We have just completed the move from Manchester to leafy Leire, a small village in South Leicestershire. It is 1973, I am 11. My best mate from school has come down with us for a week to help me settle in. We have fun, visiting Twycross zoo is one of the trips my parents took us on. My Dad said I had a fixation with the vultures!
After my friend went home my parents decided we should go and explore our new surroundings. We ended up on a day out to Stow-on-the-Wold, a beautiful town in the Cotswolds. On the way back my Mum saw a sign in a farm entrance. 'Golden Labrador puppies for sale'. The rest is history.
Two weeks later we made the trip back to Shipston-upon-Stour to pick 'Cindy' up. A 10 week old bundle of trouble. She was a real character from the outset, into everything, including her wicker bed, which she eventually ate! Fortunately that was the only thing she destroyed.
She took on her training very well, and would walk to heel from an early age. Her best friend was a huge German Shepherd called Jasper, whose owner used to join my Mum on morning walks down the disused railway line.(I was at school.)
Holidays! 1976, North Wales, at my Grandparents house. The heatwave year.
We were on the beach at Deganwy estuary. Cindy was in the water waiting for me to chuck stones in for her. She would duck her head under the water and somehow arrive at my feet with the same stone I'd thrown in!
She was a loyal friend. We put her down, aged 15 after her back legs gave in.