It seems unbelievable now, but back in 2005 I had no real idea what a shih tzu looked like. Yet, it was that year that my love of the breed started.
After our senior Jack Russell Terrier Nancy died at the grand age of 22 we were seeking a new little dog to keep our Scottish Terrier Gypsy company. I had taken a week off to look after Gypsy as she was recovering from major surgery. It had been an awful week - Gypsy had pyometra and it was touch-and-go for her. We got her home and on the road to recovery to see the week end with Nancy being put to sleep. However, on the Tuesday, I had a meeting in London and I could not pull out of it. So I decided to combine it with a trip to Battersea Dogs Home.
Now, this was nowhere near my meeting. I was at BUPA HQ in Holborn and it was something of a trek. I caught the bus and arrived about half an hour before they closed.
I explained I was looking for a female terrier. The staff told me they had a shih tzu. No, we really need a terrier, I explained. But, he is so cute, they said. No, we really only want a girl. He only has one eye, they said. I said I would take him there and then!
But it was complicated. He was 8 or 9 at least and had been found as a stray in East London. He had been neglected and was due an operation the next day. At that point, it was not even clear whether he would come through it as he was unwell, underweight and in need of a lumpectomy.
They called on the Friday, we could have him, but they were not sure how long he would be with us.
We took Quincy home on the Sunday and we had him for six wonderful years. He was an amazing little dog who was fun to be with and we loved him to the moon...