Take us back to when your first met:
‘A dog is called ‘Man’s Best Friend’ for a reason. The power of these animals is extraordinary and dog lovers worldwide will know exactly what I’m talking about. I rescued Pippa from an animal shelter a couple of years ago – December 6th, 2009 to be exact. I was going through a tough time and felt a dog was the boost my life needed. I remember the first time I went to meet her; she was in a foster home, I saw her in the front room window and as soon as she saw me, she began barking and wagging her tail. When I came inside, she raced towards me and jumped up on me, her version of a hello hug.
‘For an animal so small, she has brought the biggest joy in my life. Whenever I leave the house, she looks out the window to make sure I’m safe going off and will often stay there until I come home. When I return, I’m met with a crazy animal who bounces off the wall and showers me with kisses and cuddles, her way of showing me she is very happy I’m back. When we go out on a walk, she’ll get the biggest stick and carry it for miles, just to show me how strong she is. When I’m sick, she doesn’t leave my side; she sleeps next to me until she knows I’m feeling better. Whenever I need someone to talk to, she’s always ready and waiting; she’ll listen to me, even if I’m rambling on about nothing for hours (her head tilting every time I say something of interest, usually words like ‘treat’ and ‘walk’). When I’m having a tough day, she’ll stick with me and have a tough day too, just so I don’t feel alone.’
Define your relationship in three words:
‘Caring, loyal, strong’.
Tell us something about Pippa that you love:
‘She is extremely caring. She makes me laugh until my belly hurts with her crazy tricks, comforts me through the most difficult times, provides an ear when nobody else wants to listen, keeps me warm on the coldest winter’s night, and is just always there when I need somebody. I can always count on her.’
When does she drive you crazy?
‘I can never get mad at Pippa – she’s too cute – but she can be irritating at times. Sometimes -- basically every day – she’ll follow me around for ages looking for treats (even though she just ate her dinner and had three treats earlier on). And when I’m cooking dinner, she’ll hang around the kitchen, hoping I’ll drop a crumb for her, and because she’s so small, I don’t see her and almost break my neck as I go from stove to fridge.’
Tell us a memory you keep close to your heart:
‘I’ll never forget when Ireland went white during the big freeze of 2010. I only had Pippa a few weeks and was still getting to know her but one thing I learned quickly is that she loves snow. I can still remember her running around the back garden trying to eat the white flakes as they fell. Her walks in the park were spent chasing after snowmen and jumping into big piles of snow; when we’d get home, she’d have big lumps stuck in her fur, but she didn’t mind as she was having so much fun.’