My love of dogs started at a young age. When I was born we had Bilbo, the beautiful pedigree German Shepard. Brains beyond his comprehension is how I remember him.
This was a dog that once stole a piece of pork out of the microwave when we were away from the house, he ate it and hid the bone down the back of the sofa for it be found about 3 weeks later. Que Bilbo scarpering out of the room faster than any of creature known to man the moment it was unearthed.
He could also take a carton of eggs, nip the top from every one and lick them out. In reality a lot of my memories are probably put there by the stories I have been told over the years, but I’m pretty sure he is the reason I was obsessed with dogs from such a young age.
Unfortunately we came to point as a family where both my mum & dad had to work. It turned out Bilbo didn’t deal too well with being home alone & despite the fact this is not something I would do, my parents re-homed him. He went to a lovely man with a female GSD, i’m sure he loved life after that. I hope so.
Next came a number of years with me begging my parents to get a dog. It involved a lot of my parents shouting at me to leave some strange dog alone. At the age of 9 I caught my Dad at the wrong moment (in other words, drunk) and he agreed – keep your room tidy for 4 weeks and we will get a dog. Well, he didn’t think I would be able to do it, and how wrong he was.
Dad found Bella. A beautiful Staffordshire Bull Terrior. 18 months old. Black and white. The quietest dog in the RSPCA as my Dad used to say. I loved her more than I can describe. Within a couple of months of her coming home I had a double bed, not for me, but so she could sleep with me.
She ended up being my support, and my confidante, through a number of troubled years at school. When the rest of the house were screaming at each other we could be found huddled up in bed, having a cuddle. She only cemented my belief that dogs, ultimately, are better than humans. They love us unconditionally despite our faults and support in ways we didn’t know we needed.
She passed away at the age of 16, pretty good for Staff, and I was heartbroken. I was an adult by the time she passed. I had gone to University, moved out & come back. It wasn’t an easy decision. She lost a lot of weight and it was a decision we had to come too, rather than it being made for us. I wish it had been made for us.
6 months later, I wasn’t ready. But in bounded Reggie and all his personality.