Tom was our first family dog and an integral part of the family when we were living at 85 Foxwood. He was advertised in the Merthyr Express alongside his two remaining sisters for £250 and we rang up to reserve him straight away.
He was an incredibly handsome golden retriever born in Lakeside Gardens, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales on the 3rd July 2000 and who sadly passed away due to lymphoma on the 9th February 2006. I got home from a business trip overseas just in time to say goodbye before Nicky the vet came round. I remember she cried along with all of us when his suffering finished.
His first day with us didn’t start too auspiciously when the Land Rover Discovery developed electrical engine problems on the way up to Wales and I had to turn back home and go in the blue Suzuki Swift instead.
When we arrived at the the James’ family’s house (James and Emma came with us) we saw his mum and dad & what remained of the litter. He was adorable despite hiding under a chair and we fell in love with him straight away. Debbie had him on her lap in a cardboard box with a towel in it for the return journey home reassuring him and developing a lifelong bond.
Of course, so many years after his death we tend to remember him with rose tinted spectacles, but he was a ferocious chewer as a puppy, as the devoured kitchen floor would prove testament, he was notoriously anxious when travelling in the back of the Discovery and was often sick as result.
I outsourced his toilet training to Debbie as I didn’t have the patience I’m ashamed to say (something replicated with Hamish later), which necessitated us to pave over the whole of the rear courtyard garden for hygiene purposes.
His worst trick there though was eating the berries falling from the laurel tree including the seeds which eventually passed out in what can only be described as a gelatinous goo – a cleaning job that I was unable to outsource I’m afraid…
When we move to Wales we’ve decided to bury his ashes and erect a granite memorial to him in High Willows garden overlooking Suger loaf mountain. He would have like the idea of “coming home” eventually with us – I’m sure.