How a strange dream helped to save a Horsham woman ‘trapped’ in her own home

A strange dream about a dog has led to the transformation of a Horsham woman’s life.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 1:29 pm

Jo Loft was ‘trapped’ in her home suffering from agoraphobia and post traumatic stress disorder. She could not even step out into the garden.

A therapist then suggested that she get a pet dog and the idea struck a chord.

“I was researching dogs, reading about dogs and aimed to get my own dog. I narrowed my choice down to a golden labrador and I wanted a boy.”

Jo Loft with puppy Alan SUS-200428-131735001

She searched for weeks for her ideal pet but had no luck. Then she had a dream to check Horse and Hound magazine.

“Now, why on earth would I dream to check a national magazine when I couldn’t have possibly travelled to see a puppy.

“But I got the magazine, and low and behold, would you believe it ... there was a golden boy listed in Rusper, five minutes from home.

“It was just fate that this little man was meant for me.”

Golden labrador Max SUS-200428-131755001

Along came golden lab Maximilian. “That was quite literally the start of my new life.

“I learnt to go outside the back door, then further in the garden to keep an eye on Max. My family would walk him, to begin with, but I slowly began to go 100 meters from home and back.

“One day when the sun was shining when Max was about nine months old, we walked to the field behind my house and kept going. I got to see Max have so much fun running, jumping, swimming and playing that I wanted to see more of that happiness, I wanted to join in with it.

“From that day, we didn’t stop. We’d walk, sometimes I’d cycle with him. My life started to blossom.

“I began part-time work, did evening classes and slowly and gradually came alive.”

Jo says that Max “taught me how to live again.”

She had Max for what she calls “13 glorious years” and she is now hoping that her story will help others.

She has set up a Facebook group - The Paws Group Horsham - to share her love of dogs. See

Meanwhile, she is currently sharing her life with four other dogs: Dexter, Cassi, Beanz and 16-week-old puppy Alan.

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