Posted 2 months ago
Lucy's husband James with Joey (Image: Lucy Jones)
By Leila Marshall
Joey, the rare Bedlington Terrier living with his family in Wales, has always loved to go running and hiking.
After suffering from two miscarriages, Joey’s owner Lucy found happiness by running with her dog and she decided to run a marathon with him.
Lucy Jones, 29, who lives with her husband James, said: “Bedlingtons have a strong prey drive, and with Joey getting older, he started running off on our walks and was unreliable at recall but still had lots of energy and loves running.
“At the same time, I was struggling with my mental health after two miscarriages, so we started doing a few walks and jogs together. I soon found Joey loved it more than me, he was always ahead of me and started barking at me if I slowed down.
“Joey was really loving it, unless it was raining. He hates the rain as he’s only small and thin and almost shaped like a fluffy whippet, so he gets cold quite easily.”
The rain meant that Joey was not a reliable running partner, and unfortunately, living in Wales, she could not guarantee the weather.
She said: “We always run at his pace. It’s always faster than me. We stop when he’s had enough and walk for a bit or run again when he’s ready. We never run on hot days, leaving those days to walks in the evening.”
Joey is very well trained at just one year old, despite the fact he was a single puppy with no litter mates. Lucy said: “When he arrived it took very little time to house train him. He’d have the odd accident but by 12 weeks he was fully house trained.
“He loves tricks, so we do them every day with his food in the morning and night, he does high five, sit, down, play dead, go between the middle of the legs, go to bed and spin. He stays for up to 10 minutes before he has the rest of his food.
“He’s rubbish with recall though, he’s a proper teenager who loves female dogs and his prey drive is high. We use a drag line outside if we’re down the beach or playing fetch and hoping now that he’s older and we continue his training lessons he’ll get a bit better.”
Lucy was inspired by Bedlingtons as she followed a few of the breed on Instagram. She said: “I loved watching them grow up from puppies and also finding out tips and tricks like good walks to go on and training advice.
“When we got Joey, I wanted to document his life too. I grew up on a smallholding and our dog lived outside so having a puppy who lived inside with house training was a big learning curve for me.” You can follow Joey’s Instagram account @joey_bedlington_jones.
Lucy said: “I loved the Instagram puppy accounts that we followed. The advice was so useful, and encouragement from other Bedlington dog owners. Because of the rare breed we didn’t know anyone who had one, so finding people on social media who could give us tips was really useful.”
Lucy came across The Miscarriages Association and noticed they were advertising spots on their virtual London Marathon. She said: “The Miscarriage Association helps to support couples and families who go through baby loss in pregnancy with support groups and information.
“I found myself the first person in my family to go through a miscarriage and for my husband and I we didn’t have any information on how to process or what to do in the initial aftermath.
“The Miscarriage Association had the information we needed to guide us through, my husband used their support line when I was in crisis and he was worried about me. They advised seeing a counsellor specific in baby loss. That made all the difference. I suffered with a lot of mental health problems and struggled to understand why as miscarriage is such a taboo subject.
“Before losing our little ones I wouldn’t have believed I could do something like that, but now I know what I’ve gone through I have more self-belief. “
Joey won’t be running the whole marathon but will be running parts with Lucy and has helped with training.
Lucy said: “It kind of came about organically. Bedlingtons have a strong prey drive and with Joey getting older, he started running off on our walks and was unreliable at recall, but still had lots of energy and just loves running.”
Lucy said that Bedlington Terriers are rare now in the UK and very few puppies are born every year. She said: “They are even rarer in the south and where we live in Wales, but not if you go north towards where they are from in Bedlington. When we’re on holiday in the Lake District you are more likely to see them.”
Joey loves visiting new places. The couple took him on holiday to north Wales in the spring. Lucy said: “He spent the whole time bouncing around, loving exploring the amazing walks and we took him up Snowdon. His favourite was the mountain goats. My workplace has a rambling group, and we often take him walking all over the Brecon Beacons.”
The one-year-old Bedlington also loves to chill out at home and spends most of the day sleeping on the sofa. But he has a very adventurous spirit. Lucy said: “He’s also very clever. It doesn’t take him long to pick up tricks and he does agility training with my husband once a week. But as much as he sleeps at home, he has as much energy outside. He loves all day hikes and running.”
The family are very active and have included Joey when they go running, hiking, and go on long walks. They encouraged Joey as soon as it was safe and he had developed enough.
Lucy said: “Joey will do fine. He’s not doing the whole marathon. He’s helping me train and he’s going to run the last few miles.”
You can sponsor Lucy and Joey for their marathon run here.
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