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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dog Blog

Oh dogs. Dogs, dogs, dogs, DOGS! I love them. There is no doubt about it, they make life worth living. I will tell you who all these fine beasts are. Danny was our first family dog. He's the handsome black and white fellow getting a playful nip from Polly. Bert was Danny's main man. They went everywhere together. Bert was quite the social butterfly and Danny followed suit. I have met people who have recognised Danny from parties that he attended. Polly arrived a few years after Danny. They were friendly. Too friendly. They had a litter of pups. Polly, unfortunately, got run over and died in her prime. Danny lived to the ripe old age of 15.

Rosie was a resuce dog. We got her when we still had Danny. Rose was a mongrel but she had the features of a collie. She was as odd as tea when she came to us but she was a sweet, sweet dog. She took fits during thunder storms and she liked to play the social outcast but she adored her family. She was Queen of the scunger dogs. She started to run the fields and she took Danny wirh her even though he was too old and done for it. When Danny died we had a vacancy for another dog that needed rescuing. Along came Paddy, a dead ringer for Danny. Paddy was not very bright and easily led. He took to the fields along with Rosie and the two of them caused Mum and Bert manny a fretful evening. At the time, Salt Face and I lived in Ballymena and we'd take Rosie and Paddy for walks all over the country so they wouldn't have energy for scunging. Paddy was a dote. He wasn't the cleverest of dogs but he made up for it in a lot of ways.

Bonnie the german shepherd came to us by chance. It was lucky for her that she did. Bonnie, to me, was always a background dog but over the years I couldn't help but grow fond of her. She was mum's dog for sure. She wasn't a van dog that went everywhere with Bert. We never really knew what age she was but we had her for at least eight years. She saw many a dog and cat come and go and she was always the most tolerant, gentle and patient animal that we ever had the pleasure to know. Rosie died on the road. She was getting old though and she wouldn't have liked to suffered from old age complaints. So we were left with Paddy and Bonnie. Being used to three dogs mum decided to get Judy. She was a pup when we got her and we weren't used to puppies. I watched her grow in my arms. And, boy, did she grow. I will always have a soft spot for Judy. She was an abundance of cuteness and joy when Paddy and Bonnie had grown old and tired.

For a brief time we had four dogs. Charlie was found in the middle of a storm and he was in bad shape. This is where it all gets a bit hazy. I think Paddy died first. Of old age. Though we got the vet out to make it as dignified as possible for him. Then Charlie got run over on the road. He was always a live wire but I think he was getting closer to realising the security he had around him. That left Bonnie and Judy. Jess (the cutester with the half smile) and her sisters and brother were all rescued from a farmer who threatened to put them in a sack and drown them. He probably knew that if he said this to the right person they'd make sure each and every one of the pups was homed. And they were. Bonnie died, not long after Jess arrived, of old age.

Then along came Ziggy. My little prince who tamed me:

"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . ."

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