Here at Suffolk Dog Day HQ, we most definitely could not run this event without the incredible support of our sponsors. With so many Suffolk based businesses getting behind us, we felt it was time to chat to them and see why they feel it is so important to get involved with Suffolk Dog Day.

This week, we took time out for a dog walk with the lovely Francesca Reason from Gotelee Solicitors (one of our invaluable Dog Class sponsors). As Gotelee’s Marketing and Communications Officer, her day job keeps her busy, but here on our blog, she tells us all about the incredible journey of breeding from her beloved Golden Retriever, Lola and how it led her to become a hugely valued volunteer at the local RSPCA shelter.

“For as long as I can remember, dogs have played a huge role in my life. As a baby, ‘dog’ was my first word and my German Shepherd, Bess was my first true love. It came as no surprise to my family when I moved out and at 22 adopted my first Golden Retriever Hugo.

There is a lot to be said for having a dog in your twenties, there’s an inescapable discussion to be had over the extent that dogs ‘tie you down’. The argument that the commitment shouldn’t be entered into lightly is very valid. However, for me, one soon became two and then on one very long night in April 2011, living alone and sleeping on the sofa in order to be on high alert for a heavily pregnant Lola, two became nine.

Having a litter of puppies was one of the best experiences I have ever had the privilege to enjoy. The eight weeks of puppy training, vetting prospective new dog owners and vets trips for vaccinations and microchipping were exhausting but so entirely worth it. I am lucky enough to still be in touch with all of the puppies new owners even eight years later and on departure told them firmly that if there was ever a reason that they needed to part with their puppy that they must bring him or her back to me. Thankfully my parents and my younger sister each adopted a puppy and the bond that I feel with each of them is still very strong.

Whilst the experience was one that I selfishly loved, it raised a concern with me that there are so many unwanted dogs in the UK and that while abandoned dogs languished in rescue shelters, here I was bringing more into the world. This prompted me to start volunteering for the local RSPCA shelter doing collections for them and also carrying out home inspections for those who had begun their adoption process. This was an often emotionally gruelling but rewarding experience since naturally many of the dogs awaiting adoption have some upsetting history. Nevertheless it’s one that I’d recommend to anyone. At Gotelee our Head of Criminal Law Hugh Rowland and his team often act on behalf of the RSPCA and as a law firm brimming with dog-lovers we’re always thrilled to be involved in Suffolk Dog Day, knowing that with such an enjoyable day to be had by all (with their dogs in tow!), the day also raises vital funds helping charities close to us in this fantastic county!”

*Gotelee Solicitor’s – home to a Suffolk firm of local lawyers. They offer a full range of legal services for personal and business needs and have offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe and Woodbridge. Contact them via there website –

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