By Ashley Barnard, Reporter, The Northern Echo
A BELOVED pet has a secure future after her elderly and disabled owner pledged to leave her in the care of his trusted dog-walker when he dies.
John Johnson, 72, from Richmond, has made instructions in his will for his Doberman-cross Mij to be left with Jean Wilson, who owns a local dog-walking business and helps Mr Johnson when he is unable to walk her.
When the time comes, Ms Wilson, who runs Petpals in Richmond and Northallerton, will look after Mij until a new family can be found to adopt her.
Mr Johnson uses a powered wheelchair and has a pacemaker fitted, and although he usually walks Mij himself if he is unwell or needs to go into hospital Ms Wilson looks after her.
He said after getting Mij from kennels in 2008 aged eight months it took some time to gain her trust – and is adamant that when he can no longer take care of her himself she shouldn’t feel as if she has been abandoned again.
“I have owned many dogs over the years, and they always become part of the family,” Mr Johnson said. “Mij is particularly special though and as my health isn’t what it was, I need to know that when I’m not around anymore she will be well loved and cared for.
“I know I can trust Jean to do the very best for Mij.”
Ms Wilson said: “I know how much Mij means to John.
“The fact that he is planning ahead to make sure she will be comfortable and happy when he’s gone shows what a dedicated dog owner he is -but I’m sure John will be with us for a long time yet.”
We are pleased to announce the opening of Petpals (Richmond & Northallerton) in March 2010 and would ask you to join us in welcoming Jean Wilson to the network and wish her every success as our second new franchisee for 2010.
Having lived in Catterick since 1997 and after a career in the Army, Jean was looking for a fulfilling career where she could combine wanting to run her own business with her passion for animals and starting a Petpals franchise was the perfect solution.
With ongoing Pet Welfare Training, liaising with local community police, community groups and vets all assist in the provision of a friendly, flexible, professional and personally-tailored service that puts your pets first.
For more information, visit the Petpals Richmond and Northallerton area page.