A two-year-old Newfoundland poodle named Rowlf is particularly good at making his owners laugh, because the pooch just isn’t aware of his giant size.
Rowlf has been with the Pankhurst family since the summer of 2018 and in that time has grown from a tiny puppy to a massive, six-foot tall dog (when standing on his hind legs), weighing more than seven stone.
Despite his massive growth spurt, the Newfypoo still acts just like a puppy – often attempting to sit on his owner, Craig’s lap, even though he’s far too big.
Craig, a dad-of-two from Thurstaston, said: “He’s a legend – he’s huge. He doesn’t really know his own size, he thinks he’s a little puppy or the same size as the bulldogs.
“He’s very funny. Rowlf will go to get on a normal-size [dog] bed and just sit down on it. He is so much bigger than the other two. He’s not clumsy, but he does like to lay on things and if that is a tiny bed, he tries to make himself as small as possible.”
He continued to say: “He occasionally tries to hop up on to my lap. It’s quite amusing when he does. He thinks he’s a lapdog. But he’s so gentle and surprisingly easy to deal with in the house – apart from if he gets wet, comes inside and shakes. Then everything gets sprayed.”
And while having Rowlf around has sometimes caused chaos for the family, it’s also made the biggest difference.
Two years ago Craig suffered a stroke which left him unable to walk without a limp and feeling very low.
It was at this time Rowlf came into his life and he claims that taking care of the dog has really helped him get his life back on track, with Rowlf even becoming the ‘ambassadog’ for his charity, A Stroke of Luck.
Craig added: “Having daily exercise through walking improved my coordination, developed my strength in my left side and I was able to increase the speed I could walk over time.
“Two years on, I’m in a much better physical and mental place thanks, in part, to having Rowlf. He’s absolutely helped me. Being a dog that needs exercising, on the days where I have suffered with depression and anxiety, he has forced me to go out.
“He’s fun, energetic and engaging. He’s happy to stop and be pampered and play with everyone. He was ultimately bought for my recovery and it’s gone so well.
“Now his role is to bring happiness and light to the charity and anyone who engages with it.”