Of all the many and varied doings of 2015 – some carefully planned, some utterly serendipitous – one stands out above and beyond all others: the chance reunion of Nicholas Nickleby and his little sister, Miss Tiggywinkle. What can the securing to safety of any number of stranded seals, or the myriad colours of the sunrises we’ve witnessed, compare with the bringing back together of two tiny little miniature dachshund souls, separated from each other when they left the place of their birth at only two months hundreds of miles away in Lincolnshire, never thinking for a moment they would ever see each other again?
But last Easter, all innocent and unwary, the two converged on Berwick-on-Tweed and trotted round to no avail in the Minor Puppy class, only to become precious winners when they recognised each other and rekindled their mutual love in joyous play.
Since that occasion, Tiggy and her hoomum have become a wonderful new presence in all our lives (together with dear Pupkin, a mini dachshund of very advanced age). Fate has brought Tiggy miraculously close as she lives in Edinburgh, just seventy miles up the coast, so we all get together regularly, enjoying the madness, fun and frolic all dogs love, especially when lunch and tea are involved. For Christmas, Tiggy sent Nico a lovely squeaky cow, an exact replica of her own personal favourite, to which was appended the utterly moving note: ‘To my darling brother Nico from your loving sister Tiggy.’ Nicholas, currently barking at the fireworks which have started prematurely this New Year’s Eve and therefore keeping us all a lot safer than would otherwise be the case, says it is his best thing ever, but best of all is the love and friendship of his dear, sweet sister – so pretty, so intelligent, so present in his life: in all our lives!
Spoiler alert: pictures of them in their matching Christmas Scandi-noir jumpers coming soon!