These delightful Dorset pets are definitely something to write home about!

They include the legendary William Shakespeare - not the brilliant bearded bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon but the bearded collie crossed with a labrador from Colehill, Wimborne!

For this gorgeous boy has become an unexpected community support worker during the Covid crisis.

His owner Tracie Billington-Beardsley explained how he is helping his neighbourhood: 

"This five year old bundle of energy goes on duty outside our house every day. A sign invites people to pat our friendly pooch - with a gloved hand - if they prefer. And many do. Some days, there is a socially distanced queue as people wait to enjoy Will’s warm welcome.

Recently, a cyclist stopped for a cuddle. She then sat on our garden wall and wept.

“I live on my own and Will is the first living being I’ve touched since lockdown” she told me through tears. A single mum with a daughter with special needs pays a regular visit. “Will gives our day structure and helps my daughter make sense of these restricted surroundings. Thank you so much!"

"Parents stop with their kids and take selfies - Will has more fans on Facebook than his owners! And he is showered with doggie treats and gifts left in his basket on our driveway.

"He's a welcome break we are told by one mum with two toddlers in tow.

He's the bribe at the end of torturous home schooling. And if Will is not there, - we need our pet therapy please is the cry! There have even been Will Wars! Little Isla who lives round the corner has grown so fond of Will and he of her that she walks him most days now. But now there is also Ellie from a neighbouring road to fit into his walking schedule.

"And a lovely chap called Richard who said Will has made such a difference to his mental well being in the past few months.

"And if we are honest, William Shakespeare is being shared, not because we are kind but because we decided to paint our kitchen during lockdown and didn't want his black coat looking more like a badger!

"But how often he reminds us of the power of touch. I watch the warmth of contact from my dining room window as Will twerks his entire body in delight as visitors come to say hello. He doesn't do social distancing.

"I envy how close he gets to my friends and neighbours. People approach him with open arms like greeting an old friend, the same people that nervously step aside from me. And just for a few moments, the sound of laughter fills our silent street and there is a sense of normality again."

Also sharing the pet page today is another happy hound called Lilly.

Becky Kilshawe in Canford Heath told us: "Lilly loves lounging around in the sun and enjoying the warm weather "...don't we all!

And Ginger Tom Finley in Bournemouth is loving lockdown too- as he adores company and sleeping under the desk!

Fellow feline Matilda meanwhile, who belongs to Emma Inglis in Poole, loves to "sunbathe, look cute, have cuddles, play with her flippin fish toy and snore very loudly!"

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