One day Tamsin woke up and made up her mind. Tamsin, who grew up in South Africa and England, has always wanted to live in the country and have a dog. It’s just that her dream always seemed out of sight. The stars did not align. The timing was not quite right. Her job was not paying well enough. And, of course, she needed just the right partner to move to the country with. You know, the dog-loving type.
Years went by. London underground in the heat of commute was as dismal as ever. Jobs and men came and went. “What am I waiting for?”, thought Tamsin and searched for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, a website she’d been browsing for hours at a time. The charity, which on average takes in 13 dogs and 9 cats every day, is an animal rescue centre which aims to rehome unwanted cats and dogs. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home was established in 1860 by Mrs Mary Tealby, who was concerned by the number of animals roaming the streets of London. The Home was then known as “The Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs” and was based in Holloway, North London. It moved to Battersea in 1871. Today they care for over 8,000 pets.
This is where Tamsin met and adopted Dexter, a Siberian husky with soft black-and-white fur and clever dark eyes, mischievous under his thick white eye-brows. It is his fourth home. Huskies, explains Tamsin, have a very well developed pack instinct and thrive in company. Soon Tamsin also took Lola, a snow-white husky with unimaginably beautiful white-blue eyes. Lola is a bit naughty but also very affectionate. Sometimes Lola still flinches when someone touches her head.
The trio lives in Surrey in a rented house right near the heath. Tamsin gets up before five and takes her huskies to London for doggy day care. She picks Dexter and Lola up straight after work and they commute back to the country. Her previously busy social calendar is now empty but there are long walks in the woods, playtime and cuddles. Lola, who used to be skinny, is putting on muscle, thanks to the proper diet and exercise. Dexter is still battling with separation anxiety when Tamsin, ‘the head of the pack’, leaves for work. There is something surreal about Tamsin suddenly having a family but there is nothing wrong with deciding one day to be happy.