Me and my Pet - Beccy Bullock and Betsey
- Credit: Archant
Beccy Bullock on living – and working – with Betsey the cockapoo
Our daughter Louisa always wanted a dog, but both my husband and I work long hours and we kept saying no as it wouldn’t be fair on a dog to be home alone. As a compromise, we used to borrow a cockapoo to take for walks, but when my daughter was old enough to go out independently, we finally gave in. We initially wanted a rescue dog but ended up getting a cockapoo – a poodle and cocker spaniel cross. As both my husband and son Dan are allergic to animal hair, we needed a dog that didn’t shed, so it was the perfect choice.
In August 2016, Betsey moved in. Each family member put a name in a hat and we drew one out to decide. Betsey suits her perfectly.
Not long after she moved in we had a traumatic experience with one of our pet budgies. Both our birds, Billy and Benji, would fly freely around the room and we would watch Betsey carefully when they did. However, after one short unwatched moment, we returned to find Billy half inside Betsey’s mouth and there was nothing we could do to save her. Sadly, Benji had to be rehomed as he was lonely without Billy, and we were also concerned about his safety because Betsey would sit for hours watching him, licking her lips.
Despite the odd dead budgie, having a dog has added a whole new dimension to our family. Before Betsey arrived, the children were often on screens in their bedrooms, doing their own thing. The dog brings us together. In the early days, they helped with puppy training, cuddling and playing with her, now they argue about who will walk her and feed her. It has given them a sense of responsibility and forced them to go outside more.
Dog walking is a central part of our family activity at the weekend and whereas before my children would moan about going out, now they don’t (as much). We are lucky to live in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, with numerous walks on our doorstep.
Betsey is as energetic and outdoorsy as we are and is a regular at Penyghent, the Settle Loop and Malham Cove. One of my favourite local walks is at Austwick, through bluebell woods to a little cafe tucked away at Feizor, which serves amazing cakes and offers dog biscuits to Betsey.
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Our lovely cockapoo is never alone. She goes to work with my husband every day, sitting in the office and greeting the customers. She also loves to sit in the joiners’ van and regularly goes out on jobs with them.
Running a business can be very busy at times and Betsey provides a welcome distraction as well as being a lovely addition to the team. Getting out for a walk during the working day helps with balance and wellbeing, and we certainly couldn’t imagine life without her now.
Beccy and Ian Bullock own Timberworks Bespoke Joinery in Settle, specialising in timber doors and windows. For more details, visit timberworksjoinery.co.uk