Saturday, 20 August 2011

Shaggy Dog Story

This framed watercolour hangs in my entrance hall. A reminder of some of the doggy friends who have shared their lives with my family over the years. The artist is Gareth Lewis.

There were cats in our house through the years too....
who lost all feeling and movement in his fluffy ginger tail after a bladder operation.
who thought the grass was greener the other side of the fence and went to live with the lady next door.
Dainty Dixie who lived to be almost 20 years old.
who got hit by a truck when she was little more than a kitten.
All fondly remembered. But unfortunately no portrait.

Patch c.1960-1971. Patch was found as a stray when we still lived in England and was taken in by my husband's family. Nobody claimed him so he stayed. Like all Border Collies, he could run like the wind and was an expert at catching balls and chasing sticks. And loved going out in the car. His ambition was to learn to drive so he didn't have to wait for someone else to take him out.

Blackie c.1970 - 1979. Blackie became part of our family when we bought the small rural farm where he lived. The previous owners couldn't find a home for him, so he stayed when we moved in. He looked ferocious but was really a gentle teddy bear sort of dog. He roamed the neighbourhood looking for treasure, coming home with assorted prizes.... a cow's leg complete with fur still on it, a cooked lobster, and even half a piglet (the back half)!

Sweep c.1969 - 1979. Sweep was another "found" dog. She was lost, living in a ditch, fur all matted and dirty, when my husband brought her home. She soon settled in and lived a happy life with us. She didn't like to be near water.... I wondered if someone had tried to drown her. She produced a litter of four puppies to our surprise. She eventually became diabetic, and blind, and I gave her an insulin needle every morning. But in spite of her blindness, she still managed to escape from the back yard and go for walkies to visit the neighbours.

Shebah 1980 - 1994. Shebah was a typical Siberian Husky. The first six years were the worst! She howled in the night, chased cats and frightened old ladies, knocked down small children, killed the neighbour's chickens (that cost me a fortune), dug huge holes in the lawn, duelled with a skunk and lost, and shed white fluff over everything, especially people wearing dark clothing. She became a neighbourhood character, and when she died, people came knocking on the door to offer their sympathy. Her ashes were sprinkled on the front lawn where she spent so much time laying across the sidewalk, trapping old ladies so they were compelled to bend down and pet her.

Wendy 1994 - 2007. When we lost Shebah, I put my foot down and firmly declared "No more dogs!" So that's when we got our Golden Retriever puppy Wendy. You can read her story here.


  1. My dog (a Labrador retriever) now lives with my mum as I have to work away (she is retired and spends the majority of her time, with my step-dad at the allotment).

    He was always coming back with dead animals. I couldn't believe when he once went in the sea and came out with a dead fish (a huge thing it was).

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your lovely doggy friends who have shared their lives with you and your family! Congratulations to the painter.

    I think that I could not to have another dog... My heart aches so much missing my dear Flora... Moreover I am 68 years old and I haven't enough energy to raise a puppy... Maybe someday an adult dog...

    I am glad you like to hear the sounds of my garden.

  3. This is a lovely post, what a wonderful way to remember all these precious friends. We are the richer for having had them.

  4. That painting is a beautiful gift and a wonderful way to remember your furry babies. It sounds like it's time for another...

  5. Beautiful painting and a beautiful tribute to your lovely furry friends.

  6. I think I could be a dog person, but I'm not although I like them and animals in general. We're petless right now, but I guess if we weren't it would be a cat.

    I also clicked the link to Wendy's story. Our neighbours have a retriever who is quite lovely.

  7. All I can do is reiterate what has already been said.

  8. What a wonderful tribute to all of your furry companions. Our pets really do become an important part of the family.

  9. What a lovely way to remember old friends. Mmmm may have to do something similar.

  10. This is a beautiful tribute to each and every loved doggy friends. Hanging the picture in the entrance hall is a good idea as you're welcomed back by them first just like the time when they were alive.

    I've remembered the emotion when I watched over my Lynne's battle with the disease. I'm not ready for a new one. My 90-year-old mother’s Pal died in his sleep. In a few month, she became unbearable living without a cute company, and had another one, though he is mostly taken care of by my brother.

    Thank you for your visit and nice comment to my blog.


  11. What a lovely tribute to all your little canine & feline friends over the years.
    Have to smile at the way you described the grass being greener on the other side, so your moggie went to live next door! I had one like that but he went to live across the road. He lived to be 21!

    Was a bit worried about your dog that brought back a cow's leg complete with fur and the tail end of a baby pig! Hope he didn't do the surgery!

    Many thanks for your comment over at mine.
    I love your blog and can see that you are an animal lover like me'
    I was brought up with dogs and kittens. I now have two house rabbits.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  12. What a sweet tribute, Sham, to all your other children. You'll never forget them, I can tell!

  13. Wonderful watercolour to help you remember you canine friends.

  14. I think it's rather wonderful that you had them all immortalized in a painting. Very nice thing to do!

  15. what great characters they all were. They truly do become part of the family........Molly is snoring away as I write this.


  16. Love the pictures and the story that goes with each member of your household.
    Its kind of the way I feel about our Granddaughters dog Snickerdoodle.

  17. What a sweet post this is, my dear...All of your animals, (The Cats, too) were certainly beloved....And how great to have that painting of some of the dogs....!


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