Life’s no walk in the park for Guinness but there’s still the beach!

Husband and wife, Frank Roberts (78) and Ann Roberts (74) with their rescue dog Guiness on the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent.
Husband and wife, Frank Roberts (78) and Ann Roberts (74) with their rescue dog Guiness on the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent.
Alex Clements-Fox has his hair cut for the first time in two years by Maria Norman in aid of The Rowans Hospice Picture: Keith Woodland

Alex has chop for charity

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GOING for a run through the grass is any dog’s idea of a good day out.

But for seven-year-old Guinness, scampering around in the park means suffering painful rashes and trouble breathing.

The Staffordshire bull terrier has an aggravated case of hayfever which has deterred prospective owners from taking him on.

In a bid to find a suitable home, the Blue Cross animal charity moved Guinness to the south in the hope he could enjoy grass-free walks on the beach.

And now a Gosport couple has given the unfortunate pooch somewhere to live.

Ann and Frank Roberts, of Middlecroft Lane, fell in love with Guinness after taking him for walks at the Blue Cross base in Southampton.

Ann, 74, said: ‘We are so lucky to have him.

‘We have had dogs all our lives and the last one died 18 months ago.

‘We didn’t think we would have another one but then we found Guinness.

‘We went to the centre and Guinness was behind the reception counter. Our grandaughter was with us and she fell in love with him.

‘He may not be the prettiest dog we’ve had but he is certainly the most loving – he is a true gentleman.’

Guinness also has a wheat intolerance which means his new owners have to be careful about what they feed him.

‘There’s lots of things he can’t eat, which is unfortunate for him,’ added Ann.

‘He’s also a bit of a thief – we have had to get rid of our bins because he takes the lids off and goes through them.

‘It’s a little bit sad that we can’t give him many treats because of his allergies.’

To help fight off his grass allergy, Guinness has to take two tablets a day.

Ann then bathes his eyes and gives him eye drops.

The Blue Cross charity will help the couple pay for Guinness’s medication through its supported rehoming scheme.

His skin condition is now under control enough for him to nip out into the garden to answer calls of nature.

But when going for walks, Guinness has to stick to pathways and roads rather than grassy fields.

Lara Alford, the manager of the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Southampton, said: ‘At Blue Cross we try to go the extra mile to find the best home possible for the animals in our care.

‘If that means helping new owners with the costs of medical conditions that is something we consider.

‘Ann and Frank saw past Guinness’s problems to see what a fantastic dog he is.

‘Now he can look forward to a healthy new life in a happy home.’

To find out more about rehoming a pet from the Blue Cross charity, visit bluecross.org.uk.