On 17th February 2012 I was woken at 5am in the morning by our long-haired Japanese Akita, Sid who wanted to go out. He was in absolute agony and his stomach was as hard as iron. I tried comforting him and encouraged him to walk but to no avail. By 6.30am my husband phoned the vet and they said to bring him straight in. By this stage Sid had collapsed and could not walk so three of us rolled him onto a blanket to carry him to the car - no easy task with an 11.5 stone dog. We were too late and by 7am he was dead - he was 12 years old and we had had him since he was 10 months old as a failed police dog. We vowed then to never have another dog as this had been just too painful for us.
Two months later Sid had left such a hole in our lives that all four of us, my husband, Martin our two sons, Daniel & Toby, and myself discovered we had all been looking at Akita rescue sites and so on Sunday 29th April I filled in the application form to adopt an 18month old dog called Panda. Two days later I had a phone call asking if we would possibly be able to foster, with the intention of eventually adopting, a seven month old puppy called Hugo. His family circumstances had changed so was being left for up to 16 hours a day at home alone which was in Mansfield, Nottingham. Not only that but the lady owner had left taking her other, smaller dog with her so Hugo was in desperate need for some human company.
We agreed and it was arranged we would meet his male owner at Tamworth services at 10am on 5th May, this being about half way between us.