Tuesday, 5 April 2011

D is for ......Dogs

OK - first non-literary item for this series!

I love all kinds of dogs, all shapes and sizes, but I’m really fond of mongrels – they are, in essence, such ‘original’ one-offs!

I grew up with a canine companion, a collie crossbreed, and it spoiled me for dogs ever afterwards so after I was married and at home with my first baby we embarked on adopting a dog from the RSPCA and a wonderful Whippet crossbreed called Cindy entered our lives. She was a delightful companion and her long-suffering maternal instincts meant that our two kids grew up without ever hearing her snarl or snap! Even when I caught our son, as a toddler, sitting beside her on a rug trying to chew her tail – she simply closed her eyes and waited for him to stop then when I managed to grab him she simply got up and went to her basket for a sleep!

She left a big hole in our lives when we finally had to let her go, nearly twelve years later. I vowed – never again! It was just too painful to have to say goodbye.

But, about eighteen months later we found ourselves bringing home another stray from the Dogs Trust – this time it was a German Shepherd/Whippet crossbreed and we named him Bruce. It was strange to go back to having a bouncy youngster after the staid and placid old lady that we remembered when we thought of Cindy!

He wasn’t stupid – soon worked out how to open doors and cupboards so food had to be kept under lock and key! He had ‘mad’ half-hours when he used to tear about the house then dash outside and do laps around the garden, with a wild look in his eye as if to say “I don’t know how to stop….!” He was a bit odd-looking, I suppose – German Shepherd colouring and feathery tail, whippet ribcage and long legs and floppy ears and he seemed to ‘bounce’ when he walked along. I suppose the best way to describe him would be the ‘real life’ version of Mickey Mouse’s cartoon dog, Pluto!

But now, we have another doggy-shaped hole in our lives, as we said our final goodbyes to Brucie twelve months ago. The house is strangely quiet. With the kids grown and gone the usual ‘welcome home’ on returning from work had been the clitter-clatter of claws on the hard flooring. The sunny spot on the path(see pic) where he would go to sunbathe (curiously, the exact same spot Cindy had picked out for herself years previously!) will be vacant this summer.

....or maybe, not!

My daughter would love to have a dog but working full time would be an obstacle as far as the local rescue centres are concerned. However, rumour has it that my daughter has come up with a cunning plan whereby we could dog-share! As she lives about ten minutes’ walk from us she proposes that she would rehome a dog and I’d be able to walk it during the day………it is a plan with possibilities!


  1. Aw gorgeous post. I love mongrels too, not that I would let Bonnie know. :o) I had a bull mastiff crossed with rhodesian ridgeback and her name was Shyloh. She was just like your Cindy, not a bad bone in her body. Sadly she had to be put down a couple of years ago due to cancer. One of my daughters keeps Shyloh's ashes in an urn.

  2. Really nice post Sue. Letting dogs go is so hard. Yours looks like they found the perfect "sunning" spot. Hope the dog-share works out!

  3. Great post! Following now. Happy A-Z blogging!

  4. Adorable picture. Good luck on your writing, from a fellow writer, A to Z'er and new follower.

  5. We always had dogs growing up and it was indeed tough to see them go when it was time.

    Here's to the prospect of dog-sharing!

    ~Cole at Dry Humor Daily

  6. Sharing the dog is a great idea. Our family has two dogs and one is quite old, but no one knows her age. My daughter got her at the SPCA too. She sleeps more, but is still healthy.

  7. "Dog share," now there's an original premise. You'll have to tell me how it goes.

  8. I have been a dog person since I was little in rural Ohio. We have always had dogs. but as we got older I noticed out dogs diminished in size, we went from a Great Dane, to a German Shepherd, to a Lab, to two Shelties, and now we have a minature poodle. I wonder why that is?

    Now, Princess Fiona Glenane FiFi rules the roost.

    Gregg Metcalf
    Colossians 1:28-29

    Gospel-driven Disciples

  9. I always love animal posts.... especially doggie ones. I tell myself, never again, too, after Cody goes but as she slows down I cry at even the thought of being without her.
    Wanna buy a duck

  10. We had a Golden Retriever. She will be the last dog for us. Her personality was so sweet and joyous.

  11. Dog share! What a cool idea. I have a boxer. It's purebred but smart.

  12. Know how you feel, Sue. I haven't been without a dog companion for the past twenty-odd years. It's heart breaking to say goodbye, but...My current companion is a grumpy chihuahua named Rocky.

    Your dogs sound wonderful. Of course you'll always miss them. But I do like this idea of your daughter's. Co-ownership = co-joy. ;)

  13. I love dogs (and cats) and blogged about them both this week! Today I blogged about ENOUGH

  14. My posting was for dogs as well and I don't even own any. They are my Grand-dogs. There are 3 and I have them 5 days out of 7 so they might as well belong to me.

    I actually own 2 cats and have had cats all my 42 years of marriage.

    I love both - but my husband prefers cats.