How a QC and His Six Pandemic Puppies Became Twitter Stars
Allan Compton QC of London Chambers 2 Bedford Row had a lot of furry staff during the pandemic when his golden retriever Wilma had six pups. Here he tells Hannah Roberts about the hairy moments and the joy that the new family members have brought …
Raising the puppies was an extraordinary experience. You were born at home. The booked “Mid-Woof” didn’t show up, so we all went along and helped. Luckily my oldest daughter qualified as a paramedic last year, so she stepped in!
Wilma (the mother) had six puppies. Number six was a nice surprise as the vet had told us during an examination the day before when we only had five.
I’ve slept next to them every night from birth (with my son and wife taking an occasional shift). That meant regular goat milk feeding at around 3:45 a.m. – followed by an hour of chaos before bed.
After about six weeks I started posting some photos on Twitter and it snowed from then on. They have quite a following now.
The combination of lockdown and its aftermath and silk ingestion meant I was home a majority of the time for the first 10 weeks. Seeing them grow and develop so quickly was very uplifting.
One of the six Golden Retriever puppies Allan Compton QC had under his umbrella during the pandemic. Courtesy Allan Compton.
It didn’t take long for them to work together as a team – they huddled together to move chairs that we had used to keep them from getting to our beautiful furniture and climbing on top of each other to overcome obstacles. They quickly got the nickname ‘the zombie horde’, as soon as one escaped, the others poured through and went in all directions.
As you’ve probably seen from a tweet, the day I bought a string to put a line for laying bricks for a patio resulted in all six (within seconds) of them stealing that through the garden ran and got tangled up to the point where it was useless …
C.hambers Management Committee meetings couldn’t really get going until I took my laptop to the pups to show everyone else on the committee. A Crown Court judge active on Twitter asked about them at the end of a remote hearing!
They were exceptionally good, if quite stressful at first. The sheer happiness they create through their enthusiasm for everything and the unconditional affection they show you is so uplifting. I think family brought us all together. It certainly completely eliminated the claustrophobic boredom of lockdown.
Some of them were obviously a sad moment moving into a new home but we have some connection with all of the owners and my wife put in a screening process that MI5 would have been proud of to make sure they were making good families went. All of them followed Wilma’s pregnancy and the birth and development of the puppies via a WhatsApp group chat and are still sending us ‘pupdates’.
It was nice to see their faces when visiting the pups, especially the kids.
A family had been betrayed by rogue breeders the year before. They were on the reserve list as we were only expecting five and when the sixth arrived and we let her know that the mother appeared to be dancing around her office at work! ! ! Something like that really took away any sadness.