At the end of long dirt track, in a remote corner of the world called Suffolk, England, stands a lonely farmhouse surrounded by fields of corn and rapeseed. There is nothing unusual about this farmhouse: it is similar to many others found dotted around the Suffolk countryside: a proud building that may have seen better days, but whose neglect only serves to enhance its charm.
Inside this lonely farmhouse lives a simple farmer and his wife. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this farmer: he rises before dawn to work the fields; he eats heartily at the kitchen table at breakfast, lunch and dinner, all prepared by his wife; he enjoys a drink by the open fire, listening to Radio 4; he attends church on Sunday, followed by a pint at the pub and roast dinner at home.
Sometimes he watches the football on telly, although not always enthusiastically, unless his team is having a good season. Sometimes he speaks to his son on the telephone, sometimes to his brother. Occasionally, he accompanies his wife into town to shop at the market or go to the Post Office. When she goes to bingo, he goes to the pub.
In many ways, this farmer is like many others throughout England’s green and pleasant. Indeed, with his tweed jacket, corduroy trousers and his flat cap, you would be hard pressed to pick him out from a group of his peers. Many a phrase or adjective has been used to describe men such as he: hard working, loyal, determined, honest, “salt of the earth”… He is a man of upstanding nature, who works his land and appreciates the fruits of his labour. He reveres hard work but looks forward his day off.
It is with this farmer where our story begins. And it is such humble beginnings that make this story so unique. For while our farmer is so similar to others of his profession, there is one aspect that separates him entirely from his fellow farmers, one characteristic that few others in his line of work share – a quirk, some might say. For while his fellow farmers spend their spare time fixing up motor cars, tinkering with electronics or trying their hand at woodwork, this farmer stands out from all the rest. His passion lies not with DIY, not with playing the pools, certainly not with discussing politics; but with something for more noble and sophisticated.
This farmer breeds miniature poodles.
It is on his farm, in this lonely farmhouse, where this simple farmer and his wife witnessed the birth of the world’s most adventurous canine.