Pippa and the Parker family go together like a wink and a smile. The 8-month-old sheepadoodle winks at family members when she wants to communicate with them, and it never fails to make them smile, owner Alison Parker says.

“She has human characteristics,” Parker says. “She loves to give bear hugs, and she’ll shake your hand with her paw.”

The Parkers adopted Pippa in October after their beagle of 15 years died. Parker’s husband grew up with a poodle and an Old English sheepdog, and he wanted a pet that embodied the best qualities of his two favorite dogs.

In a nod to her English heritage, the family named the pooch Pippa after Kate Middleton’s sister.

“Last year was hard for the kids,” Parker says. “She’s been a light through all of it.”

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