For some time now, we’ve been best buddies with adorable Jackshund Scrabble and her lazy human Mike Dicks. He’s a professional illustrator while she’s a certified taker of naps, drinker of dog beer, and keen runner on the beach.
She’s caused quite the stir in town, becoming something of a local celebrity – but her latest promotion means she is now Brighton and Hove’s first official dog in residence! She even has her own business cards, complete with stylish bone motifs.
As part of this new role for Brighton and Hove Bus Company, she will become the expert in public transport etiquette – teaching the rowdy pooches in town how to control their mischievous humans on the bus.
Carole Richmond, the marketing manager for B&H Buses, said: “It’s part of our commitment to making Brighton and Hove buses suitable for everyone – dogs (and cats) included.
“Scrabble is such a brilliant character. Hers is such a good story, and Mike is such a good local storyteller with energy and positivity.”
Three-year-old Scrabble has an amazing and heartbreaking story with a happy ending – before finding Mike, she started life on a puppy farm in Ireland. Thankfully, she was rescued and taken to Battersea Dogs Home before visiting Allsorts Dog Rescue in Sussex. While she was there, she dreamed of becoming an author while waiting for her forever human.
He came in the shape of scruffy, bearded Mike Dicks – an illustrator who failed his art A-level twice. Scrabble said she felt pity for him and was smitten with him immediately, and the pair have been inseparable ever since. They recently released their first illustrated book – Mike&Scrabble: a guide to owning your new human – and have gone from strength to strength.
However, Scrabble still has one more mountain to climb. Somewhat ironically, she is nervous on the bus – something which Mike puts down to her first experience with vehicles during her puppy farm escape. He explained: “The first time I picked her up from the rescue centre and put her in the car, she was sick everywhere.
“On buses, she just sits and shakes like a leaf under my feet but she’s getting better.
“The lovely thing is when passengers reach out to us to comfort her and to talk to me and give advice based on their dogs.”
Scrabble’s bus woes are actually what landed her the job. Mike drew her barking at a bus, joking that wolves actually used to hunt buses and it was just her primal instincts kicking in. The B&H Buses team fell in love with the picture instantly, and the rest is history.
The bus company will keep working with Mike and Scrabble well into the Summer and beyond, so watch this space for more exciting canine news! In the mean time, expect to see Scrabble on B&H Buses’ doggy dos and doggy don’ts page.
Photos by Mike Dicks and Adam Heppell