Name: Scout Age: 2 years Breed: Cocker Spaniel
Three words to describe Scout: Cuddly, gentle, excitable.
If Scout was a famous person, he’d be…. Paul Rudd, hands down.
It was a hot day in early Autumn when we arrived in the leafy streets of Goodwood, a charming little suburb with a village-like vibe, right on the doorstep of Adelaide’s CBD.
We had made the trip over the border to meet a fur family about to embark on a huge adventure and major life transition. We knew this shoot would be a special one.
We stood on the front doorstep to Claire and Yuri’s quaint single-fronted cottage and were eagerly greeted by Scout, their two-year old blue roan cocker spaniel. As Claire and Yuri welcomed us inside, we instantly fell in love. Their cosy cottage home was lovingly decorated with ceramics, second-hand furniture and vintage wares. Being there felt like a big warm hug, like the familiarity of catching up with old friends.
You could tell theirs was a home that held many special memories. And they were about to say goodbye to it all. An amazing job opportunity in London was calling, and along with it, a whole new chapter for one of the loveliest fur families we’ve had the pleasure to meet.
Homebodies + Merit Badges
Claire, a graphic designer, and Yuri, a software engineer, met at a design studio they worked at together in the centre of Adelaide. Both being creatives and homebodies, they spent plenty of time around the house, pottering about and working on creative side projects. Of course, Scout was always right by their side, while their friendly ginger rescue cat, Fox, would often pop in for a cuddle between bouts of sunning himself in the backyard.
“We have so many fond memories in this little house. It’s where Yuri and I fell in love, where we adopted Fox and where we like to curl up on weekends. It’s a really cosy and sacred place for us. As exciting as moving across the world is, it’s going to be sad to leave this place that we’ve made a home.”
A creative side project that had recently taken off for Claire was inspired by her love for Scout. Sticking to her New Year’s resolution of finding the courage to put her creative ideas out into the world, Claire started ‘Scout’s Honour’, a range of merit patches for pets. The name has a clever double meaning, being both a reference to traditional merit badges worn by girl and boy scouts, as well as a concept inspired by Scout’s cute, quirky (and sometimes perplexing!) personality.
“As a child I would always be inventing little things to give to family and friends. I started with painted rocks, perfumes made from things in the garden and little drawings on reflex paper which I’d laminate with sticky tape. I’ve always liked that act of giving. Sweet, small, tangible trinkets have always felt so special to me. As you grow up though, you start thinking that these things are trivial and silly. But Scout’s Honour feels like a step back to this time, making things with the carefree creativity of a child. I think that’s where much of the charm comes from.
Before I started Scout’s Honour, Scout didn’t even have a bandana of his own. His collar is just one he’s had since he was a pup, too. So if Scout’s Honour becomes a success, it will be a total rags to riches story for Scout!”
A School Girl’s Dream + An Old Figurine
Owning a cocker spaniel had always been a long-held dream of Claire’s. A painfully shy child, Claire spent most of her lunch times away from the other kids and with the principal’s cocker spaniel, who was often at the school.
“I remember just looking at this puppy and thinking it had such a perfect and sad face. Ever since then I’ve dreamed of owning my very own. It’s funny – sometimes when I’m out and about with Scout I think to myself – 12 year old Claire would be SO proud of me!”
From the start, Claire was adamant Scout would slot into their daily lives, and not be a dog just left in the backyard. Everywhere Claire went, Scout did too – to run errands, visit cafes and pop to the shops. Scout would even join Claire and Yuri at work some days, lazing away on their office couch and lapping up all the extra pats from their work colleagues.
Scout fit so easily into their lives, like he was always meant to be there. One day, when Claire’s Mum came to visit, a small trinket on the shelf caught her eye.
“There is this gorgeous china figurine I’ve had since I can remember, of a black and white cocker spaniel. After having Scout for almost a year, one day my Mum noticed it sitting on the mantel. She mentioned that the figurine was actually hers as a little girl! I love that story – to me it’s a sign that having Scout in our family was always meant to be.”
Lounge Spaghetti + A Brotherly Bond
Hanging out with Scout at the photoshoot, it was easy to see why he is so loved. A cuddle-addict and unashamed sloth, it was incredible to watch how Claire and Yuri could pick Scout up, or plonk him down without a whisker of resistance. He had complete trust in their hands, flopping and moulding into whatever position he was placed in. If lounge spaghetti was a thing, Scout would be it.
“I think we spoil Scout more with attention than with material things. Yuri likes to tuck Scout into bed at night, and we both talk to him a lot. Like most people, I started out with a lot of rules – no jumping on the couch, and no sleeping on the bed…but more and more I’m letting him get away with these things. You’ll usually find him resting on a pile of pillows on the couch – he loves pillows!”
The first day Scout met Fox is a moment Claire and Yuri think of fondly. Having made the decision to rescue a cat, they were advised to bring Scout into the pound to make sure that whatever cat they chose, the two would get along.
They fell in love the moment they caught sight of Fox. Every other cat in the building hissed at Scout as they walked in, but Fox wasn’t fazed at all. As Yuri sorted out the paperwork, Fox sat at the edge of his cage, right next to Scout and Claire, as if he knew he had found his new home.
“Since adopting Fox we’ve noticed just how gentle and patient Scout is. They’re definitely brothers – always fighting and teasing each other – but at the end of the day they fall into a heap together and snooze away. He’s incredibly gentle and puts up with all the constant bops and surprise pounces from Fox.”
New Beginnings + Pet-Friendly Adventures
As we came to the end of our time with Claire and Yuri, we felt so excited for what lie ahead for them, but also a tinge of sadness. We knew it would be hard for them to say goodbye to their home, to the place they had nurtured their fur family together, a place where so many precious memories had been shared.
But awaiting Claire and Yuri on the other side of the world was a huge adventure, and one they would experience together as a family. Their plan was to make the move to London, find a home and fly Scout over soon after. New creative endeavours, a new business, and even a wedding lie just ahead.
“As we’re packing up an entire house and moving to another country, we’re in a constant state of frazzle – but in a really enjoyable way. It’s all really great and exciting stuff. We were actually looking through the English Heritage site recently, and were surprised to see just how many places were pet-friendly. I just thought, Scout, we’re going to have so much fun exploring all the castles and gardens of England!”
And so a new chapter for this fur family begins. No matter where Claire and Yuri start their new life in London, there’s one thing that’s clear; home will always be wherever Scout is right beside them.
EDIT: We’re happy to report that Claire, Yuri and Scout are all settling in very well in their new home based in London’s west. Claire and Yuri were really sad to leave Fox behind, but he is now staying with family who are totally crazy about him. You can stay up to date with Scout’s Honour, and get little updates on Scout and his new London life on instagram at @scoutshonour_.
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