Pets of the Cotswolds
PUBLISHED: 11:12 20 November 2015 | UPDATED: 16:32 07 January 2016
Some of us consider ourselves to be ‘dog people’, some love everything feline; and then there are those that have room in their hearts and home for both. We spent a little time getting to know some Cotswoldians who wouldn’t be without their four-legged friends
Angharad and Matt with Max
Four-year-old Bichon Frise Max is full of life, love and licks. His owners, Angharad and Matt, spend every moment they can with him, although he’s not the easiest to share a bed with! Favourite things include: long walks up Cleeve Hill, unattended cups of tea and Matt’s socks.
Heather Henthorn and Paul Gates with Betsy
Betsy is around two years old and was adopted by Heather Henthorn and Paul Gates from Lurcher SOS, Sighthound Rescue – a wonderful charity which takes in unwanted and abandoned sighthounds, provide foster care and then rehome them. Betsy was found as a stray in a known hare coursing area in Ireland and was fostered by the charity until eventually she found her forever home with Heather, Paul and her two new brothers, Oscar and Sirus, also rescue lurchers. She is a very bouncy lass and is enjoying a variety of Dickson Dog Training classes, including recall, agility and standard dog training. She also attends a dog rally class, and her new parents liken it to taking a human child to ballet, pony club and Brownies. Who knows, maybe Betsy will take up violin lessons soon!
Betsy is a saluki/whippet cross and as can be seen is a real poser – she knows just how pretty she is, although don’t let looks deceive you… She can be a right tomboy and likes nothing better than a manic game of frisbee or a wrestle with her two brothers.
Roz and Alan Wiley with Ash
My name is Ash and I’m almost 18 months old. I’m a Lakeland Terrier and I live with a working Cocker Spaniel, mother and daughter Black Labradors and my very best friend ‘Hooky’ who is a yellow Labrador. They all have to do something called ‘working’ and are very obedient whereas I’m variously described as characterful and/or cute at times, but I am a terrier and we do tend to rather rule the roost!
On the plus side I’m very friendly and don’t really mind having to go to the beauty parlour a couple of times a year for grooming, I’m also used to having to wear a coat when it rains but wasn’t overjoyed when I was dressed in a Santa outfit at Christmas time!
Although I seem to be very busy all day I like nothing better than a good sleep in the evenings before I have to go to bed.....the energy I use means I just have to keep my batteries charged up at all times. I have heard it said that I’ll be calmer next year as I’m to have a husband and something called puppies if lucky? Goodness knows what that’s all about, roll on next year?!
Sarah Smith with Cocoa and Deedee
We live in Hatherley, Cheltenham, and from the age of 10, my daughter Hannah would dream of owning a Pug and would talk endlessly about it. We caved in when she was 18, and within two weeks of us agreeing to have a dog in the house she proudly presented us with Cocoa, aged eight weeks. We were and still are completely besotted with him.
After a couple of years he didn’t seem to be behaving like a ‘normal’ dog chasing balls and birds, playing with dogs, and he was gaining weight because he didn’t run around and was begging for treats from dog walkers that fell for his charms (we have now learnt that this is pretty much normal pug behaviour)! We thought let’s get another dog to encourage more play, get him fit, lose weight and keep him company.
We saw an advert for a Jug crossed with a French Bulldog! Sounded ideal, half the price of a pure bred but with the Pug characteristics… little did we know that actually in character she’s 90% Jack Russell! She’s the polar opposite to Cocoa in that she loves chasing balls, squirrels, birds, dogs, cats, postmen, cyclists, cars – she’s an absolute nutter but we love her to bits. To be honest, our plan completely backfired because Deedee gets all the attention in the park with throwing balls for her which leaves Cocoa to snuffle around the park behind us looking for food that dog walkers have dropped!
Professor Diane Crone and Gnarly
Gnarly is 18 years old and has spent the majority of her life ‘mousing’ in view of Cleeve Hill. Now, like many older cats, she is a little hard of hearing and slower so her hunting days are over. She spends her time enjoying her favourite pastimes: watching the birds from the window, sitting waiting for the barbecue to be lit and of course sleeping. She’s great company, with a big noisy personality, who is an awesome pal!
Diane Crone is Professor of Exercise Science at the University of Gloucestershire
Lynn Ede and Locke
Locke is our adorable and beautiful black Lab. Change in circumstance and working hours meant we had to re-home him. Hard decision. We love and miss him every day but he’s having a super happy time with a wonderful family I found (I interviewed loads lol) close by who writes to us from Locke in the first person (how kind!). He now has acres of land to play in, with horses, chickens and another black Lab!
Nick and Heather Toye with Grace, Daisy and Rosie
We live just outside Gloucester with three cats, and three Labradors: Grace is the Golden, aged nine; Daisy is black, aged five; and Rosie is Fox Red and is one-and-a-half years old.
We all enjoy walks around the Forest of Dean and Haresfield Beacon as well as the many fields around our home. In the next few years we hope to breed Rosie.
The dogs and cats get on famously, with the eldest cat Molly joining us on dog walks, taking it upon herself to keep the dogs’ faces and ears clean, although the dogs aren’t always as keen.
The girls have their own Twitter account, with followers growing every day; it tells of their daily life and also their best friend Hamish who is a rescue Scottie when he comes to visit.
Follow the girls on Twitter: @lushlabs
Kay Thompson and Tilly
I firmly believe that dogs choose their owners rather than the other way round.
In November 2013 a very good friend of ours who is a local gamekeeper took on a then 18-month-old English Springer Spaniel Tilly, with the intention of working her. It turned out Tilly really didn’t like men but had formed an instant bond with me so I offered to work on her confidence and training to see if I could bring her round and get her working. After a few weeks we were given Tilly and became her fifth and final owners.
Just under two years on Tilly may not be the gundog which she could be but has grown into a cheeky, bold and loyal companion who follows me around like a shadow and loves nothing more than a Land Rover adventure when I’m working in the countryside. We’ve had our issues but I wouldn’t be without her!
Kay Thompson - Countryside & Rural Pursuits Photographer: www.kaythompson.co.uk
Emma Conway and Amber
Although I’ve grown up with dogs, Amber is the first I can call my own. I bought her last year when I got the keys to my first house, as I’m of the opinion that a house is not a home without a dog.
Amber has had ongoing health problems since she was born and, despite having two surgeries in her short life so far, she’s an incredibly happy dog.
True to form for a Labrador, she’s unbelievably social. Walking her can be quite time-consuming, in fact, as she’s always on her back asking for belly rubs from strangers and making quite a name for herself in our local park….
It will also come as no surprise that she loves her food, with breakfast being her favourite time of the day. Marmalade on toast is guaranteed to get her running round in circles first thing in a morning, and she loves a cup of tea – definitely a girl after my own heart!
I love how much of a character she is. From her incessant honking, grunting and unbelievably loud snoring to her daily humping sessions and need to carry security blankets around the house, she’s a great companion who never fails to make me smile. And despite the fact that my house will never truly be clean and tidy again, I wouldn’t swap her for the world.