Chris & Reg
Having been married for over 40 years Chris and I are now both retired. Now living in Wickersley near Rotherham we have in effect returned to our home roots, both of us having been brought up in and around the Rotherham area. In the interim period we have wandered around the country with my job.
Our first dog was Nelson a big handsome golden Labrador, Nelson came to us in May 1982 following a relationship break up. We finally lost him in 1991.What a character! he was the most protective of all of our dogs, the greediest (a food thief) and was quite probably a cross Labrador/skunk as he very often looked and smelled like a skunk, having an uncanny knack of finding stagnant water when off the lead...but boy did he enjoy himself!!!We learned from Nelson that life with a ' less than perfect dog ' is full of joy and entertainment.
Our first contact with SYESSR was almost by accident, after we lost Nelson we contacted Sheffield Labrador Rescue and met Margaret Chambers who rehomed to us Dillon a handsome 3 year old black Labrador. Dillon enriched our lives for 11 years before he passed away in 2002.He put to shame every other dog we have ever had as he was almost perfect in every way.
Three years after we got Dillon, Margaret who had moved on from Labrador Rescue to SYESSR phoned us and from out of nowhere the beautiful little AMY 'sunshine' came in to our lives.Found as a stray rummaging in dustbins in Barnsley she was an old lady, barely able to stand, with no coat on her back.The vet had recommended that she should be 'given sleep'. But Margaret was determined she should at least be given a chance, and for some reason (to this day we still don't know why).she rang us "Can you possibly nurse this little dog and shampoo her coat every day for 2 or 3 weeks until she is fit to come into kennels for rehoming?" AMY never did go into kennels.3 years later and much loved, she passed away about 15 years old and totally blind. Our first ever springer, we were hooked, both on springer spaniels and on the fantastic work that SYESSR do.
Our next family member was Bronte a lovely liver and white springer bitch, found again as a stray, in York, we think she was about 9 when she came to us from SYESSR and about 15 when she passed away in 2003.This was only 2 months after we had lost Dillon and losing our 2 dogs so close together was very hard, it was over 2 years before emotionally we felt we were ready to take on another dog.Then along came Flint, a 3 year old jet black Labrador from Sheffield Labrador Welfare.Flint has made us smile/laugh/or sometimes cry every day since what a character he is, twice as clever as me and 10 times craftier, .truly an adorable and lovable rogue.Very soon FLINT was joined by POPPY our youngest ever springer, just 5 years old when she came to us in January 2006, she died from cancer just two years later in February 2008.Two months later a grumpy little old man (not unlike me) came into our lives.Benson was an 11 year old blue roan cocker who was grumpy when he came to us and grumpy when he passed away 2 years later much loved by both of us.He and Flint were soul mates. After Benson along came Ziggy a very pretty 9 year old small black and white springer bitch. With one blue and one brown eye Ziggy probably had as many layers to her character as her namesake David Bowie. An ex working dog she was a classic reflection/shadow chaser.
Chris's 3rd leg she made up for never having had any affection by lapping it up, both from us and from anyone else she ever met. We lost her to a massive stroke in July 2016 leaving us with a massive hole in our hearts.
For now it is just Flint ( 15 in February 2017 ) and us. His brain still thinks he is a young lad but his body knows he is not.
Can I finish by saying that as trustees over the last 16 or more years we have become aware of just how many wonderful supporters the charity has. So many people do so much in so many different ways, unsung and unheralded. I feel embarrassed that the effort we put in may be recognised, but not that of so many others (that do as much, if not more)
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS TO ALL OF YOU.