I remember my grandparents having dogs when I was young, in Sheffield. My parents, together with my brother and I, moved away from them to Lincolnshire and I missed the dogs and my Grandparents terribly. I pestered Mum for a dog of our own, although she agreed, it wasn’t high on Mum’s ‘to do’ list. I took it upon myself to look at the local paper, ring up a few people who had puppies, find out the details and arranged for the family to visit on Mum’s day off. Mum was flabbergasted I had sorted it all out – I was 10 yrs old !

Cindy was a fantastic Lab x Collie family dog, she went everywhere with us, spending her retirement years with my Granny, who was lonely, living on her own, and Cindy gave her a purpose.

During weekends and School holidays I worked at a local kennels, cleaning, walking, grooming dogs and going to Championship shows to sit with dogs on the benches or at the side of the ring. I loved it !

Later in life I Volunteered at a local Dog Rescue, Animal Helpline, mainly walking dogs and eventually helping with the rescues Admin and helping with social media. We ended up having around 6 dogs in the home and also enjoyed fostering over 30 dogs in our home, either singly or in pairs, lurchers, terriers, occasionally 2 or 3 puppies at a time – that was fun! I learned a lot from these dogs, watching their behaviour and how my own dogs reacted to them, especially the nervous dogs. It is very rewarding to see the nervous dogs coming out of their shells and following my own dogs, adopting their more normal behaviour. Then to find fantastic forever homes, is always a sad and happy time, I have to blink away the happy tears and think about my next little dog to help.

I have volunteered now for 8 years and enjoy working on the nervous dogs at Animal Helpline Dog Rescue. I hope to continue helping rescue dogs, in one way or another, for many more years to come, through our new Team, Dogs in Mind.