DOG folk on the whole, it must be said, are among the best. Just like the team who visit and care for my dogs when I am busy at work. Following every visit I receive a text message to let me know that my gang have been (and I quote), “all watered, fed and loved”.

I also receive a photograph or two of the dogs relishing treats, playing in the garden or sometimes just enjoying a cuddle.

Special people in my eyes, doing a very special job and it’s not just the paying clients who receive treatment par excellence, as one small puppy can testify.

December 28, 2017, minus 2 degrees Celsius. Rob, husband to one of my daily doggy carers was out walking his own dogs in the wood when he found a plastic carrier bag. Inside were the remnants of broken Christmas decorations, some glitter and a nine-week-old puppy.

The puppy was tiny with huge bat wing-type ears and strongly resembled a Demogorgon from Stranger Things, the family’s favourite sci-fi programme.

The puppy was almost completely devoid of fur, due to a severe mange infection and belying her scary appearance as she peeped out from the bushes, she was terrified and very poorly.

The puppy was subsequently named Eleven, (later shortened to El) after one of the characters from Stranger Things, who had also been found in a wood.

Thankfully, it seems that the gods were smiling down on the Demogorgon puppy that day after all.

A Just Giving page was set up in her name, in order to cover the cost of her veterinary treatment and incredibly, she survived.

By this time El was quite the local celebrity and even made the television news where the vet who had been treating her was interviewed. It was here that the vet told the news reporter that had El not been found that morning, within eight or nine hours she would have probably died, such was the seriousness of the infection that had ravaged her tiny body.

A few days later and El was discharged into the care of Rob, Claire and family who fostered her for the next four weeks.

Within their home El grew stronger and developed confidence, a mischievous personality and made friends with the family’s two Border Terriers.

Offers of a permanent home were plentiful as her story spread throughout the community and across social media.

All applicants were carefully assessed on their own merits, but one stood out clearly from the rest. El had found her forever home.

The people who adopted El had lost their own much-loved dog two years earlier which, at the time, had left a huge emptiness in their lives. It was very apparent to see that they needed El just as much as she needed them and a void began to fill.

A whole year has passed now and the happy, healthy, shiny, confident El who loves life so much, is barely recognisable from the terrified, desperately ill puppy with the oversized ears.

Over the course of the last twelve months she has been spayed, celebrated her first birthday, made lots of new friends and enjoyed a fun filled, televised walk along the beach near her home, with dozens of dogs and their owners joining her from across the county, in order to celebrate her story.

Needless to say, Rob, Claire and Hannah are always welcome visitors at El’s home, where they are greeted with great enthusiasm and excitement, just as they were at Christmas.

It is plain for all to see that El has not forgotten them and they will certainly never forget her.