A young dog born at Blue Cross last December is all set to bring yuletide joy to his family as he spends his first Christmas in a loving home.

Festively-named staffie cross Drummer began life in the special puppy unit at our Suffolk rehoming centre, alongside siblings Cracker and Pudding, as well as mum Eve.

Eve was brought to Blue Cross heavily pregnant by her owner who would have been unable to cope with a litter of puppies, so made the decision to let us take her in.

We gave her all the help and care she needed to give birth safely and comfortably to her four puppies just two weeks before Christmas Day. Sadly one didn’t make it but Drummer and his siblings were healthy and thrived.

Drummer with owner Julian
Drummer playing with owner Julian, who says he has become the 'perfect companion'

The centre’s special unit, which opened last year, was specifically designed to give young dogs the best start to life.

It has spacious, comfy kennels right next to the team room which is separated by a sliding door, meaning staff and volunteers can open the room up and socialise the puppies whenever they are around.

This gets litters used to a variety of different sounds, a lot like what they would experience in the home – helping to prepare them for life as a family pet in the future.

Our team were on hand round-the-clock during the last festive season to ensure Eve and the puppies were happy.

Drummer relaxes on the sofa next to Julian

But despite the centre’s best efforts to make Christmas special for every pet, it could never replace the feeling of celebrating in a warm, cosy and loving home.

And after being rehomed by Julian Critcher earlier this year, Drummer will finally learn just how good Christmas with a family that loves him can be.

The playful, bouncy and inquisitive pup wasted no time in settling into family life in Hertfordshire and shares his home with Julian, his two teenage sons Lucas and Dylan, and two cats named Tiggy and Biscuit.

Drummer has also struck up an unlikely bond with rescue ferret Tulip, owned by Julian’s partner Helen who spends the weekends with him. Drummer and Tulip are often taken out on walks together along the nearby canal.

Drummer looks at the camera
Drummer was born at our Suffolk rehoming centre a year ago and soon found a home

But while Julian and his family gave Drummer the gift of a loving home, the one-year-old dog has given plenty back to them in return – in far reaching ways that they hadn’t expected.

“I wanted a dog initially for companionship,” said Julian, who often takes Drummer to work with him. “Helen lives down in Surrey so isn’t here in the week, and the boys are at college, so I was looking for company.

It’s so easy to sit around at home but having a dog makes you go out. And it’s amazing, some of the wildlife I’ve seen - this other part of the natural world. It’s things like that that I wouldn’t be doing if I didn’t have him.” Julian Critcher, Drummer's owner

Helen said: “Julian used to say: ‘I don’t need to walk anywhere, I’ve got a motorbike.’ But now he’s actually going out two to three times a day, which is amazing.”

“What I like about that is I get to talk to people, and I’ve swapped a couple of phone numbers; it actually creates another social network,” said Julian.

Having Drummer around has also proved to be an icebreaker for Dylan, too.

“Drummer has brought Dylan out of his shell. They go for walks together and people stop Dylan to talk to him about the dog, which has given him more confidence. Drummer has become his best mate,” said Julian.

“And for me I also love the calmness and tranquillity that Drummer has brought to my life. When he comes and snuggles up to you on the sofa at night, and you’re reading a book – you’re stroking him without even realising it and it brings such calmness.”

“It’s just amazing how many benefits having a dog like Drummer around can bring,” added Helen.

Clare Williamson, Suffolk rehoming centre Operational Supervisor, said: “We gave Drummer and his siblings the best start to life possible and it’s wonderful to hear how much his family love him and how happy he is in his new home.

“Just as Julian and his family have done an amazing thing by giving Drummer the life he deserves, it also shows just how many incredible ways that having a pet can enrich your life. We wish Drummer and his family a very happy Christmas.”

— Page last updated 18/12/2017