We were lucky enough to find a flat that we could afford and fell in love with almost immediately.
The whole place needed a bit of TLC,a lick of paint here and there and furniture, which was another costly business, but it was ours. The upstairs neighbours obviously cared about our health and dropped AIDS information leaflets out the windows into our garden on more than one occasion. We didn’t speak. Happily they didn’t stay long and were replaced by a lovely couple who became lovely friends.
We’d spent four years living in one room in a flat in Central London (Shaftesbury Avenue, W1 to be precise). We had got used to sleeping in a single bed but decided that we wanted a place of our own. It was the 80’s and prices were going up almost daily as we ran around trying to find somewhere. We had enjoyed our time in the small bed(sit) immensely and had started to carve ourselves out our very own niche in the world, which didn’t always like or accept us, but we were growing together and a place of our own had to be the next step.
Once the flat was redecorated to our tastes and some furniture was in place we needed to fill in the next piece of the puzzle that was our life together.
“I’ve just called them and they said to go in at the weekend.” I said.
“Don’t get your hopes up too much.” Tony, as ever, tried to keep me grounded. I pulled a face and got one of his famous looks back.
The weekend couldn’t come soon enough. Battersea was just a short bus ride away. We were headed to perhaps the most famous dog rescue place in the UK- Battersea Dogs Home.
“We called a couple of days ago and we were told to come in today,” I told the receptionist.
We were ushered through to a small room where we were grilled as to our suitability as adoptive parents. We filled in forms and handed over the payment.
“A puppy?” the dog re-homer asked.
“Definitely,” we said in unison.
“We’ve got just one available at the moment, but I’m not sure if she’s what you’re looking for.” She told us. “Come with me and you can meet her.”
My heart was in my mouth as we followed her through a couple of rooms and corridors to a small barn. Back then Battersea Dogs Home wasn’t the huge sophisticated place it has now become.
“Hang on there a minute,” we were told. I grabbed Tony’s hand.
Moments later she came back carrying the most beautiful little girl: black witha ouple of white patches. She was wriggling to get away as we were handed the fluffy little bundle who immediately snuggled inside my denim jacket.
“She likes you.” The re-homer laughed. “She’s a Border-collie cross and is just two months old,” she told us. “what do you think?”
“When could we take her?” Tony asked, giving me a look that suggested I rein in my emotions. We were sure we would have to wait a few more days.
“You can take her right now if you want. She’s had her first vaccinations. We just need to complete the paperwork and arrange a post adoption visit and she’s yours.”
Tears filled my eyes (as they do again now). I snuffled, tickled and chatted to our new little girl. Love at first sight for all of us. If I wasn’t mistaken Tony too had leaking eye valves. We were over the moon.
Paperwork completed, collar and lead attached and we caught the bus back home, happy and proud parents. The next puzzle piece had well and truly fallen into place.
Chasca was our first baby. Much loved and maybe a little spoiled she was our joy.