The adorable rescue dog with a hiccup instead of a bark – and the sad reason behind it
- Dave Hardman and wife Kerry Hardman filmed dog Betty's squeaky bark
- The couple originally took Betty in as a foster dog from an animal charity
- Rescuers believe Betty was left isolated for years and damaged her vocal cords
This adorable footage shows a huge 7st Dogue de Bordeaux whose bizarre bark has her owners in stitches - because it sounds like a hiccup.
Dave Hardman, 42, and wife Kerry Hardman, 47, filmed dog Betty's squeaky bark at their home in Ulverston, Cumbria.
The couple originally took Betty in as a foster dog from animal charity Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare after she was rescued from a neglectful home in July.
Dave Hardman (right), 42, and wife Kerry Hardman, 47, took rescue Betty (left) as a foster dog from animal charity Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare five months ago
The couple filmed Betty's hilarious squeaky bark at their home in Ulverston, Cumbria
Rescuers believe Betty was left isolated for five years and her desperate barks for attention damaged her vocal cords
Vets have confirmed Betty's bark will sound like a hiccup for the rest of her life as the damage to her vocal cords is permanent
Rescuers believe Betty was left isolated for five years and her desperate barks for attention damaged her vocal cords, leaving her only able to make a hiccupping noise.
Despite the tragic tale, father-of-three Mr Hardman thinks Betty's bark adds to her 'brilliant' character and the couple are so in love they have decided to keep her.
Graphic designer Mr Hardman said: 'After Betty was rescued the vet said it looks like she was left on her own in a room where she would just bark and bark, desperately trying to get some attention, and it's damaged her vocal cords.
'The damage to her vocal cords has left her with this pathetic bark that makes her sound like she's hiccupping. It's not the sound you expect to come out of such a big dog.
'It has me and Kerry in stitches every single day and we've had her for five months now. She was only meant to be a foster but as soon as we saw her she was staying.
'We fell in love with her right away even though she had a lot of issues to overcome. Now she's just a little cutie. She's got a brilliant character.
Mr Hardman thinks Betty's bark adds to her 'brilliant' character and the couple are so in love they have decided to keep her
'I'll never understand how you can sit in a room and ignore a dog in the next room barking like that. I would find it heart-breaking to hear her calling out for attention.'
When Mr and Mrs Hardman first picked Betty up from another foster home and heard her make the unusual sound, they thought it might be down to excitement.
But vets have confirmed her bark will sound like a hiccup for the rest of her life as the damage to her vocal cords is permanent.
The clever pooch has also taught herself to bounce a ball off the walls, which is believed to be another consequence of her being left alone for so long.
Betty has also taught herself to bounce a ball off walls, which is believed to be another consequence of her being left alone for so long
Mr Hardman said: 'We heard Betty's bark for the first time as soon as we went to pick her up but she was so excited we thought she was just struggling to catch her breath.
'Since the vets have it confirmed there is no chance of her vocal cords getting better. You should have seen my trying to get her to bark in the vets.
'She mainly does it when she wants to play so I was rolling around on the floor trying to rile her up. She may sound ridiculous but we don't mind. We find it so funny, everyone does. People can't believe it when they hear it.'
When Betty first came home with the couple she had never seen another dog and was aggressive toward their other Dogue de Bordeaux, 12st Max.
But Mr Hardman took a month off work and dedicated every day to training Betty, who is now a carefree and happy hound who loves nothing more than playing with her furry friend.
Dogue de Bordeauxs are tough dogs to train and he and Mrs Hardman often feel like they have a 7st and a 12st toddler bounding around their home.
The couple's first foster dog from Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare, who celebrate their tenth anniversary next year, was called Amber who they took in in 2008.
Amber was an especially difficult dog, who Dave and Kerry came to love and when she passed away in February 2014 they made a pledge in her memory to foster other 'broken' pooches of the same breed.
Dave said: 'For the first two weeks, Betty was quite aggressive towards Max because she had never seen another dog before but she has come on amazingly and Max has been so patient and gentle with her.
When Betty first came home with the couple she had never seen another dog and was aggressive toward their other Dogue de Bordeaux, 12st Max
But Mr Hardman took a month off work and dedicated every day to training Betty, who is now a carefree and happy hound who loves nothing more than playing and sleeping with her furry friend
'Having Dogue de Bordeauxs has to be a lifestyle choice. Imagine having a 12st toddler in your house that constantly wants attention, and you have to keep telling off for the same thing.
'When we took in Amber she was a really nasty dog. But we worked like hell with her and eventually she was a great ambassador for her breed. We promised her that we would never turn away a broken dog and we would always have a rescue dog in the house.
'This is all a tribute to her and we don't have any regrets. It is unbelievably rewarding to take in a dog that has had an awful life and give them someone who has time and love for them.'
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