Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Man Who Talks to Dogs

A-Z Challenge – ‘D’

Because of my interest in dogs I started to write about the dogs in the village where I live. The outcome – I suppose I now know as many dogs as people and I’ve heard people call me, “The man who talks to dogs.”

The first dog I remember was when I was very young, I’m not sure that I was old enough to go to school. The only photograph (now lost) that I saw of my father was him kneeling on the front lawn with Punch. Punch was an Airedale with a simple attitude to cats – he hated them. Mind you he took it to extremes when he killed the landlord’s cat for being on his lawn.

The first dog that I was allowed to take out for a walk was a white Labrador/Lurcher named Laddie, the gentlest dog you could imagine. He kept us in rabbit meat during WWII. Poor Laddie came to an untimely death when he was chased out off an alleyway behind a village pub straight under the wheels of a lorry.
Flick, the Whippet, came from South Wales. She covered herself in glory in a very short time by catching a hare almost as big as herself. I once wrote a short story based on this event called ‘The Chase.’

Major the Springer Spaniel had a demeanour to match his name. I’ll swear he sat to attention while his photograph was taken. Major was owned by my future wife’s family in Stamford, Lincolnshire.


My wife and I have never had a dog. One of my sons and my daughter have made up for this. Milly and Cara were the last two Irish Water Spaniels owned by my son. Milly was the most intelligent dog I’ve ever met and not a bad footballer either. She craved chicken bones and was the scourge of the neighbourhood raiding refuse bins for the remains. (You may read about Milly and Cara at

Milly and Cara

My daughter who lives in America had two golden (yellow) Labradors, a brother and sister, named Sam and Maxie. They are the stars in my blog post ‘Dogs of Troy’ at

Gem, Sam, Jack and Maxie
 When my daughter moved house, the pack increased to four with the addition of Gem, a black Lab mutt, and Jack, the chocolate Labrador know affectionately as the ‘Brown Bomber.’ Jack is my Lucky Dog (
 Only Gem of the ‘originals’ is still alive and she has been joined by the elder statesman, a Retriever named Cody – the most obedient dog I know. He loves fishing in the lake.


Scout and Lily are the younger Retrievers in the house. I have been told that it’s my job this summer to train Lily to behave. Wish me luck when I talk to the dogs.

[Posts and photos on North Yorkshire Village Dogs may be found in my blog archives in December 2009, January, March, June, July, September, October and December 2010]


DW96 said...

I've followed your "dog blogs" ever since they first appeared, Bob and they are great entertainment. I wish you'd get them together as an e-book on smashwords or the Kindle.

Robyn Campbell said...

What a wonderful post. I'd love to fish with Cody. :-) Major looks like a sweety. I love animals. We have horses, a dog, cats, and chickens here on our farm.

shelly said...

Nice post! Dogs are wonderful!

L. D. Burgus said...

I really enjoyed seeing all of the dogs. Your daughter had a lot of dogs at one time. They are great company. I am working today and my two dogs start to sit by the door early afternoon to wait for me to come home.

Katie Mills said...

what beautiful dogs! All of them! Thanks for their stories!

Christine H. said...

What a great bunch of dogs, and all of the names seem particularly well suited.

Leovi said...

Dogs are really deserved this letter D. Excellent post.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

we are dogless in retirement and at times I miss them as we have always had at least two. But this reminds me how entertaining they are, but we shall remain without allowing easier travel and not having to walk them in the winters..