Prince was as happy as a pig in muck having moved North, despite being a Southern dog at heart. His days were spent playing with Spike, galloping around the terraced garden - which provided excellent agility opportunities, and sampling the multitude of rawhide bones that were being offered.
He also received numerous visits from other doggy friends - 'Uncle Davids' dog, Rory, was a regular visitor with whom he had an on / off relationship. They were fine whilst out walking, but tensions were apparent in the house!
Prince also spent more time with his Grandparents, who were now only half an hour away. I was working from home by this time, but regularly needed to stay away overnight. Far from being particularly distressed by this, Prince was delighted to stay with my parents, and used to give me very clear signals after half an hour of being there that it was time I was on my way. This signalled the start of terrible spoiling, which Prince revelled in.
It was around this time that Prince had his first experience of water, at the fairly nearby Styal Country Park. This was a revelation to him and us - and he loved it. He used to get so excited that he'd just run around in circles in the shallows, barking and splashing. He was always more of a paddler than a swimmer, but I'll never forget the first time we went to the beach. We must have looked a real sight - me, with my trousers rolled up to the knee, and Prince paddling alongside me. The joy when I first felt him start kicking with his legs as he truly swam for the first time was incredible. I can only imagine it would be like seeing your human child swim for the first time - I was overcome with pride.
After a year or so, we decided to move again. The urban environment was driving me mad and I was desperate for a greener existance. I don't think Prince really cared whether he was walking through an urban park, or across a moor, but I certainly did. I just wish we could have taken Spike with us.