Me and My Pet - Charlotte Meek and Bob

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 May 2018

Charlotte and her beloved dog Bob, a canine therapist with a sideline in furniture demolition

Charlotte and her beloved dog Bob, a canine therapist with a sideline in furniture demolition

supplied

Charlotte Meek, founder of The Stitch Society in West Yorkshire, pins down her pet’s finer qualities

Bob came into my life six years ago as a lifesaver with an important mission; to help me get fit following 18 months of gruelling cancer treatment. Having researched different breeds of dog, my family and I decided a miniature schnauzer was the perfect candidate, as they were equally happy on long walks and snuggling up on the sofa, which sounded the ideal companion during my recuperation.

We looked around and found Bob, or rather he found us. Visiting him as a puppy, we noticed even then that he sat slightly to the side, absorbing everything and joining in only on his terms.

A character from the start, he bounded into our lives as a little bundle of fur, swinging on the hem of any piece of clothing he could get his teeth into.

Gradually, he made our home his own and, as only a small dog can, claimed his territory by barking at anything and anyone that walked past. The mere whiff of a passing dog (the bigger the better) still sends him into a frenzy of high pitched barking that only ceases when the offending canine has safely disappeared from sight, sound and smell.

A model puppy, the only major catastrophe was when we once left him on his own for too long and returned to find had eaten a large chunk of the sofa! He has had flurries of activity with balls of wool and the occasional rummage for a forbidden tasty morsel in the bin too, but on the whole is remarkably well behaved for one who is, deservedly, spoilt rotten.

Bob has grown up with my children and as they have gradually calmed down with age, so has he. He still loves his long walks at the weekend but is as stubborn as ever. He has never, ever been for a walk in the rain, refusing even to step over the threshold; we have given up and don’t even attempt to walk him if there is anything more than a slight drizzle. Snow is another story; endlessly entertaining, he walks head down with his nose like a snow plough.

Not always the brightest, he regularly runs into our patio doors, leaping with gusto to get inside before realising that the doors have been closed.

Coming home to his whiskery face is a delight every time. As soon as the car pulls onto the drive, long before the key is in the door, he greets us like long lost friends even when we have only popped out to the local shop.

Enjoying a sedate lifestyle, Bob has favourite spots in the house, depending where the sun is during the day and the best window to growl and grumble at passers-by for their audacity in disturbing his nap. Belying his size, he unleashes sounds to rival the Hound of the Baskervilles whenever the doorbell rings, ensuring that any unwanted visitors are driven away by the symphony of howls, barks and yelps that pepper our lives.

Nothing could have prepared us for the joys of having Bob in our lives. He has more than lived up to his intended role as a canine physiotherapist, but he’s also won our hearts. Every day, he provides laughter, frustration and comfort as only he can. We love him dearly and I’m sure he loves us too, in his way and on his terms.

Charlotte Meek is founder of award-winning The Stitch Society which manufactures exclusive ‘aprons with soul’. For details, visit thestitchsociety.com

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