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angel conradie Jan 2013by Angel Conradiewife, mom, cupcake maven, ADHD champion, wedding planner, guide-dog puppy raiser, tattooed cat slave and social media addict.

We had dogs growing up, but they lived outside and they weren’t really trained, so I never imagined I’d be “a dog person”… so how did I get here?

Now If you’d told me, just five years ago, that I would be happiest if I could take my Labrador with me wherever I went, I would have laughed at you!

It all started when our house was broken into whilst we slept!

We decided we needed a dog, but we worked full day and we don’t have a huge garden, so we contacted Wetnose, told them our story and said we wanted a pair of medium sized, adult dogs. They were thrilled that we wanted two dogs, so we drove out to meet a few of the dogs they had available. Thelma and Louise were the sweetest pair we met! They’re mixed breed and very pretty, and thrive on love and cuddles, but they have no idea how to play!

Once we’d chosen our dogs, Wetnose had to check that our garden was safe and walled, and we had to buy a waterproof kennel as the girls would be mostly outside. We bought a big igloo, blankets, collars and so on, Wetnose approved our circumstances, and we made a donation when we went to fetch the girls.

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It took a couple of days to decide on their names, but the girls settled right in! They are phenomenal watchdogs and only bark if there is good reason to, and they have such lovely natures.

After a while I started doing some obedience work with them, and in their first winter I bought them jerseys and let them sleep inside at night, and that was how it stayed! They sleep inside every night on their own beds downstairs, and every winter they get new jerseys!

And nothing can compare to the dancing, smiling greeting I get from them every morning!

Our  Riddick  has a different story. He’s a golden Labrador and he was actually born at The SA Guide-dogs Association. He was destined to be a guide-dog until his eyes opened and they discovered that his pupils don’t react to light. They are fully dilated all the time so in bright sunlight he is quite blind, although he sees very well at night- hence his name, very cleverly chosen by my husband!

When Riddick was born, we were in the midst of puppy walking a Labrador Retriever cross we had named Volt a guide-dog puppy owned by The SA Guide-dogs Association- and as volunteers for them we were contacted when they decided Riddick could be adopted as a pet. There were a few families who were interested, but we were approved by SAGA to adopt Riddick as our own.

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I was thrilled!

He crawled deep into my heart and my baby boy, who now weighs 30kg, stays inside the house with me, sleeps on my bed at night, and quite literally follows me around wherever I go! He is well trained and well socialised, and I insist on good behaviour at all times.

And Thelma and Louise have taught him what to bark at and what to ignore too!

I am now a dog person through and through. Who’d a thunk it!

 Click here to find a list of dog charities that work with animals

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