As Royal Wedding fever sweeps the world, it’s amazing to think that 14 years have gone by since that fateful day, when The Rockster entered our lives on the steps of La Conca del Sogno during our honeymoon.
On the 25th May 2004 we set out from Capri with Rocky Agusta on his sailing yacht, heading for a day trip to Portofino, totally unaware we would meet a dog that would change our lives forever. That our rock in life would become the emaciated mutt we were about to cancel our honeymoon to rescue.
As the restaurant’s fishing boat brought us to the stone platform, we saw on the steps leading to the restaurant what looked like a lifeless pile of bones and speckled fur, bleached by the scorching sun. He’d apparently been there for at least 3 days, was anywhere between 4 and 5 years old and was at least breathing.
Sven rushed to get some water, while I cradled his head. It was an ear that first came to life, followed swiftly by the most magical eyes and then the other ear. As he slowly drank in the water, life returned to his emaciated frame and a love story started that that in many ways will never end.
He followed us to our table and gingerly ate from an aluminium dish, mesmerising us with his way of cocking his head when we spoke, as if seeking to understand every word. When it came for us all to leave to continue the day’s original schedule, that moment came when brutal reality dawned. The Captain had an allergy to dogs, we were on our honeymoon and living a life between two countries when it would have been inconceivable to get a dog.
The Rockster looked down on us from the restaurant, as we went down the steps, tears running down my face. These descended into floods as he cocked his head with a look of pure love that also said “Are you really leaving me?”. Laden with a heavy heart himself, impulsive as ever and desperate to turn tears of sadness into joy, Sven stopped in his tracks, saying “Wait I’ve forgotten something really important!”. Turning on his heels, he jumped 2 steps at a time as the wags on The Rockster’s tail became more and more energetic. It never occurred to me he meant the dog!
Running down the steps with The Rockster in his arms, I will never forget those words “You always wanted a wedding present money couldn’t buy, so we just got a dog! Somehow we'll make this work!”, as we descended into a group hug that even melted Rocky Agusta’s heart. From that day to this, The Rockster has never left one or other of our side.
Little did we know then, but that magical mutt was to become our absolute rock in life, there with his paw whenever we needed a hand and it was to be him that actually rescued us, our very own patron saint from La Conca del Sogno. That also the special food we created for him would not just enhance his life but those of many other dogs around the world and that he would go on to father the Pupsters at an age most dogs never reach.
We also didn't know then that literally translated La Conca del Sogno means “The Home of Dreams” and the Patron Saint of Dogs is actually called “St Rock”.
May Prince Harry & Meghan’s dreams come true on their honeymoon and they too find their Rockster that sees them through even the roughest of days.