Exclusive interview: Strictly’s Karen Clifton with Betty & Marley

Most of us spent the last part of 2018 glued to our screens watching BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. This week, dance sensation Karen Clifton shares the story of her beloved dogs Betty and Marley with PetsPyjamas.

So Karen, where did you get your adorable furry friends Betty and Marley?
“Betty was rescued from Bosnia when she was 3 years old and Marley was rescued from Greece at just 8 months old. They’re the apples of my eyes and I adopted both from the incredible Wild at Heart Foundation.”

What made you choose them?
“I always say that they both picked me. When I first got Betty I was just about to go into a very tough period in my life and having her gave me a reason to get up every morning to take her for a long walk which I think helped the both of us! She makes me smile, she’s a great listener and she loves her food, just like me.
When it came to getting Marley, the look in his eyes just made me crumble. The fact that someone had left this gorgeous puppy full of life and love out on the streets just broke my heart. I had to bring him home! I also thought he would be a great companion for Betty.”

Do they have any unique personality traits?
“Marley is definitely mischievous. He loves the spotlight and all the attention (think he gets that from me!) He also is a magician as he makes all my socks disappear, as well as his Natural Instinct food, after he’s finished his he ALWAYS goes to Betty’s to try and steal hers!
Betty is the most loveable and calm dog in the world, but take her to a park that’s full of squirrels and she definitely looses the use of her ears!  You have lost her for the day, she won’t even come back for sausages!”

What difference do they make to your life?
“They have made the most significant change in my life. They are truly my babies and my priority. They fill my life with joy.”

Do you have any favourite places to walk or any pet-friendly cafe’s they like?
“They love to walk at Cannizzaro park and Wimbledon common where there’s lots of other dogs they can play with. They also love going into Joe & the juice for mommies favourite shake or Saucer & Cup in Wimbledon where they can sit and relax while I drink my cup of coffee, they always get lots of attention and sometimes they even get a tasty snack from the costumers.”

Do you like to travel with your dogs?
“I like to travel with my dogs wherever and whenever I can take them. I don’t like to leave them behind if I don’t have to, I even take them to rehearsals when I can.”

Are they coastal canines or more adventurous?
“They are a little bit of both. They love the beach and they love the city parks, I’m very lucky that they like the same as I do. They definitely love an adventure! I would love to take them to the Lake District when I have some free time!”

What are your dog travel essentials?
“Betty it’s Kiehl’s cuddly coat cleansing spritz (she likes to always smell fresh!) and her favourite faux sheep mat. Also lots of snacks! For Marley it’s his Kong puppy chewer (keeps him distracted), his squirrel stuffed animal or anything that Betty has! Also, their seatbelts are essential.”

What are your thoughts on pet welfare?
“Pet welfare is a subject a lot of people are not aware of. I grew up with four Doberman’s, one cat and two birds. I love animals and I think we need to do everything in our power to protect them from harm. They need shelter , food and lots of love. We need to be more educated on how we can help in any way to take care of these animals that are being abandoned and abused.”

If like Betty and Marley, your dogs have an adventurous streak and love to travel, take a look at our exclusive collection of dog-friendly holidays here. Thank you to Karen for sharing her love of dogs and pet travel essentials list with us! Karen has kindly donated her fee for the interview to the Wild at Heart Foundation.

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