A Pagham woman has praised a dog sitting service for helping her tackle loneliness after her partner and dog died in the same year.
As part of a service run by company Barking Mad in Chichester, which provides dog owners with a home to leave their dogs while they are away, and allows people struggling with loneliness and isolation company on a regular basis.
Jenny Homer, 65, who lives in Conway Drive, Pagham said: "It was at a time when I lost my dog of 12 years then I lost my partner so it was a bit, you know, you have to get yourself sorted out and I missed having a dog."
Jenny said she found the first four months at home without her partner 'very difficult' and said the loneliness undoubtedly spurred her on to take part in the programme.
She added: "A neighbour told me to look into looking after a dog then I got in touch with Barking Mad. It's the best thing I have ever done. You have company, you are not on your own all the time and you get walking and meeting people. I walk down the street and I speak to so many people now.
"I have been doing it for 3 years and I have looked after so many dogs, it's got to be at least 30."
Jenny said it is a 'bit sad' having to leave the dog but said: "You know it's not going to be long before you get another one.
"It does make such a difference because they are such good company and obviously when you take then out you get to know people. It definitely helps you not being lonely. All my life I have been a dog person and I have had all sorts of dogs. I think it's important — you want the dogs to be happy when you are away."
Jane said: "It's exactly what the service is all about and it is wonderful. [Jenny] was quite quiet and she was lonely. I go round and see them and Jenny has been building up her life and it talking to more and more people and she loves it — it means the world to me."