This Morning's Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes have opened up about the incredible bond they share with their rescue dog, Maggie.
The couple, who re-homed Maggie nine years ago, are big supporters of Dogs Trust’s “Not Just For Lockdown” campaign, which has been created to remind dog owners that their pups are not a temporary love, but a permanent one.
Raising awareness of the charity’s “adopt, don’t shop” movement, the couple have opened up to Notebook about how Maggie changed their lives for the better.
Having tragically lost her sister, Julia, last June, Ruth, 60, said a dog “is the best medicine” and the cure for a “lousy day”.
She revealed, “A dog is the best medicine for so many. They get you out walking and keep you healthy. They’re never a burden, they’re your family.”
Despite never being an animal person, Eamonn, 60, admitted he’s a “better” person for being a dog-parent.
“Whenever I’ve had a lousy day and want to kick the sofa at 9pm when I come home, the thing that makes it better is the dog! She jumps on me, licks me, is excited to see me and brings me something as a present,” he explained.
“I just forget what I was worried about. I’m a better person because of my dog. And I’m more caring and considerate because my dog loves me and I love her back.
“Maggie has completely changed me for the better. I’m eternally thankful to her.”
This period of uncertainty due to covid-19 has been tough for everyone, including Ruth and Eamonn who can’t see their mothers due to the restrictions. But Maggie has been a great distraction.
Ruth said, “She’s always here for us. I can’t visit my mother in a care home and Eamonn can’t see his mum, who’s 92 and in Belfast. It’s been hard. But she gives us focus.”
The couple may only have one child together, but Eamonn sees Maggie as an extension of the family.
“A positive about the lockdown was family time,” he admitted. “And Maggie is part of the family. On Father’s Day I had a card from each one of my five children. Maggie’s card to me was signed with a paw print.”