I’d come home from primary school, I was about 7-8 and there he was, waiting with his lead in his mouth, it was only years later that I learned that Skipper hadn’t taken it out of the kitchen drawer himself and that it had been provided by my mum, “He’s been waiting for you,” my mother said and I liked to believe that was true.

Anyway, I was the ‘dog walker’ and although my dad would take him out later in the evening, usually when I was in bed, I was convinced that I was the one he preferred to go out with!

He always came with us as a family when we went out and although we didn’t go on holidays far afield in those far off days, wherever we went anywhere, he went too.


I think that looking back, with regards to accommodation, it was probably easier in the 1960s to take a dog on holiday than it was a second child.

All Bed and Breakfast’s seemed to be geared up to one child because as soon as two were mentioned, it was as if we’d said, “oh yes, hope you don’t mind, we bought our giraffe”. In actual fact, that’s a good analogy because only a year or so ago, my granddaughter and I, had a long conversation about the practicalities of having a pet giraffe. We compromised and said it could stay in a pen outside and wear coats in the winter.

When we were away, Skipper would patiently sleep in the kitchen (where he did at home) or even just outside at wherever we were staying.

He was always on best behaviour when with someone new. He was placid and would rarely bark, although he’d keep a watchful eye over my sister and I when there were others around that he didn’t know. He was always there and rarely running off; he was good with other children and patient of (most) other dogs. All in all, the perfect family dog.

Perhaps, his only shortcoming was his love of digging…

(to be continued)