Tell us about your Monty and how he came into your life.
Monty is my 7-year-old border terrier. I have no idea where the time has gone, because I still think of him as a puppy. I have suffered with really bad anxiety since I was a teenager, and one of the main reasons I wanted a dog was to hopefully help with that. Of all the terrier breeds, borders are supposed to be the calmest (I don’t know if that’s true), but Monty is incredibly chilled out – he doesn't care about squirrels in the park and he loves cuddles! He is very stubborn and has a naughty streak, but he has had an incredible, positive impact on my life and my mental health, getting me out of the house, whereas before I really struggled.
How does your Monty fit into your general day working?
At the end of last summer I took on a studio space, which changed things a bit. At first I was taking him in with me some days, which was really nice, especially as I’m based right opposite the beach, so we could have fantastic walks. But he didn’t really settle too well, always wandering around looking a bit bemused, and I would feel guilty and find it hard to concentrate on my work. So now he tends to stay with my parents whilst I am working.
When you’re not working, where do you and Monty like to hang out?
We are so lucky to live on the coast and have amazing beaches all around. The beach is definitely Monty’s favourite place and I never appreciated them properly until I got him. Monty also always seems to try and head into pubs when we walk past, which probably says quite a lot.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk and what do you carry them in?
Poo bags, obviously. Monty has a collection of squeaky rubber balls which are his absolute favourite, and he is very displeased if I forget to take one of them out with us. He carries them around the streets with him on the way to the park.
Water in the warmer months, but I’m terrible at remembering treats and lucky his recall is very good (normally!).
What adventures do you and your dog have planned for the rest of the year?
Coronavirus has thrown any plans up in the air, really, but right now every walk, however ordinary and familiar, feels really precious. Before I got Monty, my anxiety meant I struggled to leave the house and now, where we all have to stay in as much as possible, it feels remarkable to me how much I look forward to going outside. It clearly shows me how much things have changed, and I know how much of that is down to Monty. So for the time being, we are just making the most of going to the local park. But we are both going to be so excited when we can go further afield again - everything will feel like an adventure!