Sasha, a lab/collie/spaniel mix

As every dog owner would say, I am certain that my dog is the best out there. There are plenty of people who own rescue dogs, who have changed not only their lives, but their pets lives too.

Christmas is an extremely busy time for many puppy sellers, however if I could urge you to do one thing this Christmas, it would be to look into adopting them from rescue shelters instead.

We got Sasha (no, her name was not chosen by us) in November 2009, whose owner at the time was a fragile elderly lady named Vi.

Prior to this, Sasha had been held at a dog rescue centre all the way up in Scotland before Vi had come along and swooped her up.

Sasha was handed over to us in a moment of coincidence when my Mum and partner, Phil, were on a caravan holiday and had seen that Vi was struggling to look after her, being the troublesome and chaotic puppy that she was at the time.

Being looked after in a small caravan and constantly breaking out of her small cage, it was decided that Sasha deserved a loving and proper home with us, in Cheshire.

We had originally decided that we were getting a puppy for Christmas that year until this offer of taking on an unloved dog, who required a lot of hard work, came along.

Looking back, we often wonder what would have happened if our paths had never crossed.

Sasha didn’t just arrive and settle in straight away. Oh, no. Within the first few months of having her she would run away at every opportunity she got, ate an entire chocolate cake made for an event and would rip the post up every morning it was delivered.

Owner Molly Cross’ pet dog Sasha

We always joke that Sasha was a cat in her previous life because the amount of near-death experiences she’s had means that she definitely has nine lives.

In February 2015 Sasha had the misfortune of being hit by a car going 80mph on the motorway whilst out for one of her many daily walks. After going missing for the whole night, she was found in a bush trying to find her way back home and suffered only from a few scratches. If that isn’t lucky, I don’t know what is!

Other dopey achievements include being electrocuted by an electric fence whilst on another caravanning holiday, and her attempt of jumping out of the upstairs bedroom window at home – in which she landed gracefully in the garden on all four paws.

Having a rescue dog, the transformation from puppy to dog is extremely rewarding. Sasha is now one of the most obedient and calm dogs I know (and that’s not being biased).

Although Sasha would probably not have had not as many ‘accidents’ as she has had with us as her owners, we are confident that the life she has so far lived is one she would only have dreamt of as an abandoned puppy.

As someone who has seen the growth and change of personality in our pup, I would urge anyone who is considering getting a dog or puppy to please get a rescue. One thing I would say is that you need patience, commitment, and a lot of hard work.