"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

Archive for February, 2017

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Sunlight

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My mistress drives a Porsche.

For all those uneducated dogs out there, that’s a car — a very fast car.

She takes me with her, and the wind makes my ears fly back, and flap and sometimes I get a bug up my nose. She bought me a pair of ‘Doggles’ but I refused to wear them, so now I just close my eyes.

The best bit is that all those delicious smells come at me really fast.

Other humans like to talk to my mistress about her car.

“Is that a 356 or a 356s,” they say.

“It’s an ‘s’,” she replies.

If she doesn’t like the person who asks, she says to me, “Speak,” and I growl — they usually go away. I like being able to help.


Only A Pup

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I was only a pup when it happened.

He didn’t come home one night. Lots of people came to the door. I barked at some of them and my master was too upset to tell me to stop, so I picked the ones I didn’t like and gave them a full-throated bark. They might be fooling the other humans, but dogs know stuff — like who is good and who should be driven away.

My master was very quiet for a long time and we stopped doing the things we usually do.

These days, we are back to something like our old routine.

We go to the big market before it gets light — I find this bit hard, but a dog has to do his duty. He talks to the other men and loads up his handcart. It has his name printed on the side. I don’t read ‘human’, but I know it is there because other humans comment on it.

“Love the old signwriting mate. Did you do it yourself?”

“Yes,” my master would say and the other human would look disappointed — they always wanted to hear more, but my master doesn’t say much — not to them anyway — he talks to me though.

We go out most days, rain or shine and I stay close by.

“Sanderson and son, eh?”

“Not anymore.”

 


Red Australian Terrier

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This photo was probably taken in 1980.

The little boy is my eldest son, and the puppy is Ginger, a red Australian terrier.

I grew up with greyhounds, but my first dog was Digger, also a red Australian terrier. Digger was really my dad’s dog. Mum would not let dogs in the house so this little guy lived in the garage. My dad loved him very much, and he loved dad. About ten years after this shot was taken my dad died suddenly, and my mum was left with her grief and a dog she did not want. A few months after dad died mum found this little guy lying dead on the back lawn. There was nothing physically wrong with him he just missed my dad.

I’d heard the expression ‘he pined away’, but this was the first time I had seen it happen.

It breaks my heart, even now, to think of it.

With what  I have learned, if this had happened now I could take that little dog and look out for him for his remaining years, but back then I was dealing with my own grief and foolishly did not think I could take care of a dog.

I have very few regrets in life, but if I had this time over again, I would not let this little guy die of loneliness.