By Cally Brooks
A couple set their pups up on a date in an effort to help them bond during self-isolation – but their poor rescue hound was snubbed by their pampered princess pooch.
Izzy Staden, 22, and her boyfriend Axel Zerf, 24, brought home five-year-old rescue dog Bear three months ago and introduced them to seven-year-old Tilly, a white Bichon Frise.
The couple, from North Greenwich, London, decided to rescue Tamascan Bear from the kennels after being on the hunt for a new pup but Tilly wasn’t too happy with the addition to their family.
Bear was besotted with Tilly from the moment he laid eyes on her, but much to Izzy and Axel’s disappointment, the feelings were not mutual.
Diva Tilly refuses to interact with any other pooches that aren’t the same breed as her, ruling Bear out as a possible companion.
Izzy, a student, decided to throw the pair a dinner date in the hope of encouraging them to bond and dressed Tilly up in an adorable outfit whilst popping a bow tie on Bear.
Izzy and Axel, who is in a function band, set the table with dog-food on plates and filled wine glasses with water, but Tilly remained firm in sticking to the two-metre social distancing restrictions and sat well away from Bear.
Izzy said: “Tilly is the biggest diva and has such an attitude. She thinks that she rules the house and is the boss so when we picked up Bear, she ignored him and put up such a front with him.
“We knew that Bear was in love with Tilly as soon as he laid eyes on her, he tried to cuddle up to her on the first day we picked him up.
“Tilly is a very hard nut to crack. It’s in her breed, Bichon Frises are known to have very strong personalities and she definitely has that. She has so many outfits and she definitely gets treated like a princess.
“I was bored in isolation one day and decided that I was going to get them both dressed up and set them up on a date in the living room.
“We gave them wine glasses with water and plates with dog food – it was so cute and I think they bonded over the fact that their owners are insane.
“I posted it on TikTok and it got over 40 thousand views. Everyone has a different favourite between Tilly and Bear and it’s so funny reading all of the comments.
“Since the date, I’ve given Tilly her own fashion show and am definitely planning on setting them up on some more dates”.
Tilly has been in Izzy’s life since she was 15-years-old and has trained as a therapy dog meaning she goes into hospitals and schools to help comfort people during a time of need.
When Izzy moved in with her boyfriend of two years, Axel, they decided to start the hunt for another pup and Izzy knew that she wanted to rescue rather than buy this time round.
“One of the reasons we wanted a new dog was because my Labradoodle Alfie died around a year ago and Tilly seemed to really miss the company.
“Also, Axel felt emasculated when he walked Tilly because she’s this adorable little fluffy white dog.
“We set about looking for a new rescue dog and we came across Bear and it all just fell into place”.
Izzy and Axel picked Bear up from the kennels three months ago after his previous owners got divorced and could no longer take care of him.
“We travelled three hours to pick him up and when we got there, Bear was covered in bites from other dogs and he was very underweight. The kennels that we picked him up from is one of the lowest-rated in the country.
“As soon as he saw us, he kept on trying to jump in our car and he couldn’t wait to come home with us. He was really friendly and seemed really relaxed considering his past.
“Tilly ignored him but Bear was in love with her, he kept on trying to cuddle up to her but she was having none of it”.
Sadly, it wasn’t the love story that Izzy had hoped for as Tilly refused to accept Bear into her life.
“Tilly is the biggest diva and she has such an attitude, she only says hi to other dogs who are the same breed as her when we’re on walks.
“When I first told Axel that I wanted to set them up on a date, he thought I had gone insane but eventually he came round to the idea and helped me set it up”.
Izzy, who is studying song-writing at university, dressed Tilly and Bear up in their most formal clothing and arranged the date complete with food and beverages.
“Bear had the time of his life, he thought it was so fun whereas Tilly just thought, ‘why am I here?’
“They definitely bonded over the fact that their owner was insane.
“I made the video and first posted it on Instagram and all of my friends thought it was so funny. One of my friends has quite a big following on TikTok and she persuaded me to post the video on there.
“It immediately went viral and now it has over 40 thousand views. Everyone thinks Bear and Tilly are so cute”.