1912 – Littleport, Cambridgeshire
Floss was a Collie. She must have seemed really big to her constant companion, Nina, who was, after all, only three. She loved Nina, who in turn loved her back. The only time they were apart was when Floss had to go to her little kennel in the garden, near the well.
One day, Nina went missing. Her parents, James and Caroline, were beside themselves with worry.
Caroline had never really liked having a well in the garden and her immediate thought was that Nina had fallen down the well, but this was not the case. She wasn’t there. They couldn’t understand where their daughter could be, and as time passed they became more and more distraught. They ran a shop in the village and lived on the premises so it wasn’t as if Nina could have wandered off whilst unsupervised, for they were with her all the time.
There had been gypsies in the area. Had she been taken?
People were alerted. Search parties were arranged in the quest for the missing little Nina.
Floss wouldn’t move from her kennel. Nina was missing and when she came back, Floss would be where Nina would be able to find her.
Hours passed and the searches revealed nothing. It got to the stage where, in order to do something, areas were searched for the second and then the third time. Floss stayed where she was and waited, seemingly confident that all would be well, and Nina would be returned to her.
When you get desperate you follow the wildest ideas, and so it came about that someone looked in a really silly place and found little Nina safe and fast asleep – in Floss’s kennel.
It’s the earliest family doggy story I know. It came from my mother – Nina.