There was a pet shop on the way to Museum Station and I’d go in when I had a bit of time to kill while waiting for the train. I remember a litter of puppies arriving and picking out a particularly joyful little fellow from the bunch. Every time I visited the shop, a couple of the puppies had gone off to their new homes, but my favourite little guy was always there… and one day I went in he was still there all on his own. He was there for weeks and weeks. Then one day he was gone…
About a week or so later I went past the pet shop and he was back! Turned out it hadn’t worked out for whoever had taken him so he’d been returned to the shop. So he was still there and now he was marked down. I was heartbroken and not a little worried about what might happen to him… I’d always said I would never buy a puppy from a pet shop, but this felt more like rescuing him. We decided to start looking for a house with a garden, and a couple of nights later Wayne arrived home with Robbie.
We knew pretty soon that Robbie needed a pal. One day Wayne was walking past a shop in Richmond with a sign in the window about a fox terrier “free to good home”. It turned out his owner had died and we decided to take him in.
A couple of days later Charlie arrived. He was about 2 years old and in a terrible state. This little guy had ended up on a farm with a pack of larger dogs who’d been attacking him. It took several vet trips to mend his wounds, and a little bit longer before he felt happy and secure. But he and Robbie became great pals and had a grand life together.
Robbie died in 2006. Charlie lived on for another year and died in 2007. Their ashes are buried together under the Japanese maple tree in the garden.