Sunday, 24 November 2013
Britain's most pampered dog! Spoiled dog has wardrobe bulging with designer clothes, travels first class and feasts on organic chicken and steak
Most dogs would be happy with long walks, a cosy basket and a steady supply of Bonios but that's not enough for spoiled pug, Mr Darcy.
Instead, the pampered pooch enjoys a luxury lifestyle and feasts on steak, organic chicken and salmon, and boasts a wardrobe of designer clothes.
And come Christmas Day, the pet, who loves to snack on Victoria sponge cake, will find a specially-knitted Nordic woolly jumper in his stocking.
Luxury: Pampered pug Mr Darcy feasts on steak suppers and enjoys snacking on Victoria sponge cake
The indulged canine even has his own version of a personal gym and is allowed to sleep in his mistress' queen size bed.
But owner Julia Ashton, 48, from Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, says he's not spoiled - she only gives him the luxurious lifestyle that pugs expect.
'I suppose some people might have the perception he's a bit spoiled, but I guess all dog owners spoil their pets to some degree,' Julia explains.
'I love my pets and I like to make sure they're looked after to a high standard. And it has to be said, pugs are a breed that love their luxury!'
Julia has several dogs, but confesses show dog Mr Darcy is her pride and joy. She takes her prized pooch to shows up and down the country, meaning he has to eat, exercise and sleep well and get lots of pampering to ensure he's in tip top condition.
'He eats steak and organic chicken and salmon - in fact he probably has a better diet than me,' she laughs. 'And he loves Victoria sponge cake and cinnamon sticks too - but only gets these as a treat.'
Tucking in: The pug, pictured with owner Julia Ashton, also travels first class and boasts a wardrobe of clothes
Champion: When not feasting on steak, Mr Darcy travels with Julia to shows all over the country
Indulgent: Julia, who runs a doggy B&B, says that pugs expect to be given a life of luxury
Mr Darcy goes to the groomers each week and has a whole host of jackets and jumpers to keep him warm during walks in the winter. And he likes to work out at home, using his treadmill and agility course.
'Pugs hate the cold and wet, so he has plenty of outfits to keep him cosy,' adds Julia. 'And he loves exercise so gets plenty of use of his agility course at home and treadmill.
'It's not a substitute for walks because he gets plenty of those. It's more to work on building up his muscles which is important for the shows.'
Julia has been an pug breeder for five years and admits she's 'completely hooked' on the adorable breed.
'Pugs are charming, adorable, intelligent and affectionate creatures - and make fantastic
companions,' she reveals.
'And they're so cute they seem to get away with murder - well, mine do most of the time! But I always ensure there's a balance with discipline.'
Julia, who runs pet holiday retreat Bed and Biscuits and is set to launch Barkers and Bones selling clothing for smaller dogs, added: 'Mr Darcy is certainly up there with the most pampered pets in Scotland.
'He gets plenty of steak, plenty of exercise, plenty of attention - what more could a dog ask for? I've had dogs all my life. I grew up with a menagerie of animals, from rabbits and ponies to cats, chickens and guinea pigs.
'So I'm very used to having pets around and knowing how they like to be treated. People sometimes laugh at the life of luxury Mr Darcy has but having a dog is a serious matter.
'You need to be there to look after them round the clock and be prepared for the expense a pet brings - and be careful when buying one.
'There is a huge amount of back street puppy breeders who are looking to make a buck. The best and safest way is through a breed club or the Kennel Club.
'Buying from someone who does not care or understand their breed can be a minefield of heartbreak.'