On 14th April 2010 a litter of pups was born to a family in Mansfield. Unbeknown to me at the time one of these pups would be coming home with us only a few weeks later and become part of our family.

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One day Dave took me out for a drive Mansfield way and lo and behold we visited some pups who were about 7 weeks old at the time. One pup who the family had named Tiger, decided that I was the “one” for him.

Sadly, as we had a holiday booked we couldn’t take him home with us when he was 8 weeks old, instead he came home on 25th June, Dave’s Birthday and we re~named him Taylor in memory of mum.

This wee chap proved to be incredibly loving and equally as challenging. I took him to puppy training where his personality as a stubborn, selectively deaf bugger became blatantly apparent. He was known as the “naughty” dog, the one to strive not to be. He led the other pups in mad revolts tearing about the training room with gay abandon. He would walk to heel, sit and stay to perfection but would he come when you called him, would he buggery! He also absolutely loathed being groomed, we tried every trick in the trainers book and still no luck! To this day he is only bathed, nail clipped and stripped at the groomers, who he bloody well behaves for! Needless to say he “failed” puppy training (was the only one not to pass) and yet I adore the little bugger.

As he grew he chewed, chewing his way through 10 doormats, a skirting board and making deep teeth marks in all the wooden furniture. Apart from not coming when you called him he was very good. He slept soundly downstairs in the utility room, would sit and wait until you told him to eat and was super loving. THEN things changed, he started biting and ragging the lead on walks, being aggressive at home and made holes in all my trousers where he bit and ragged them at the back of my calves. Walking him was no longer a pleasure and the change in  temperament was unexpected. Our vet suggested a doggy companion for him as we couldn’t give him the same companionship, no matter how we tried, as another dog would. Incidentally at the same time Tara had been saving for her own dog and so we relented and Skyla Minx, Tara’s dog was brought into the fold.

From the start it was love at first sight, Taylor adored Skyla with every fibre of his being. Tara was smitten and had found a firm friend in Skyla ~ their story can be read in a previous blog post here.

Having Skyla changed Taylor overnight, he became a protective teacher to Skyla and all previous aggression just evaporated. Apart from not coming when called, this he stubbornly refused to do! It was a love story, they were inseperable from the moment they saw each other and both slept together in the utility room. However, Skyla loved her food and so the days of Taylor waiting to be given instruction to eat were gone, instead it was a made race to see who could finish first (always Skyla) and if not watched Taylor would step back and allow her to eat his too.

Tasha became ill and pined for her own pet which saw the introduction of Loki to the pack. Loki, being a rescue, had behaviour issues. He craved love but was like a pirhana and we all ended up with shredded hands. He hadn’t been handled or socialised when we collected him and had also been rejected by his mum. He was naughty from the start, shredding cushions, escaping from his crate and showed great skill at undoing zips, and pulling out all the stuffing from inside. We tried him in the utility room in his crate with the other two dogs but he howled all night and destroyed his crate. We tried everything and eventually brought the crate upstairs, where he would escape and whine at the side of the bed to be picked up. This is the point we decided to move Taylor and Skyla’s beds up into our bedroom too. Loki sleeping between myself and Dave during the night and during the day cuddled up with either Skyla or Taylor. Every morning both Skyla and Taylor would jump onto our bed for cuddles before breakfast.

Skyla was doting “mum” to Loki, always grooming him and scolding him when necessary, she played with him and taught him how to unwind the paper from the toilet roll and empty bins! Taylor quietly observed only stepping in if Loki became too lairy, to tell him off. The dynamic was perfect, Taylor as dad, Skyla as mum and Loki the wayward child.

Sadly the perfect dynamic of the Hairy Trio was to be rudely cut short when our beautiful Skyla was taken from us by a swift virulent illness at the tender age of 5 on 30th January of this year.

Her loss was devastating to us all, Skyla was a unique, quirky, beautiful, affectionate girl and we are still all trying to adjust to her loss. The two boys changed overnight, the dynamic had altered and they were struggling. Skyla was the one who kept the pack united, happy and content. They missed her grooming them, cleaning their eyes and ears and her funny ways and playful character.

Now we have the two boys who seek comfort in each other’s company and have grown much closer ~ I swear they have also taken on some of Skyla’s quirks and excentricities, which make us smile through the welling tears.

Taylor has been a constant companion of mine since the day he arrived into our home, he cares for me when I am unwell.

He is a sloth dog mostly, not liking too much exercise, he’s a chatty grumbling old boy who I wouldn’t swap for the world. Today he celebrates his 7th Birthday and I hope we will have many more years ahead together.

Thank you Taylor, for the love and comfort you bring, happy birthday old boy x💜X

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