Oz's story began for us in an RSPCA rehoming centre near Weston-Super-Mare; he was a loving but bouncy, energetic dog who needed more space than his previous owners could give him - reluctantly they had put him up for adoption. In a parallel universe 100 miles away in Devon, Hilary and Nish had begun to look for a new companion for Bill and the other animal residents at Oakwood after their beloved Pearly died. As if it was written in the stars, their path took them to Oz (via Banksy's Dismaland rather bizarrely - see September's posts for more of that) and a new chapter began in all their lives.
Which leads us to the fish. Not the obvious choice for a dog retrieve toy admittedly, but when you think about it, they are just the right shape. And we do have an abundance of rivers round here, teeming with the real life versions which must have been in Hilary's subconscious when she created her own little shoal. They're stuffed with scrap leather so are unbelievably good for chewing and tugging and generally throwing around as Bill and Oz will tell you. We also think they look rather lovely just plonked in a basket.
As for Oz, his new found confidence and transferable skills have led to a promotion at work - here he is making a few amendments to the website.