I have two best friends.
The first: I was 18 and had just finished my GCSE’s, my parents suggested taking a trip along the coast and stopped at what looked like an old farm. As we drove down the driveway it lead to a large pleasant white building full of light, a paddock, a small pond with ducks. There were smaller bridle lanes leading away from the building at the back. I stepped out of the car and smelt the air – warm from the summer sun and musky from the surrounding fields recently mucked. I walked into the main building and looked into the caged rooms. A massive Rottweiler barked at me, I commanded him to sit, he did not and I walked on. Next there was a side room of three smaller units, a spaniel was barking away and again I commanded sit, he did not and I turned to my left where a small brindle Staffy was sat looking at me, he barked once and I said hello. He stood up and went over, he wagged his tail and I knelt down and commanded sit, he did. That was the day I met Leo, my best friend of 14 years and counting.
The second: I was 25, it was coming up to the one year anniversary of owning my own home. Living alone. I longed for a companion, alas no human was on my horizon and so I considered other types of companionship. Leo was now comfortable at the family home, used to a detached house with little noise and having company all day (my Mother home worked), moving in with me was too stressful to him. So I took a drive partway to work and turned off onto a small lane. Pulled into a wide open farmyard and went to the little wooden office to meet a kind looking middle-aged woman. I told her I was looking for a companion, I worked in the city but my parents were not far away to help with midday walks, I told her all about Leo and how I loved our talks (Staffies have a wide vocabulary and you honestly can be fooled into having conversations with them). She smiled and said “I have the perfect companion for you, take a seat”. I sat in the only chair, a wicker chair with lumpy cushions covered in fur. In barely five minutes a panting noise could be heard and all of a sudden out of nowhere, before I had chance to get to my feet, this small little ball of fluff was in my lap, paws on my shoulders, giving me a wash. She jumped off and leaped straight into my Dad’s lap to do the same and then jumped down and sat at my Mother’s feet much calmer. I took the lead from the lady and led this bouncing lunatic over to the field with a kennel maid and walked around for a bit. Gathering her story from said Maid of how she came to be there and how this little dog had recently had six puppies. If I wanted her I would have to wait 7 weeks. But it was instant, from the moment she landed in my lap we were best friends, the best companions for each other. This was the day I met Megan.