Eamonn and Ruth interview: ‘If my wife loved me the way my dog loves me I'd be a very happy man'

Eamonn and Ruth interview: ‘If my wife loved me the way my dog loves me I’d be a very happy man’
© Provided by The Telegraph ‘The dog unlocks all of us. She’s the common bond’

It’s been a challenging year in the Holmes-Langsford household. Last December, Britain’s most-loved broadcasting couple reported “a changing of the guard”. Their regular Friday presenting slot on Good Morning was being taken over by Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary – and now, after 15 years of sterling service, Eamonn is reported to be leaving the programme for a position at GB News. If that isn’t drama enough, he’s suffered months of ill health. And Ruth’s mother broke her hip. But there’s been one happy constant: Maggie, the dog they rescued 10 years ago from the charity Dogs Trust.

“She’s just adorable,” says Ruth warmly. “We love her so much.” And that love is returned. “You come home and you’ve had a tough day, a long day, whatever, and I see her and she sees me, or Eamonn, and you see her tail going, and then she runs off, and I know it’s because she’s getting a toy from her basket to bring you. It’s just the loveliest thing. And you forget everything you were worried about, annoyed about, cross about.”

We’re speaking via conference call. Ruth turns up first and Eamonn, delayed by work calls, joins 10 minutes in. “That’s so us – I’m early, he’s always late,” says Ruth. He apologises profusely and is teased by his wife (“What time do you call this?”).

They both appreciate the mental health benefits of dog ownership, even if “it’s quite subtle”, says Eamonn. “I’ve had a lot of illness in the past year. Dislocated two discs, my right leg was very badly damaged, my sciatic nerve – it’s been tough. And then I got Covid.” Maggie has been their consolation. If you feel hard done by, he says, a dog can really help. “I like the peace that Maggie brings me.”

That she’s a rescue dog makes that bond even more special, they feel. “You cannot but look at an animal you have rescued and think, ‘That was the better thing; to adopt, rather than shop,’” says Eamonn. “It gives you a moral contentment. To see it living out in front of you – this good deed you have done.” In her first year, Maggie had been abandoned, rehomed and returned – and when they finally drove her home, Ruth remembers her wide anxious eyes, as if she were thinking, “Where now?”

You sense that she is the family lynchpin – and not just because of her omnipresence on Ruth’s Instagram page, or the fact that directly after our chat Eamonn pings over a stream of photos to the Dogs Trust representative (theme, Adoration of the Maggie) threatening “hundreds more”.

Ruth says: “She just stole all our hearts. We all have a different relationship with her. Eamonn is definitely ‘man of the house’ – she can be really cosy with me watching TV on my lap, then he comes in and she’s straight off me and onto him, which is galling when I do all the walking, feeding and looking after.”

Eamonn and Ruth interview: ‘If my wife loved me the way my dog loves me I’d be a very happy man’
© Provided by The Telegraph ‘Maggie is a child to us’: Eammon and Ruth say the dog has changed their lives

That said, this afternoon, Ruth attempted to walk her and Maggie was reluctant. “I was powering up the road and she was having none of it. I brought her back and my stepson Niall was like, ‘I’ve just taken her on a long walk.’” (Eamonn has three adult children from his first marriage, Niall, Rebecca and Declan; he and Ruth are parents to Jack, 19.)

Maggie looks after them, too. Ruth adds: “I think dogs are aware if you’re unwell, or upset. When my mum broke her hip, she came to stay with us – she was here for a good couple of weeks, and Maggie went from Jack’s bed – “Sorry, Jack, but there’s something more important I have to do” – and slept on my mum’s bed every night.”

Though Eamonn says: “If my wife loved me the way my dog loves me I’d be a very happy man,” his theory is that Maggie’s devotion is part-inspired by his frequent fridge visits. There’s also talk of an incident involving the well-intentioned sharing of cheese Wotsits, canine diarrhoea, and a stain so persistent the carpet cleaner was baffled – but we move on, as it remains a source of light tension.

They excel at banter, but Eamonn is serious when he says this dog changed his life. “She’s made me a better person; a more compassionate person.” Indeed, in recent years, those enjoying Portugal’s nightlife over the Easter break may have witnessed a curious scene. A car, moving slowly along the kerbside, in search of something. It halts, the window is wound down. Out flies a volley of restaurant-quality chicken portions. The local pack of stray dogs devours them. Nothing to see here – just Ruth and Eamonn on their holidays.

“I’m now almost obsessed with animals, being kind to animals, thinking more about why I eat meat,” says Eamonn. “I worry about how we treat animals – it’s awful how we’ve used and abused them over the years.”

It also transpires that he ordered a canine DNA test in New York, to reveal Maggie’s heritage. “It came back three quarters border collie, one per cent this, and that, and – 22 per cent sausage dog.”

Ruth adds: “Very interesting union, isn’t it?” Eamonn says proudly: “She looks like a black fox. Her face is like Basil Brush. She’s the most divine little thing.”

Truly, they weren’t always like this. Their metamorphosis began, as it often does, with pester-power. Ruth says: “Jack, who was six or seven at the time, was begging us for a dog. I put it off, because I’ve never had dogs. I’m from an army family, so we travelled. We didn’t have pets until my parents retired – and they had cats.” Plus, she worked. (“Now I wish we’d done it when Jack was even younger,” she says. “Because to watch him love that dog so much – I think it’s a very special relationship.”)

Then, Eamonn’s Sky colleagues, Jacquie Beltrao and Charlotte Hawkins – who both have rescue dogs and were attending a Dogs Trust event – persuaded Eamonn to attend to boost publicity. He remembers telling them: “‘What do I know about dogs? What do I care?’ I went in totally ignorant and unempathetic about dogs, and I came out a complete convert. My life changed from that day.”

But Ruth had warned against “any nasty surprises”. She adds that, ingeniously, “he returned with footage of little Maggie here – 10 or 15 seconds – where she’s just looking up at him with her big lovely, black, soulful eyes, and her tail wagging. Jack was immediately like, ‘Oh, can we have her?’”

After a discussion with Dogs Trust and weeks of deliberating – Ruth “wasn’t keen” – they returned to the charity centre. “We said, ‘Where’s that little dog?’” recalls Eamonn. She’d been adopted. “I was crushed,” he says. They walked around, then said goodbye – Ruth secretly thinking, “We’ve got away with it.”

Then, a staff member piped up, “Oh Eamonn, you know little Magdalene –unfortunately she was brought back. She’s just out on a walk. Do you want to wait for her?” Five minutes later, in came Maggie. “I remember Jack kneeling down. He had denim shorts on. She rushed up to him, and he said, ‘Hello Maggie’ and she licked his knees. And it was like watching them fall in love.”

Eamonn and Ruth interview: ‘If my wife loved me the way my dog loves me I’d be a very happy man’
© Provided by The Telegraph Puppy love: the pair rescued Maggie 10 years ago from Dogs Trust

But they still had to be approved. Meanwhile, “the next morning, at 6 o’clock, Jack was in our room by the bed, saying ‘Please, Mummy’, and Eamonn was looking at me, like, ‘Are you going to deny your son this?’ Fine! We were the first car at the gates, before they opened.”

Ruth says now, “I believe she was meant for us.” She remains grateful to the adopters who realised that they couldn’t care for Maggie, and responsibly returned her to the Dogs Trust – “I just thank those people. Because we got her.”

Initially, Ruth was strict: Maggie was to be a “downstairs dog”. Soon after that, Jack was off school unwell and rules were abandoned “just this once”, after which “she slept on his bed. Sometimes she’d be in the bed, under the duvet with him, her head on the pillow.”

Marvellous though it is for small children to care for a dog, I wonder if canine loyalty and love is even more invaluable in the teenage years (and decades beyond) when we might struggle to articulate complex emotions. “I’d totally agree,” says Eamonn. “A dog is like a codebreaker almost – so suddenly Jack speaks in a different language, is a different person. He can hardly utter a sentence to his mother or father” – Ruth laughs – “but with the dog it’s different.” He says: “The dog unlocks all of us. She’s the common bond.”

That said, now that Jack is at university, Maggie may have reassigned his status in the pack. Eamonn notes that Jack “has shared a bit of disappointment that the dog didn’t show him as much attention now that he’s gone to uni and come back”.

Is Maggie benefiting from empty-nest syndrome? “I had empty nest,” says Ruth. “I was bereft for a few days when Jack went, but I have a busy working life and a lot going on, so I don’t feel that Maggie’s a child substitute because I’ve got nothing in my life now Jack’s gone. I’ve got a little bit more time possibly – but I walk her all the time anyway.” Eamonn exclaims: “I think she gets a bit more of your attention. Whether you’re aware of an emotional void or not, I do think you’re glad she’s there – more so than ever before.”

He says: “Maggie is a child to us,” adding, “I’ve found this whole reservoir of love I didn’t know existed.” How can you repay such a gift? No wonder they remain devoted supporters of Dogs Trust. Eamonn is in awe of what the organisation does for our four-legged fellow mortals. Despite the increase in people contacting Dogs Trust for help with their dogs post-pandemic, their rehoming process remains rigorous. “You’d think with the amount of animals that Dogs Trust have, they’d say, ‘I know you’ve never thought of an Alsatian, but this’ll be perfect for you,’” he jokes. In fact, “It’s almost like, hmm, you like this dog? We’ll have a think about whether you’re right for this dog.”

Dogs Trust is one of four charities supported by this year’s Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal. The others are the Alzheimer’s Society, Maggie’s and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. To donate, visit telegraph.co.uk/2021appeal or call 0151 284 1927

Sign up to the Front Page newsletter for free: Your essential guide to the day’s agenda from The Telegraph – direct to your inbox seven days a week.

News Related


ICICI director, who quit last wk, fined for insider trade

© Provided by The Times of India Mumbai: ICICI Bank has informed the stock exchanges that independent director Rama Bijapurkar, who said on Friday that she was stepping down due ... Read more »

Need MGNREGA-like scheme for urban poor: HUL chief

© Provided by The Times of India Mumbai: Hindustan Unilever (HUL’s) chairman & MD Sanjiv Mehta pulled a rabbit out of the hat last week, when the company delivered a ... Read more »

Olivia Munn Feels 'A Little Less Post Partum' During Hair Transformation With Son Malcom

© Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic – Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Netflix Olivia Munn had a special guest during a surprise hair appointment. On Sunday, the Hit-Monkey actress and John Mulaney’s son Malcom had ... Read more »

US draws down Ukraine embassy presence as war fears mount

© Provided by Associated Press Members of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. ... Read more »

Sinema’s sins deserved censure, says Bernie Sanders

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s sins earned her a censure from her home state’s party, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday. The firebrand socialist said the Arizona Democratic Party was “exactly right” to ... Read more »

Thousands march in Washington against Covid vaccine mandates

© Stefani Reynolds Thousands of people gathered in the center of the US capital on January 23, 2022, to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates Waving signs denouncing President Joe Biden ... Read more »

Mutinous soldiers take over military base in Burkina Faso

© Associated Press/Sophie Garcia Mutinous soldiers take over military base in Burkina Faso A group of mutinous soldiers took control of a military base in Burkina Faso on Sunday amid ... Read more »

State Department orders diplomats' families to leave US embassy in Ukraine

© ABC News The State Department has ordered diplomats’ families to depart the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, amid tensions between Ukraine and Russia. It authorized direct hire employees to ... Read more »

Tax rises WILL go ahead for millions of Brits despite calls for U-turn as cost of living spirals

TAXES will rise for millions in April as planned, despite growing pressure for a U-turn as the cost of living spirals. But Boris Johnson is now said to be likely ... Read more »

Oven cleaning hack that takes just minutes could help you speed through kitchen cleaning

CLEANING the oven is an often tedious task but ignoring it for too long can become a fire hazard. However, there is one trick that could simplify the chore. There ... Read more »

Stunning Arabella Chi turns up the heat in black lingerie and suspenders after being accused of photoshopping her bottom

ARABELLA Chi turned up the heat in a lingerie snap just days after being accused of photoshopping her bottom. The Love Island star looked sensational as she modelled the attire ... Read more »

Council workers refuse to collect overflowing bins in case lids flip open in wind & hit them in face

COUNCIL workers are refusing to collect overflowing bins in case the lids flip open in the wind and hit them in the face. Instead, they put red stickers on the ... Read more »

Risk of Russia invading Ukraine ‘extremely high', ambassador to UK says – as 100,000 troops are stationed at border

THE risk of Russia invading Ukraine is “extremely high” the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK has said. The warning comes as 100,000 troops are currently massed on the border, prompting war ... Read more »

Kim Kardashian stuns as she poses in a sexy nude swimsuit & dark gray bikini in new Instagram photos

KIM Kardashian stunned as she posed in a sexy nude swimsuit and a dark gray bikini in new Instagram photos as her relationship with Pete Davidson continues. Kim, 41, tried ... Read more »

IAN LADYMAN: Where are the police as missiles rain down on the pitch?

Imagine for a moment an England player had been felled by a bottle playing in somewhere like Belgrade or Sofia or Budapest. Imagine the reaction. We would be calling for ... Read more »

Cunningly low carb comfort food

Once you’ve made the commitment to lose weight, you know you will have to step away from sugary puddings, say ‘no’ to biscuits and chocolate, and eat much less food ... Read more »

Instead of dousing Oilers' hopes, Flames give their rivals the spark they needed

EDMONTON – The Calgary Flames had a chance to pour gasoline on a tire fire. Instead, the spark they provided the Edmonton Oilers may wind up being the turning point ... Read more »

Soccer-Milan drop to third after goalless draw with Juventus

© Reuters/DANIELE MASCOLO Serie A – AC Milan v Juventus MILAN (Reuters) – AC Milan were held to a 0-0 draw by Juventus at the San Siro on Sunday, as ... Read more »

Soccer-Late Heath strike gives Arsenal 1-1 WSL draw with Man City

© Reuters/CARL RECINE Women’s Super League – Manchester City v Arsenal MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Tobin Heath struck the equaliser deep into stoppage time as Arsenal snatched a 1-1 draw ... Read more »

Connor Goldson suitors named as Rangers defender 'wanted' by West Brom and Nottingham Forest

Rangers defender Connor Goldson appears closer to the Ibrox exit door after a report named two English sides hunting his signature with a third unnamed for now. The centre-back’s deal ... Read more »

Alaïa RTW Fall 2022

More from WWD Read more »

Under construction: Yosemite National Park may limit summer visitors to avoid gridlock

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers. A word of warning ... Read more »

Kein Sieger im Klassiker: Milan scheitert am Juve-Abwehrriegel

© Bereitgestellt von Blick Milan scheitert am Juve-Abwehrriegel Am Sonntag Napoli – Salernitana 4:1 In der ersten Halbzeit ist das kampanische Derby noch ein Murks für den Favoriten: Napoli tut ... Read more »

Real mit Ausgleich in der Nachspielzeit

© KEYSTONE/AP/Manu Fernandez Real Madrid wendet im Heimspiel gegen Elche eine Niederlage in extremis ab. Dank Toren von Luka Modric und Eder Militão in den letzten acht Minuten kommt der ... Read more »

4 killed, 1 hurt in 'ambush' shooting at house party near LA

The Associated PressPolice investigators leave a crime scene at a home in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. Authorities said several were killed when multiple shooters opened fire at ... Read more »

Teen pilot becomes youngest woman to fly the world solo

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers. Amelia Earhart must be ... Read more »

Report: How Tom Brady Plans to Approach Retirement Decision

© Provided by Sports Illustrated At 44 years old and having just finished his 22nd season, Brady could opt to call it a career once and for all. View the ... Read more »

Paul Gascoigne breaks down in tears over son Regan's Dancing On Ice debut

Football star Paul Gascoigne was in tears on tonight’s episode of Dancing On Ice after watching son Regan’s incredible performance. The professional dancer took to the ice for the first ... Read more »

Newly refurbished Dalkey three-bed for rent makes for contemporary family home

This newly refurbished three-bedroom semi in Dalkey is available to rent for €2,800 per month for a minimum of one year. The property at Village Gate in the upmarket south ... Read more »

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel | Duel Pass, Grades, and points explained

© Provided by Dot Esports Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is Konami’s first attempt at building out a live-service version of its popular card game using the same formats in which players ... Read more »

Samsung’s entry Galaxy S22 Ultra may come with less memory than last year’s model

With Samsung scheduled to announce its next Galaxy S flagships in February, a new leak suggests the company may have a pricing change planned for its high-end phone lineup. Per ... Read more »

NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks to ask every superintendent to reapply for job

Schools Chancellor David Banks will have all of the city’s superintendents reapply for their jobs. Gregory P. Mango New schools Chancellor David Banks will ask all 46 of the city’s ... Read more »

‘We had to mimic to everyone to run': how Tonga's volcano and tsunami disaster unfolded

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: EyePress News/REX/Shutterstock Tonga is used to natural disasters, but they have never experienced anything like the last week. “We’ve experienced tropical cyclones, but this ... Read more »

BMC to conduct electrical audits of all buildings above 15 metres

© Provided by The Indian Express AFTER THE fire that broke out at the Sachinam Heights on Saturday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has directed its chief electrical inspector to conduct ... Read more »

R-Day: 6 Army contingents to showcase uniforms through the decades

© Provided by The Indian Express Six Army contingents marching in the Republic Day parade this year will showcase the different uniforms worn and weapons carried by soldiers through the ... Read more »

Forest cover estimate based on field data: Forest Survey of India

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: Amid criticism from experts of its methodology to map forest cover in the country, the Forest Survey of India (FSI) said ... Read more »

South Dakota governor unveils two bills that would ban most abortions

The state of South Dakota will soon follow Texas and Mississippi with legislation that would cut back significantly on abortion rights in the state and directly challenge the precedent established ... Read more »

Jayson Tatum drops 51 points in Celtics' blowout win over Wizards

© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Jayson Tatum dropped 51 points on Sunday afternoon in Washington. (Tommy Gilligan/USA Today) Jayson Tatum went off on Sunday afternoon. The Boston Celtics star put ... Read more »

Josh Gordon, Rashad Fenton, Darrel Williams inactive for the Chiefs

Chiefs receiver Josh Gordon is a healthy scratch for the second consecutive week. In the final three games of the regular season, he played a combined 41 snaps and caught ... Read more »

How to get free cards and Booster Packs in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

© Provided by Dot Esports With Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, players have access to more than 10,000 cards and multiple ways to duel on a dedicated digital platform. This means thousands ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic