Mr Hendrix and his mum Anji live just down the road from us in Cheshire so I was thrilled when they said they’d like to meet for a chat.
Mr Hendrix is a Pomeranian who is the star of a series of children’s books, he’s appeared in a British Airways advert, has his own magazine column, supports a charity in Sierra Leone and even has his own chocolate bar rage.
Wow, had to take a breath after that. And Anji is a former backing singer with the indie band Elbow!
How did Mr Hendrix come into your life?
I rescued him from a breeder when he was a puppy back in 2011.
Straight away I knew something wasn’t right with him.
I collected him at 5.30pm and the following morning he started fitting.
I was distraught and took him to the vets who said he had epilepsy.
They also thought he was younger than 12 weeks – the age puppies are allowed to be parted from their mums – and was more like eight weeks old.
He was so tiny and fluffy we couldn’t see how thin he was at first.
But when he was examined he was so weak he didn’t even have the strength to lift his head.
That must have been very upsetting for you?
Yes, it was but I think it brought us closer together.
Mr Hendrix spent a lot of time at the vets in the first year of his life, but thankfully now he’s really healthy.
Because he’d been so poorly, I couldn’t bear to be parted with him. I’d take him everywhere with me.
How did that fit in with your work as a singer?
Well I was working with the band Elbow at the time so before I got him, I’d been travelling all over the world.
I spent a lot of time in America and was forever living out of a suitcase.
Having him made me more grounded, I couldn’t just hop on a plane.
But he made me so happy.
Caring for him meant I had to stay in one place.
Now, I still sing, but my work with him is almost a full time job.
How did the idea for the books come about?
It was when I was singing. He’d come to the studios with me and everyone made a fuss of him.
One day, someone said to me, ‘I wonder what would happen if Mr Hendrix was home alone for a day.’
My mind started whirring and soon I had created this world with characters and adventures.
Mr Hendrix lives with a girl called Olivia in a magical house in the country, and he loves to get into mischief with his friends Kitty the toy cat and Sammy the snake.
Can you tell us a little bit about the books?
Yes, there’s Mr Hendrix and the House That Talks which is about a talking house and him rescuing Kitty the cat.
Mr Hendrix and the Mince Pie which is about him being naughty at Christmas.
There’s Mr Hendrix and the Heroic Rescue where he has to save Samuel’s daughter.
Finally, there’s Mr Hendrix and the Troublesome Tennessee Topper, which is an adventure involving another cheeky Pomeranian who likes to wear a big hat!
In each one, Mr Hendrix can be a little naughty and cheeky, but ultimately, he is the hero of the hour.
What’s the message behind the books?
What I really want to show is the amazing relationship animals have with children and how much they bring to their lives.
I’m a mum myself now. My son Aston is two. But when I started writing it was before I was even pregnant and it’s just something I’ve always been passionate about.
In real life, Mr Hendrix brings a lot of happiness to children. We do paw signings at nurseries and schools and hospital visits and he sends out colouring books to little ones Sierra Leone.
You share a lot of super cute photos of Aston and Mr Hendrix on your social media too!
Yes, I like to show that the relationship dogs have with children is really important.
I have so much love for them both.
You hear a lot of terrible stories about dogs in the media, whether it be animal cruelty or dogs being vicious around children.
I like to show the lovely moments Mr Hendrix and Aston share as he’s just so gentle and sweet with him and all children and I feel all dogs are born that way – it is people who change them.
Mr Hendrix has a life many of us could only dream of! Has it gone to his head?
No, not at all. He really is a lovely, sweet little dog and is very down to earth.
Although I do sometimes think he looks a bit miffed if he goes somewhere and people don’t make a fuss of him!
I like to dress him up in nice bow ties and shirts for his public appearances and he has lovely collars, leads and coats.
He eats pretty normal food. I get him beef and chicken from Marks and Spencer and he has a haircut every four months, but nothing fancy, just £40 at the local groomer!
He loves running round the park and sniffing other dogs bums just like all dogs do – he’s just a cool pooch!
I never expected that him being in my life would change it so dramatically.
But really, I just want him to be happy and healthy and bring some of the happiness he’s given to me to other people and have a great time along the way.
It’s been lovely speaking to you Anji and you must be so proud of Mr Hendrix!
To find out more about Mr Hendrix, visit his website.
If you don’t follow the adventures of Mr Hendrix on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (he has 50,000 followers) then I’m sure you’ll want to after reading his incredible story.
Do you have a remarkable pet? We’d love to hear about them, so let us know in the comments or get in touch here.