Thinking of getting A new puppy or kitten?

by Handymag

Our vet, Will Sennitt, talks about taking on his fluffy bundle of Cocker Spaniel joy, Bertie.

“It was a wet and windy September evening in 2014 when I and my now wife travelled across the North York moors to collect our first puppy, Bertie. My wife had always wanted a Cocker Spaniel having researched the character of the breed and how he might fit into our lifestyle. My preference had always been for a Labrador but as in all good relationships – we compromised, and she won!

We’d scoped out several Cocker Spaniel breeders in the area – taking the time to visit each one to check where the puppies and their mother were being raised, making sure they had all the correct treatments and veterinary checks before decided on a puppy to love for life. I remember the first time we saw Bertie a few weeks prior – there were several smaller females in his litter who came happily trotting up to us with tails wagging, giving little whimpers to get our attention. Then from the back of the room came a chunky blob of furry energy! Bertie won our hearts immediately – clambering over his sisters in the process but they didn’t seem to mind. We made sure we asked the breeder the right questions – such as whether he’d be starting vaccinations for us and be vet-checked? Would he be microchipped and wormed before collection? Which diet is he being fed? And many others to make sure we were taking on a healthy, well-bred puppy. With all the correct the answers we knew Bertie was the pup for us.

So the night had come to collect our new family member, he’d reached 8 weeks of age and was ready to travel to his forever home with us. We’d made sure the house was fit for a puppy – nothing dangerous available to chew (as we know puppies love to try everything at least once!) and no way of him attempting a great escape. We’d set up a comfortable area for him to sleep – a crate covered with a blanket to act as a safe den for him to retreat to with plenty of puppy pads to catch the inevitable ‘accidents’.

We pulled up to the house where he was raised and he welcomed us with the usual playful energy that he still has to this day. It was quite sad to take him from his mother and littermates – we certainly had a few sleepless nights for a couple of weeks. But he quickly adjusted to the norms of our human world – such as not toileting in the wash basket or chewing my wife’s favourite shoes. 5 years on he is still, if not even more so, an integral part of our lives and in some way brings us joy every day.”

Taking on a new puppy or kitten is always a big commitment, you can find more advice on our Healthcare pages at, or click here for contact information.

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