I wasn't intentionally looking for another dog, although it had been in the back of my mind ever since I started training Daisy to be a Therapy Dog. Rather, I was thinking it was something that would happen in the next year or so. I would not even be considering another dog though if Sam was still with us. Our new pup entering into our heart-broken family was FATE; we were destined to meet, and someone was making dam sure that we did.

So how did we meet? Well, I had made a comment on behalf of Sam's Superheroes, on the Medical Detection Dogs Facebook Post. The breeder of our new pup, Rachel, saw our comment and took a peek at our website. She read that at some point in the future I would be looking for a new Therapy dog to work alongside Daisy. Rachel got in touch with me to let me know that her beautiful working cocker spaniel recently had a litter of pups, and she loved the idea of one them going to a small charity where she could follow their journey. The puppies mum had impeccable breeding; she was an Assistance Dog, and had the most beautiful temperament.

Later that evening, Rachel sent me some videos and photos of the pups, and we were talking through their names that she had initially chosen. When she got to one of them, she said a name and I froze. I could not believe it, for this was a name that just shot straight for my heart. I felt this sudden rush of love, and I knew that this pup was meant for us.

Her name was STAR. 

For those that don't know STARS have huge significance for me. The theme as Sam's funeral was STARS and SUPERHEROES. For example men wore ties with STARS, ladies wore jewellery and clothes with STARS on. The church was decorated in STARS, and everyone received a beautiful hanging glittery gold STAR with Sam's name on and a STAR t-light holder. So you can see that this meeting of STAR felt very much like it was the hand of fate. We were being guided together; making sure STAR joined our family. The rest as they say, is history.

STAR is from Usk in Wales. Her breeder is amazing. I have now learnt that getting the right breeder pays dividends; not only for you as the new owner, but for the pup too. She has given STAR and her sisters the very best start in life. Prior to picking STAR up I had continual updates from Rachel. Videos and pictures showing just how much attention, love and nurturing the pups were getting. It was wonderful to see, and I fell hopelessly in love with STAR.

STAR came to her forever home on Thursday 21 October. Myself and my lovely friend Becky went to pick her up. Becky is playing a key role in STAR's life as she, and her daughter Holly, will be helping me look after her! STAR was perfect in the car, despite it being an awful journey home due to traffic; it took us four hours! 

You can find STARS breeder on Gwlithybore, Champdogs (click here for their Instagram profile).I am blown away by our breeder's commitment and dedication to nurturing her puppies, it shows in abundance and she has gone above and beyond. It turns out our beautiful, quietly confident STAR is basically house trained, curtesy of Rachel's brilliant training. Yes I know, it's hard to believe house trained at just 8 weeks old, but she is! Plus, she is also sitting on command!!! I feel you may think that I am exaggerating, but I kid you not! I simply let her out in the garden, say 'busy busy', the command used by her breeder for going to the toilet, and she does! She sits beautifully when I ask, which would melt even the coldest of hearts. STAR has been fantastic during the night too. She is the kindest, intelligent, gentlest little soul, with the puppy zest for life. She has slotted right into our family, it's like she has always been here, she is a wise old soul. Now who does this description of STAR remind you of? Yes, that's right it's.......our Sam. 

So how is Daisy (Sam's black labrador) and Mr Smudge (Sam's cat) taking to STAR? Well, I think Daisy is nonplussed, or she is just being aloof! She is slowly coming round, but I know Daisy will be the most amazing mentor to Star and I am sure they will be firm friends soon. Mr Smudge? Well he spent a few days in denial. He initially stayed upstairs out of the way, but then kept popping downstairs to check whether she was still there, or whether it was simply a bad dream! But alas for Mr Smudge, it wasn't a bad dream! Slowly, and surely reality has kicked in and he is gradually coming to terms with the fact he has a new sister to train up! He has given her a hiss and spit, no bad thing, she needs to learn who the boss of the house is.......and that will be Mr Smudge!

So to round this update off I truly feel that my boy has sent STAR to me. Whilst not everyone will perhaps agree with this view point, I know he did. Sam is looking down on us, and he will be relieved that I took all the subtle, and not to subtle signs, that were literally being thrown in my direction to guide me and STAR together. I am so thankful that I acted on these signs as I know STAR is going to do great things alongside DAISY in Sam's name.

Before I go, I should say a massive thank you to my parents, who so generously gifted STAR to me. I have eaten into my savings over the past few months, between Sam's funeral and trying to get Sam's Superheroes off the ground, so without their generosity I wouldn't have STAR. A big thank you mum and dad from myself and Sam, and all the people she will help in the future!

Thanks for reading, and please follow our journey,

With love,

Sam's mummy