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Toby & Me circa 1976

Toby was the family pet I was born into having – a rescue who was put to sleep with kidney failure (I think) when I was about 10 or so. When this happened I tried really hard not to cry in front of my mum, in case it upset her. This rational to a 7 year old child approach to loss backfired fairly spectacularly because then my mum was extra upset anyway on account of my not seeming to care about the dog not coming home from the vets.

Sometimes it feels like those funny little coping methods we seemingly have hard-wired into us can be traced back quite simply to childhood and photographs like these are fragments of the map, or a piece to an incomplete jigsaw which has long since lost the picture on the lid.

I wonder what anyone did before snapshots were invented. The past truly did not exist, perhaps.

Looking at Toby now I can’t help but notice a resemblance to Rudi, my current hound, which had not occurred to me before. He certainly had the devil in his ways when he felt like it.

That said, a dog never lets you down, even when it does.