The bond between a dog and its owner is often a special one, but the decision to adopt a puppy proved to be transformational for Beccy Sinclair.
Crossbreed Chewiee has brought joy on the darkest days, helped the 36-year-old to keep going in the face of health challenges and even played a starring role as ring-bearer on her owner’s wedding day.
Suffering from the inflammatory bowel disease Chron’s, Beccy had often found it difficult to get outside, leading to isolation, loneliness and depression.
Life took a turn for the better though, when she adopted Chewiee and brought the nine-week-old pup back to her home in Foxhill Court, Leeds.
“She’s completely changed my life, which now revolves around her, taking her to classes and for walks,” said Beccy.
“Before I was quite isolated and quite depressed as well, Chron’s is not a pleasant thing to live with but now I maintain my weight better because I have to be more active so that I can go out with her.
“At first it was hard for me because I wasn’t used to having to go out all the time, the motivation was there but having her really started to help me.
"I’m a completely different person, I don’t think I’ve suffered as much with depression or feeling lonely.”
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A look similar to that of Star War’s Chewbacca in her younger days was the inspiration behind Chewiee’s name. The half cocker-spaniel, quarter Yorkie and quarter border-terrier also loves food and frequently participates in agility courses.
But it is her work as opposed to her appearance that saw Chewiee nominated by Beccy’s friend, Tina Davies, in the Man’s Best Friend category of the Crufts 2019 Friends for Life award.
It celebrates a pet dog who has seen its owner through the hardest times as well as the happiest.
The pair had first entered The Kennel Club good citizen scheme, and their relationship has got better and better, with Chewiee thankfully becoming more calmer as she matured.
“Nowadays she’s happy to spend the day in bed with me if I’m having a bad day because she is so knackered from doing the other bits and pieces in the rest of the week,” said Beccy.
“She still motivates me every day to go out, she’s a lot easier now as she has an off-switch.”
Even though the pair did not make it through to the final shortlist for the award, Beccy says could not be happier with her canine companion.
Beccy said: “It was amazing having her at my wedding, it wouldn’t have been right not to have her there, my husband loves her as much as I do.”