, 4 years later, she barks, sings, tussles the others and is very much a poodle. Filled with Poodle bossy confidence she is an important part of the little pack.

Pancho was half the size of his five Chihuahua brothers and sisters who were getting mum's milk with gusto and pushing him out. His breeder was in depression and her family scared that, should he die, "she might just be too upset - you know?". She said he was "laid back". Actually he had given up. He needed feeding round the clock. He was as small as a mouse. Using a small banana shaped feeding bottle three times his length, which the Vet gave me, I tried to persuade him to suck. He spat out the nipple and instead became a soggy puppy-milk-bathed little "just like the cat brought in" creature. I was so scared I was making him cold and hastening his demise. The Vet had said, as he grows, add the milk to wet puppy food and let him try soup. In desperation on that first day, I added a small amount of milk to some puppy food, scooped it on my finger and began to hover my finger towards his pathetic little 5 week old soggy, furry head. With my finger about a centimetre from his tiny mouth, he suddenly gave a huge "shlrup" and all of the brown dollop went into his little frame. No coughing, no gagging, no chocking... I did it again... and again... I only stopped for fear of his getting tummy ache.

Two months later, I was still trying to persuade him that there are other ways to eat than being personally finger-fed by your devoted slave Hu-mum.
Pancho is named after Pancho Gonzales, the first to be filmed, Fighter for the rights of Mexican Peasants, who used to phone the US film Companies to say where when the next battle would start (it had to be when the sun was up - no lighting for films then - early days!)

He and Maisy immediately hit it off and played together with great joy. Maisy did make sure he knew she was in charge but Pancho didn't notice that. He actually has his own unique style and approach to life. He does what he likes.
Well, mine and Maisy's Pancho, may have looked the size of two very fluffy tennis balls, and the Vet might not have been able to find his balls, being that they were smaller than pin-heads early on... but before he was one year old, in one department he proved to be very advanced.

Maisy's babies, which the Vet said would be no more than 3, probably 2, arrived just before Pancho's 1st birthday. All five! Only two eventually took after Maisy in spiky hair-dos. The rest are, as children keep telling me, "so cute!" with silky long wavy fur.

Maisy had kept me up all night insisting I stroked her tummy. All night.

The first to arrive was in such a tight birth sack even Maisy's teeth couldn't penetrate it and neither could my special scissors, until I used my finger nail... out slid a large-walnut sized little black thing... I rubbed her sides hard with a face cloth, while over the phone the Vet said, "rub harder than you think you should"... Then she squiggled and turned! I put her to Maisy's tummy where the second puppy was already latched on and drinking. Maisy was busy producing number three of the five.

When the puppies were 6 weeks old I came in to the room to see Maisy curled up outside the puppy-pen making terrible little grunting noises. She had jumped over the puppy pen and caught her back mammary gland on the top of the pen (which had poking up bits - stupidly).

She was in agony and seemed to be dying. I rushed to the Vet in numbness. For a week Maisy spent all day at the Vets' coming home to sleep in my bed at night. Then Maisy's mammary gland died. The area, much larger than a 50p coin (and this is one of the smallest dogs) became black, necrotic. The Vets cut off the necrotic material. A huge red exposed area of Maisy's tummy was left with no skin and no skin to cover it. Only one option lay ahead. It had to heal itself. Every few hours I had to bathe it in saline. Maisy had antibiotics. Her puppies were taken to the homes of the Veterinary Nurses so they did not bother her. We waited.

During this time I decided that the little black puppy most like Maisy as far as you could tell was going to stay with me.

Then the first-born puppy showed sings of weakness when jumping up. I checked her. Yes, her right back leg seemed weaker. I would not let her go to anyone else in case they did not make allowances, she probably had a birth injury.

I continued to bathe Maisy as she squirmed around and I got soaked, and visit the puppies at the Vets'. Then Maisy was back in hospital again as she had become weak. I could hardly talk. Maisy was "that one dog" the Vet had said. He understood when I said "I know I shouldn't say this to you, but I can't tell you what Maisy is to me. She has literally saved me from going under. She is the very best friend I have ever had." He understood. He said "In life you get that one dog. The one who is part of you so much that they are you." He's such a lovely man! He understands me - like me he does not watch David Attenborough kind of animal films "in case any of them die or get abandoned." I cannot not even recover from an ordinary film about a Goat-Herder I saw years ago.

After 10 weeks of saline bathing, medication, and being so brave, Maisy's wound healed! She has a perfectly healed part of her body where the only clue is a missing nipple! It is hard to find a scar.

One day a man with whom I was at primary school came to my house. I was about three paces from him in my kitchen, he being through the door in the Dining room. Suddenly Snowdrop, the first-born, aged 3 months, began the loudest, most blood-curdling and piercing kind of whistling shrieks, such that I have never heard from a dog. I rushed to her saying "What happened? Did you see? What did you do?" He was right next to her, she was under the table absolutely terrified, shaking so much she was difficult to pick up. He walked very closely, slowly past me, smiling a kind of very pleased and satisfied smile. He did not say a word. I felt as if he were sneering at Snowdrop or me. He didn't answer any of my repeated questions "What happened? Did you see?" not even say "Is she alright?" He was pleased.

That night, he raped me.

Since that night, my little family of rescued dogs have truly rescued me. They have been my absolutely essential life-support. They sleep on the other side of my double bed. Well, more or less, as Snowdrop has an arrangement whereby she sleeps almost on my head. Without them I might not be alive today. We six are as one.

Tillybelle Sat 24-Aug-19 15:32:55

Speller! ugh! "sneaks" with delight? Nay! squeaks
obviously "sings of weakness are signs!

Tillybelle Sat 24-Aug-19 15:42:03

My deepest sympathies. To learn of a parent losing a child is something which leaves me without adequate words. I send my love to you, 💐🌈🦋

I also send much love to support you with Millie. It is my worst dread, knowing that one day it has to happen with my best friends. Thank God you have her daughter. I have experienced that the dogs I have had never leave me. I actually still cry for my Golden Retriever who only reached 8 years. But I know how lucky I was to have her. I don't know if you mind me saying God bless you, it's my way, some people have been put off anything about God which I do understand.

I do hope that blessings will come to you and you shall be comforted.
Love from Elle x

Annaram1 Sat 24-Aug-19 15:49:22

Lovely and sometimes sad stories here.

Oh Tillybelle!!! DO NOT CRITICISE!!! It is so off putting. As you say "Obviously..." it is obvious to the rest of us too, but we are polite enough not to comment. .

Minniemoo Sat 24-Aug-19 17:19:40

I live with chronic pain. It's a nightmare. However my little dog has been my saviour.

I put on my brave face for family and friends but my sweet little girl is always here for me. She'll lick away tears and nuzzle up when I'm feeling down.

My life saver

grannyactivist Sat 24-Aug-19 22:50:23

Ours is a rescue dog in every sense: we rescued him and in return his presence has helped to save the sanity of a dearly loved family member.

Buffybee Sun 25-Aug-19 00:39:28

Annaram1, if you read Tillybelle's post, you would realise that she was correcting her own post.
Not criticizing anyone else.

mbody Sun 25-Aug-19 08:41:24

Dogs are patient and kind mostly which always helps everyone they come into contact with

quizqueen Sun 25-Aug-19 10:21:33

All animals are great company especially if you live alone. dogs especially as they force you to get out of the house to take them for a walk so you get exercise yourself. I have only owned one much loved dog, a stray who adopted me, but regularly look after my daughter's dog when she goes away several times a year. She also brings him over whenever she visits too.

Tillybelle Sun 25-Aug-19 10:34:34

Annaram1. It's OK! I was correcting my own mistakes in my above letter! I'd never say anything about any other person!! So please don't worry!

Tillybelle Sun 25-Aug-19 10:35:47

Buffybee. Thanks.

Tillybelle Sun 25-Aug-19 10:38:47

Minniemoo. I'm sorry to hear of your chronic pain. I have it too. Like you, without my dogs my life would not be very difficult, indeed they are my life-savers.

I do hope you get some good spells and times of relief.

Bless you! Take care. Much love, Elle 💐

busybee6969 Sun 25-Aug-19 12:22:39

have depression and stress quite bad but a lovely cuddle in the morning from my little yorkie/poo TEDDY gives me a reason to get out of bed on our walks we meet other dog owners and stop for a chat so its a win win plus i get fitter great prize fingers crossed i win

bindydog Sun 25-Aug-19 14:03:36

I cracked three vertebrae last year and in complete agony through out the day. As l live on my own, l did'nt have any one to help me get up. l would have just lain there all day if it had'nt been for my Westie. She would nudge me, softly bite and lick my hands, talking until l got up, which sometimes took forever. Bless her.

Rachel711 Sun 25-Aug-19 16:48:44

We had two dogs until last week, now only one, a Jack Russell. Our other dog Sasha was huge and fluffy. She loved going for walks which was helpful to me - my GP said I was prediabetic and more exercise would be helpful. Sacha was really good at motivating me, and she was so huge and fluffy she was comforting to hug if I felt a bit sorry for myself. Sadly she suddenly collapsed and died after a walk. I called the vet but Sasha died before the vet could get there. She suggested that Sasha had suffered from an extreme allergic reaction.
We've still got Jilly though, the Jack Russell. She has such a strong personality, and shining intelligent eyes. You can tell she has complex thoughts, even if they are about looking for rodents and trying to see other dogs off. She is a very cheering influence on me, and a real friend.

Willynilly Mon 26-Aug-19 10:22:10

We may shout at him when he gets under our feet, or when he buries yet another one of his toys in my flower bed, but when you see a 2 year old grandchild's face as she strokes his velvety ears, when he sits then rolls over on her command, and when you hear her say to him "You're my bestest friend" as she snuggles into his scruffy neck, then you know you couldn't be without a dog. He brings so much to all the family.

Goldnotold Mon 26-Aug-19 10:29:36

I found my best friend at a dog rescue centre 7 years ago. He has been a fantastic companion and helped me through so many ups and downs in life and difficult patches. He gives me unconditional love when I need picking up which is worth its weight in gold to me.

Due to his past, he has always had many problems. He is a very complicated character to understand. He has had previous owners and is very insecure and follows me everywhere. I have learned great tolerance and patience and have been determined to be his saviour despite his behaviour problems, fear of all sorts of things from noises to desperate separation anxiety so I rarely leave him. We have become joined at the hip and everything I do has to be Dog friendly. I believed in my dog when I think others would have lost patience as he has been a struggle to manage, but I have learned to see past all that.

My dog has repaid my devotion to him and is such a faithful pet. He has helped me overcome sad times especially when my world fell apart after the death of my mother. He gave me a reason to get up and go out and face the day. My dog is a great friend who motivates me day by day to keep fit by going on walks and definately puts a spring in my step.

The love we give and receive from each other is so comforting for both of us. My dog rescued me and I rescued him.

I really recommend being a dog owner , dogs definately enrich your life. You can't beat a four legged friend.

Kittyme1 Mon 26-Aug-19 19:34:44

Love reading everyone's doggy tales. dogs make the perfect loyal companion, give their love unconditionally and are great at relieving stress. Sadly our dog is no longer with us, but I remember every day at 5:30 pm without fail he would jump on the sofa and look at of the window, eagerly waiting for me to come home from work. If I wasn't home on the dot he would start whining. We all miss him dearly.

bobble5366 Tue 27-Aug-19 09:09:15

When I lost my partner in 2013, I had a pain in my heart that no-one could mend, my dog was the only thing I would get out of bed for, he needed me. I walked him in a daze, in my own world, gradually because of walking him (I went a different route because I did not want to talk to someone on my 'regular' walk).
People talk to your dog and not you most of the time, which is want I wanted, he would stop at each dog, do the usual wag sniff and going around in circles - tangling leads in the process - it was almost as if he wanted me to stop and talk to the owner - which I did start to do. One of the owners whose leads got entwined, had just lost her partner too. We gradually have become great friends, as have our dogs. We went on a cruise together this May. Without my dog, I would not have left the house, my mental and physical health would have suffered, and I would not have found a fabulous friendship.

Silvergran59 Tue 27-Aug-19 09:18:16

I have a 9 year old labradoodle, they have an amazing personality, don't shed and are very intuitive and highly intelligent. The labrador in him loves walks, the poodle in him means he understands a walk to the garden would be enough too. He sleeps in my bedroom in his bed. He makes me feel secure, and his duel personality means he won't bark (doodle side) but if anyone comes to the door, walks up the drive will bark (Lab side) means I can sleep. He is devoted to me and me him, and when he turns his face to understand the clues to the latest crossword I am doing, I am sure he is trying to help me answer. "Luna - name of a four legged pal ---- Ma_s b_st Frie__' . Thanks Luna I know the answer.

Audrie57 Tue 27-Aug-19 11:42:17

My son and his wife, went to the Dogs home, and picked out a beautiful Rottweiler, and he was just about 18mnths old, that was in May 2018. Sarah took him for a real good walk in the morning about 1.30 minutes to 2 hours, before she went to work. My son took him in the late afternoon for a good 2 hours, he had come from an abusive home, he was loved by the family and circle of friends, he would have probably licked a burglar. I was shocked as to how much he cost, as I had a couple of dogs from the pound,but to the them he is worth every penny, they got pet insurance for him, What did surprise me, was that the pound were unable to tell them if he was chipped, but a trip to the vets solved that problem, he was, . The exercise the dog got was great for the family as it keeps them fit and active, he had his fav walks, knew where the squirrels were, and loved the doggie field, you paid to hire the field with your dog, for 30 or 60 minutes, he loved it, he would race up and down, at all the space, throwing, balls for him and sticks, the canal walk was another favourite, as was the beach. Then 13 months down the line, he was looking very tired, and miserable, so a trip to the vets , nothing found, but he was not himself, and the family were quite concerned, blood was taken,a scrape of skin was took, everything come back fine. Them a lump was found, on one side of his neck, and one the other side, neither where there before, so he was booked into the vets again, and the the vet found 4 more so that was 6 all in his lymph nodes, so he was left with the vet to do tests, and he had Cancer one of the most aggressive forms. Sadly he has gone, and I have never seen anyone so distraught in all my life, The family had from the pound, and got him away from any abusiveness, they couldn't have loved him anymore than they did. I felt useless,as I couldn't make them feel any better, I couldn't take their pain away. They were going on holiday in September and doggie was going to. What can you say, not a lot. I think its surely took the wind out of them. So for a beautiful softie to go through what he did, and then get a new home, where he was loved and pampered, the weekends, were special, he could have walked for England, he loved been out and about. So that was the effect the dog had on familylife, it does change when you get a dog,but when some thing happens, its so so sad, he was about 3 year old, a very young dog, which you wouldn't expect.

lillyofthevalley Tue 27-Aug-19 13:38:51

the need to get out and walk your dog each day has helped you feel fitter and stronger?

Yes, and it has given me structure in my life, morning walk. mid day walk and tea time walk, short or long (depending on the weather) When I meet a fellow dog walker for a hello or a brief chat it our walks mean we meet regularly. It has helped me feel younger, fitter, and when I don't want to go out, when I come back I'm glad I did.

Have you learned any important lessons from your dog?

Yes be happy - as long as you have your health, food in in the pantry and a home - is that all you need ? any extras are dispensable.

Maybe being greeted by your dog’s smiling face and wagging tail at the end of a tough day helps you deal with stress?

When ever I come home from my part time job, or have been to the shops, when I come in the door, I can hear him rushing down the stairs, face lit up. and greeting me with wags and kisses as if I have been gone a week.

My best friend.

montydoo Tue 27-Aug-19 14:24:31

I have 2 dogs, brothers, who were rescue dogs, Starsky and Hutch, we got them a 2 years old, and they are both now 12. They get me out of the house, and they make me meet and speak to people, who stop me to ask 'are they related ?' Sometimes my depression leads me to dark places, and I often do not want to get dressed and go out, but my inner voice is saying 'just try'.
They both sleep on my bed, and make me smile when one is having a dream and running and 'inside barking' in their sleep.
I make their food once a week, and know what's in it and how healthy they are - white teeth, glossy coats and wet noses.

They keep me positive - as they had the worst start in life, but the happiest 'forever home'.

GeminiJen Tue 27-Aug-19 15:38:54

There are some lovely, heartwarming stories here. As others have already said, it's their unconditional love that makes dogs so special.
When our children were growing up, there was always a dog in our lives, all rescues, all great characters.
One in particular, JD, had a particularly rough start in life. Part Bernese mountain dog, part labrador, part ?...he had been beaten around the head as a pup, then abandoned in a bin. He needed two operations in his first month with us and a lot of love and patience. He and my daughter bonded immediately...She says it was love at first sight grin and were inseparable. Once, when she was quite ill and confined to bed, he sat beside her, refusing to eat or move from her side until she eventually opened her eyes. Seeing them together was a joy. Shy as a child, she took on responsibility for his day to day care and training and, as a result, grew in self confidence herself.
Although work and health issues have prevented me from having a dog myself for a few years now, just reading this thread has made me realize that I'm ready for another visit to the rescue centre smile

Buddy2010 Tue 27-Aug-19 21:04:49

I have always had a pet dog, my children were raised with dogs and the joy are dogs have brought us is immense. My eldest son has Down's syndrome , he has always adored our pet dogs , he signs his name with the dogs name as his second name. He lives with friends but phones the dog daily and when he comes home to stay it's the dog I'm sure is the main attraction ! My grandchildren who do not have pets enjoy our dog and treat him as their own pet gaining beaver badges by looking after him. Dogs are an important member of our family and I cannot imagine life without out our Buddy

janney3 Wed 28-Aug-19 01:18:57

Our rescue dog has helped the whole family to be -
More active
Think of others needs, not just yourself
We love having a dog and feel a dog makes a home.

Shalene777 Wed 28-Aug-19 10:57:47

We have been rescuing dogs for almost 20 years. The last 2 that we got were brother and sister and inseparable, the brother passed away 2 years ago but Evie is going strong and an absolute delight (as they all have been). My husband works away 3 nights a week and I didn’t realise it but the dogs have been my reason to get up and get on with things, they give me purpose because they need me.

littleflo Thu 29-Aug-19 08:31:58

I had to wait 70 years for a dog of my own. The plan was to have a dog as soon as I retired. I had to take early retirement to look after 3 elderly relatives. This lasted over 10 years and the stress of caring for them ruined my health, and left me very depressed. Six months after their last one died I started the journey for looking for a rescue dog.

What happened next was a sort of a miracle. It was early November and, as I wanted a terrier I looked on a website dedicated to this breed. I had a picture in my mind of the dog I wanted and there she was. She had not been in the Kennel long having been put there following the death of her young owner. She so fitted what I wanted that it was hard to believe she was the first and only dog I looked at. I could not take her until after Christmas as we had booked to go away. Athe kennel had a rule that you could not contact them until you were within a week of being able to take her. I watched her every day on the website and was terrified that when I finally made my application I would be rejected. On Boxing Day, my son took me to collect her.

The miracle did not stop there. Someone posted about whether they were too old to get a dog. I told her my story and posted a picture, I was then contacted by another poster who knew the dog. We were able to exchange texts and videos of her. It was amazing that the children of the family who had the dog since she was a pup, were able to see her in a loving home.

As for me, both my physical and mental health has improved. She is my shadow, we have a very deep bond, she really is my little miracle. We are lucky to have lived near a Forest for 40 years. We love to walk there and always said how great it would be to dog with us. As soon as we get into the Forest, her tail goes up and she hares around exploring. It has become her favourite walk as well as ours.

MissAdventure Thu 29-Aug-19 13:12:30

smile x

LizabethM Thu 29-Aug-19 14:21:45

A couple of years ago I was ill and in hospital. My son had just bought a new puppy and as he was working I had to go and look after him every day. He was the reason I got out of bed in the morning. When I needed a hand I found a paw.

littleflo Thu 29-Aug-19 19:00:54

@MissAdventure. 💐

susiesioux Fri 30-Aug-19 09:36:23

It’s my daughters dog actually. I suffer from depression and sometimes struggle to get up and go out. My daughters been busy and needed her 10 year old lurcher winehouse walking. I ha e to take her and it makes me get up. I never fail to come home with a smile on my face over something she’s done. I love her

Sued123 Fri 30-Aug-19 10:25:34

My dog possibly saved my life. Dorothy, a collie-cross, sadly now deceased, kept barking at the kitchen pedal bin one day, something she had never done before. On opening the bin, there was a small fire in progress which I was able to swiftly extinguish. I have a poor sense of smell so had not noticed any smell of burning.

Dorothy also acted as an unofficial hearing dog for the deaf - I am slightly hard of hearing and so whenever the phone rang, Dorothy would bark and lead me towards the phone.

She was a great dog and I miss her a lot.

wallers5 Fri 30-Aug-19 10:47:02

A rescue Labrador that failed becoming a shooting dog. Very nervous to start with but later a very sensitive caring dog to moods & family problems from losing a house to illness. She had a swim the day before she died & we miss her madly.

ayjay Fri 30-Aug-19 11:14:21

I suffer from long term severe depression and it was a hard decision to get a dog again - but she means I get out of the house several times a day, whatever the weather, people will talk to you when you have a dog and I now find speaking with people much easier, you can practice "mindfulness" when walking, you can benefit from being in green space . near trees etc. She also is a pleasure to be with and it is lovely having her snuggle in on a cold winter evening.

grandmaz Fri 30-Aug-19 12:02:40

My little mongrel Yoko has been a life saver for me...I had to have my lovely old boy Larry the Lurcher put to sleep in January 2018, after having had his sweet, gentle company for nearly fourteen years. I had always said that he would be my last dog - however after three months of not doing all the things I said I'd do when I didn't have responsibility for a pet, I caved in and found Yoko - the first time I've had a puppy for many, many years! She is such fun - she gets me out into the fresh air, keeps me company at home and makes me laugh if I'm feeling a bit lonely. Seeing that smiley little face looking up at me hopefully as she lobs various toys in my direction, is worth all the hard work that having a puppy has meant. Looking after her makes me get up, get out and get on with life! Love her to

GrAnne2 Fri 30-Aug-19 12:08:03

I have a real black dog (Dorcha, a 9 yr old Lab) who chases away my psychological ‘black dog’. She and her chocolate sister take me out walking twice a day, every day (no matter the weather), allowing me to appreciate nature, chat with neighbours and other walkers, clear my head and appreciate how fortunate I really am. My dogs have helped me through all sorts of difficult times, providing non-judgemental, unconditional love and support and the warmest welcome home at any time. Dogs should be available on prescription!

nipsmum Fri 30-Aug-19 12:13:14

I had dogs before, when the children were growing. I lost My lovely Springer Spaniel in 2001. Having retired in 2008 and plenty time on my hands when the grandchildren went to school i decided to look around for a small rescue dog. I had lived in this home for almost 10 years and not being a very sociable person I spoke to very few people in the course of any da.y In 2010 my daughter, after much research found Westie Rescue and I was given my gorgeous Westie, Tilly. She gets a walk 3 times each day, this has kept me fit, has given me a reason to get fresh air. ( the Beach is 1 Mile away) and we speak to so many people with dogs of all sizes and shapes and people without dogs too. That small dog has given me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and I have met so many lovely people and dog owners My life is different since she came and certainly not lonely any more.

Yolostela Fri 30-Aug-19 12:41:57

Our dog alerted us to someone in our back garden with her barking. We discovered that a rear window in our integral garage had been broken in a corner. Burglary aborted. Good dog 🐶😍👍

Yearoff Fri 30-Aug-19 12:50:57

My dog is my first ever. I got her when my hubby was diagnosed with young onset dementia at 57. She’s been an amazing companion for him giving him outside time without me hounding him! Sadly he went into specialist care 21 months ago and my pup has been my constant companion. She gets me up and out of the house everyday and what can I say about the dog walking community? Fabulous people. I’d be totally lost without Jura.

Carlos66 Fri 30-Aug-19 13:10:24

I suffer from panic disorder, migraines, diabetes along with a lot of other health problems. I have also recently been bereaved. My dogs Carlos my, fiesty chihuahua and my Milly my beautiful Jack Russell/ Chihuahua, have kept me going. They are helping me through and indeed keep me going. They need me and that gives me purpose. They know when I'm not well and cuddle up with me. When I'm feeling better they are mischievous and fun and bring joy to my life. I have always had animals and quite honestly could not imagine my life without them. my amazing fur babiesxx

Flossieflyby Fri 30-Aug-19 15:00:23

Great having a dog, a friend, who loves you warts and all - and listens to your problems, when there is no-one else around

Smileless2012 Fri 30-Aug-19 15:07:00

We were going through a very traumatic time with a family member and I was having some really bad panic attacks.

One afternoon it was so bad that I could hardly breath, it felt as if I had a brick in my chest. I lay down on my bed and my toy poodle lay down next to me, as close as he could get. I placed my hand on him and gradually began to regulate my breathing with his until eventually I could breath normally.

I fell asleep and when I woke up he was still there lying beside me.

greenfinger5 Fri 30-Aug-19 16:28:06

We have had our rescue dog for almost 15 years now and she is the love of your lives, she makes us smile when she acts like a 'puppy' and she is always there with a waggy tail to cheer us up.

1navasha Fri 30-Aug-19 17:07:18

Dogs have brought our neighbours and ourselves closer together. A single elderly lady a few doors down has been given a dog to keep her company, but she has had two bad falls and hasnt been able to go outside for weeks at a time.

My sons who love animals have been walking the dog for her, along with other neighbours helping out too. They really enjoy it and because we work long hours and don't have time to keep animals my boys have liked helping our neighbour and caring for an animal at the same time. All the neighbours work together to cover the dog walks so it gets us all chatting.

My sons have enjoyed it so much they've decided to try to volunteer and help out at a local animal shelter, which I think is a great idea.

Tillymint21 Fri 30-Aug-19 17:14:47

Our family golden retriever Ted was an integral part of the family. He was patient and loving with children of all ages and a great companion for everyone. He died not long ago after a long and very happy life but we is much missed. If ever on his own in the house he liked the radio on, and we still leave it on out of habit!

LolaHolaSnr Fri 30-Aug-19 17:52:07

If only to make you feel less like a mad woman, and others seeing you, when you talk to yourself in talk to your dog! A bit of exercise and fresh air when you talk them out for their 'business'. It's amazing how many people talk to you as well. Social interaction is always a plus. Lowering your blood pressure when you pet them. If only it didn't rain he moment the lease was in your hand.

Holidayenthusiast Fri 30-Aug-19 17:58:28

When my husband and I retired, I had a 'rose coloured spectacles' idea of what our life would be - short breaks away, theatre trips, meals out etc. However, my husband uses his travel pass to go to football which I have no interest in. He goes two or three times a week and will not plan anything else at all in the long football season. He spends all his spare money on football and having a drink with 'the boys'. This means that our lives have become very separate and I began to become dissatisfied and depressed.
A year ago, I decided to take on a rescue dog. My little companion has turned my life around. He gives my life structure, companionship and a lot of love. He is quite difficult because he has obviously been mistreated in his earlier life. I am patiently trying to build his confidence and hope that perhaps next summer I can do my short breaks in doggy friendly places.
My little dog has truly given me a reason to feel positive about my life again.

MichStew Fri 30-Aug-19 18:13:27

Our family puppy-walked for Guide Dos for the Blind Association (GDBA) for four puppies while we had young children. It was great to watch their rapid progress from cuddly handfuls to young dogs with really good potential to become the working dogs as intended.

I'd recommend it to anyone who has the least interest in having a dog as the practical support and guidance from GDBA is really useful and can always be transferred to having a dog simply as a pet.

Many people we tell about this comment along the lines of "How could you ever give them back to GDBA?" The answer we give is that one knows from the start that that will happen and it means that the dogs have got to the stage where they can be really useful to potential owners.

DorisDay99 Fri 30-Aug-19 18:30:12

Perhaps the need to get out and walk your dog each day has helped you feel fitter and stronger?

Oh definitely, since getting my Cockerpoo, I have felt fitter, happier, met people who have now become friends, who were former dog walkers I would say a polite hello to, my blood pressure has gone down, and I feel 10 years younger since getting him 3 years ago.

Have you learned any important lessons from your dog?

Just say hello to everyone on your travels, and if you see someone without a smile - give them one of yours.

Maybe being greeted by your dog’s smiling face and wagging tail at the end of a tough day helps you deal with stress?

After a day at work, coming home grumpy - perhaps the day has taken it's toll, the brown bundle of joy wagging so hard you can see his delight cannot fail to bring my mood back to where it should be.

amberdogxK9 Fri 30-Aug-19 20:11:12

I’ve read and enjoyed every post on here . I echo so many feelings all the owners have shared . What has struck me the most is unlike many other threads on Gransnet everyone who has posted has seemed a person who has often suffered in life yet still has the capacity to love and to be kind . Makes me wonder if we have taught our lovely dogs this or they in fact are the teachers themselves . Would love to mention certain posters personally but I guess you know who you are . Xxxx

grannyJillyT Fri 30-Aug-19 20:54:11

We've had my little Jack Russell Cross for 9 years and she was the apple of my Husband's eye. We were due to attend my step-daughters funeral. Sadly it was all too much for him and he collapsed that day and died Christmas eve 2017 7 days later unexpectedly. I collected my dog from friends who were looking after her and returned home. My little dog was confused for sometime, sitting in his chair and sniffing around, sitting on the back of the sofa looking out of the window. I then moved into a small flat, I bought my husband's chair with me which she uses, and she sits in the front seat of the car with a doggy seat belt as she used to sit on his lap. We've come a long way since then, she sticks to me like glue and I to her. She is now the apple of my eye. I can't bear the thought of losing her but I know the day will come.....

buchanl Fri 30-Aug-19 22:39:05

Having a dog has helped me in many ways.

My fitness levels has increased as I have been going on longer and longer walks be it rain, hale ot shine this has affected my mood, appetite and sleeping patterns in a positive way.

It has also helped my social life as I now have many dog walking friends I have a chat with which has made me feel a part of the community

elizab Sat 31-Aug-19 03:33:15

I never thought of myself a dog person and from a young age was terrified of them. whilst on holiday i saw a ball of fluff barely moving by the side of the rd. it was love at first sight! she was in a bad way and it took weekss of vet treatments but i persisted and finally hav her home with my i couldnt imagine my life without her!

pamelaJEAN Sat 31-Aug-19 04:31:44

We lost our beloved boxer dog Prudence last year, she was nearly 13 , she bought so much happiness into my life, she was my baby, giving me unconditional love, how I miss her big brown eyes following me around stroking her soft velvety ears would help get me to sleep, people say it's only a dog but no one loves quite like a dog. Rest in Peace my sweet girl.

prwilson Sat 31-Aug-19 04:54:10

They have brought lots of fun and laughter into our lives.

maggie777 Sat 31-Aug-19 06:48:07

I have also rehomed rescue dogs and helping them has helped me to overcome serious health issues and to get me out and about and interacting with people. Being able to help dogs has made up for not having any children and they are infact my 'babies' and my life has been enriched enormously

Daleh Sat 31-Aug-19 07:05:11

I have had a fair few dogs over the years and every single one has been an individual and each has affected me and helped form my outlook on life. Mitzi an apricot toy poodle who was all dog despite her looks and her frou frou name. Duke, the Golden Retreiver who could most definitely count and was a stickler for fair play and bane of unguarded socks, and the reason I am compelled not to leave anyone out.
Spuggy who was a yorkie and the bravest little thing ever, Beau another Golden Retreiver who wrung every inch of joy out of life, Guffrim the Great Dane who was a nervous wreck when we got him, but learned to trust us and grew so much, Finbar another Goldie who had hip problems masses of painful operations and was still always up for a pootle around the woods, and our current boys Tiberius (rottie) and Hugo (staffie) who remind me every day that you can't judge a book by its cover, and are two of the soppiest idiots ever, and my poor, poor Tilly the only non rescue and the only puppy, who had Parvo when we got her and who didn't make it, despite the vet's best efforts. Our chaps have all been brave and funny and loving even when they were poorly. They help me to look at my life differently and take whatever pleasures now offers, and not concentrate on what I have lost - or indeed have never had. Each and every one has brought me huge joy and some pain, and I would have been a much poorer person if I had failed to meet any one of them. To be honest I dread the day when I am too old to share my life with a dog.

hartley123 Sat 31-Aug-19 07:12:15

Always being there through the bad times as well as the good times

glenka Sat 31-Aug-19 07:15:30

Mine has helped me in so many ways, mainly making me go out everyday to take them for walks even if I don't feel like it, due to having depression I don't always won't to go out but having a dog makes me which is a good thing plus they also give me lots of company when I really need it.

sscrase Sat 31-Aug-19 07:43:28

My lad was always terrified of dogs but through carefully introducing him to the local friendly dogs in the village he's overcome that so much that I am now being seriously pestered for us to get one of our own.

ricola Sat 31-Aug-19 07:53:18

By being great company

Angelwings Sat 31-Aug-19 08:13:54

Our dog is our loyal friend, he is always there and he doesn’t judge.
He is a comfort and he makes us laugh, he is just part of our family.
He makes friends - we make friends, he is a great socialiser. He is good for the spirit and the soul.

Anja Sat 31-Aug-19 08:14:01

Dogs love their humans more than they love themselves.

emmal01 Sat 31-Aug-19 08:25:57

Keeps us fit but best of all the love & companionship we share

kimbers85 Sat 31-Aug-19 08:28:57

my dog has helped me lose so much weight through the long walks I take him on all year round

kacky Sat 31-Aug-19 08:39:14

Ted ha helped me to keep moving after a long illness. I can’t get through the day without him.

happysouls Sat 31-Aug-19 09:06:20

My son's family got a dog that was too big and too playful and was a disaster for them. But they found it a better home and have now got a smaller calmer dog that fits in perfectly! It brings them together as they all have something in common and no matter what their differences they all love the dog!

AR2127 Sat 31-Aug-19 09:09:37

Constant companion who is there for me. Also daily exercise.

janeyf Sat 31-Aug-19 09:29:34

My dog is a great comfort and company. He motivates me to get walking and is great to cuddle in the cold evenings. I am never lonely thanks to him

maryandbuzz1 Sat 31-Aug-19 09:42:54

Our dog Stanley is a great listener and knows when a cuddle is needed. He has ensured we stay fit as we are out with him three times a day and he has helped me make friends in the village as anyone who will give him a cuddle becomes a guaranteed friend for life.

libra10 Sat 31-Aug-19 09:43:37

Some heartrending posts above and inspirational stories.

We got our dog as a puppy, and my granddaughter named him Barney. Previously we had always had big dogs (rough collies), and Barney is very small and has his own particular characteristics.

He helps by getting me up in the mornings (at the crack of dawn) usually! He also encourages us to take long walks through local woods, canal and river banks, helping to keep us both fit and healthy. Have also made many friends through speaking to other dog lovers on our journeys.

If we have been out, he makes us laugh so much on our return as he charges round the sofa in excitement.

Barney is my little pal, and special in so many ways.

JenT Sat 31-Aug-19 09:44:52

My dog has helped me to see unconditional love from an animal. I never wanted a dog (the family did I was outvoted). I never understood dog lovers, you had to walk them in the rain ☔️, pick their 💩 up, and have dog hair every where. I was dreading getting her.
She is the best thing that happened I love her 😍 so much. If she goes to far on a walk and can’t see us she comes back to make sure we are there. She is so excited to see you every day and brings me a 🧸. She cuddles me when I’m ☹️.
She keeps me fit gets me out the house 🏠 fresh air and peace. I now love all dogs that I see unheard of before. I’m so glad I have Lexi 🐾

falconer Sat 31-Aug-19 10:10:48

Because of the grief when they pass on, we don't have a dog now, but my childhood was always filled with canines, and they really help you when you need a friend and moral support.

liz1970 Sat 31-Aug-19 10:11:09

My dog has helped me by getting me out walking and enjoying the fresh air smile

sophie56 Sat 31-Aug-19 10:12:17

I have always been prone to anxiety and the odd panic attack and my beautiful girl just calms me by her very presence. She has always loved to walk so we have been on some wonderful walks by ourselves, with friends or sometimes with other dog walkers who we connect with, so she keeps me fit. I think many of us have an innate need to love and care for something and a dog gives so much and in return they deserve to have all their needs met including observing their health needs (too many people seem oblivious to signs of pain) their need for company, exercise, fun and quality food etc. I love the lack of judgement and there are no complicated interactions to leave one puzzled or hurt - they are straight forward with clear needs.

Elsie77 Sat 31-Aug-19 10:50:19

Currently going throigh breats cancer treatment. Our pooch has been my companion on those dark days and has lifted my spirits. Our walks help me clear my head and snuggles are second to none!

muppet150 Sat 31-Aug-19 11:13:48

Best companion you could ever have. Always happy to see me and gives you that comfort of being wanted.

grannybiker Sat 31-Aug-19 11:58:44

We adopted our dog when he was still very young and had already been through some horrendous experiences. He was picked up with a badly broken leg and awful eye and ear infections.
In helping him heal, he also helped me heal as I was recovering from very brutal treatment for breast cancer. He was my reason to get out of bed when fatigue was at its worse and encouraged me to get out into the woods near our house.
Most of all, he was a shining example of Mindfulness as he greeted each day, each event and each person he encountered with optimism and joy.

Spencer1234 Sat 31-Aug-19 12:01:27

My dog is my best friend, she has helped me when I need comfort but also helped me get out the house & walk more

serena9 Sat 31-Aug-19 12:33:31

It's funny how they can't do anything to help yet do everything to help, my girl just sits near me and seems to understand in quiet solidness, exactly what I need x

bryonywilson91 Sat 31-Aug-19 12:44:48

I'm incredibly anxious and struggle to leave the house by myself. Since bringing a dog into the house we go everywhere together and it's really helped me.

Monkeykv Sat 31-Aug-19 12:56:16

My dog helps me get out walking more. Even in bad weather.