‘Brits Love Dogs More Than People’

When we first ‘adopted’ our baby Alfonso, a family friend saw me cradling the little wrinkly ball said “the Brits love dogs more than people”. When I see people throwing stones at street dogs for no apparent reason, in that moment, I do prefer the dog. But, the simple fact is, in India many people are scared of dogs.

It’s the fear of rabies, the fear of being chased and the fact most domestic dogs are trained as guard dogs. When we walk Alfonso, people generally admire is unusual look but avoid him. Poor guy, he wants to play with everyone but he’s not very popular around here. There will be occasions when someone will spring from nowhere, pick him up and cuddle him, but that’s rare. Many domestic dogs in India spend most of their lives tied up outside their owners home, barking at anyone who comes too close. There is a very cute Pomeranian in the house opposite, very small and fluffy, he spends day and night tethered to a short rope, yapping his little head off.

In Britain, dogs are seen as a part of the family, there are no wild dogs and it’s not often you’ll find someone who is scared of them. Alfonso is part of our family and walks around the house freely, I have noticed we have fewer visitors these days, but that suits me just fine. Before Alfonso came to live here, our house was as busy as Grand Central Station.

I’ve realised people generally visit without prior notice in India, while in England you need to book an appointment at least a week in advance before showing up at someone’s house. If you turn up randomly in England, it’s considered  rude! India has a much more casual approach.

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So, what inspired this post?

Between my mother-in-law’s yoga hall and our apartment, there is a restaurant. The restaurant had two men come to our house to hang lights from our terrace, to decorate the restaurant below for Diwali. Alfonso and I left our room to go and get some tea, not knowing there were strangers in the house. One of these men kicked my Alfonso across the living room, Alfonso yelped so loudly, he was really hurt. The man was caught off guard, scared of him and was ‘defending’ himself. I was livid!

If we were to complain to the restaurant, this man may not have been paid and he probably has a family to feed. And, who knows, he may return for revenge? My in-laws had to sack our driver and he threw a brick through our back window! Still, I was so upset that I could not hold back the tears. My poor Alfonso, totally bewildered, he was just greeting him. Extra cuddles for Alfonso and a sharp glare for the criminal!

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63 thoughts on “‘Brits Love Dogs More Than People’

  1. In Ukraine the situation is quite the same as in India. We have many homeless dogs, who usually are being chased and sometimes even killed. But at the same time many Ukranians see responsibility for them, because usually these poor creatures are hurt my other humans without any good reason. So we pay for dog’s treatment, we feed them etc. And if we see someone hurts an animal we ‘throw stones’, but at those who hurt unprotected animal.

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    • Aww! Yes, it’s really upsetting to see it! Especially when it’s quite obvious the dog isn’t doing anything wrong, I’ve seen it where the dog is just sleeping! Very sad, some people see it as a sport!! xxx

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      • I watched a video where a young man in The Gambia, West Africa, said that in his neighbourhood, if people saw a dog or puppy they automatically picked up rocks and threw them at the dog to try and kill it. This young man was at the vet’s, where he had brought a puppy that he had saved from this fate, and which he wanted to keep as a pet. As he was telling his story you could see how deeply upsetting he found it that his community behaved in this way. Sadly, I think it is like this in much of the world.

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  2. ‘…..people randomly visit in India………’
    This is a very generalization of Indians. I have observed that many Indians do give an intimation before visiting a person’s house.

    However, this statement is very funny – ‘…..in England you need to book an appointment at least a week in advance before showing up at someone’s house……’ Do the British people have appointment forms as well for the procedure? 😉 If so, I would be interested to see one!! 😀

    Sorry for your pet. Probably the person would have panicked after Alfonso’s ‘greetings’!!

    In addition, its sad to read this line – ‘the Brits love dogs more than people’. So somewhere deep down in your mind you still compare dogs with humans and consider the dogs to be superior! 😦 The British used statements such as ‘Dogs and Indians are not allowed’ at public places during the Colonial Rule. Probably, this mindset has not yet changed. 😦

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    • Hey RD,

      It was not a generalisation because I didn’t say ALL INDIANS, you must admit that in India it is not rude to randomly pop around someone’s place, whereas in the U.K. it is generally seen as rude.

      Also, it was a statement someone else said… I was not saying it was true at all, I was not presenting it as a fact!! I am not saying that Brits do love dogs more than humans, I am saying it’s a stereotype from an Indian person!! Many British people are of Indian origin themselves, your comments often relate back to Colonial rule, maybe your mindset about the British should change.

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    • I’m sorry why is it “sad” to read that some people love dogs more than people? I think all creatures (including humans) are created equal. We all breathe and feel the same.

      And some creatures are superior to some humans. Look at what humans are doing: destroying the Earth, waging wars, murdering, raping, torturing. I’d choose a kind animal over a cruel human any day.

      So yes, people who go around and kick friendly dogs are definitely inferior than said kind creature.

      If you think mindsets have not changed since Colonial Rule that is what is sad. Nowhere has Lauren said anything about “dogs and Indians;” clearly as she is married to an Indian man she is not racist against Indians. She simply pointed out one situation where a person demonstrated an unkind act towards a kind animal.

      And there are many people in the world who joke that they love dogs (or cats, or horses, or whatever) more than people; it’s a very common saying which just means that we really love our pets, and that often pets are easier to understand and get along with than the people around us.

      I really don’t understand how anyone could find something to be offended by in this story.

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      • Hi,

        I find your statement wrong – ‘all creatures (including human) are created equal’. Every creature has got its own place and respect in the eco system and there is definitely a hierarchy in the world. The ‘human being’ is at the apex of this system and therefore he has the ability to conquer the world. I respect all the living things on the planet according to their respective natures.

        In addition, we get the life of human being after a lot of struggle and suffering. Therefore, we are supposed to make the maximum benefit of it and gain salvation. Thus, a comparison between a human being and a dog is very unfair and disrespectful! (even if you say it with fun) It must never be done!!!

        There are some evil people in this world. Those people have their own place in society. In addition, you cannot make a comparison between a dog, a cat, a goat, a tiger and a monkey. All of them have their own characteristics as per their species.

        Finally, this is how the White British (Barbarians) treated Indians –

        The White British had notice boards with a message – ‘No Blacks, Indians and Dogs’ till as late as 1970s. These were displayed on the houses which were supposed to be rented. Many of these people are still alive. So deep down in their hearts some of them still have the notion that they are a superior race!!

        PS – I have not witnessed the dog scene at Lauren’s place so I will not comment on that.

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      • Saying you are better than any other creature on the planet is actually what is disrespectful. Some people think much too highly of themselves. I am no better than any other living creature, we all bleed red, we all have feelings. If you think humans are more special, I think you need to come down off your high horse.

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      • OK. So you are no better than any other living creature. Then it is correct to compare you to other living things. So, you are as good as a bitch, a donkey, a monkey, a crab, a vixen, an elephant, a mosquito,…etc. In addition, if you eat meat then you are a cannibal as well because you eat one of your own kind.

        All I am saying is that a Human Being is on a raised platform on this planet with the potential of higher consciousness and ability to think. A person’s Karma would define whether she raises from this elevated platform or goes down the way.

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      • Yes that is correct.

        I think growing up in a world where we eat other humans would be the same as growing up in a world where we eat animals. They are equally wrong in my eyes. I agree all of us that eat meat are essentially cannibals yes. In fact I think it is more morally right to eat murderers than animals that haven’t hurt anyone.

        Creatures think just like we do and anyone who thinks differently hasn’t spent enough time around them. Harming a creature does not cause them less pain than harming a human. I also believe that if there is a heaven then all creatures will go there; I don’t believe humans are “special.” In fact I think humans are one of the worst things to ever happen to this planet. If we are on a raised platform and so smart than why are we doing more damage to the Earth than any other species?

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      • Reply for your 10 Nov Q – If we are on a raised platform and so smart than why are we doing more damage to the Earth than any other species?

        Good Q! I can imagine you singing this song –

        I am raised as a Hindu and I have deep faith in this religion. It clarifies all my queries very well. According to Hinduism, the time is divided into 4 era – Satyayug, Tretayug, Dwaparyug and Kaliyug. The time we are living in is Kaliyug. The characteristics of Kaliyug can be found on these links –

        http://www.rense.com/general41/ancientvedicpredictions.htm

        http://www.harekrishnatemple.com/chapter19.html

        Now its up to you to decide your Karma. You can follow the footsteps of the bad people and ruin the world or you can follow the follow the good people and make the world a better place to live in. Good Luck! 🙂

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      • Hey RD,

        How are you?

        I am just speculating… but wouldn’t the British have thought “Every creature has got its own place and respect in the eco system and there is definitely a hierarchy in the world.”. The very fact that the British at that time did manage “conquer the Earth” (as you state) may have led them to believe that they were superior and the “apex of this system”?. Isn’t this the same misguided attitude you hold towards animals? Didn’t that attitude lead to such atrocities towards fellow humans? I suspect that a comparison between a white and a non white would have been considered “unfair and disrespecful” in those days.

        I personally believe that every animal has a soul, and from what you have written here: “we get the life of human being after a lot of struggle and suffering”, you feel the same way. So, don’t all souls deserve love and compassion, should we consider ourselves equal to avoid barbarism. This is something which drew me to Hinduism way before I met my husband, reading the Bhagavad Geeta etc., I love that the soul is recognised in all creatures.

        This attitude is by no way isolated towards the British, it happens everywhere. It wasn’t so long ago that Brahmins didn’t let other castes into their temples, and other castes didn’t have the right to study… I am sure there must have been notice boards with messages around. Maybe the Brahmins back then though that because they other castes (farmers etc.) that, and I quote from you, “all of them have their own characteristics” and therefore don’t have the right to worship or study.

        I just find it odd that you state how superior the Human is to animals in one breath and then condemn those people who feel superior in a similar way in the next. The feeling of superiority is a dangerous feeling.

        Lastly, I don’t think these ‘superior’ humans are doing such a great job ‘conquering’ the Earth. We are killing each other and destroying the environment, at least animals only kill for survival, not for fun or revenge! We were blessed with higher consciousness and I believe that we should be protecting and loving towards animals and fellow human. After all, is there anything greater than love and compassion? ‘Gaining salvation’ should not be a selfish quest, I am sure you will agree.

        Take care,

        Lauren

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      • Hello Lauren,

        I am doing fine. Hope you are good as well.

        When I mention the term ‘Human Being’ in my comments, I consider it as a form of life. According to Hinduism, a human body is the highest form of life that a soul can achieve on earth. It is bestowed with the potential of higher consciousness and ability to think. From your comment, I think that even you agree with this fact.

        When a person is born, he is on this elevated platform. However, the Karma in his life would define whether he raises from this level or goes down the path. The Virtues and Vices which have come from various religious books define the nature of our Karma.

        For example, a cat (male), even a domestic one, can kill the kittens of another cat (female) just for the sake of having sex. This behavior cannot be defined as good or bad by equating the cat to a human being (form of life). The cat acted just according to its ability to think and it is the nature of that creature. It would still remain a cat after this act! On the other hand, do you think a person could be called human if he kills the kids of a lady just in order to have sex with her? Never!

        Finally, I do agree that all living beings deserve respect and love. The human being should conquer the world with love, harmony and peace. All I am trying to say is that a human body is the best form of life a soul can earn on this planet!

        In addition, I am a strict vegetarian and even I love and respect animals. We had a cat as pet and its next four generations as well!

        Take Care,
        RD

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      • Hey RD,

        I definitely agree that we have higher consciousness but I think the feeling of superiority is very toxic. If a human does the worst things imaginable, he is still a human, he doesn’t grow a tale and start licking himself. I feel that everyone is here to learn and we should be compassionate and loving to all life forms.

        I am glad we agreed on many points!

        Take care,

        Lauren

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      • A person maybe human to you if he does the worst things imaginable but for me he is a devil, a monster and a demon (You seem to be deviated more by the looks and appearance of a person rather than by his thoughts, behavior, deeds and Karma). If you think that Hitler or Mussolini or the murderers and rapists in the world are still human then I am most surprised by your thoughts.

        One of the virtue taught by religions is Humility which every human being is supposed to have.

        Final Quote – A dog is a dog and a human being is a human being and I will never make a comparison between them.

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      • Hi Lauren,
        I am quite new to your posts.
        Wow !! I am so overwhelmed that you have read , understood and even inculcated Bhagvad Gita more than many among us.

        Yeah, it is sad that we torture stray dogs and cattle. Dogs and cows have great significance in our Hindu culture due to their sense and service,respectively.
        I myself don’t do any torture to animals and feel that just because they can’t speak/express, no body else should.
        They do have soul and feelings.
        Hope to connect with you through mail/posts.

        Saurabh Singh
        IT – Professional,Bangalore

        Like

      • Hey Saurabh,

        Nice to meet you! Thank you so much for your kind words! I definitely believe that animals have souls. Last night I saw a street dog dying and it made me cry because I could see the pain in her eyes but there was nothing I could do. She was a small skeleton covering in fur taking her last breaths, I am comforted by the fact I know that she will be in a better place now.

        I hope you are well,

        Take care,
        Lauren

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      • Nope. But if the author of the book has this view, then maybe its good for him. His level would be below the level of a pig. ‘Keep it up’ Mr.Author!!

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  3. Lovely piece Lauren ….i agree with you in regard to fixing appointments..it is a better way forward for Indians also….especially for working couples and nuclear families….perfecy in order and you need not be apologetic about it.

    Being a dog lover I feel sorry for Alphonso…do protect him from such jerks.

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  4. noooo alphonso 😦
    my family and I are such dog lovers, my one aunt has 6 dogs!
    so..i never knew that Indian people generally dont keep dogs..until someone pointed it out to me.. hehe
    love to alfonso ❤ ❤
    oh and ps: the Marathi style of applying sindoor is very interesting ! …i've never seen sindoor applied like that before

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    • Hey Divya,

      Wow, 6! That is awesome! We have two in England at my family home 😀

      It’s not the Marathi style of applying sindoor, many Marathi women don’t apply it before… it’s a ‘Lauren style’ haha, I like to experiment!

      I hope you are well! lots of love ❤ xxx

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  5. Ugh!! Kicking him in YOUR house is so unacceptable! I hope Alfonso is okay. The revenge part sounds scary, too. If Alfonso keeps unwanted drop-in guests away, that’s a win in my book :). Take care, Susan

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  6. That’s awful!! He had absolutely no right to do that! I hope someone gave him a talking to at least!! Hope Alfonso is okay!
    I really like the idea that Alfonso keeps the random visits to a limit! 😀

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  7. Omg, Lauren – I thought you had dropped off the radar or gone on holiday as I hadn’t seen any new posts from you in weeks. I randomly reopened your blog through Feedly where I normally read it and saw that you’d changed the blog’s title … and that I’d missed lots of lovely stories from you – and others! Silly feed … Glad your blog is going from strength to strength but sorry poor Alfonso got such a mean reaction to his greeting! Animal cruelty is hard to witness but I’m shocked that someone would do that in another person’s home. I hope your little chap stays as friendly and winning as he has been in spite of this nasty experience 🙂

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  8. @lauren

    The only thing playing on our minds when we see dogs is rabies. Its remedy in olden days was fourteen painful injections in the abdomen over a period of several days. Generations of indians have been told to stay away from dogs. Monkeys and cows are somewhat accepted due to religious reasons. Secondly, the hindu code of cleanliness in house was so strict on humans that there was definately no place for animals. Dogs and other pets were the pastime of rich who flaunted them as part of luxury. If you have a pet you have to spend a hell of lot of money on its upkeep food, immunization etc. More like maintaining a human beings. Pets are great as companions but often keeping them is inconvenient. For eg. Who will look after them in the absence of the pet owner. In india it is possible to pick an infection fast and dogs often carry these germs no matter how clean they appear to be.

    So i guess dogs are members of family for the pet owners but for random people they are frightening animals. Often people in india often let them poop everywhere which is big cause for fights. Indians don’t often have this civil decency which make people hate dogs more. When you go to somebody’s house and the dogs start barking or sniffing you it is not a plesant experince. One playful bite can send you scurrying to the doctor in no time.

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    • Hey Friend,

      Eak! Yes, I suspected the same! Usually we keep him in our room if there are others in the house but the maid let these guys in and we didn’t know. Poor Fonzi!

      I hope you are well,

      Lauren xxx

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  9. @ Limey Lauren

    the reason why we treat dogs with contempt is because they remind us of the you Brits. and therefore, I’m not surprised when you said that in Britain, dogs are a part of the family. this is where the pieces fit in perfectly.

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  10. It really is an interesting topic. Some animals like cows and other farm animals seem to be treated so well, better then some ppl are treated in india. India is one of the only countrys with an anti animal abuse clause in their national Constitution. India also made dophines officially non human people. Sadly dogs are treated badly I think because of what you said about the fear a rabbis.

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  11. HAPPY DEEPAWALI,, ,,LAUREN ,,, hope that ur fine ,, healthy and happy,,,im msging u after many months,, i was little bit busy in my life,,, sorry for that,,, i wanna give u a suggestion ,,,pls raise some social issues also,,, social issues related stories,,, pls try this if u can,,,,,againg ty for supporting akshay patra,,,

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  12. Do you really need to make 1 week appointment to visit someone in UK?? OMG! That is a bit hilarious. I don’t mind unexpected visits because actually it is very similar in my place.

    The way indians treat pets is a very painfull topic :/ I understand it is because of fear of rabies and other infections. There are so many stray dogs and people will rather avoid them. Even if they feed them they will never touch because of fear. Not many Indians keep dogs as pets so people don’t know how to behave with dogs. It is considered as upper class peoples hobby. Maybe that man was a muslim?? I don’t like to be predjudiced against religions but muslims hate dogs and I saw them beeing very cruel to them. Here in Mangalore (south Karnataka) only people who seem interested in helping animals are Indian Catholics. They run local animal shelter and those who live abroad (in UK) send donations to run it. Hindus are less interested but some also love dogs . And muslims hate dogs and throw stones. But in India dogs are treated more like animals and less like family members.

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    • Hey Magadalena,

      The one week was a little bit of an exaggeration but you do need to give lots of notice, otherwise it’s considered rude. I don’t think the man was a Muslim and I personally haven’t experienced anything like that. I don’t like to think that animal cruelty has a religious factor. I guess the Catholics connection to the West gives them extra resources for such projects??

      I hope you are well dear!!!

      Lots of love,

      Lauren

      Like

      • Hello Lauren,
        I am relatively new to your posts.
        Actually you are right. Pet dogs are vaccinated and safe, unlike street ones. And besides Dog population in India is like Kangaroo pop. in Australia 🙂 That makes them neglected, poor street dogs.
        Local authorities don’t have sufficient funds for beggars and poor ppl, so dog shelter would be distant dream.
        Besides, dogs and cattle are not hated(rather cared) in Hindu mythology, maybe the person would be Muslim. They don’t like dogs.
        Nice to read your posts. Keep connected.
        Bye.
        Saurabh Singh
        IT- Professional
        Bangalore

        Like

      • Hey Saurabh,

        Yes, it’s a shame that there is no facilities for dogs, but like you said there isn’t enough for poor people let alone dogs. Street dogs in Nagpur tend to be treated quite well, lots of the vendors feed them and most look healthy.

        I don’t think that the man was Muslim, I think he was just scared.

        I hope that you are well! Take care

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  13. How awful! I would have hit the man back!
    I noticed the same thing in India, so many stray dogs left to eat garbage, and so many people have an aversion to dogs too. My husband had a black Lab before, it was like a guarddog. At night they made it sleep outside in it’s dog house. One time his grandpa (who didn’t like dogs) came and took the dog and drove off outside of the city and abandoned the poor thing. My husband refused to speak to him for YEARS.
    Here in Canada, we take animal abuse very seriously. Last year there was a story of a badly beaten dog who was found in a trash bin and it was like a murder hunt to find the perpetrator.

    http://www.news1130.com/2012/07/20/german-shepherd-rescued-from-vancouver-dumpster-dies/

    On another note, my aunt who is very loving to animals recently visited India a few years back. She is one of those types who won’t even kill a mosquito…LOL. She was getting ice cream from a cart and the ice cream man kicked a dog. She started screaming at the man and forced him to give the dog an ice cream as an apology…LOL.
    I really believe that every living thing ought to be treated with dignity and respect….

    Like

    • Hey Alex,

      Oh my gosh, so upsetting, your poor husband :(. When my Dad was a child, he had a pet chicken and his mum cooked her for Sunday roast and told him after that it was his pet. So harsh.

      P.S. Your aunt sounds AWESOME!!!! xxx

      Like

  14. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of humankind.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

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  15. Take care of Alfonso, Lauren! As you correctly mentioned, people in India are terrified of dogs, as they see them as vicious animals guarding their home. Happened with my spike (my pug). There were some guys in our house painting the terrace wall. Although usually he roams free like Alfonso, Spike was tied to a door as these men were moving about. Somehow he broke free and ran behind one of the men descending the staircase. In panic, the man threw the paint bucket in his hand at spike, who’s little butt got soaked in Teak Brown. It took me about an hour to get the paint off his backside. I couldn’t scold the poor man as he was not entirely at fault and also he had been working for me for years ( I am in construction). The fact is that India is sometimes dangerous for dogs too! So we should keep our little ones safe. Heck, I have to keep an eye on my joker of a German Shepherd, Tiger, as he is a nibble-happy rat who hasn’t realized that he is now over 40 kilos, and people don’t enjoy it when he sinks his 110kg/sq.cm strength jaws into them 😀 😀

    P.S you did the right thing to not complain about that man, these people easily turn to crime for revenge, and its best to avoid them. Goddess is always watching and she does justice to all.

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    • Oh no!
      Poor Spike! Yes, I guess we both had similar things happen, we had no idea the guys were in the house otherwise he would have been shut in our room! The revenge thing I have experienced first hand here, our old driver threw a brick through our car window (no idea why, I think he was sacked for something).

      I hope you are well!

      Like

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