I'm a Greyhound called Arthur. Actually that isn't really true. My real name is Ardmayle Boss. That was my kennel name and the name under which I raced for four years with, if I say so myself, a modicum of success at various dog tracks in the south east of England. One wet and very dark night in Deptford I slipped while going flat out around the final bend of a 400 yard race and slipped and did something to my back which immediately put the mockers on my racing career. Fortunately I avoided being shovelled into a hole in the ground by my owners, a fate that befell many of my friends when their racing careers were over and I was put into a rescue centre.
I had a nice kennel to myself unlike the others who were in double rooms. I think this was because I dislike my fellow dogs and have a habit of attacking them. This also made my adoption and comfortable retirement slightly more difficult to arrange than should have been the case.
One day however, just as this solitary life was beginning to get a bit boring a large, late-middle aged man in an ill-fitting tweed coat came by and stood outside by kennel glaring at me. I glared back, of course. I remember the conversation quite clearly. The man turned to the kennel maid and asked:
’Why is this one on his own?’
‘He doesn’t really get on with other dogs,’ was her reply.
‘Good,’ the man said, ‘I’ll have him, then.’
This was my first meeting with my new friend, Peter Smith. We got on exceptionally well from the start. He disliked his fellow humans as much as I disliked my fellow canines. It was to be a retirement made in heaven. Or so I thought. Sunny Provence, no one to bother us. Hundreds of cats to chase. A veritable paradise. However as you will see when you read these stories, all this changed and life became much more adventurous and dangerous. Still it's better than Deptford, though.