Matilda, My Darling

26 November 2020

Matilda, My Darling

When I saw Matilda, in my head I said, I know you. I rescued her from the Lost Dogs’ Home eight years ago, on 3 September 2012. I remember the date because it was a great happening for me. The rest is history. Matilda is a German shorthaired pointer crossed with a blue heeler. She goes everywhere with me. We sell The Big Issue every day. Everyone loves her – all the customers, they all love Matilda – and they come along for pats. The schoolkids know her and ask how she’s going. They buy food for her and all that stuff. Matilda can do everything but talk! But she talks with her actions.

During lockdown, it was terrible in the sense that, well, income is one thing, but you couldn’t do this or that or anything else. I was walking Matilda twice a day, but eventually that was getting too much for me because I’m an old bloke – so I cut it down to once a day. Matilda adapted to it very good. I had a couple of weeks where at different times I was down with the depression a bit, and Matilda pulled me out of it. And she’s good company, fantastic company.

Every night we go home and I feed her and feed myself and have a bit of a look at TV and then I go to bed fairly early. When I go into bed, she’s always lying on the part of the bed where I generally sleep. And then I gotta say, “C’mon Matilda. Move over!”  She straight away moves over.

About three years ago, I met Street Cat Bob’s owner James Bowen. This bloke came up to me and he told me who he was. I shook his hand and he wanted to buy the magazine – he told me not to worry about the change. He gave me a copy of the UK magazine with him in it. He was really nice and it was good to meet him. He was nice to Matilda too.

Bob the Cat is a big story because James was selling The Big Issue, and he was struggling a bit – which we mostly are – and people could see that he had an animal that he was looking after and he was doing a good job of it. Whether it’s a dog or a cat, they can see that you’re battling along pretty well, and people just see that it’s a good thing to do.

Article first published in The Big Issue edition #625