I had always wanted a dog of my own for as long as I can remember. I used to look after and walk my sister’s dogs and would always dream of having my own one day. Then, as soon as I got my first job, I went in search of my dream pooch and found my beautiful boy, Arco, a Dobermann cross Collie.

Arco was rescued, along with his litter-mates, from Ireland and brought over to the UK to find his forever home. I remember phoning the rescue centre when I heard about him only to be told that he had already been reserved. I was pleased for him but also disappointed that he was taken. Then, a few days before he arrived in the UK, I received a phone call saying that someone had cancelled their reservation and asked if I was still interested in adopting one of the puppies! I was over the moon and even got to pick my boy before anyone else. I chose the name Arco because of my Spanish heritage and because arco iris means rainbow in Spanish. Arco was definitely my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and I liked how unique the name was, so it stuck!

On the day of collecting Arco I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe I was finally going to have my own dog, my own best friend who would depend on me and love me. I remember walking into the kitchen and seeing all of the puppies bouncing towards me whilst Arco ran behind me and tugged at my boots. He was clearly the most nervous out of all the puppies and such a sensitive little soul. I knew instantly he was mine. Arco slept throughout the entire journey home as I sat with my arm aching (he was quite a heavy pup even at just 10 weeks old) and my head spinning as I hadn’t eaten all day due to excitement. But I had a huge smile on my face because I had my puppy, my Arco. I told him that we would never be alone again as we now had each other and I promised to take care of him and do everything I could to protect him and keep him happy.

I remember this day so clearly, as though it was only a few months ago. I must admit I was not prepared for the ups and downs that were to follow; I’m not sure any new dog owner can ever really say that they’re 100% ready as you learn something new every day! The following months and years were filled with laughter, tears, cuts, bruises, headaches and heartache, but I would never ever have changed him for the world. He taught me more than any course, book or lecture ever could and he will always hold an extra special place in my heart.