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We rescued each other - Widower looks forward to Christmas once more thanks to rescue dog

When John Brindley’s wife died four years ago there was a huge gap left in his life. But now, thanks to ten-year-old rescue dog, Frank, the gap has been filled and they are looking forward to spending their first Christmas together. 

Frank, a Collie Cross, found himself in the care of Dogs Trust Shrewsbury earlier this year after his owner passed away. John, who is 73, had been enjoying dog walks with his friends and it was they that encouraged him to consider welcoming a dog into his life.

John says: 

“After Norma died things were very difficult. It’s not a good place to be when you’ve lost your partner in life. Friends kept an eye on me and one of the things I started to do was go walking with them and their dogs, which made me feel much better. 

“They started to suggest I should get a dog and earlier this year I felt the time was right so I headed to Dogs Trust Shrewsbury. It was as if Frank was just waiting for me to meet him. We had both lost someone in our lives, and we both needed each other.” 

Frank was being cared for by Dogs Trust Shrewsbury as his previous owner had signed up to the Canine Care Card, a free scheme which guarantees Dogs Trust will take care of a dog when the owner passes away. The lively Older Age Pooch (OAP) had only been at the rehoming centre a matter of days when John came along. 

Lee Pogson, Supporter Relations Officer who introduced Frank to John, said: 

“When I heard about John and the kind of dog he was looking for, I really felt they’d be a perfect match. John came to the centre quite a few times to spend time with Frank and they built a lovely bond before Frank headed home with him a few weeks later. It’s wonderful to know how much they mean to each other and how happy they make each other.” 

John, who lives in Red Lake, heads out on at least two walks a day with Frank and joins his friends and their dogs. He says although Frank is ten, he loves to play fetch with his squeaky toys in the garden and is always ready for an adventure, particularly enjoying walks around Paddock Mound or a trip out in the car.

Frank says: 

“He gives a purpose to every day. He sleeps in my bedroom and he loves his food so when it’s breakfast time, up we get and the day begins. He always makes me laugh and we are never apart. Wherever I go, he goes. 

“Spending Christmas Day together will be lovely. He is great company and I can’t imagine life without him.”          

This Christmas, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is reminding people that ‘A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas®’ and are asking the public not to buy dogs as presents. Visit to watch and share Dogs Trust’s advert, and for advice on dog ownership.