Tributes have been paid to Robert Rintoul, a lover of animals who turned his passion into profit, after he died last month aged 75.
RD Rintoul Pet Care Centre in Bathgate is frequented by the area’s reptile enthusiasts and known for its expert advice and good customer service.
The quality of the service came from the dedicated teamwork of a husband-and-wife partnership, and later their children, keeping the business firmly in the family.
The business thrived through Robert’s deep passion for animals and the natural world.
Robert’s love of animals began early in his life, inherited from his father, who owned many creatures.
It wasn’t just at home where Robert would interact with the natural world, but also at his aunt’s farm catching Redpolls and Greenfinches.
After leaving school, Robert took an apprenticeship at Master Radio in Bathgate. Because of this connection he was able to procure an early television for his family, allowing them to watch the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
He then served two years’ compulsory national service in Germany with the Royal Signals.
But before being drafted into the military, he met sweetheart Catherine and after his return to Scotland, the pair were married on June 6, 1962 at the High Church in Bathgate.
They would remain partners in business and life until Catherine’s death six years ago.
Robert worked briefly as a storeman with the British Motor Corporation, but his passion for animals remained and he started up a business with wife Catherine, selling tropical fish in Bathgate.
He had a large knowledge of animals, having kept and bred many kinds of birds, fish and rodents throughout his life, and turned that experience into profit through his shop, which became a trusted supplier of animals and supplies.
Soon he had to leave his job at the BMC to focus on the pet shop full-time.
Quickly the business expanded to larger premises and increased its stock, with Rintoul Pet Care eventually becoming an established name in exotic animal circles.
In his spare time Robert was a keen fisherman, but never tasted the fruits of his labour himself, instead gifting his catch to friends and family.
Rintoul Pet Care Centre – now run by Robert’s son Derek and daughter Lesley – continues to be a hub for advice and service for exotic animal owners.
Robert died peacefully on July 21. A service was held at West Lothian Crematorium, where a collection in his memory raised more than £800 for Marie Curie Cancer Care and Alzheimer Scotland.
He is survived by Derek, Lesley, and his grandchildren Lucas, Kendal, Ryhs and Connall.