ASHTON, the greatest dog who ever lived, is dead.
He was part of everything good that ever happened in our family.
He was there when we brought our kids home from hospital when they were babies, he’s there in most videos and photographs of the children when they were small, and we loved him so much he even had his portrait painted.
We got him from an animal rescue centre in one of Preston’s livelier districts one Saturday in August 1998, when he was small enough to sit in the palm of my hand.
He waddled over to us in his cage and my wife said: “That’s the one for us.”
We didn’t know what kind of dog he was, but ominously his paws were huge, and sure enough within 12 months we had a lurcher as big as the telly.
When we brought our eldest daughter home from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary after she was born in November 1999 he jumped in shock when the tiny bundle of blankets in a car seat waggled her fingers at him.
And when our youngest daughter followed, in May 2002, he sniffed her within 30 seconds of arriving home and looked at me as if to say: “What? You’ve got another one? Are you mad?”
See the Lancaster Guardian (05-05-11) for full story.