Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.
This is a story set at Christmas time and it is also the story of Nancy. Nancy is real. I met her once and she was really lovely. Nancy was born on the 15th of December 2004 and she was one of a litter of nine very beautiful puppies. All of them a gorgeous tan colour except one. That was Nancy. She was a jet black little puppy with bright eyes and the sweetest of all natures. Sadly, this could not be said of Nancy and her siblings's owner.
Just nine days after their birth, Nancy's owner put all of the newborn puppies in a box and abandoned them near a bin at London Bridge station. It was Christmas Eve, snow was falling on the ground and a box full of puppies were pining for their mother.
It was so cold that night that two of the puppies died. Luckily, a charitable soul passed by and heard the puppies cry for help. The generous stranger picked up the box of distressed and confused orphans and alerted Battersea Dog's Home. Nancy and her brothers and sisters were saved!
The loving folk at Battersea tramped through the snow and took the puppies to warmth and safety. Over the following weeks the dogs were nursed and cared for as best they could but, alas, dogs cannot stay at a dog's home forever. They must be adopted and looked after by others. They must be cared for individually. They must be taken from their new home for a second time and they must all be parted from one another. Nancy saw her first sibling adopted and removed from her family in February 2005. She'd lost her mother and two other loved ones from her pack and now the plucky group of abandoned puppies was down to six. As soon as anyone saw the beautiful tan Lurcher pups, they immediately fell in love with them and chose one of them to adopt. Tan dogs are so much rarer than black dogs so they always go first. Nancy's pack was soon down to five. Then four. Then three. Then two. As beautiful as Nancy clearly was, it was the novelty of owning a tan dog that people favoured and she was passed by again and again. Until a kindly old man visited the dog's home.
The elderly gentleman craved the company of a dog. A companion to stand by him in his dotage. Nancy was the sweetest little dog that you could ever meet. Despite being abandoned, despite having brother and sister taken away from her one by one...she remained as sweet as she was the day she was born. Friendly and warm. Bright eyed and happy. Her remaining sibling bullied her, lying on Nancy like she was a bed. Yelping at Nancy like she was a servant. Wrestling Nancy like she was a helpless rag-doll. But the kindly old man saw Nancy and immediately saw how beautiful she really was.
"These puppy lurchers?", enquired the old man. "They are beautiful. I must have one". The helpful volunteer at Battersea rushed off to get the puppies. They must be introduced properly to potential new owners, only then can dog and owner know if they're right for one another. Then a dog is chosen and rehoused, cared for and loved. The frail and ancient gentleman was invited in to a room and was promised that a meeting with the puppies would be imminent. At last, he thought. A companion to join me on my final journey.
The tiny dogs were walked into the room and Nancy's eyes were immediately drawn to the old man and the old man was immediately drawn to Nancy. The bright eyed pup skipped right up to the old, old man and she smiled brightly at him. You have never seen such a sweet puppy in your life. Eager to please and huge of heart. A wagging tail that said how much she liked you and a friendly face that told you you had a friend for life. Nancy had the worst start in life that you can imagine. Taken from her mother, abandoned in the cold and passed by time and again for adoption. But she was the perfect friend for an old man who clearly needed her. Then her little tan sister ran up, grabbed Nancy by the neck and threw her across the room.
"Now that's a dog with personality", said the old man. "I shall take you home and call you Jerk".
That is a completely true story. The end.
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