A Tribute To This Man’s Best Friend

Dolly The World’s Greatest Rescue Dog

I recently had to say goodbye to Dolly, and like any owner, I truly believed that she was the world’s greatest dog. From her painful and shaky start in life, this amazing girl went on to spread so much joy to so many people’s lives. This article has been written to celebrate her life and the lives of all those fantastic rescue dogs out there.

10 years ago, a fading dog was brought into the PDSA veterinary hospital in South East London where I had just started my new job as Head Vet. Found, ownerless and neglected, this poor emaciated soul was covered in infected wounds and was struggling to stay alive.

My team of vets and nurses didn’t hold much hope for this dying dog, but they still battled, using their vast skills and experience to do whatever they could to save her life. Miraculously, 3 weeks later she came home with me to start her new life with her new name; Dolly.

Working the long hours that I did meant that having her full time was going to be difficult. So in stepped my local friend Heath who hatched out a plan for a very modern dog-share. Since we both lived in flat-shares, Dolly suddenly had multiple house mates as well as multiple owners. From her neglected and lonely beginnings she was now surrounded by people.

Dolly’s early days were timid and frightened. It appeared that she hadn’t seen a car before and just walking out of the house was a terrifying experience. but her confidence soon grew and it became apparent quite quickly that it was with people that she was the most confident. Once she was shown kindness and attention her tail would wag with it’s own unique enthusiasm and she was ready to take on the world!

She went on to have many happy years in many happy houses and even spent many a summer in the south of France! She touched everyone that met and spent time with her and was often the reason people ‘popped’ round to the house. I often took full credit for her well behaved nature but if the truth be known, it was Dolly’s kind and caring soul that gave her such a loving personality.

One thing I’ll always be grateful for is the fact that Dolly was able to give something back to dog-kind. She appeared in many media and TV campaigns that helped spread messages of pet health and welfare. Her appearance with me on ITVs This Morning was her most famous and after helping to demonstrate pet life saving techniques to millions of pet owners she promptly fell to sleep live on air! As well as her TV appearances she is immortalised in many images at PDSA where she has supported the charity that helped to save her life all those years ago.

Dolly was everything that a good dog is. That guilty look after her daily roll in fox poo. That excited smile when you first walk in the door. The whimper when the lead is picked up. That expectant look when the knifes and forks are put down after dinner. But most of all she was that lick and that tail wag when the day was hard. That head on the knee when you thought your life had hit rock bottom. That friend that was always there… always.

So her life has come to end and the happiness that she brought to so many lives is now just a memory. But I can’t help but thinking of all those other dogs like Dolly, who need a home, or need vital life saving veterinary treatment. Dogs, that given a chance, could provide a home with years of happiness and joy.

To me she was the world’s greatest rescue dog and she will be irreplaceable. But the thing about dog’s is…… you never know when there is another great one just around the corner.



pet health advice

“This feature came to you from our very own TV vet Paul Manktelow. Paul is our lead expert for Vital Pet Health who has a wealth of veterinary knowledge and experience. If you have suffered a bereavement why not consider our second opinion service where we can offer you support-please click here”


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