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MUTTS BE LOVE

Dog owner spends £2,700 on her dog for Christmas — including a £400 Mercedes toy car and designer dresses

CHRISTMAS fan Sue Tostevin has been carefully wrapping presents galore and putting them under the tree.

The former cleaning manager spends half her year sourcing all the gifts for that special bond in her life and admits she always goes over the top, this year forking out £2,700 on presents already.

 Sue Tostevin began her £2,700 festive shopping spree on her pampered pooch back in March
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Sue Tostevin began her £2,700 festive shopping spree on her pampered pooch back in MarchCredit: David Cummings - The Sun

But it’s not Sue’s husband Andrew, 68, who wakes on Christmas morning to a mountain of wrapped boxes — but Sue’s eight-year-old dog Miss Teddy.

Sue, 57 says everyone in her life is used to coming second to her dog and Christmas is the ultimate time to show her pet how much she cares.

And she certainly does just that. Miss Teddy, a Maltipoo, receives everything from specially designed dog beds and crystal collars to designer dresses, doggie hampers and even her own toy car.

The pampered pooch gets the best seat at the table for her turkey dinner, at their home in Mapperley, Nottingham, leaving hubby Andrew, a chef, the last one to get served his festive roast.

 Sue admits she goes overboard with her haul but says she just wants to show eight-year-old Miss Teddy how much she cares
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Sue admits she goes overboard with her haul but says she just wants to show eight-year-old Miss Teddy how much she caresCredit: David Cummings - The Sun

And Sue is not alone. Three in ten dog owners spend more on their pooch than their ­partner at Christmas, according to a study by Protectivity Insurance.

UK dog owners are expected to splash out £213million on their pets this festive season with a fifth cooking their dog its own Christmas meal.

Sue says: “Miss Teddy is the centre of my world. My husband once asked me outright who I love more and I had to tell him, it’s always going to be my beautiful dog.

“Luckily he just rolled his eyes and has come to terms with the fact he’s second best. That’s why every Christmas I spoil her rotten and Andrew gets anything my leftover budget allows.

 This yea'r Christmas gifts include a Mercedes toy car worth £400, seven Sheepskin rugs worth £200 and a set of designer dresses complete with Swarovski crystals worth £450
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This yea'r Christmas gifts include a Mercedes toy car worth £400, seven Sheepskin rugs worth £200 and a set of designer dresses complete with Swarovski crystals worth £450Credit: David Cummings - The Sun

“That’s usually socks and a jumper — and that’s it. I’m too busy sorting Miss Teddy’s 40 presents to be able to think about any more than that.”

To make sure she is fully prepared, Sue starts shopping for Miss Teddy in March.

She says: “I have to spread out the cost throughout the year and love shopping around for lots of different things.

“I also get some items ­specially made, like an amazing pink designer dress with ­Swarovski crystals I’ve ordered this year for £450.

 The pampered pooch even gets the best seat at the table for her turkey dinner
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The pampered pooch even gets the best seat at the table for her turkey dinnerCredit: David Cummings - The Sun

“It gets shipped over from America so it’s a long process.

“I’ve bought a white Mercedes toy car with personalised number plate [£400], a pink indoor dog house with lights [£300], a designer set of dog pyjamas and dressing gown with personalised Miss Teddy details [£150] and lots of new outfits and accessories.”

As well as all the presents, Miss Teddy is treated to her own spot at the table.

Once seated, she laps up a roast turkey dinner with gravy, peas and beans, doggie canapés, dog friendly Pawsecco and enjoys canine crackers.

 Sue says everyone is used to coming second to her dog, even her husband Andrew who is the last one to get served his festive roast
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Sue says everyone is used to coming second to her dog, even her husband Andrew who is the last one to get served his festive roastCredit: David Cummings - The Sun

Sue says: “My husband did try to protest against Miss Teddy eating at the table with us but I insisted — she’s part of the family.

“When friends come to the house and see a pile of presents they ask me if I’m spoiling the grandkids. I don’t have any children, so I tell them they’re all for the dog.

“Most of them think I’m joking and when I tell them I’m deadly serious they don’t know what to say.

“Every year the pile of gifts gets bigger. Last year I got scared I’d lost her, but found Miss Teddy burying beneath them all.

 Sue confesses 'my husband once asked me outright who I love more and I had to tell him, it’s always going to be my beautiful dog'
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Sue confesses 'my husband once asked me outright who I love more and I had to tell him, it’s always going to be my beautiful dog'Credit: David Cummings - The Sun

“I get so much joy opening the gifts with her on Christmas morning and seeing her jump around playing with her new toys.

“Miss Teddy has her own tree, too, with dog-themed decorations.

“For the last four years I’ve sent out Christmas cards to all our friends and family with a picture of Miss Teddy dressed in a Christmas outfit.

“Some think it’s weird but ­others love to see her. She has a festive wardrobe, too, that I dress her in for December, including Santa jumpers, elf outfits, and Angel tutus and I always take her to see Father Christmas.

 Some people might find Sue's love of spoiling her dog weird, but she explains she gets so much joy seeing Miss Teddy jump around playing with her new toys
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Some people might find Sue's love of spoiling her dog weird, but she explains she gets so much joy seeing Miss Teddy jump around playing with her new toysCredit: David Cummings - The Sun

“She loves it.” Sue got Miss Teddy following a phone call in summer 2011 from her niece, Charlotte Mayes.

She says: “She knew a lady who could no longer look after a puppy and remembered I’d been looking for a small dog for a while.

“I was so excited when she rang I made Andrew jump into the car in his pyjamas and drive to get her.

“The moment I held her I knew she was special and I was obsessed. For her first Christmas a few months later I spent £1,000.

 After Sue set up an Instagram account for Miss Teddy she started getting contacted by people asking where she got her outfits from, so now she helps source gifts for other owners and their pets
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After Sue set up an Instagram account for Miss Teddy she started getting contacted by people asking where she got her outfits from, so now she helps source gifts for other owners and their petsCredit: David Cummings - The Sun

“I bought a designer dog bed and a range of dog outfits and dog toys. I think that’s when Andrew realised he might be second best from then on.

“I set her up an Instagram account and eight years on she has thousands of followers.

"I even get contacted by people asking where she got her outfits from, so I spend lots of time helping them source them for their pets — it’s become my new job.

“My dog really is my child and anyone who says it’s cruel is wrong — she loves it all.

 This Christmas is set to be Miss Teddy’s most indulgent yet as her pile of gifts grows each year
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This Christmas is set to be Miss Teddy’s most indulgent yet as her pile of gifts grows each yearCredit: David Cummings - The Sun

“She also has her own three-seater sofa in a special room in our house. Last year I threw her a special birthday party at a stately home with friends and family and their dogs.

“On Christmas Eve, Miss Teddy and I put on our matching pyjamas and she gets some Pawsecco while my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine.

“On Christmas day Andrew does all the cooking while Miss Teddy and I cuddle up and watch a Christmas film.

“I don’t feel bad about it as Andrew knows I love him too. This Christmas will be Miss Teddy’s most indulgent yet. I can’t wait to see her face on Christmas morning.”

 Meanwhile Andrew expects he'll only be getting socks and slippers for Christmas but he says he's used to coming second to the dog
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Meanwhile Andrew expects he'll only be getting socks and slippers for Christmas but he says he's used to coming second to the dogCredit: David Cummings - The Sun

Andrew says: “I have to try to stop her spending too much money on Teddy as, if I didn’t, she would be spending double.

“Sometimes I think she wants me to sleep in the doghouse so the dog can stay in the bed instead of me.

“I know I’m only going to be getting socks and slippers for Christmas, but I’m used to it now and I know Sue cares about me . . . even if the dog does come first.”

 Sue says 'my dog really is my child and anyone who says it’s cruel is wrong — she loves it all'
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Sue says 'my dog really is my child and anyone who says it’s cruel is wrong — she loves it all'Credit: David Cummings - The Sun
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