Tell us about Alan and how he came into your life
After nagging at my other half for years about getting a dog, I eventually won him over and we started researching breeds and looking at potential charities to adopt from. I became a bit obsessed with the Wild at Heart Foundation website and Instagram account, everyday feeling helpless and heartbroken by all of the Cypriot, Romanian, Greek (the list goes on) dogs that needed a forever home. It wasn’t long before we were both won over, by a little long eared pup called Loco. He was born at a rehoming centre in Cyprus after his mum was taken in as a pregnant stray. Loco came to us at 4 months old and was renamed, Alan.
How does Alan fit into a general day working at Pet Stories?
Every morning begins with me dragging Alan out of bed like he’s a mardy teenager. I genuinely think if I didn’t do this he would happily lie in all day. Once he’s up though he’s a little live wire and we start almost every day with a long walk in the Sheffield countryside. His favourite walk is in squirrel filled woodland or a stream side stroll. He probably walks the route 20 times over, the amount of running and darting about he does. It’s such a joy to see. This sets me up for a long productive day of work, and one big long nap for Alan.
Day-to-Day, I move around the house, never working from the same spot, but it doesn’t matter where I am, Alan’s right there with me. When he was a pup it was quite a challenge, trying to entertain/distract him from destroying furniture and anything he could get hold of. Now, we’re in a pretty good routine, and I can tell how content Alan is just having us around all the time. He’s a pretty lucky pup.
When you’re not working where do you and Alan like to hang out?
Since moving to Sheffield, our new favourite weekend activity is to explore the Peak District and embark on some pretty epic walks. I love seeing Alan in his element as he zooms about everywhere, overcome by all of the smells, sights and sounds. He tends to be the most well behaved on these walks too and I always get a lovely gooey feeling when he trails behind my other half and I. He really trusts us and it’s like we’re a pack, out on an adventure. We’ll usually break up these walks with a coffee or pub stop, which Alan isn’t all that keen on. He’s quite nervous around new people, so we only tend to do this when it’s not too busy. My favourite part of these types of days though is when we arrive home, cold and tired and we all conk out on the couch together. For some reason, Alan always snuggles up to me, over Nik. It’s another adorable moment that makes me go all gooey inside.
What Essentials do you always have on you when heading out with Alan and what do you carry them in?
Nowadays, it’s a towel. Living near the Peak District means more rain, more mud for Alan to run through, and more mess to trail through the house. There’s been times when we’ve forgotten to pack one, and the car’s taken one for the team and become caked in mud and that delightful wet dog smell. We’re thankful that he has his yellow rubber raincoat for those really wet days. He doesn’t wear it on his long distance walks as he’s running about too much, but it’s great for when we go to the park or walk round the block.
What adventures do you and Alan have planned for the rest of the year?
One of our favourite days out is to the deserted beaches on the Northumberland coast, watching Alan and his Welsh Springer Spaniel cousin Frank zoom on the beach and hop through the waves of the North Sea. We have family up there so are super lucky that we get to visit quite often. We’re looking forward to being reunited with loved ones after the lockdown days are behind us. Hopefully we’ll be able to see out the last days of Summer there, and I’m sure we will soak it all up even more than usual.