Animal lover who took brave step of taking in end of life dog loses beloved pet

A photographer made the brave decision to take on an end of life rescue dog during lockdown and would "do it all again tomorrow", despite suffering the heartache of losing her.

Rowan Williams, 39, who lives in Sheffield, adopted Tulla from rescue centre Dobermann Rescue UK and Europe in Stoke On Trent after deciding "she had more love to give".

She says: "I already have a rescue dog called George and last summer decided to take on a second.

"I purposefully opted for an end of life dog because I know how rescue centres struggle to place older dogs in homes."

Tulla had wobblers syndrome – Cervical spondylomyopathy – which is compression of the spinal cord which would eventually result in paralysis.

Rowan says her family were worried she would not be able to handle losing her, but she was determined.

After joining Rowan and Rottweiler Mastiff cross George, Rowan says Tulla, who she guessed at being around nine-years-old, became stronger and really flourished – so much so that Rowan’s neighbours commented on her ‘glow.’

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And Rowan, who owns Pooch and Pineapple Dog Photography, made sure to fill her final months with enriching and rewarding activities like visiting farms, beaches, going to the pub… and being a bridesmaid.

Rowan says: "I was a wedding photographer and two of my clients insisted I bring George and Tulla to their wedding in a vineyard in the Cotswolds.

"Tulla wore a flower collar so she looked really smart and George wore a bow tie.

"Tulla was also a fan of the pub.

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"She lived for food and fuss and her favourite thing was a queue of people where she would go over and prod people to make them fuss over her.”

In February this year the poor animal was diagnosed with lymphoma and given her wobblers diagnosis, Rowan opted to keep her comfortable with pain relief.

She died in Rowan's arms being stroked and told how much she was loved.

Rowan says: "Losing Tulla was like having something removed.

"I was naïve I think in not realising how it would feel, but if I had to do it all again tomorrow I would."

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