Santoi n Rex

SANTOI N REX  -THE GEORGE “SANTOI” AND “REX”,

The George and Dragon, Isleworth, Middlesex

ALTHOUGH these stories are in no way intended to serve as a
guide to London, they seem to be in a fair way to being a guide
to pubdom, albeit an incomplete one.
On our way to Isleworth we pass through Brentford which is
the capital of Middlesex not St. ]ohn’s Wood, as cricket lovers
like to think.

Isleworth, being a highly cultivated centre, has its own ales
and more, much more, than one such fine house like The George
and Dragon. But there is only one Rex and one Santoi, and it is in
this house that they live comfortably.

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“REX”

Rex is a cross between a Bull Terrier and a Labrador. On his
sturdy shoulders is placed the responsibility of guarding the house.
He is fully capable of the job, and it is a house well worth guarding.
It is, in age and in design, Early Georgian, and used to be the
mail coaching inn on the route between London and Oxford.
In the gardens can be seen stabling for eight horses.

It seems but natural, therefore, as you drink a pleasant pint in the com-
fortable saloon bar that you should notice that the landlord and
his wife have gathered a fine collection of horse brasses.
One set is of particular interest. It consists of a collection of
thirteen medallions presented by the R.S.P.C.A. on the annual
inspection and parade of cart horses in Regent’s Park. These
medallions, it is proudly explained to all who are interested, were
won by Nobby.

Nobby was a Belgian horse

Now Nobby was a Belgian horse, who did duty as a cart horse
in the district for many years. He was wounded in the blitz, and
finally died at the splendid old age of twenty-five. So, for purely
sentimental reasons, the landlord and his wife acquired the accoutre-
ments, and his brasses and bit hang in an honoured place in the
saloon bar.

This passionate love of animals among Englishmen is just
another feature which makes them a puzzle to so many foreigners.
Rex takes after his master in the love of horses. Rex’s day starts
roughly about eight in the morning when the milk ,oat arrives. He
thereupon visits the greengrocer, selects a choice carrot for his

friend, the horse, and the trio then do their round, with Rex popping
off from time to time to collect tit-bits and, according to the milk-
man, a host of friends as well.

The trek finally ends at Hounslow, five miles away, whereupon
Rex “thumbs” a lift home. Sometimes he makes the return journey
under his own steam, so to speak, but he has been known to call at
Hounslow Police Station to get himself “arrested” and be bailed
out by his master.

Rex with Santoi

It saves a lot of canine fag that way.
Rex is a dog with a brain, as well as a heart. It sometimes
happens that a relief milkman arrives to do the round. Rex stays
at home; he is not interested. Occasionally, the regular milkman
arrives at the house with a relief horse. In that case, again, Rex
stays at home; he is not interested.

The same thing happened in the war years. A certain girl took
over the round. That was all right with Rex. He joined her. But
when the relief girl called on occasion, Rex was not interested.
Then, it is said, he just snlked. Rex is a loyal chap, of a single-minded
disposition, and all that is known of his age and upbringing is this:
he arrived at The George and Dragon on Christmas Eve eight years
ago, took a look round, approved of the landlord and his wife,
and decided to give them great happiness by staying with them for
the rest of his natural life, which goes far to prove his high intelligence.
It is absolutely certain that nothing on earth will ever make him
move.

His milk round

But if you want to see him you must certainly wait till he’s
completed his milk round.

To see Rex with Santoi is to think at once of dignity and
impudence. Santoi is a Pekingese with a pedigree and an aristocratic
background of an ancient breed which should provide the dignity
of the partnership. But alas, the reverse is the case. On the other
hand, we must remember that she is but two and has plenty of
time in which to grow up into a serious-minded pup. Meanwhile,
she thinks life is just one huge joke (the lucky little dog!) expressly
designed for the chasing of a ball in the garden. One day she will
come to realize that life is real.

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