New life, new dog: Andrew and Bessie walking in to a new life together and taking on the RSPCA Million Paws Walk

PUPPY LOVE: Andrew Giles and his rescue labrador Bessie will take part in the RSPCA Million Paws Walk at Victoria Park on Sunday. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric
PUPPY LOVE: Andrew Giles and his rescue labrador Bessie will take part in the RSPCA Million Paws Walk at Victoria Park on Sunday. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Andrew Giles is smitten with his new love Bessie, who he describes as “the icing on the cake” after a move from the UK and house renovations in Mt Helen.

And seven-year-old labrador Bessie returns the love after three weeks in her new home.

To support other pups and creatures who need new homes and love, the pair will take part in the RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk at Victoria Park on Sunday.

Bessie needed a new home because her owner was moving back to the UK after a family tragedy, and Mr Giles moved to Mt Helen with his Ballarat partner from the UK last year and was keen to get animals back in his life after growing up in an equestrian family with a mother who bred labradors.

“I did a lot of work in the UK with the RSPCA and Horse and Ponies Protection Association – it gave me pleasure and I will pick it up here,” he said.

“We came over here in 2017 and it’s brilliant, I love it. We bought a lovely house in Mt Helen which we’ve been renovating for the last year and the icing on the cake was to have another dog – we had to have our labrador in London put to sleep in 2012 with cancer.”

Mr Giles’ love of animals is continuing in to his professional life as he has just started his first year of studies to become a vet nurse.

More than 15,000 people and dogs will take part in Million Paws Walks at 16 locations across Victoria on Sunday, including a big crowd expected at Victoria Park where the walk sets off at 10am. Entries are still open online and on the day.