Tracey, Bunty & Bisto
What made you get Bunty & Bisto in the first place?
My husband got Bunty for my 50th birthday, as I had seen a Bedlington in a car and thought I had seen a lamb being driven along! We call them ‘Lamby dogs’ and they look like little lambs when they are woolly and gambol about. We got Bunty as a companion for our elderly bearded collie cross when we lost our retriever cross aged 20 and he was pining for his friend. Bunty soon perked him up and gave him a new lease of life. Then when we lost him aged 17, Bunty was lonely and having had such a positive experience with Bunty we felt another Beddie was an appropriate companion, as she had been so good with all the children in our care and our grandchildren.
What is the most rewarding thing you have found about owning a pet?
They have helped us to get through the strain of lockdown by being loving and upbeat, making our daily exercise outings a real pleasure. Couldn’t ask for better pets and we love them dearly.
Have you encountered any problems (illnesses, behavioural, social) with your pet?
Bunty can be a bit barky on the lead but that I think is a poor training issue on our part. They are easy to train and recall is great (with the help of treats) and generally they are extremely happy to play with all other dogs. My daughter has a rescued greyhound and they love him so much. They bark like mad at birds on our conservatory roof and do get a bit silly if they spot a cat.
Health wise, their worst trait is eating anything they find, which has resulted in Bunty being very unwell once, possibly as the result of a nasty person putting something toxic down. Beddies can be prone to copper toxicosis, but careful checks with the breeder meant that both of ours were tested for this and cam back negative. They are bright and get bored easily, so keeping them active is a good thing. They can run really fast, so recall training essential!
What is your top tip for people thinking about adding a pet to their family?
My tip would be to choose a breed that you know will suit your lifestyle and the time that you have to spend with them. We were fortunate that Nigel was childminding when we got Bunty, so could be at home a lot with her whilst she was a pup. Puppy training classes helped our two to learn to socialise. As with all dogs, as long as you can teach any children to be kind and respectful, then a dog is a fantastic companion and teaches children so much about life. Our lives are certainly fuller for having our two furry sweethearts in them.
Do you have any funny stories to share with us about Bunty and Bisto?
Our Bedlingtons are the softest and cuddliest pair. They love children, which is just as well because we have been registered childminders as well as having a lot of grandchildren in our lives! The girls take their child minding duties very seriously and soon learned that high chairs are great for sitting under and helping with the inevitable clean up needed when toddlers eat! We have found their lovely personalities ideal for helping children learn to be kind to animals and they love nothing more than a snuggle with a gentle small person.