Olympian Louis Smith has told how his husky Luna “changed his life” and forced him to “grow up”.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist said having a dog had taught him to look after someone other than himself and the responsibility of owning a dog was “what he needed.”
Speaking about the husky, which he bought from a breeder almost four years ago, Smith, 29, said: “Luna changed my life. It meant I was not just someone who lives on their own. She’s taught me patience, perseverance, what it means to have someone need you. I am not just someone who lives on their own, I have a companion to share things with.
“She is independent as she is a husky, but she loves kisses and cuddles. She keeps me on my toes. It has made me more responsible and has 100 per cent made me grow up, which is what I have needed at some points before.”
Smith also revealed he was compelled to take Luna home after “not being happy” with the conditions the puppy was being kept in.
“I got her as a puppy from a breeder. I went to the house where I got her and the conditions weren’t great. I left there and just wanted to get her out. Now she is very happy at home, in our home.”
Smith, who announced his official retirement from gymnastics at the end of last year, said he was “really enjoying” working on other projects - including a stint in West End dance show Rip It Up - and admitted he was pleased to see the back of a leotard.
He said: “It is amazing being retired. I am really enjoying it. It is good to be out of the leotard for good.”
Smith was speaking ahead of his involvement in a new campaign by technology brand Huawei, which found over half of Brits (56 per cent) would skip over an animal listed on an adopted site if their profile pictures weren’t clear enough.
He visited the Millbrook RSPCA centre in Woking to create a mini documentary named The Un-adoptables which can be found www.huaweiunadoptables.com