14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Mum Spends £10,000 A Year Pampering Her Pet Dog (But Refuses To Spoil Her Children)


Like any conscientious mum Leanne Couch never spoils her four kids. No, she lavishes £10,000 a year on pampering her 'fur baby' dog instead!

Leanne treats pet 12-year-old Maltese Lucy 'like royalty', buying her £200 designer outfits, toys, beds and even pamper sessions with facials and massages.

Leanne - who lives with husband Leigh, 28, and kids Leo, seven, Luis, three, Lacy, two, and six-week-old Livie - holds down two jobs to fund Lucy's lavish lifestyle and forks out more than she spends on her four children put together!

But even though she says her pampering is out of control, she can't help herself.

She said: "I call her my fur baby because she feels like one of my babies. To me, she is my first-born. As she's got older I spoil her even more. I hate spoilt kids so I feel no guilt for not buying whatever they want, whenever they want, as I want them to know the value of things.

"Lucy is another matter entirely. She's a dog, so buying things for her doesn't change her personality.

"I spend up to £1,000 a month on her. If I see something new she doesn't already have, I have to buy it. She lives in designer clothes so as soon as a new item hits the shelves I buy it for her.

"Some people won't get it, but it's not as if my children live in squalor. If you're not a dog lover you're very unlikely to understand."


Leanne, from Newport, said: "Lucy has been my pet since I was a child. She was the pet I had with my mum, Evelyn, when I was young. She was a little ball of white fluff and I fell in love with her straight away. She quickly became my best friend.

"I spend a few hundred pounds on Lucy every month - if I see something new that she doesn't already have, I have to get to get it for her.

"It's mainly designer clothes which cut into my budget - as soon as a designer item hits the shelves I buy it for her.

"The children have never questioned it because they see Lucy as part of the family. Leigh loves Lucy too, so he goes along with whatever I want to buy her."


At Christmas, Lucy has double the amount spent on her compared to the children.


Whereas Leanne's children have around £200 spent on them each at Christmas, Lucy receives £400 worth of presents.

She usually receives a brand new bed, a new wardrobe of designer clothes and a full spa day.

Her life of luxury includes sleeping on a £400 personalised wooden bed with a leopard print interior, to having a wardrobe bursting with hundreds of designer clothes, leads and harnesses totalling thousands of pounds.

She has a designer collar costing £300, a £110 necklace which she wears on special occasions, and is pampered from nose to tail every single week. She also only eats speciality dog food from feeding bowls embossed with her name.

Leanne and Leigh work an exhausting 90-hour week between them to fund Lucy's lavish lifestyle, and Leanne said she has sacrificed personal treats too.

She said: "I don't get my nails done anymore, and fake tans and blow drys are a thing of the past. But that's how I choose to spend my money.

"We both work ridiculously long hours to keep both our businesses afloat - Leigh is a heating and gas engineer and often works more than 50 hours a week.

"I also have another job - I'm a retention consultant at the Royal College of Nursing. I don't even take a wage from the dog salon - I spend it all on Lucy."

Last year, Leanne took her love for pampering pooches to another level by opening - 'Mucky Pups', the first luxury spa for dogs in Wales.

Leanne said: "Lucy was the inspiration behind Mucky Pups. I recognised there were probably thousands of other women who love to pamper their pets too.

"We get designer clothes imported from America and we have a wide range of pamper treatments on offer for the dogs. We recognise that dogs rarely like to be groomed and some find it a frightening experience. The spa is about making the whole thing more relaxing and enjoyable for them.

"If the dogs are happy, the owners are happy, and that's what is all about."

And Lucy benefits greatly from her owner's booming business - by getting pampered each and every week.

Leanne said: "Every week she is pampered all over - she has her fur dyed pretty colours, massages and a facial, and is always dressed to impress. She's my little pup princess - why shouldn't I treat her like royalty?"