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The Joy of Dogs

Written September 2021

The author Thom Jones once said “dogs have a way of finding the people who need them” – I wholeheartedly agree, and wanted to share a similar feeling I have for our new addition, Woodford.


Woodford joined our family in April and has already brought so much joy into our home that it is difficult to describe. This year has been hard, in May my mum was diagnosed with cancer, and, as so many who have unfortunately experienced similar will know, her fight has been, and continues to be tough. I can’t help but feel that Woodford’s arrival in our lives was meant to be. We had been trying to find the right dog for almost a year, having been let down by some breeders, and thankfully managing to avoid the awful scams doing the rounds. We had nearly given up hope, when I was told of a single puppy left from a litter of 7, who so far had not found his forever home. After a long chat with the breeder, I just knew that this was the boy for us. I truly feel that he found us, the family who needed him. His affection, along with his incredible sense of humour, are helping us all, including my mum, to cope through some of the darker days.


Woodford has even won the affections of my husband, John, who was initially reluctant to get a dog. My persistence paid off and he finally agreed, and now their bond is lovely to see, and John can’t imagine life without Woodford! (John’s ‘no dogs on the sofa’ rule didn’t last long either!)


The loyalty and affection that dogs show to humans has always fascinated me. They teach us so much about kindness, about patience, and about love. And, Woodford has taught me to appreciate stillness in a way I haven’t for years. Carving time out of my day to take him walking, watching him run through long grass with abandon just for the sheer joy of it, and sitting with him in the fields, listening to the wind in the trees, seeing the birds soaring in the sky, has reminded me of how good that is for the soul, and how important it is to slow down. It is easy to get caught up in the chaos of life, rushing from one task to another, but walking with Woodford forces me to put the brakes on and breathe, and I feel so much better for it. 


Dogs are blessed with a wonderful outlook on life, genuinely able to love unconditionally. Their desires are simple: food, shelter, and most of all, love and affection. Even dogs who have been treated with cruelty can be healed of their fear and learn to love again. Perhaps us humans should try to be a bit more like dogs – demand less, and love more – I’m certainly trying!


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