A Cardiff - based Lifestyle Blog with a focus on Dementia and general chit chat

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A Gals Best Friend

So, as regular readers will know, I dog sit for Fab Daughter occasionally. This is Ziggy- he's an Australian Labradoodle who came into our lives (aged 18months old)  at the end of 2013 as we all settled in our new lives without Fab Hubby.

       Left to Right: Fab Daughter, Molly, Fab Son In Law, George ,Myself and ,at the front, Ziggy

He is adored by us all and returns this love unconditionally ( although the odd treat is enthusiastically welcomed!) Ziggy is a true family dog- always ready for a walk , mischievously awaiting the next food source whether a dropped crumb or ,as we discovered, an unguarded defrosted chicken! He will follow you around and remind you - with a careful paw - that he is there, ready for some fuss. If you are happy then he will  joyfully join in any games. If you are sad he will suddenly appear with those big ,brown eyes and nuzzle you as his way to show he cares.

My love of all things Canine began one day when we acquired a stray dog from Birmingham Dogs Home - a Tramp-style mutt of a dog - we loved each other immediately. I was reading about a dog called Tip at school and so the name stuck:

                   From  Jack and Janet ,Tip (the Wire-Fox Terrier dog) and Mitten (the black cat) 

Tip was amazing! He palled up with next doors dog ,Patch, a crossbred Jack Russell. They would go out for hours; sometimes days together- only to return absolutely knackered but well-fed.
I watched them on several occasions (these dogs did not like being confined at home and ,always, found a way out!) Tip walked up to the Zebra Crossing and waited .....a car stopped (the driver was highly amused!) and Tip calmly walked across before disappearing down another road, Patch duly following him behind. Another time we found out they had been spotted getting on a bus into town!
One day the butcher up the road ,who adored him, gave him the biggest bone he could find and chuckled as he watched Tip drag it determinedly back home ''I bloody love that dog!'' he said.

                                   This is the only picture in existence of Tip with my sister, Ann.

Tip would wait for us outside the School gates every day and walk us home - I hadn't taught him this - but I had taught him sit, stay and retrieve .One day on the way home he seemed to be having trouble walking but wouldn't let me near him , staying ahead .
Eventually, Dad managed to get hold of him and he yelped in pain. Dad took him to the Vets but it was too late- he had broken ribs and internal bleeding.  (The Vet suspected he had been hit by a car but couldn't say when)....even as I write this tears still fill my eyes ........

                                                               Ann with Tip 2

Some years later, after many cats  *shudder* (I try to like them I really do....) we bought a cross Border Collie - a lively ,cheeky gal who loved alcohol (she would slyly slip her tongue into anyone's unguarded glass!) plus ,if she had had enough time at the local park she would pick up her lead ( I was training her to hold the lead in her mouth so she would wait till I was in the midst of this to make her exit!)and walk all the way home just far away enough so you couldn't catch her ( I didn't dare run because she would too - and we lived by a main road)
Tip 2 also fell in love with the local mutt who resembled Gnasher from 'The Beano' and was called 'Scruffy' - much to my Moms disgust , who use to desperately try to keep her in when she was in season ''I can't see what she sees in him!'' Tip would often visit my Nan and Aunt a few streets away - we would always know where she had gone as she loved playing with their dog, Blackie ( a dark chocolate cross Labrador) When it got late my Aunt would say ''Go on then - go home!'' and off she would trot!
Tip 2 was my Dads dog - he absolutely loved her spirit! ( and her love of spirits ha! ha!)They would often play Tug of War with an old rag - Dad could lift her in the air and she would not let go!
I was living away from home by now and noticed she had got thinner and almost seemed to have eyeliner round her eyes- that's when Dad quietly told me she had Cancer.......

                                                    Tip 3 with Ann...again xxx

The last dog that bore the legendary name was equally happy at home or out and about as much as the others were. This ,finally, was my Sisters dog .A German Shepherd cross.
My Sister is foremost a Cat Lover (urgh!) so it was with amusement that people would say she had bought the dog up like a cat .Once, Tip 3 went missing for over a week: Ann and Mom were really upset - I remember my Dad saying they were all watching TV one night when he saw her reappear absolutely filthy and exhausted ,she lay down in front of the fire.
My Dad loved that he was the only one who saw her ; so he casually said 'You two haven't noticed something..'' They both looked at where Dad was pointing and the commotion was only predominated by the stench that clung onto the dogs coat.....it took a week to clear!!!

My fondest film/book memories, as far as dogs are concerned, will always be :

                                             Old Yellar (1957) and its sequel 'Savage Sam'

 The Incredible Journey (1963) The Best Version!!

I will  always love Dogs - domesticated and wild ..I'm looking forward to meeting Tip 4 , eventually!


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