The Paw Post | For the furry friends you love most!
The Paw Post is a pet blog founded by freelance journalist and pet writer Rachel Spencer and her cheeky terrier Daisy. After spending years writing about pets for newspapers and magazines, she decided to create a storytelling platform of her own. Rachel writes about all kinds of animals with heartwarming and remarkable stories from pampered pets to those who have been abandoned and mistreated.
Newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations will be focusing on the impact of pets being stolen in the hope of bringing them home.
Since January, we have been sharing a monthly appeal for Doglost, a not-for-profit organisation that helps people whose dogs have gone missing.
It’s a terrifying thought and a scenario every dog owner dreads, but the more people are aware of missing dogs, the more chance there is of them being found.
This month we’re sharing the cases of Dixie, Louie and Nala, and if you have any information on them, please contact Doglost on the links given.
Have you seen terrier Dixie?
Dixie is a five-year-old female Jack Russell, feared stolen.
She went missing from the front garden of her owner’s house in Dormansland, Surrey, on 22nd July 2018.
Dixie has never ran off or wandered from home causing concern that she has been taken from the garden.
She is tricoloured but mainly white and black and has a distinct round black mark at the bottom of her back above her tail. She has brown eyebrows and wired hair.
Dixie’s owner’s daughter, Carla, said: “Dixie is my mother’s main companion as she lived with only Dixie after my dad passed away. Dixie was originally my dad’s dog too so is a great comfort to my mother.
“Following her disappearance, we’ve all been distraught. Dixie and my mother used to cuddle every night on the sofa and she would rarely leave my mum’s side.
“My mother is devastated beyond words.
“Dixie loves playing in the garden with the grandchildren and she adores each of them. They miss being able to play with her.
“To anyone who knows where she is please report it to us or to DogLost. You can do it anonymously if you want to.
“If you have Dixie please let her come home to her owner who misses her so much.”
Dixie is microchipped and neutered and was wearing a purple collar at the time of her disappearance.
If you know anything about Dixie please call Doglost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 132173 or visit her profile here
French bulldog Louie
Louie, a young male French Bulldog, was stolen from his owner’s Will Dunford’s car in Costco car park in Chingford on 27th February 2019.
Louie’s owners were in the Chingford area for work and, unusually, had needed to take Louie along with them after their dog sitter was unable to look after him that day.
Louie is microchipped and is chocolate and light tan coloured.
Following his disappearance his owners have been making the two and a half hour journey from their home in Stratford-upon-Avon to search for him.
They have also been putting us posters and have an active Facebook group for Louie.
Will said: “Louie has still not been found. I am desperate to get him back in my life as things haven’t been the same without him as is my partner Mally.
“I have decided to double the reward for anyone who can get him back to me. It is now £5000 cash with no questions asked.”
The police are also investigating Louie’s disappearance.
If anyone has Louie or has information on him, please contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 140978 or to visit his Dog Lost profile here .
Think Woof Mudder – this is an obstacle course you run around on your own, with your dog or part of a team and you can choose from a 2.5 or 5km course.
It’s a brilliant event raising money for animals in need and you need to raise a minimum of £100 to take part. Patch and I did it last year and Daisy the year before, and you can read how we got on here.
Enjoy a festival of fun with your dog. Dogfest is hosted by Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick and Clare Balding, you can camp with your dog and watch shows, displays, doggy diving, shopping and support charities.
We’ve been for the last three years and it’s always a fantastic day out.
It won an award for the UK’s best Dog Friendly Day Out in 2017 and this year’s event includes dog shows, displays and demonstrations, music, street food and stalls with all kinds of goodies for dogs and their owners. Plus music from 80s legend Paul Young and other artists.
Feedback in comments, social media posts and e mails is always welcome. But when I posted about Daisy, it was on a totally different scale.
The personal messages about the bond we shared, how writing about her dementia had made other owners realise their dog had the same thing, how funny she was, how she reminded people of dogs they had lost, was just lovely.
Friends sent me photos of them on adventures with Daisy and her with their dogs, her as a young dog, an old dog.
Daisy and Sparky, my friend Suzanne's terrier
Daisy with my friend Sharon's dog, posh Stan!
Colleagues put up with endless sobbing
Even the grumpiest photographer I know reminded me of when we did a feature about dog Reiki and Daisy did a poo on the floor.
In true Jeremy Beadle style, the day Daisy was put to sleep, it was announced that the Queen’s last Corgi Willow had passed away too.
As a journalist writing mostly about pets, an e mail dropped in my inbox asking if I could write about the emotions she might be feeling.
It’s likely you will be aware of the work Medical Detection Dogs do helping to fight cancer and other life threatening diseases.
This week is Parkinson’s Awareness Week and Dr Claire Guest and her remarkable canine team are also working to detect the disease earlier.
It’s a cause very close to Claire’s heart as her father John, 80, a retired solicitor, discovered he had the disease three years ago and it inspired her to see whether her dogs could help.
Working with a team from Manchester University, she put Peanut, Bumper, Zen and Rumba to the test and found they could diagnose it in 400 samples.
Early detection can lead to better treatment and improve quality of life and her charity was awarded £11,000 last year from Purina as part of their Better With Pets initiative to further their work.
I spoke to Claire about what the project means to her.
Can you tell me a little bit of background about your work?
Yes, we’d been focusing on cancer detection and how the dogs could help with this and we started to realised dogs could detect other things.
We moved on to detecting the change in human blood sugar that comes with diabetes and our Medical Alert Assistance dogs work with people with diabetes and Addison's Disease.
We realised there was the potential to make a difference across a broad range of diseases - there was a huge amount of scepticism.
When my dog Daisy who had worked as cancer detection dog warned me about my own cancer I hadn’t detected any changes myself.
All that was happening that was slightly out of the ordinary was that for a few months before my diagnosis I was falling asleep more.
Then I was told I had cancer. My parents were beside me when I went into hospital. I had my surgery to have my lymph nodes removed and thankfully it hadn’t spread.
I had my lumpectomy and radiotherapy and they were with me all the way through.
It re-inspired me to keep going - these dogs were picking up something we needed to learn from.
Claire and her family
Can you tell me about your dad and Parkinson’s?
My dad had told me years before, in his forties, he’d lost his sense of smell. I said to him, ‘How bad is it?’ He said, ‘Well I can’t smell anything.’
It was only years later we discovered that early loss of smell can be related to Parkinson’s but this was when I was having cancer treatment and dad and my mum Maureen were concerned about me.
At the same time, this loss of smell my dad had was being pretty much ignored. We didn’t think we could do anything about.
So six years later when I had recovered from my cancer hopefully and was officially in remission and yet my father started with these awful symptoms.
What were they?
In most cases with Parkinson’s, people get odd symptoms building up over years. They don’t suddenly become Parkinsonian, and the thing with my dad is that he didn’t get tremor.
Often when people see this they think it’s Parkinson’s. There’s actually a lot of other reasons why people might have them and there’s also many people who don’t have them initially but do have Parkinson’s.
He started to get stiffness in movement and difficulty balancing and walking which didn’t seem to have an obvious cause.
It was sufficient enough for him to be quite concerned, even when on a short walk. This came over the last three or four years.
Then, nearly three years ago, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
What was quite clear and was so powerful was the time when my parents were assisting me with my cancer treatment, my dad had Parkinson’s and the damage was taking place.
Completely unbeknown, by the time my dad was diagnosed, 50 per cent of his brain had already been affected so the damage had been done and this is the case in most patients.
Once you see that damage, you can slow it down from then onwards, but you can’t reverse it - all the time he’d been looking after me this was going on.
One of Claire's talented team at work
How did you feel?
I felt absolutely gutted that something couldn’t have been done earlier.
When you have the Parkinson’s diagnosis and you know it’s a lifetime now of having the disease all you can pray is that the medication will slow the next stage of the progression.
Cancer is the thing that everybody fears and I think that because cancer can be so rapid, people think it’s a death sentence but actually things are changing a lot and it may not be any more.
People survive if diagnosed early and that’s why we’re so passionate about our work.
Dad is a very fit and healthy person in other way, and I think about if I’d known ten, 15 years ago, what things might have been like.
I wanted to do something to help with the diagnosis of the disease to help in detecting it earlier.
How is your dad now?
He’s on medication and is doing very well.
He continues to come to events and is active and the charity wouldn’t be what it is without him and I hope this is good for him.
Dad was pivotal in helping me set up the charity. He was a volunteer from day one and helped me co-found it, believed in the work and supported me.
Claire and her family recently met with Camilla Parker Bowles who recognised their work
How does your dad feel about the work you’re doing with Parkinson’s?
He thinks it’s absolutely incredible. Even though we’re working on this and making progress with the dogs clearly indicating Parkinson’s disease, the time when it could have helped him has gone sadly.
If we’d been twenty years ahead we could have made a real difference, even ten years, but sadly that time has passed.
But Dad isn’t like that, he thinks very much to the future and the people it will help so he’s absolutely passionate about what we’re doing and the fact that his daughter and dogs will hopefully make a difference to millions of people.
What is your goal when it comes to the dogs and the work with Parkinson’s?
My aim would be to work with clinicians to recognise Parkinson’s at a much earlier stage, when patients have these unclear symptoms that don’t fit into a pattern.
They might feel tired, weak or wobbly, all the symptoms which are usually dismissed as an ‘off day’ until they become very bad.
I hope this will mean the pharmaceutical industry will look into drugs that can assist in the reduction in the damage that’s being done to the brain for people with early Parkinson’s signs.
Although you may never be able to cure Parkinson’s in our lifetime, you can reduce the damage so much that the person doesn’t have severe symptoms.
At the moment this disease is running wildfire in people’s bodies, destroying them.
If you think about this terrible thing going into someone’s brain and destroying the cells so that they’re unable to walk, balance, if you can stop the spread of that fire, they could have a really good quality of life for many years, and that’s where we need to get to.
I hope one day there will be a cure, but for now we want to stop this rapid progression of this horrible disease.
If you enjoy going EVERYWHERE with your dog then you will love hearing what Chris has to say about dog friendly Britain.
The wildlife expert has presented hundreds if not thousands of animal TV shows in his career and presents Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch.
This summer he’s hosting Dogstival which is a two day event in the New Forest, close to Chris’s home, celebrating all things dog.
Chris, 57, spoke to us about why he became involved, his love of poodles and his hope that Britain will become more dog friendly.
Can you tell me a little about your involvement with Dogstival?
Yes, I’m involved because I have a great passion for two things that Dogstival is going to celebrate.
That is dogs and the human relationship that we have with these animals and also the New Forest which is where I've lived for the last 16 years but I've known all of my life.
The New Forest is an extraordinary place. It's a great natural resource in terms of its habitats and its wild life. It's a great leisure resource, people come here, dog walking, horse riding and camping.
But it’s something we want to make sure survives into the future and we have to look at the positive and negative effect of visitors to ensure that happens.
And the event is also aiming to encourage people to enjoy the New Forest with their dogs?
Yes, certainly the most rewarding part of my day is taking Scratchy out for his morning walk. We go through a patch of the New Forest that I know and I love, and I enjoy being with him there.
I share my life with Scratchy as completely as I can. He sleeps in my bed, eats from my plate, rides in my car, he comes to work with me whenever that's appropriate.
He’s the epicentre of my world and this is not unusual, dogs play an incredibly important role in many peoples lives.
A very broad celebration of dogs and our relationship with them. There’s lots of things on offer for many people.
Pre-dog people, people who have never had a dog but are thinking about it.
People who have perhaps lost a dog and thinking about getting another one but their life situation might have changed and of course people like myself who are obsessed with the relationship that they have with their dog.
There's always more to learn and an event like this is a great way of bringing community together to learn more about everything, behaviour, nutrition, health, welfare.
And also to think about how we maintain a healthy relationship with the environment of the New Forest that we love and enjoy so much.
There will be lots of locally sourced food, not just human but dog as well, locally sourced dog food. So very much you're getting involved in the New Forest community.
You're in the Dogstival lounge giving a talk too?
I'm always very keen to talk about the mental health benefits of having a dog. I've been working with some charities that supply dogs to autistic young people and I see the enormous benefits that they bring to both the child and to the family.
I also have been working with some people at Lincoln University who are looking at the impact that it has on the dog and how easy it is for a dog to move into a relationship with an autistic youngster and their family.
I’m keen to talk about responsible dog ownership, focusing perhaps specifically on the impact that dogs can have on wildlife and farm stock, when we know that there's an issue with both of those.
In a world where there are more people and more dogs and less space, we have to think about changing our behaviour.
So it's getting people to understand why they need to do that, what the impacts are and asking them to think about how they live with their dog in the modern world.
Do you think we are as a nation becoming more dog friendly?
Yes, but it's not moving as fast as I would like. But then I'm bound to say that aren't I? I spent quite a bit of time living in France with my two dogs and life as a dog owner there is so much easier.
You walk into a post office with your dogs, no one tells you to get out. You walk into the local grocery store, it's fine.
I think a lot of people in France are certainly a lot more tolerant of the fact that people have dogs as companion animals and they're as valuable to them as their children.
If someone asked me to tie my dog outside the post office I'd just say to them, ‘But I wouldn't tie my child outside the post office and if I did I'd be on the front page of the paper. Why do you expect me to do that with my dog?’ And then I'd leave.
There are a lot more dog friendly restaurants, cafes and places to go. I still think that the dog walking community is one that's not being fully catered for, even when it comes to walking.
We're not quite there yet. I've tried to use dog friendly hotels for instance, when you turn up they're not as dog friendly as they claim to be.
I think there is still progress to be made. We've been to a couple of restaurants locally recently and they're both dog friendly. So that's a good sign.
Can you tell me about the dogs that you've had in your life?
I had Max the poodle, he was the first one from 1980 through to 1995 and then after a break I had another dog called Fish.
Then I had Itchy and Scratchy, sadly we lost Itchy a couple years ago, but so I've still got Scratch now.
They've all been black miniature poodles and I wouldn't stray from the breed. Life's short and I've found a breed that I relate to. So I'm a committed poodle owner. You couldn't prize me away from my poodle I'm afraid.
They're challenging, characterful, slightly anarchic, full of beans, very devoted, clever, you can teach them things quickly.
I should say that they don't shed any hairs, you don't have to hoover around after them. You’d never find a single dog hair in the house, not one.
But you do have to get them clipped obviously. I have the miniature size and that's for convenience really, I can just lift them in and out of the car and they're easy to manage.
Your dog Scratchy is nearly 16. Can you tell me about what it’s like caring for a senior dog?
The care you give a dog changes throughout their life, by way of exercise and nutrition, but there’s other things you notice too.
The first time this winter he was out in the snow and we caught him shivering, he did have his coat on, but he'd spent too long out in the snow and then I picked him up, wrapped him in my coat and took him back. I wouldn't take him out in the wind and the rain without a coat now.
With his walks, I’m very keen to keep him mobile and his joints are in really good condition. He's got no signs of arthritis.
He's always had quite long walks, so, for example, yesterday morning we did nearly four kilometres and he has two of those a day, and normally he'd get longer.
For a 15 and three quarter year old dog that's pretty good going. He's out and sniffing, he's enjoying the world.
With his food, he’s eating less. I've switched his food some time ago to a raw food diet and this is working well.
My point of view is that, with older dogs, it's about quality of life. I love him so much that I felt that if his life were compromised by his own standards than that would mean it would be his time to call it a day.
But at the moment he's responding to the treatment and he's trotting around and jumping about when he's awake.
Yes, I can't tell you it was one of the most fantastic things. Poodles are prone to them, and for a long time I kept taking him to the vet and said, ‘Well look, if he was a human he'd still be driving.’
And then we took him back again and the vet said, ‘Okay, well now he wouldn't be allowed to operate heavy machinery, they're not bad. Stop fretting.’
And then over Christmas they did get progressively worse a lot more quickly. So eventually the vet said, ‘OK, he's now at a point where his vision is compromised.’
So we decided to go ahead with the operation and it's gone perfectly. It's exactly the same as a human operation in terms of what they do. It's transformed him.
He goes out in the woods and he's looking at this that and the other, it's fantastic. Again being able to give him that extra quality of life at the end of his life is something that I'm really pleased about.
You describe him as the epicentre of your life, what does having him mean to you?
I think it's purpose, it's a sort of security. You know, I need something stable in my otherwise rumbustious life.
He's incredibly important. I miss him when I'm not with him. I fret about, well I didn't used to fret as much as I do now, I fret about him when I'm not with him.
Fortunately my partner Charlotte is an animal person extraordinaire so I can leave him with her and know that he's in perfectly safe hands.
But that doesn't mean I don't miss him when I get into bed and he's not there and I don't just listen to him at night.
Yes, for me it’s humility and perspective. There's nothing more important, and sometimes, we forget that, and we get home, and people feel the same way about the relationship they have with their children and their family and their partners and all those sorts of things where there's enormous amounts of investment, time, effort, energy, passion, love, commitment.
But when you give it to a dog, and it gives it back to you in 100%, undiluted, full on, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it's guaranteed then that's something of immeasurable value.
Sometimes life starts to run away and then you take your dog for a walk and you realise where it's really at.
* Dogstival takes place on May 18th and 19th at Pylewell Park in the New Forest. Find out more at www.dogstival.co.uk/
The thought of anything happening to our dogs is unimaginable
We share such an incredible bond with them but more than 60 dogs are stolen in the UK each week and many more go missing leaving families utterly shattered.
There is help out there - via doglost.co.uk who are a huge community of volunteers across the UK who work tirelessly to reunite dogs with their owners.
Nearly every day they succeed but it’s vital their cases are shared so it’s why I’ve teamed up with them to share cases every month.
Today owners Harriet, Rachael and Caroline explain what happened to their dogs.
It’s nearly nine years since Louie, a small Yorkshire Terrier from Birmingham went missing in September 2012.
His determined family have never given up - he was only three when he vanished and will now be ten.
Louie went missing from his home at around 6pm on 26th September when his family were having work done at their home in Kings Norton.
He followed one of the workmen out to their car and got locked out and it’s thought he was found then kept, known as ‘theft by finding.’
A neighbour saw Louie on the front doorstep and went to pick him up but he got spooked and ran into nearby fields.
Others tried to catch him but the frightened little dog kept running and he was last seen on the corner of Middleton Hall Road the day he went missing.
Louie’s owner Rachael Handley has searched tirelessly for Louie since. She said: “It has always been extremely difficult for us to put into words just how this impacts us as a family.
“It’s been completely devastating and has consumed our lives. It’s an endless roller coaster of emotions which can sometimes be unbearable to cope with.”
Rachael with a photo of treasured Yorkie Louie
Louie is a tiny dog with a huge personality and presence
He is a happy, easy going boy, cheeky, funny yet fearless.
He is trained to gold standard obedience and agility so he knows lots of commands and tricks and loves to be the centre of attention.
Louie is microchipped and his details can’t be changed, so if he’s scanned, the vet should be alerted that he’s missing.
Local rescues, police, vets, walkers and groomers and taxi companies know about Louie and his family search every day.
His story has been shared at high profile events like Crufts, Pup Aid, Paws in the Park and his family have campaigned at Westminster to change the law on pet theft.
There’s a reward for his safe return or information leading to it and you can join the Facebook group to help find Louie here - www.facebook.com/Missinglouie/
Rachael said: “It’s been six and a half awful years of waiting and wondering where Louie is and what has happened to him.
“Louie is our family, our precious little boy. We just need him home. If anyone knows anything, please, please, do the right thing and come forward with any information. No questions asked and we will treat any information in the strictest of confidence. ”
If anyone has Louie or has information on him, please contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 43360 or to visit his Dog Lost profile here.
Aika is a four-year-old black rescue Pug and went missing on 17th January this year.
She disappeared from her garden at home in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire around 6pm after being outside for just a couple of minutes.
Owner Harriet Eavers thinks it’s possible she escaped from the garden as CCTV doesn’t show anyone entering the garden.
She’s an all black Pug apart from a distinctive white patch on her chest and came from Muffin Pug Rescue.
Where she went missing is surrounded by fields and there was one sighting of Aika the next day on Leckhampton Lane in Cheltenham but no confirmed sightings since.
Harriet and Aika have featured on local radio and in the newspaper, thousands of leaflets have been given out and the community has rallied to help find her.
Harriet said: “I will not rest until I know what has happened and she is safe at home. It has been heart-breaking - she truly is part of the family.
“It is my absolute worst nightmare and I would not wish this to happen to anyone.”
Aika and Harriet
Little Aika is a friendly, sociable Pug
She loves people and other dogs and is known by family and friends for being mischievous and extra greedy.
She is microchipped and neutered and her family are offering a substantial reward for her safe return and you can join her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/haveyouseenaika
Owner Harriet added: “For anyone who may have Aika, please return my dog. She deserves to be safe at home where she is loved.
“If you have her, please get in contact or drop her off at a safe location - wear a hoody, drop her off and leave. There will be no questions asked.
“If you think she has been sold onto you, it’s not your fault. Please get in touch so we can check it’s her and I can know she is safe. I just want my dog safe at home.”
If anyone has Aika or has information on her, please contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 139463 or to visit her Dog Lost profile here.
Anna is a three-year-old working Cocker Spaniel who went missing from Marden in Hereford in March 2019
She was hunting in a hedgerow down a private lane close to her home while out on a walk and went missing
Owner Caroline Marsland has been searching fields, hedgerows, rivers and railways for several miles around the area and spent hours calling her on March 7th when she disappeared.
They’ve also informed all the vets and rescue centres within a 30-mile radius, put posters in shops, pubs, post offices, parks and walking spots but have had no sightings and fear she’s been found and kept.
Caroline said: “Anna loves people and cuddles and loves to stroke people more than being stroked herself. Our family is utterly heartbroken.”
Anna on a day out at the beach
Anna is a small Cocker Spaniel
Caroline is worried she may have been mistaken for a puppy and kept. She is microchipped.
Her family and their other dog Poppy are searching desperately for her and have asked if anyone has taken in a dog matching her description to get in touch.
Many people unwittingly buy dogs with no idea they have been stolen or take them in believing them to be strays when their distraught families are searching for them.
Caroline said: “Everyone loves Anna and we just want her home. If anyone knows anything about her disappearance, please let us know.
“If you have her, please take her to a nearby vets and say you found her, there will be no questions asked. She is part of our family and we need her home.”
If anyone has Anna or has information on her, please contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 141223 or to visit her Dog Lost profile here.
The more people see these stories, the higher the chance of the dogs being found
So please, spare a thought for the families of Louie, Aika and Anna and if you think you can help, share on social media, or via e mail or WhatsApp.
It means so much to the families and, reassuringly, many do find their way home even after many years.
Nicola Owst will never forget the first day she saw Buddy
She was driving on the outskirts of London and passed some wasteland.
On there was a crate with a dog locked in. Nicola stopped and at first she feared the poor animal was dead.
But when she opened the door, the dog moved. Horrified, she wrapped him in a towel and drove nearly 100 miles to the vet.
Nicola kept checking he was alive as he was in such a terrible state.
He weighed just 3kg - Staffies usually weigh around 17kg. The vet said it was the worst case of neglect they had ever seen and told Nicola he’d be lucky to live a few days.
Buddy the day Nicola found him
Buddy recovering from his ordeal
Brave Buddy defied the odds and pulled through
Nicola, 34, from Kibworth, Leicester, said: “He’s our little miracle. I never had a dog before Buddy, I never thought one would fit in my life.
“But he found me and we saved each other. He was in a terrible way when I found him. He had mange and dermatitis, and his paws were raw from being in his own mess.
“He needed to have his tail amputated because of an infection and he was so frightened and anxious if I ever left him. He’d chew his paws until they bled.
“I was going through a break up when he came into my life and he was there for me when I was happy or sad and gave me a reason to get up every day.
"It was as though we were sent to save each other.”
Buddy and Nicola now - look at that smile!
Buddy has many talents and has won thousands of fans
When she first rescued him, one of Nicola’s elderly friends had diabetes, and clever Buddy knew when she needed her insulin and would cling to her leg. As soon as she had her medication, he’d move away.
Now 11, Buddy lives with Nicola, her husband Jonathan, their 20 month old son Toby and Susie, six, a Springer Spaniel who they rescued - she had been used as a breeding dog.
Buddy also has 26,000 followers on his Facebook page where Nicola shares their adventures.
After Staffies were voted the UK’s favourite dog in a poll last month, she was asked to attend Crufts to educate people about the breed and encourage more people to adopt them.
Nicola and Buddy at the Staffy Discover Dogs stand
Proud Nicola gives Buddy a cuddle
Buddy will be at the Staffordshire Bull Terrier area of the Discover Dogs section
Visitors can learn about hundreds of different breeds and Nicola hopes Buddy's story will inspired people to consider adopting a Staffy.
She said: “It breaks my heart to think of what he has been through and how scared he must have been. He’s such a brave, happy boy.
“Three years ago he was diagnosed with cancer in the ankle joint of his back leg. It was in a difficult position to reach and the vet feared they wouldn’t be able to remove all the tumour.
“Even when he went into the surgery for his chemotherapy treatment, he would trot through the door wagging his tail and afterwards he would be running around the park like any other dog.
“When we adopted Suzie three years ago, she was very nervous but Buddy, he was like the wind beneath her wings. He gave her confidence and they are so happy together.”
Buddy with Nicola, husband Jonathan and Susie
Buddy is no stranger to dog shows
He’s been to the Family Pet Show and was voted Best Rescue Dog by Downton Abbey actor and welfare campaigner Peter Egan at Pupaid.
While the Crufts show rings are filled with pristine pedigree dogs, Nicola says she is proud of the opportunity to champion rescue pups.
She said: “There is a place for all dogs at Crufts and being part of the Discover Dogs area gives us the chance to show people what Staffies are really like.
“I hope meeting Buddy, hearing his story and being able to handle him and seeing what a gentle dog he is will encourage more people to consider his breed and adopting dogs from rescue.”
Our dogs have such a special place in our hearts and lives
The thought of losing them is unbearable.
But heartbreakingly, every day around 60 pets in the UK are missing or stolen.
Thankfully, help is out there. Doglost.co.uk is a resource where thousands of people across the country are alerted when a dog is missing.
They have a database with each dog's details on, and, crucially, they help owners keep calm and give them the support they need during those vital first hours.
I've partnered with Doglost and each month I will be sharing cases in the hope it brings dogs home.
The owners of Ruby and Beetle, Izzy and Dana share their story.
Ruby and Beetle
Ruby and Beetle
Ruby and Beetle are mother and daughter Border Terriers and went missing while out on the Lothian Estate.
They were with their owner Georgie Bell and her husband Ed close to Ormiston House near Jedburgh on the Scottish Borders.
Both dogs are very familiar with the area.
The super intelligent little dogs were off lead and dashed off together after a scent and have never been seen since the afternoon of 28th December 2018.
Mum Ruby is five and Beetle is two, and are very close. What may stand out is that they are very small Border Terriers, only weighing around 6kg. Both are microchipped.
Georgie said: “Ruby loves the outdoors and being on the estate with Ed. Beetle would rather be with the family, she was my shadow, she followed me everywhere, even to the loo.
“She is so loving and needy whereas Ruby is more independent. As mum and daughter they were a very close unit, they love being together, lying in their beds and cuddling.
“They love running around together but always, always come back but we spent days walking around the estate, checking they hadn’t gone down a mineshaft, hole or well.
“We wanted to exhaust every possible scenario but it came to nothing. I miss them so much.”
Ruby and Beetle at Christmas with their family
Georgie fears the girls have been stolen and has put up a £5000 reward
The couple have three children, Tom, 15, Felicity, 14, and Frances, 12 who are desperate for their dogs to be returned.
Posters have been put up all over the UK and their story has appeared in several newspapers but still no news.
Georgie said: “They are my world and since they went, I have been glued to my phone and computer waiting for messages. It’s tearing our family apart.
“We fear they’ve been picked up by a gang because everyone we know would have brought them home.
“The house doesn’t feel like a home and it’s taken over our lives and impacted on our relationships.
“The children are desperate to have them back, all my youngest daughter wanted for her birthday on January 4th was to have them back.
“Please if anyone sees them or knows where they are, we want to know they are safe.
“They may have been sold on and the new owner might not even know their background.
“So if anyone knows of someone who has two little Border Terriers who might be our girls, please contact us.
“We’ve put up a £5000 reward for their safe return, we just want them home.”
If you have any information on the girls call call DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 138714 or visit their profile here.
Izzy is a six-year-old Apricot Cockapoo and went missing four years ago.
Heartbreakingly, she ran away from her home in Radcliffe, Manchester, on April 16th 2015, when workmen let themselves into her home.
Owner Ian Purvis who lived with wife Dawn and daughters Lauren, 16, and Evie, ten, had nipped out to get some paint and she was at home alone.
Startled by the stranger, Izzy who was anxious around people she didn't know, ran out of the door and into the garden where she stood trembling with fear.
The builders tried to retrieve her which scared her even more and she noted out of the gate.
Dawn said: “I know how scared she would have been. I just wish Ian had been able to get home to catch her before she was so frightened she ran off.
“In those first weeks and months, we put scent trails down, cut up old t-shirts and put pieces into bushes to leave her a trail home.
“Ian went out walking in the early hours every morning and late every night for months just in case she was trying to find her way home, whilst it was dark and quiet.”
Izzy and Ian
Ian and Dawn set up an online appeal and rang the police, council, rail and motorway authorities
The family hope and pray Izzy has been taken in and cared for by someone that thought she was a stray and that one day her chip will be scanned and she will find her way home.
Although very shy and timid, they believe she may have been sold and the new owner may not know her full background and that she is a missing dog.
Izzy is spayed and her family keep her microchip details up to date and one day a call will bring news of her safety.
Over 8,000 people are in a Facebook group searching for her and the couple have spent £10,000 in their search, including calling in a pet psychologist and pet medium.
She said: “My daughters often wake up in the middle of the night after having a nightmare about her. How can I tell them it will be OK when I don’t know myself?
“Izzy is part of my family and has been for six years, we love her so much and I will not just give up on her, she’s in my heart forever and I feel like a piece of my heart is missing with her.
“If someone has her please just let her come home, that is all we wish for, to have her back home with us.”
If you have information on Izzy, call DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 82954 or click here to see her profile.
Dana is a terrier cross rescue dog from Serbia.
She moved to be with owner Michele and her husband to what they hoped would be her forever home but on 18th June 2016 she went missing.
Dana was visiting family in Langley, Slough, about 35 miles from her new home when she went missing from a garden.
She had been playing with Freddy, the family’s other dog, when something spooked her and she escaped.
Dana was last seen on the Langley Canal a month later, and despite returning to the area where she went missing every day for months, Michele hasn’t seen her since.
Michele said: “Dana is a sweet and loving dog but wary and timid of strangers.
“Both me and my husband have left our full time jobs now working part time so we can concentrate on our other dogs and keep up the search for Dana.
“We also postponed our wedding in September 2016 as we couldn’t bear the thought of getting married without Dana being there.”
Dana and Michele
The family are hoping she was picked up as a stray and kept
Michele wants to appeal to anyone that may have Dana or who might have found her and gave her to someone else to get in touch.
Dana is spayed so can't be used for breeding, is microchipped and was wearing a collar on the day that she disappeared. There is also a reward for her safe return.
She said: “Dana would have celebrated her fifth birthday in January and we still marked the occasion.
“She is still very much part of our family, even though she is not with us. In the short time she was with us, we fell in love with her. She was a very loving little girl and we won’t give up on her search”
If anyone has Dana or has information on what happened to her, please contact DogLost quoting dog ID 101412 or to visit her profile click here.
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