A dog called Petra

The tv show Blue Peter was a big part of my childhood. Broadcast on the BBC for children after they finished school, the show was famous for expeditions and adventures, the Blue Peter garden (in my day it was Percy Thrower), fundraising (I remember collecting stamps, ring pulls and milk bottle tops to help various causes) and animals.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s when I watched the show, along with the presenters, it featured a number of animals including dogs. The first Blue Peter dog was Petra and she appeared on the show between 1962 and 1977 when sadly she died.

I have a photo of Petra together with a letter from the show and although I don’t have any memory of sending for this, it must have been possible to request a photo of Petra when she died but demand must have been high, as the letter apologises for sending me a black and white photo rather than a colour one.

petra-1

petra-2
I have recently learned that the dog in the photo wasn’t Petra at all and actually replaced the original Petra when she died two days after making her appearance on the show.  The dog I knew as Petra then spent the next 15 years appearing on Blue Peter and no-one knew any different, until the programmes then editor told the world years later. However even though I now know, I don’t mind at all, as to me the dog I saw on television was Petra to me and finding the photo and the letter has brought memories of my childhood flooding back.

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