Clare Balding was convinced her pet dog was her mother.

Clare Balding was convinced her pet dog was her mother

Clare Balding was convinced her pet dog was her mother

The BBC Sports presenter, 52, admitted that she spent so much time with her furry friend called Candy as a child, that she believed she was her daughter.

During an appearance on the ‘Wine Times’ podcast, Clare said: "I did think I was a dog really because I was left with the dogs quite a lot I think. I may even have genuinely believed that Candy, who was my mother’s boxer, was actually my mother.

“There’s a really sweet picture of me as a baby lying next to Candy and my mother always said and I do think this is quite profound, ‘If you think a boxer has a beautiful face, the world will always be a beautiful place.’”

Her passion for dogs has continued, and managed to finds its way into her television career. Clare has hosted the ‘Crufts’ for the BBC and Channel 4 since 2004, which saw dogs compete to wow judges. She also presents Channel 5’s ‘Lost Dog, Found Dog’ in which she assists distraught owners in reuniting with their furry friends.

Clare is also an avid supporter of protecting dog rights, and addressed a crowd at the Henley Literary Festival earlier this year in which she called for a “test” to be introduced to ensure people can no longer continue “feeding illegal markets” for the pets.

She said: “I do think we need more regulation – we need more understanding of who is owning dogs, and I do very much approve of a basic test.

“Because there’s this ever-growing market that doesn’t care, that just wants the money. That’s where legislation has to come in to block that, that channel being so easy.

“I don’t know whether it’s a case of, if you’re selling a dog, you have to have a license or if you’re buying a dog, you have to have a license. I’m not sure which is the better solution.”

“We have an awful lot of people who don’t necessarily know how to deal with dogs that might be frustrated or lacking in stimulation, people who basically don’t understand what owning a dog means. They may unfortunately have clicked a button and bought what they thought was a teddy bear.

“And I say that genuinely. If you are clicking a button to buy a dog, you are feeding an illegal market.

“You are not understanding the responsibility of dog ownership.”

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