I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I am not hoping for a similar Christmas present to the one I received last year (a stroke), but did treat myself to a little something:

Roxy is a medium size little bitch, cross breed, about 6 years old, in residence at the local  RSPCA kennels. She had been taken into care because her female owner had to seek sanctuary in a refuge centre where pets are not allowed. My wife and I spent some time with her and became good friends. The inspector came to look at her new home yesterday, pronounced it "ideal" and we pick her up on the 28th December. (It did not seem fair to take in a new dog until after Christmas day when we shall have about 8 people in the house).

She is a bit different from my previous, large/male GSDs, but I no longer have the physical/mental strength to control such dogs, who need strong owners otherwise they can "take over" and become pack leader.

I have had dogs in my life for over 50 years, but did wonder, when my last one was put down, whether I should get another, particularly after the stroke. But the wound of loss never quite heals over. Even after 18 months I still expect a dog to welcome me home as I open the front door.

 I was looking at dogs at rescue centres on the internet. Many appealed but  Roxy had something that said "take me please" so take her I shall. It may have had something to do with her colouring, reminding me of my last black and tan GSDs. It may have been the expression on her face. But my dog-friendly daughter (HHnB) has always maintained that " when the right dog needs you, it will find you".

May I wish you all  a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy 2016.


pohanginapete said...

I like the motion blur in the tail :-)
I like the idea of having a present to look forward to after Christmas, too — particularly one that will undoubtedly continue giving delight for many years.

The Crow said...

She's beautiful! Do you get to keep her, or are you fostering her until her (other) human is safe? I hope you get to keep her. She reminds me of a hunting dog my dad had many years ago, which I think was called a black-and-tan hunter. I like her beagle-like ears and square crown.

I'm glad you have a dog in your life again, Avus.

Roderick Robinson said...

It was a need; you were otherwise incomplete; you have done the right thing (and how many times in life can one say that with certainty?)

SEASON'S GRATITUDE (Because the familiar phrases at this time of year don't work for me.)
For continuing optimism; for your philosophical view of things; for re-linking me with Kent birthplace of my wife and a county I came to love; for hopeless sentimentality about vehicles which don't deserve it yet become transformed through your attachment; for being HHB's Dad.

Avus said...

Yes, she is obviously glad to see everyone and no camera in existence would have "frozen" that tail!
As you say, she will provide joy for many years (I hope)

Yes, she's mine for keeps, Martha. Other than what I mention, I know nothing of her former owner who will never know anything about me other than the RSPCA centre will pass on that she has been happily homed.

Thank you very much for that comment. Much went into it, more than the "familiar phrases".
Do you know, I feel that 80 years has mellowed you and it suits you.

The Crow said...

I learned something new today because of Roxy. I went googling (not to be confused with noodling) to try to find what kind of hound it was that my father had, using 'beagle-like hunting dogs' in the search box. One of the first things to come up was an article on the difference between a beagle and a harrier. There was an image of a dog very much like my Dad's, under the name harrier hound.

Seems the harrier and the beagle share an ancestor in their lines. Regardless, Roxy is a lovely dog, and if she runs true to either the harrier or the beagle breed, she's going to give you a run for your money when you go for walkies.

(One other thing I learned is that the harrier is easier and quicker to learn obedience skills. Maybe that will help. ;] )

Roderick Robinson said...

Mellow. Nice of you to come up with that word but you must hope, on my behalf, that you've got it wrong. My life these days is guided by a single aim: that I may today write one sentence that's better than most of the sentences I wrote yesterday. Writing's all I've got within me and there's no room for a mellow writer: think of latter-day Wordsworth and the final arid decades of Sibelius's life. What's more, at eighty, I'm pursuing this aim against a fairly tightly-defined deadline. Mellowness would carry the awful risk of falling back on familiar phrases.

Let me put my plight another way: if I wished you and yours a Merry Christmas how on earth would you know I meant it? The words are mere noise by now. Does it then matter? One of my jobs on this doomed planet is to try and seize people by the lapels (Metaphorically that is; fellas only. Women may lack lapels and another, less direct approach may be necessary). Often I ruin people's jackets and there's Hell to pay; I commend them to my tailor and return to the keyboard.

I go on about this (to excess you may think) re-commenting on your last comment to Tone Deaf.

Avus said...

I always enjoy how one thing, seen on a blog, leads to my researching another. You seem to be the same. If Roxy stimulates my aging body on walkies that will be a desired thing. I love training dogs in obedience skills, so if you are correct, it is another thing to anticipate with joy.

Yes, I suppose that Larkin, too, "mellowed" and produced nothing of note in his latter years. But that need not mean wit needs acerbity to thrive in your case. I enjoy what you write. Journalism has made you pithy, relevant and concise (if that is not a triple tautology)

Tom said...

I, also, have difficulties with the usual banalities of the season. It always seems to be so artificial, yet I wouldn't wish to withdraw from the pleasure of wishing everyone well. But then along comes Avus and his newly-acquired friend, and the obvious joy that comes from the sharing of a new relationship with your readers....... Wishing you all well.

Lucy said...

She is beautiful, well done, I'm very happy to see this. (I always rather liked the idea of the 'talbot' dog, perhaps that's what she harks back to!)

Howsoever it may be acceptble to express it, I wish you all good things for this season and every other.

Avus said...

Thank you. Went on a "bonding visit" yesterday. My personal joy is nothing to Roxy's on being "let out to play".

Ah yes! A "talbot dog". Perfect. I wonder at her antecedents, but "collie" must be there somewhere.

May you and Tom have a similar joy in 2016............?

Pam said...

Oh, how lovely! Happy New Year; and if your daughter is still there, please wish the same to her. She very kindly sent me a cheer-up package of tea and sympathy (and biscuits, and a pretty little dish) some years ago and I've never forgotten. And I still have the dish.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pam,
Thankyou for the good wishes, right back at you! A happy and healthy new year to you and yours.
Susan x

Pam said...

Oh, just noticed this from Susan! I miss her blog but am glad that she's doing well.