Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
12:10 AM 27th November 2021

Along Came Pip…

If you follow me online you might have noticed that I have a new arrival that is currently taking up a large amount of my time. I sit down to do emails and then this little character is biting my slippers and wanting attention, either a cuddle or to play with his toys.

Pip is my latest addition to my team of 20+ animals. He is a wire-haired Dachshund and full of life. He came to live with me just four weeks ago. I can’t believe he has only been here for such a short while.

So why a Dachshund and why another pet? As a family we already have two dogs, Elvis the Springer Spaniel who is 3 years old, and Sasha the German Shepherd at 9 years old. Life with dogs is amazing as they provide endless enjoyment. I still live at home with my parents and brother John and Sasha has always been the family pet. John if often in charge of Elvis will go for long walks with him around the Dales.

I’ve wanted a dog for quite a few years, who would always be with me, and I could take along to work or to meetings. I would take Little Alf the Shetland or Izzy and Ida my two sheep, but I think that would be chaos!

After my visit to the Shetland Islands earlier this year I kept seeing Dachshunds on my trip. I’ve always had a huge love for them and started to speak to my parents about getting one, and they thought it would be a great idea so when I got home I started my search. Getting a dog is such a huge commitment so if you are considering getting a puppy or rehoming one then think about all the requirements and how time consuming they can be. I knew I could fit one into my lifestyle as I spend a lot of time working from home but also going for walks and exploring the Yorkshire Dales.

Pip came along to live with me at the end of October and he’s been so lovely. He is always with me at work or going down the fields to feed the animals and has fitted in right at home.

Going forward we are starting a course to become a medical assisted therapy dog and handler which I feel will be very rewarding. I know how amazing animals are for therapy and it would be nice to share him with others who need help or just some comfort.

As an AAT dog, we train and use animals’ interactions with patients to aid recovery from health problems or to help people cope with certain medical conditions. This can help with several things such as social development, increased self-esteem, improve mental health, better social skills and increased empathy and nurturing skills.

I’m looking forward to starting the training with Pip in the next few weeks… He’s currently asleep at my feet in the office!