It's Murphy and Stanley's FFHT time again.
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Once upon a time, there was a little girl, born one foggy November night in Nottingham a long long time ago (1958, to be precise).
From a very early age, this little girl disliked dolls, finding their plastic faces creepy, but she loved her furry animal toys very much. She loved Mr and Mrs Teddy, and Uncle Edward the Elephant. But best of all, she loved her Airedale wheelie dog, even though she cannot now recall his name.
Sadly, neither her parents nor her granny nor her brother, all of whom lived in the same house, shared her desire for a pup, and her only childhood pets were Goldie the goldfish (won by her brother at Goose Fair) and Arthur the guinea pig, whose lifespan of eight years may yet be a world record.
Fast forward to 1999, and the little girl is forty years old. After living in London almost all her adult life, a company relocation takes her to Northeast Scotland. She now has a house with a garden, friendly neighbours and a five minute commute to the office.
One evening, she circles a small ad in the Aberdeen Evening Express. "Three year old male Westie needs a new home". She phones the number. A farmer from near Fraserburgh answers. She is too embarrassed to tell him that she only understands one word in five of his strong Doric accent. The story seems to be that the farmer wanted to use the Westie for breeding but then realised the dog was too closely related to the intended bitch. An appointment is made to view the dog. His name is Hamish.
For Gail, things would never be the same after this phone call.
(It was only later it occurred to Gail that farmer's story never made any sense!)