MEET THE AUTHOR
James Glover, author
My life can easily be divided into two, Pre Dante and Post Dante. The Pre Dante life was all about a clean and tidy home, going to restaurants, lots of foreign holidays and London shopping.
My post Dante world is the total reverse. If it’s not dog friendly I’m not going! It’s strange how dogs come into our lives, and I must be honest Dante arrived on a bit on a whim, but please don’t tell him that!
Our London neighbours had the most gorgeous, well behaved black Cockapoo you could ever wish to meet. Calm, friendly and always pleased to see anyone who ventured to say hello. In my thinly veiled subconscious I heard a voice saying, “I’d love a dog like BooBoo”. One day we were chatting in the hall and I asked his parents for the contact details of BooBoo’s breeder.
That evening I found myself enquiring about Cockapoo puppies, with the voice in my head saying, “I’m only looking for background information, we’re not having a puppy until I retire”.
To cut a long story short, some weeks later my husband and I found ourselves driving to Suffolk to meet a six week old little black boy. As we walked towards the puppy pen this bundle of black fluff pushed past his litter mates squeaking “out the way, these are my Dads” or that’s what convinced us the stars had aligned to gift us this special little chap.
Needless to say we both fell in love with him on the spot and a few weeks later, just before Christmas, we were back to take him home for good.
I could wax lyrically that we lived happily ever after, and to be fair we have. The puppy and teenage years, however were not always a “bowl of cherries”. The clean tidy home became a thing of the past as Dante took over the space. The funny thing was it didn’t bother me! As my father would comment during our visit for Dante’s first Christmas, ‘that dog couldn’t possibly be anyone else’s, his energetic behaviour and attention seeking is just the same as yours at that age”.
As Dante grew up and our lives changed, it became obvious that London was not where our future doggie adventures lay. After eighteen months of weekends scanning the South Coast we settled on Rye and soon everything fell into place. In the spring of 2016 we left London and drove to what we now call, ‘our little house at the end of the world’.
Again the story could end here with another ‘ and they lived happily ever after’, but it wouldn’t be the whole story. During the first year in our new home it became clear Dante could do with some canine company. We noticed he was always looking to say hello to other dogs and sometimes preferred to walk with them than us.
Fortunately I have an hour commute to the office, which gives me plenty of time to Google the first thing that comes into my head.
During one journey home a sweet apricot girl Cockapoo flashed up on my screen, with the caption ‘Cookie is looking for her forever home’. I quickly completed the application and thought if I can submit this without losing signal in a tunnel, we’re in with a chance.
There are few tunnels between Stratford International and Ashford, but as fate would have it, the signal didn’t drop out and the application made reached its destination.
A few weeks later we were again driving to Suffolk to meet a doodle, and for Dante to see if Cookie was the girl for him. Why do both our dogs come from Suffolk I hear you ask. Is it simply coincidence, or is there ‘something’ more sinister at play?
After meeting Cookie, the plan was to spend a week in a cottage where both dogs could get to know each other on neutral ground. We were conscious Dante had been the focus (read spoilt here) of all our attention and might not take kindly to sharing his Dads. Needless to say, he thought DeDe was the sweetest little girl and as long as she didn’t want his bestest ballie, they’d get on just fine. Two years on, and they’re like an old married couple who both love and respect each others quirky ways.
So what has all this got to do with the Camberdoodle stories? The answer lies in the long daily commutes. My work as Head of Human Resources at a national Charity can be stressful and the journey home is my time to take a deep breath and relax. As my mind drifted off I often wondered what the dogs had been up to that day. I started to imagine what they might have done with their friends or been thinking. I found it therapeutic to slip into their world, and in no time at all, I found myself a notebook and pen. At that very moment, the Camberdoodles were born.