I met Julia a couple years ago while we were working together. We would often co-work at each others homes and that’s how I met Molly and I fell in love with her instantly. Molly’s story is a special one and this dog will always holds a special place in my heart.

Molly came to us on boxing day. I picked her up and drove straight to work where she became a staple for several months until I started to work from home. Molly was very much the dog that we wanted. Kaia came a year ago when we realized that Molly was not going to get better and she was very much the dog we needed.

The day before my birthday, 2 years ago, we found out that she had a sever congenital heart defect and the vet told us at the time, that she wouldn’t live more than six months and that the only way that even that would happen is if we kept her really really quiet and if she didn’t get any exercise and if we found things that would stimulate her brain but wouldn’t tax her physically. Molly at that point was still pretty much a puppy and we realized that, that wouldn’t be a life that she’d be happy with so we put her on medication.

After getting to know Julia and Molly, thoughts of getting my own dog started to surface often. Julia came with me to shelters and helped me search for dogs online and, once Eva came home, she started coming to our co-working days too.

About six months after I got Eva, Julia and Jim decided to get a second dog, Kaia.

Everything that we do is with Molly in mind and Kaia was part of that. Molly couldn’t go to the dog park anymore because we couldn’t risk that an aggressive dog would be the reason why she would go. We actively looked for a breed that was social and docile and we wanted a really young puppy that Molly could bring up to play in the way that she plays, which is very gentle.

We looked and looked and looked and then we saw this ad of Kai and we both stopped and we knew. So we drove up and Jim actually picked Kaia. Molly and Kai have been best friends ever since, we’re really lucky.

Without a doubt, Molly is the smartest dog I’ve ever met.

Molly understands currency, we taught her how not to break stuff or destroy stuff by teaching her to trade. The way that worked was if she had something of ours we would offer her a treat as a trade and get our thing back for something nice. Pretty quickly she worked out that means that if she wants a treat she now goes and finds something of ours. She has different values attributed to different things in the house. Socks and hats are really high up there, if that doesn’t work she starts fishing stuff off the counters.

She once came in with a wooden handled knife; everything stopped and we were like ‘oh, dear god’ it fully looked like she was threatening us to get treats. We’ve had to lock away all of the sharp things.

The thing that is the highest value of all, we still can’t find her stash, we’ve moved house and we still can’t find it, is birthday candles. Birthday candles are like the million dollar check. If nothing else works, she will go and fish out a birthday candle. We have no idea where they are, we haven’t had one in a little while so maybe she’s exchanged the last one but part of that is that we never bought birthday candles so she found them somewhere. She’s an evil genius. She keeps us on our toes.

Kaia’s entrance into the family was a true blessing for Molly, Julia and Jim.

When I say that Kaia’s the dog that we needed; Kaia has turned out to be just pure concentrated love. She is not trainable in the slightest but she’s the most socially intelligent dog I’ve ever met. She reads the situation, she did shadow learning from Molly, in terms of her behaviour but she is just love. That’s all she wants and that’s all she gives. She’s definitely the heart of the pack.

I consider myself blessed to know Julia, Jim, the dogs and Leyla the cat. Thank you Julia: Without you, I likely wouldn’t have Eva right now and life would be very different.