We had a Labrador-sized hole in our lives after 13 year old Cleo died. Time passed, Covid struck. The void deepened … then “Cyclone” struck! A seven month old Ridgeback X Mastiff was delivered to us during the first Covid lockdown by the wonderful RSPCA.

Cyclone became “Zero” – ‘cause he could only go UP from his neglectful, miserable start in life! His ribs stuck out beneath his light wheat-coloured coat. Wary golden eyes, strikingly highlighted by doggie eyeliner, flicked around a handsome, black-masked face. He was timid, but curious, and hungry (nay, desperate) for food, food and more food.

Zero’s neediness knew no bounds. Cuddles and nuzzles were demanded, not requested … as was constant reassurance. His hyper-vigilance meant he didn’t like losing sight of us. At the park, his social side slowly blossomed. He made canine and human friends, checking in with us frequently at each outing. He cyclonically developed from an affection-deficit head case into a full blown, healthy love-bot.

Zero rapidly became a loving, loved and firmly entrenched family member. He’s richly rewarded us for welcoming him into our lives. The void has been filled. We love him dearly – quirks and all.

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