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The dogs in my life

Dogs have always stolen a big chunk of my heart, which is covered in paw-prints of various sizes. I love them all, I don’t care what they look like or where they’re from, I’m just totally drawn to them. The following photos are the ones I’ve had the priveledge to live with.

My earliest memory is of Suki, a scruffy tan coloured Heinz 57. I’d be about 7 years old when he came to live with us, from where I’ve no idea, he just appeared one day, he didn’t stay long, he escaped and he was killed by a car 😦

Almost straight away came Pepi the poodle, my parents had found him advertised in the local paper, aged 8 months, his previous owner was getting rid because he was ‘untrainable’. What they expected from an 8 month old pup I’ll never know, but anyway, my dad took him to training classes and he excelled, he was an amazing dog, we grew up together and he lived till he was 16, by which time I was married with a baby.

My parents took a change of direction from waifs & strays and decided they wanted a Yorkshire Terrier, but it couldn’t be just any Yorkshire Terrier, they were very anti docking so it had to have a tail, which in the 70’s was a rarity, as tail docking hadn’t been banned. They eventually found a breeder who didn’t dock and booked a pup from a future litter, they named her Keldie after a place called Keld in Yorkshire, then another Yorkie (with tail) joined them 2 years later and Petra & Keldie became firm friends. After they left for the Bridge, Kylie the Yorkie (with tail) arrived, she helped my mum cope with my dads death in 2000, eventually passing to the Bridge in 2005. My mum now has Cindy complete with tail, another Yorkie who she got in 2007 aged 7, she’d had 3 previous homes prior to my mum adopting her.

Above Left to Right Keldie, Petra, Kylie and Cindy (yes, my mum used to have a thing about red ribbons :shock:)

Digressing a bit there, but now some of mine

This is Ben-dog 1984-99, my 1st family dog, he was from a local farm and cost me £25 both his parents worked, his dad sheep, and his mum cattle, the farmer wanted to keep the bloodlines going for her cattle dog, so he was from a one off litter, there were only 2 for sale and he came straight to us while his brother decided herding the geese in the farmyard was more fun. He got off to a good start by peeing on my daughters’ knee and being sick on her shoulder in the car on the way home. I took him to obedience classes and he loved it, so we continued at the club, doing inter-club obedience competitions, I still have all his rosettes. A highly intelligent dog, he understood ever word you said to him and knew all his toys by name. He grew up with my girls and was very well loved by all the neighbours kids, who’d come knocking on the door ‘can Ben come to play out’

Ah Harry!! He’d been found on the streets of Monmouth and transferred to The Border Collie Trust GB where I adopted him in 1999, they’d nicknamed him HugeHappyHairyHarry as he was just that. His age was guessed at 2-3 years old. An unbelievably loyal loving dog who got deeper into my heart than any. He went to hell & back between Dec 06 & Feb 07, you can read about that over at Pippadogblog Part 1 & Part 2. He died in 2008 while I was away in Scotland, I’ve never forgiven myself for having that break and still find it extremely hard to talk about it.

Little Sal, approx 10 years old  now, and another lost soul I adopted from the BCTGB. She arrived there from North Wales via an amazing lady called Ann Fowler (RIP), who spent her time collecting pound dogs on death row and holding them until a rescue place could be found, apparently Sal had 1 day left when Ann turned up.  I adopted her in 2007 as a friend for Harry, he’d lapsed into a depressed state after his recent problems and I was looking for a gentle dog to give him the will to live again. A gentle loving dainty little girl they became firm friends, she totally went to pieces when Harry went to the Bridge.

Which brings me to Jasper. Sal now needed a friend, so I started looking at rescue centres on the internet, I saw Jasper on the Dogs Trust (Kenilworth) website, and something kept drawing me back to the image of him, so I went to visit. What a sad story he had, he’d already been adopted from the Dogs Trust, but returned 13 months later as aggressive. A large, 7 year old, aggressive dog? no-one was interested. He’d been there 16 months when I met him, blank faced and institutionalised. The staff said they’d not seen any aggression in him at all, but because he’d been returned as aggressive they had to mention it by law. I often wonder if the previous adopter ever realised with that one word the sentence they’d given him. 2 weeks later, after several visits with Sal and Tony and a one to one chat with their behaviourist, Jasper came to live with us. He has a few issues with toddlers, but otherwise he’s a gentle giant and extremely affectionate.

And as for Sal & Jasp…………….well this says it all to me 🙂

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10 thoughts on “The dogs in my life

  1. Vicky, what a beautiful post.

    Suki looks a bit like Sidney the shepherd I adopted on Save a Dog. Sounds like we had a similar number of dogs in our youth, and sadly one of my childhood dogs was run over too 😦 Perhaps it was the norm at the time. When we first moved to Spain, that was how most of our neighbours’s dogs died, but now things are changing and there are far more dogs on leads.

    I’ve never had a poodle, although my cousin had a couple (Gin and Tonic). They are meant to be amazingly intelligent as far as I know. Yorkies too, AFAIK, all I can say about that is that I have stayed at the youth hostel in Keld, and i thought tail-docking was illegal, but I’m not sure where as we still keep seeing docked tails and cropped ears 😦

    Then, you had a Ben-dog as your first family dog. So did I, coincidental huh? As for Harry – you know I could never forget him, and how much you did for him.

    I think, for all their colouring and breeds are different though, there is something in the expressions of both Harry and Jasper that are the same.

    I love Jasper’s huge feet, that must be the Pyrenean in him coming out 🙂 and that picture with Little Sal is gorgeous. A bit like the one with Harry in the back of the Landy when it was windy (I”m sure you remember the one).

    A great share, wish I had enough decent photos of all of mine, and my childhood ones, to do a similar post.

  2. Just found this, I thought it was a lot earlier though.
    The docking of dogs’ tails was banned in England from 6 April 2007 and in Wales from 28 March 2007 but with exemptions from the ban for certain working dogs, and for medical treatment. A total ban in Scotland took effect 30 April 2007
    So I expect a lot will be dogs born prior to these dates.
    Fancy you stopping in Keld, that’s amazing 🙂

    • I thought it was before then as well. One of my (many) gripes. Our boxer had a docked tail 😦 So did that tiny puppy of a couple of months ago on Pippa’s blog at the vet’s. Can you believe that, mother has litter, puppies tails are docked, mother gets killed in RTA, and puppies are abandoned (presumably) – well, if that’s the true story anyway. Bizarre.

      Keld – not that amazing – I stayed in most youth hostels in yorkshire at some point. Anything to get away from home for a few nights 😉

  3. some great dogs in your life. there was only one official dog in my childhood – although i loved many friends’ and relatives’. she was a border collie named Lady. i actually talked about her in a commentto Pippa if you would like to read the story.
    &nbsp:
    anyhow, thanks for sharing. all of them unique characters. Ben looks like a sweetheart – i guess his facial expression reminds me most of Lady’s 🙂

  4. Pingback: Santa Paws « Vics Pics and More

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