Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A dog and her owner: #PetplanCares

I was delighted recently to be invited to write a post for Petplan's new campaign, #PetplanCares, a new campaign focussing on their core values: the happiness and wellbeing of pets.  The request was simple enough - write a post about the special relationship between you and your dog. Easy peasy I thought, I could write for hours about mine and Lottie's relationship.

Except…. It is not that easy to put feelings into words. The more I started thinking about it, the more difficult I found it to put my thoughts on the matter into writing. So this could end up a jumbled mess, or hopefully, something altogether more coherent!

Me and my girl

I waited a very long time to get Lottie - 29 years in fact. I grew up with animals (my mother was an artist who specialised in paintings of cats) and my parents had a bichon frise in my teenage years. But they were never "mine". When I was seven years old, I fell in love with a school friends little golden cocker spaniel called Lucy (you can see where this is going!), and vowed that one day I would have my very own, never thinking it would take so long! Roll on many years of living in London, with gardenless flats and expensive living, until I was relocated in 2012 to Milton Keynes.

Within a few months of moving to a rural village, I was contacting KC Assured Breeders left, right and centre to find my own little golden girl. It had to be. And the first time I picked up Lottie, a little smooshy bean bag of a pup at 3 weeks old, I was head over heels.

Making herself comfortable...

But what has this little girlie brought into my life? Dogs are amazing creatures - I love the fact that I can be gone for three minutes, or three hours, and she is always so excited and thrilled to see me, that she can't even keep her furry little bottom on the floor in excitement, until I give her the okay to jump on my lap to give a proper hello. Lottie is the perfect size to sit on my knee with her paws around my neck, while she gives my ears a thorough washing. It is enough to make any owner smile, particularly at the end of a long day at work. In fact, just her sheer exuberance at life makes me smile. I read a quote once: "Dogs don't wait for the perfect moment, they make the moment perfect", and that is so true. Everything is lived as it is NOW, without worrying about the future, the past, what-ifs, what-if-not's. They are just happy to be in the moment. Watching her sproing across a field (I know "sproing" isn't a real word, but it captures her so well!) to chase a bird or a butterfly never, ever fails to cheer me.

Ever the picture of innocence...

And then we have those close, cuddly owner-dog moments. The evenings where she tramples all over me, then gives a huge moany sigh and flops down, before tucking herself into me as close as possible. When she cuddles up under my arm, twitching and giving little woofs in her sleep as she relives those birds and butterflies from earlier. And yes, even when she, a diminutive cocker spaniel at 9.5kg, manages to kick me to the edge of the king size bed when she decides she has had enough of her own bed at six am, and the only place to sleep is in the small of my back, all four legs stretched out as far as possible.

Christmas Day snooze!

Moving to a new area, she has been a great socialiser too. Little did I think as I carried her in arms as a pup around the village every day, that those dogwalkers who stopped to say hello and pet her would become familiar faces to me, some of whom I am now privileged to call friends. Although it seems a common trait amongst dog owners that you know the names of the dogs but not their humans!

I kinda feel I've been spoilt too - she was such an easy pup from the beginning (when she came home at ten weeks old, she didn't have a single accident for the whole first week!), that I feel the next pup (and there will be one) will be a shock to the system!

The look of love....

And yet… these words all seem inadequate somehow. There is so much more. That look she gives me as if to say "I understand". The way she seems to know we are going for a walk before I have even stirred from my seat, bringing me her collar or a toy. The way she nuzzles into me with a contented sigh. The way she is there as a constant companion (yes, even when I am in the bath!). I do not necessarily think that dogs are surrogate children, but that doesn't mean that the relationship we have with them is not fulfilling and filled with joy. Every day, I am grateful for this happy little soul in my life - I can't imagine or remember what life was like without her in it.

We must say a big thank you to Petplan, for allowing us to contribute to their #PetplanCares campaign. It can be so important nowadays with veterinary bills ever increasing, to have good pet insurance coverage - Petplan are one of the UK's leading pet insurers, insuring thousands of dogs every year, with an award winning range of policies. Additionally, Petplan works with more animal rehoming charities than any other pet insurance providers, working with more than 1,200 charities. In 1994, Petplan formed the Petplan Charitable Trust which has so far raised more than a staggering £7million toward a better, healthier world for animals.  You can find details of Petplan's policies for dogs here.

We must also thank them for the lovely hamper that they sent to us for participating. Lottie has particularly enjoyed her new Mutts & Hounds bed!  Here's a few pics of her with her hamper of goodies - we were truly spoilt with all the lovely things! 

All for me?!

So many fabulous goodies!

Loving the Mutts & Hounds bed!

How has having a dog affected you and your life? What special moments define the relationship between you? We would love to hear your comments below!


  1. Oh Lottie! You are very loved and very loving in return :) My Stella is a pretty awesome constant companion too, life just wouldn't be the same without her x

  2. We just loved this post! We can feel your mom's love for you, Lottie!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  3. Lottie lucked out with all the goodies from Petplan! Our pups have dog insurance as well, and B-O-Y were we grateful they were covered when Missy was diagnosed with cancer last year ~ any dog owner's nightmare. Thankfully, our little girl is on the road to recovery. As you said, we couldn't imagine life without our pups and sometimes wonder what it was ever like before they came into our lives at 8 weeks of age...

  4. Yep, we furries sure snuggle deep in our human's heart. Great post.

  5. I love the all the puppy pics! So adorable! The best things are worth waiting for, obviously ~Rascal and Rocco