As children our family pets were either cats or guinea pigs; it wasn't until 1976 that Ian had his first dog.
Ian had just left Agricultural College and was employed as a herdsman. The farm dog had an "unexpected" litter of puppies and he couldn't resist having one of them.
The black Collie-mix puppy had sharp teeth and spiky fur and was quickly named Spike. He became Ian's friend and companion and they went everywhere and did everything together.
Spike was tragically killed in 1978 on a quiet country lane. As with most people the absence of Spike left a huge gap in Ian's life.
We had been together for sometime, so when the time was right we would chose his next dog together. I had dreamed of having a Goldie from a child but Ian was not sure which breed he liked. We watched the adverts in the paper and visited several different breeders.
He fell in love with the Golden puppy as soon as he saw her and we took Keyline Christmas Charm home on my birthday in January 1980, we named her Carna. She was the start of our passion for the Golden Retriever, she was fun, loving, intelligent and mischievous, in fact everything you could want from a friend and family pet.
Of all the stories we could tell you about her the one that always comes to mind is the day she stole a hotdog. A family was sitting enjoying a picnic, the man was deep in conversation but he was gesticulating with his hotdog. She walked up behind him, let it pass her nose a couple of times and then whipped it out of his fingers, swallowed it and was licking her lips when he finally realised what had happened.
In 1982 Carna had her first litter; we had chosen and registered the prefix Soufrière with the English Kennel Club.
We kept Soufrière Summer Satellite, naming him Ben.
It was not long after this, that our lives took off in a different direction and we eventually moved to France bring with us Carna and Ben.