When my Grandad was young, he went to live with his Aunty Sue and Uncle John, and they had a dog called Prince.
They lived in a small village near Manchester, and everyone knew Prince.
Every morning the dog would walk Uncle John to the train station, then head to the centre of the village where there was a bus stop next to fields. Prince would spend an hour wandering and sniffing about this field, until on the hour, every hour he would head back to the bus stop and sit and greet everyone getting off the bus. At the end of the day he’d head to the train station to meet Uncle John after his day at work and again greet everyone getting off the train. So everyone knew Prince.
They spent a lot of time training Prince with food. You could put some meat down and say, “Wait” and he would until he got the command to go ahead. One day they were about to go into church and Uncle John put some meat down. “Wait,” he told him. He was suddenly called away, and afterwards headed into the church service. It wasn’t until two hours later when they were heading out the church the family spotted Prince still sitting next to his treat, waiting. My Grandad’s sister rushed over to him to give him the command to eat, and put him out of his misery!
When Prince died they buried him in their garden and put up a stone with his name and surname on. Later, they moved away from that village – and my Grandad moved to the south of England. No family members remained in the village. Over the years the cottage they lived in was knocked down, and the garden became open to the public.
My Grandad is now 92, and last week received a phone call from his younger sister to say that she’d just taken a trip to the village, and had looked around the area her brother used to live. She’d found the garden, and Prince’s gravestone still standing.
To her surprise, there were fresh flowers on the grave, and it was well tended. To remember the dog that person must had been around my Grandad’s age.
No one knows who it is – but they obviously had fond memories to still be visiting him around seventy years later. How lovely is that?