The Journey begins
From a young age I always wanted a dog. The hours spent trying (unsuccessfully) to persuade my mum we wanted to get one. The goldfish, hamster and guinea pig offered as a compromise, although much loved, just weren’t the same.
Into adulthood the desire to get a dog continued – but it was never the right time; work, young children, even financial costs were cited as reasons not to. When would be the right time to share our family home with a beloved dog?
In March 2017 I was signed off from work following my first panic attack. It was hard to admit that I was burnt out from everyday life. Further testing identified that I needed gallbladder surgery; another reason why I was feeling so poorly. This led to a long period of time spent at home, which in turn removed the inclination to leave the house. Many counselling sessions later it was concluded I had to find more time for myself, to compartmentalise my home/work load and not to beat myself up if I can’t achieve everything.
A family holiday to Salcombe, Devon at the end of May 2017 changed my perspective. What an amazing town, beautiful scenery and friendly locals. Going on long walks gave me the opportunity to appreciate the outdoors again and to live in the moment. It became quickly apparent how dog friendly the whole area is. Everyone, apart from us, had a dog. As a family we decided that we were committed to getting one.
On returning home after the week away my desire to stay home returned. My amazing friends and family were helping with the kids and I was able to stay indoors. Invitations to go out were declined. Some research for reputable dog breeders and appropriate breeds led to us booking an appointment to go and have a look at some puppies. We immediately fell in love with Bailey and have never looked back.
From the first day he came home to us our lives changed for the better. Some people have passed opinions that I was just adding to my workload; but they are missing the point. Bailey is my dog - to support me mentally, emotionally and physically. He is the best stress reliever, the best listener, the best excuse to get out and about with the family and enjoy the free things in life – to live in the moment.
Returning to Salcombe on our next holiday was a great experience – with our dog. Playing with our own dog on the beach – going for long coastal walks, enjoying time on the water. Our Happy Place.
In 2019 a second dog, Beau, was added to our family.
Many an evening has been spent with good friends at the Victoria Inn, Salcombe, with discussions around ways to share my experience and promote the well-being benefits a dog can bring to all our lives. This has led to the creation of this website in addition to Instagram and Facebook pages to show our journey and to offer hints and tips along the way.
Recognising that all dogs deserve to be happy, healthy and safe, an online store offering a range of natural dog treats, eco-friendly dog toys and accessories has also been set up. A donation from all items sold will be made to dog charities; in the hope that rescue dogs have an opportunity to be placed with a deserving owner.
Getting Bailey was the start of the journey to improve my mental, emotional and physical well-being. Keep engaged with us and let’s see how we can all help each other.