Friday 16 February marked the Chinese New Year ushering in the year of the Dog.

According to the Chinese Zodiac the Dog is a symbol of loyalty and honesty, with people born in those years possessing the best traits in human nature.

In celebration of this, we thought we would introduce the Kissing with Confidence dog division.

Basil (Julie McHugh)


First up we have Basil Carbonara McHugh, a 4 ½ year old Miniature Dachshund who lives with our Office Manager Julie McHugh.

Pinching prosciutto, tearing up toilet paper & cuddles on the couch. He is a tiny pup with a mighty attitude.

Basil is my first dog and I wouldn’t change a thing about him. I love everything about his cheeky little self, from the early puppy classes where he learned not to pull at your trouser legs, to enjoying leisurely walks along the river, he is always there looking for a cuddle and a biscuit. Sometimes he even enjoys a little dress up ... if there is a bit of chicken involved!

Wallace & Findlay (Brian Williamson)


Next we have Wallace and Findlay, both West Highland Terriers, who live with our Entrepreneur in Residence, Brian Williamson.

My dogs have taught me so much about life.

I have two west highland terriers or Westies as they are known to their owners. One is called Findlay and the other Wallace. There is no doubt despite his small size Wallace makes his namesake in Braveheart look like a wimp. He only goes for the biggest of big dogs.

Despite that they have taught me a lot about life and for all the dog owners bout there I am sure you are no different.

Unconditional love.
ME - I arrive home late - ’sorry boys I got held up in the office and I know I am late and you need your dinner and I never called to let you know when I would be back’
Wallace and Findlay - Tails wagging like crazy and licking my ears (it’s a westie thing) and doing that whimpering thing they do when they are excited.
Lesson? No matter what I do they never hold a grudge, never go in the huff and always love me like the first day I met them.

Play is what life is all about
I feed them with some dog meat and a wee bit of fried chicken ( I know its spoiling them but they deserve it) and in their excitement they would both put Torvel and Dean to shame with a triple salchow. Afterwards…Wallace goes into the toy box and drags out something to play with. Findlay plays tug of war with him but the younger Wallace always wins so he gets tired of that game. Wallace turns to me to have the same game and he never gives up…I eventually do. I sit down and he snuggles in beside me as if to say…Thanks Dad.

Water is important
We have water in every room and they are always drinking it. They remind me that I need to drink more water.

Love the one your with
This is a bit like that Crosby Stills & Nash lyric…”if you can’t be with the one you love…love the one you're with”
We decided long ago that the kennels did not really work for us or the dogs. It all seemed a bit too much like punishment. As a result we found a foster family as we call them. They allow the boys to do the same at their house as they do at ours. It is truly a home from home. Wallace and Findlay just love them. They have the ability to love the person they are with and they love them back.

Be interested and curious
I have started doing yoga in the morning before I get ready to go out.It gets my body ready for the day and miming in the right spot. The boys are very curious about my positions especially up-dog and down-dog. They try and join in and have that neat little movement where their head moves from side to side when I talk to them as if they are actually stacking up what I am saying. My heart melts and a big smile develops on my face.

Get the right amount of rest
When the boys are tired…they sleep.

So when I get frustrated or come across some of life’s challenges I find myself asking…What would Wallace and Findlay do?

Hamish & Gracie (Nicky Denegri)


All the way from London we have our Trainer and Executive Coach Nicola Denegri’s Labrador Hamish.

Vital statistics: Hamish
Loves: walks; squeaky toys, his human family
Loathes: the hoover, change of any sort
If he could speak, most likely to say: you’re not really going to eat all of that biscuit, are you?
Least likely to say: I’m full up


Nicky has also just taken in Gracie while her neighbours are overseas.

Vital statistics: Gracie aka our guest dog while our neighbours are abroad for two years
Loves: Hamish; humans
Loathes: squirrels
If she could speak, most likely to say: yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah (she’s enthusiastic, to put it mildly)
Least likely to say: I want to be alone

Bailey (Gemma Hamilton)


Lastly, the baby of the group is Bailey Biscuits, a Harrier who lives with Client Services Coordinator Gemma Hamilton.

Bailey came into our lives when he was 1 and has been so much fun ever since. Being a hound, he loves to be outside chasing anything that will run, playing with other dogs, and trying to mug food off of strangers. He’s so handsome that it’s not usually a difficult task to persuade someone to give him a wee treat! He’s currently in training and trying to get his next APDT certificate, though leaving food is proving to be somewhat of a challenge!



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about the author

Brian Williamson is our Entrepreneur in Residence. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

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