I imagine if your parents loved dogs there is good chance you will have a variety of breeds throughout your lifetime.


I was introduced to my first puppy as a toddler. All I remember was he was a cute little bundle called Mickey Dripping – I wonder why. Left to my own devices I put him on a wall – to high for him to jump from and the poor puppy fell and did not survive.


Before my Dad introduced another dog I was possibly about six. My Dad brought home this cuddly black and brown curly cuddly Airedale that we called Pat. I do not remember him being a small puppy but we became great friends and rolled the floor and played together in the garden.


Not sure when but Pat disappeared off the scene – and in hindsight I suspect it may have been costing too much to feed him in those dark and dismal days when jobs were difficult to find and money was hard to get. As an only child I was always well fed but feel my parents went without food for me.


As a teenager at work I decided I wanted my own dog and chose a Boxer bitch called Debbie. She was everything I hoped for except she was disobedient and naughty. Maybe I was not firm enough with her but her achievements included wrecking the kitchen, chewing units and curtains, destroying a new feather hat I had bought for special occasions, and taking chunks out of a fur stole – my prize possession. Then I became interested in boys and romance and Dad was left in charge of Debbie.


I left home and got married and was dogless until I had a toddler. Believing it was good for children to have pets I chose a young collie that bit me and he was gone out of the house at the speed of knots.


Several years passed and my daughter wanted a miniature poodle so I agreed. Sooty this little black bundle was happy to be dressed up, pushed around in a pram and was the ideal pet for a little girl who wanted live dolls. My daughter grew up and lost interest in dolls, prams and dogs and Sooty grew older.


We moved house and had a much bigger garden so looked for a bigger dog. We settled on a white and black English setter we called Chips. She was the vision of loveliness, elegant and smart to be seen with. The mistake we made was adopting another English setter from the Home Counties. The dogs were good friends and all was well until our latest acquisition decided to go home and take Chips with him. After two sleepless nights we got our dog back but refused to take back the second dog. Life settled down and the children rolled the floor and dressed Chips in anything they could find.


But another house move was being planned and this meant leaving Chips while we went to work and the children were at school Before long the neighbours were complaining about the noise Chips (puppy of Melody) was making all day and every day.


We were considering moving so we did to a detached house where no one could listen to Chips. She was again left all morning (we were home for lunch) and home alone again all afternoon.


It was not long before she found the cold water feed tube into the washing machine, which was loaded, and working. She obviously thought the tube tasted quite nice ad bit through it. . Chips flooded the ground floor of the house with water seeping into the carpets in the bedrooms, a reception room and the entire ground floor.


We can claim on insurance said my husband. Sadly we were under insured for the new carpets through the ground floor and the replacement bill ran into hundreds. Needless to say my husband’s ultimatum was, “It is me of the dog. One of us must go”. Chips was on her way to a new farm where she would work and be occupied. She was not working and bringing in a wage … I knew where my bread was buttered albeit I was a dog lover.


The children missed the dog and we were persuaded to have a good old reliable black Labrador, She fortunately was not destructive but she was disobedient. My youngest son and his dog were inseparable. At that time we also inherited Sandy Mac, a perky Corgi and his wicker chair. Sandy Mac lost his mistress and we promised to look after him when his mistress was taken into hospital. We thought we had the Royal pair with a Labrador and a Corgi.


My son grew up and the dogs grew old and once again I was dogless.


I had met someone who had two large blue Great Danes and fell in love with the breed. By now the children had moved on and this would be my dog. When I learned how much it would cost to buy a Great Dane – we are taking mega bucks – I almost gave up hope. It became an obsession and although I could not afford a puppy I still tortured myself and visited kennels.


As luck would have it the owner of one kennels introduced me to Annie – an impressive gentle giant, brindle and friendly. Annie was 18 months old but had a diamond eye, which meant she would never go to Crufts. I was looking for a pet not a show dog and I must have been just the kind of person this kennel owner was looking for. We agreed I would buy Annie for a modest fee as long as she was returned to kennels when she was in season to be mated. The owner required two litters and Annie did her best by producing 13 puppies for each litter. Annie was spayed and lived the rest of her life happily with me. She loved the beach, enjoyed running with joggers, and would reverse her two hind legs and sit on my lap. If she chose to join you, there was no hope of getting out of the chair until she decided to move. We had Annie with us for 10 happy years and in hindsight she was the best dog we ever owned.  We still miss her. So once more I am dog less.  Back tomorrow Jeanne 



About jeanne hambleton

Journalist-wordsmith, former reporter, columnist, film critic, editor, Town Clerk and then fibromite and eventer with 5 conferences done and dusted. Interested in all health and well being issues, passionate about research to find a cure and cause for fibromyalgia. Member LinkedIn. Worked for 4 years with FMA UK as Regional Coordinator for SW and SE,and Chair for FMS SAS the Sussex and Surrey FM umbrella charity and Chair Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research UK - finding funding for our "cause for a cure" and President and co ordinator of National FM Conferences. Just finished last national annual Fibromyalgia Conference Weekend. This was another success with speakers from the States . Next year's conference in Chichester Park Hotel, West Sussex, will be April 24/27 2015 and bookings are coming in from those who raved about the event every year. I am very busy but happy to produce articles for publication. News Editor of FMS Global News on line but a bit behind due to conference. A workaholic beyond redemption! The future - who knows? Open to offers with payment. Versatile and looking for a regular paid column - you call the tune and I will play the pipes.
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