Tails of the unexpected


it’s this well-or­gan­ised set-up and pos­i­tive at­ti­tude that en­ables them to give so much to their ca­nine vis­i­tors – just six al­lowed un­der their li­cence at any one time. And huge dol­lops of love which means be­ing at­tuned to the needs of their guests 24 hours a day. They care for a mix of hol­i­day dogs and reg­u­lar day dogs and, says Jane, have even had guests on Christ­mas Day for the past five years.

“We don’t try to fit the dogs around us. It’s the other way round,” says Nic, as Jane greets an­other guest. “We love them to bits. We couldn’t do this oth­er­wise. Our ap­proach is that we want to pro­vide a car­ing en­vi­ron­ment where the dogs are loved, then they are re­laxed and have a lovely time. They en­joy our com­pany and we en­joy theirs.”

Both Nic and Jane grew up with dogs and they’ve res­cued them ever since. Their own dogs

Ed­die, the black lab and Tommy the York­shire cross, have both been re-homed and you could say that each have very def­i­nitely fallen on their four paws. Ed­die has stayed at Pikes Paws since he was a pup so when his owner sadly died, Nic and Jane gladly took him on. Tommy, a res­cue dog, ar­rived af­ter the loss of the cou­ple’s re­mark­able Par­sons Jack Russell Maisie.

“When we moved here seven years ago, Maisie helped us set this up,” Nic ex­plains. “With­out her we wouldn’t have been able to run this place the way we do it. She was very much the ma­tri­arch and used to look af­ter the dogs and help them set­tle in – an ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble, won­der­ful dog,” he says with real feel­ing. Maisie came from Bat­tersea Brands Hatch and when she died at the age of 17 last year, a Face­book trib­ute that has so far raised over £500 for Bat­tersea. “It

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