Posted 5 months ago ago
Written by Bethan Shufflebotham
Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas revealed how her beloved rescue dog has been helping her cope after her father’s death.
The TeamDogs ambassador rescued Charlie three-and-a-half years ago and said he has been her “everything”.
Speaking to BBC Merseyside’s Tony Snell she said the little dog was by her side as she battled coronavirus and then received the dreadful news her father had died.
She said: “I’m just getting over five weeks of the coronavirus and I've been on my own and Charlie has sat at my feet, snuggled and cuddled and just looked at me.
“I had the passing of my father in the last few days and it’s almost like he knows.
“I get emotional just talking about him. He is just really sincerely loyal, caring and kind. I have no words for my Charlie.
“Other people will come and go but that dog will be here until he decides he wants to go to doggy heaven. For me he is my everything.”
Research carried out by recently-launched website TeamDogs revealed one in five new dog owners admitted to pandemic puppy regret - and Shirley is urging pet owners to seek advice and support through the TeamDogs community.
She said: “TeamDogs will direct all new dog lovers, or anybody actually, to be able to connect with other people about their dogs.
“When you get a dog it's for life and a lot of research is definitely necessary. They can bring so much joy but people need to understand that we have a community out there where you can connect with other dog owners and lovers who can help you with advice and support.
“Please don't give up on them. If there's any chance at all that you can work it out go to the site and talk to other people. They are beautiful little souls and they’ll be the most loyal thing in your life.”
Shirley will have a whole team of people around her when she returns to work to support her and Charlie and take him for a walk.
And as home-working comes to an end for many dog owners, Shirley urged them to think about their pets.
The Strictly star said: “You have to do some research and organise something for these little dogs. When I go back to work I have a team around me of people who will take him for a walk.
“You can't just leave them. They’ve been used to you for the whole year, their whole life for some, and we have to make provisions and think about them.
“They’re like children and have feelings and if they could talk they would - Charlie would anyway. A dog is not just for a year, it’s for life.”
TeamDogs launched in March and is a one-stop, dog-devoted shop for dog-owners and lovers dedicated to the latest news, advice and recommendations to ensure the dogs in our lives are living their best life.