A Labrador-sized hole dominated 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’s name became “Zero” – ‘cause he could only go UP from his neglectful, miserable start in life! Beneath his wheat-coloured coat, ribs stuck out and his golden eyes were wary. These eyes were strikingly outlined by doggie eyeliner and they flicked around in his handsome, black-masked face. Zero was timid, but curious, and hungry (nay, desperate) for food, food and more food. His neediness knew no bounds. Cuddles and nuzzles were demanded, not requested … as was constant reassurance. His hyper-vigilance meant he would not lose sight of us. At the park, Zero’s sociable side slowly blossomed. He made canine and human friends, whilst constantly checking that we were close by. He cyclonically developed from an affection-deficit head case into a strong, healthy love-bot. Zero is a loving, much-loved family member. He richly rewards us for welcoming him into our lives. The void has been filled. We love him dearly – quirks and all.

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