Gemma Oaten and Ruby Tuesday

Emmerdale and Holby city dog-loving actress, Gemma Oaten spent some time with us to share why she believes in ‘the power of the paw’.

Q. What does the Power of Dogs mean to you?

Overall, I think it’s the joy that they bring.  They have this amazing ability to make you forget anything else that’s happening in that moment and bring your focus down to them.  Just stroking Ruby Tuesday brings a huge smile to my face and she brings calmness and fun into my rushed and frantic life.  Knowing that I’m coming home to her makes me so happy.

Q. Are you a Rolling Stones fan or is there another reason for the Ruby Tuesday name?

She was going to be called ‘Beauty’ but when I saw her, it just didn’t sit right.  I’d just seen an advert for a Ruby Tuesday restaurant and I loved the name and then it hit me – she looks like a Ruby Tuesday to me!  And it’s the perfect name for her, she’s such a little character.

Q. Does she have any funny quirks you can share with us?

I think the funniest thing she does is her ‘Ruby Tuesday Interventions’.  When we’re out in the park, she’ll go up to people and drop her ball inbetween them.  It really doesn’t matter what they’re doing, either!  She once went up to a woman breastfeeding her child and did it and has also been known to interrupt couples having a cheeky snog!  Fortunately, everyone she’s done it to has found it hilarious and while I’m dying of embarrassment, they’re laughing their heads off.

Also, when I do exercise at home, she feels the need to be involved.  I’ve been halfway through some tricky yoga pose or concentrating on a leg raise and she’ll come and try to push me off the mat!

Q. It’s well known that Ruby Tuesday helps you manage your mental wellbeing, which is great!  How then do you give back to her wellbeing?

Ruby Tuesday’s wellbeing is my absolute priority.  She gives me so much and asks so little in return.  What she loves more than anything is being with me and whatever I’ve got on, however busy I am, I make sure that I find the time for her to have a good run out.  She loves it and I love seeing her happy – it’s a win-win situation.  We go over to the common and she’ll meet up with all her dog friends and it’s just a beautiful thing to watch.  She comes back with a proper smile on her little face and that’s priceless to me.

Q. What are your favourite breeds and why?

We had two Bichon Frise when I was younger so I love that breed and also love poodle crosses.  I’d never heard of Schnoodle  – schnauzer poodle cross – before getting Ruby Tuesday and once I saw one and read about their breed traits, I was hooked.  She’s clever, cute and full of energy.

Q. What’s your favourite dog walk and why?

We don’t really go on long walks like you might with larger dogs.  She loves to play so we incorporate plenty of time playing on grassy spaces and greens so she can run around to her heart’s content, have a good sniff and play endlessly with her favourite toys.  The amount of energy she’s got is quite staggering…

Gemma will be speaking abut her love of dogs at our Power of Dogs event, in Cheshire on 26 September.  Find out more and book tickets.