Welcome to Pet Club, the brilliant new instalment from the Mirror People’s Pet Awards.
Every Friday, we’ll bring you inspirational and uplifting animal stories that highlight the heartwarming relationship between pets and their people, along with the cutest animal pics.
Like you, we love to hear all about amazing pets, so our news hounds will be sniffing out stories that are guaranteed to make you smile.
Like Summer, the four-year-old golden retriever who “graduated” from university last week. Summer is an assistance dog for her owner Laura Wild, who has autism, and accompanied Laura to every one of her lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University.
So when Laura graduated with a degree in Biology, it was only right that Summer was alongside her. Laura said: “People kept joking that Summer was graduating too.”
A picture of Summer and Laura leaping for joy sums up their wonderful relationship.
Summer has been with Laura since she was a puppy and instinctively helps to keep her calm if she senses nervous behaviour or anxiety.
As well as heartwarming stories like this from the animal world, we’ll also have the latest news from the People’s Pet Awards, including updates from our winners.
Last year we fell in love with heroic dogs, cats and ponies, and we even had a marriage proposal, so be prepared for stories to melt your heart.
And we have unmissable expert advice from our Wagony Aunt, Rachel Casey, who is Director of Behaviour at Dogs Trust, the official charity partner of the Awards.
She will be sharing top tips and invaluable advice to solve your doggy dilemmas every week, so whether your faithful friend can’t stop barking at night, or your new puppy keeps chewing your slippers, she’ll have all the answers you need.
So welcome to the club – we can’t wait to see you every week.
Dogs Trust expert Dr Rachel Casey answers your canine conundrums:
We’re heading off on holiday, but my puppy doesn’t like car travel. What can we do?
The Highway Code says dogs must be suitably restrained in vehicles so, before travelling, teach your dog to feel relaxed in a comfortably sized seat-belt harness, pet carrier or crate, or in the boot behind a dog guard.
Reward calm behaviour around the car using treats. Open the doors, reward him for getting close and put treats around the doors and inside, to encourage him to sniff inside, keeping the doors open so he can come out. If your pup is small, you could put a treat trail on a ramp.