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My partner and I have owned in the past a gorgeous golden labrador named Inca who lived to the old age of 14 years and our four children grew up with him as their play companion. I had owned several cats before Inca came into my life and after his passing we adopted a mother and daughter pair of part Persian cats who lived with us to the age of 16 and 15 years respectively. We loved having the two cats and they suited our lifetsyle at the time rather than a dog. On their passing we acquired two litter brother Colour Point Persians who eventually moved with us from a suburban life to an apartment lifestyle. They also eventually passed, an addition being a third colour point Persian but we have now been pet-less for several years and miss then greatly. Because I travelled regularly overseas and we planned to relocate permanently to Northern Italy this year, a new pet was out of the question, but my retirement and COVID-19 has put paid to all of that for the foreseeable future. Our thoughts have turned on many occasions to a yearning for another dog but we are reluctant to take on the full responsibility of ownership at this stage in our lives. However, sharing a pet as a carer has enormous appeal – a sort of pet grandparent. My partner would certainly love to spend time with a dog in his life and is an excellent dog person. As an older retired couple I can’t think of a better solution to our yearning for the companionship of a shared dog.

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