Eamonn Holmes has opened up about the difference his rescue dog has made to his life and the support she has given him when he has been ill.
The This Morning presenter, 61, and wife Ruth Langsford, 61, adopted their dog Maggie 12 years ago from the charity Dogs Trust after Eamonn got involved with a charity day and fell in love with her.
Maggie ended up getting adopted by another family before Eamonn and Ruth could take her on, but the adoption didn’t work out and she was returned, allowing them to adopt her instead.
Eamonn, who suffered a series of health problems and caught coronavirus in recent months, revealed that Maggie helped her through it all.
He told the Telegraph: ‘I’ve had a lot of illness in the past year. Dislocated two discs, my right leg was very badly damaged, my sciatic nerve – it’s been tough. And then I got Covid. I like the peace that Maggie brings me.’
It wasn’t just Eamonn who Maggie nursed through ill-health, as she was also there for Ruth’s mother when she broke her hip.
Ruth added: ‘I think dogs are aware if you’re unwell, or upset. When my mum broke her hip, she came to stay with us.
‘She was here for a good couple of weeks, and Maggie went from [son] Jack’s bed – “Sorry, Jack, but there’s something more important I have to do” – and slept on my mum’s bed every night.’
She continued: ‘She’s just adorable, we love her so much. You come home and you’ve had a tough day, a long day, whatever, and I see her and she sees me, or Eamonn, and you see her tail going, and then she runs off, and I know it’s because she’s getting a toy from her basket to bring you.
‘It’s just the loveliest thing. And you forget everything you were worried about, annoyed about, cross about.’
Eamonn believes Maggie made him a ‘better, more compassionate’ person, even though Maggie’s devotion to him can be a bone of contention for Ruth as she does ‘all the walking, feeding and looking after’.