I didn’t know his fancy kennel name when he first came to stay with me.
He was just little Tuppence, adorable and adored
I’d already homed his older half-brother, Cracker, into retirement with me;
my first ever papillon, these beautiful butterfly-eared little dogs.
Tess, my rescue collie, territorial and neurotic,

didn’t seem to mind these wee dogs for some reason of her own.
Perhaps they brought out some dormant maternal instinct in her,
but she actually seemed to quite like having them around,
showing no jealousy whatsoever. Unbelievable.
Jeanette, their Show Mammy, was going on holiday
and I agreed to take Tuppence for the fortnight.
I’d already met her papillon family, gorgeous little bundles of silky fur;
Tuppence’s son Jamie was the then Scottish Champion, a real star.
Tuppence arrived for his holidays. I fell in love, and he never went home again.
He was the most loving and affectionate little man,
self-confident , calm but full of fun.
The first night he came to bed with me,
the pillow next to mine was immediately claimed,
and we would lie nose to nose,
though sometimes I would wake up with a bushy tail in my face!
Every night I would whisper “Goodnight, my little princes of Jaylanjay,
goodnight.” (straight out of Cider House Rules!)
and I would feel humbled by their presence.
I still have trouble getting to sleep, and never yet without tears,
with that naked empty pillow where Tuppence should be lying.

He loved to be loved, and loved he was, by one and all.
He gave me total trust and affection and I hope I never let him down.
Except at the end; I’m still not sure.
He was only 6 and I feel there must have been something I could have done to save his life;
I would have done anything, anything at all, to keep him with me.
He’d become tired of the show ring,
and as he had handsome sons and daughters to take his place, he took early retirement.
How he loved his freedom!!
The forests, the fields, the canal banks, pure heaven for a curious little pap.
The first time I let him off the lead gingerly, he took off at a rate of naughts,
his wee legs pounding, his tail flying.
Oh. My. God. I’ll never catch him!
But he was such a good boy, once he’d had a really good run,
that for me lasted a lifetime, he turned round and ran back.
What a relief! From then on, he was the leader of the walks,
trotting purposefully ahead, snuffling and prowling determinedly,
always with his own agenda.
He liked to see where I was, but walk to heel, oh no!!
No chance. In among the bushes and trees, through all the puddles,
the muddier the better, unrecognisable after an hour as a smartly groomed show dog!
He loved the car; it wouldn’t even have to be going anywhere!
Quite happy to sit in it hopefully!
On the odd occasion he escaped out of the gate or through the front door,
there was no major worry about him running onto the road.
He would immediately run to the car in the drive and stand there with great expectations!
Bed was his next favourite, never the first to get up in the morning,
cuddled so comfy and cosy into the pillow.
He wouldn’t move, just peek up as if to say, another half hour please, mam?
But he had no chance, Cracker was an early bird and wanted out!

He loved to play and we acquired many toys.
The only really annoying mischief he got up to was his car capers.
On returning to the car from the walks, he would run round the car playing catch,
except he was too quick and I couldn’t catch him!
If there were other cars there, he would hop over to one and use it too,
alway staying just out of my reach.
Sometimes I had to wait until another dog walker arrived back for their car to help me corner him!
Then he’d sit good as gold with a wee smile on his face
and let me lift him, and who could be cross?

If a camera came out, that was him in his element, the poser.
Whatever he was doing, he would stop and sit still for as long as it took,
the perfect little model.
It was hard to catch his funny little expressions
because as soon as he saw a camera he would position himself nicely
and sit staring with his lovely big brown eyes.
I’m sure I could have got him into advertising!

I loved him with all my heart, and I will miss him forever.
We had such a few short years together, I can hardly believe he has gone.
There is a corner of my soul that will be forever Tuppence, my best beloved boy.
Goodnight, Geanzger Avon Prince of Jaylanjay,
goodnight. Sleep well, my Tuppy teddy bear, sleep tight.
May the Angels of Peace hold you in their arms
, my best beloved Tuppence,
now and forever.
Wait for me at the Bridge,
I will find you.