Dear Irish Terrier Friends
The geese have arrived “in battalions” on the marshes, they swing across the sky and zoom over our heads, my heart beats faster and I shout to the dogs “Look the geese, the geese, remember?” They glance skyward with their ‘Oh Yeah’ look. They learnt last year that there were no possibilities of getting close to them because of the new barbed wire fence to keep out the foxes.
These are mostly Brent Geese and great chatterers, keeping that strange creaking call to keep in touch with one another. It always sounds to me as if it comes on an in breath which seems rather odd. The weather was full of hope for the spring at the time, with snowdrops and crocuses popping up everywhere, that was before the storms came and spoiled their fun, I do hope there have been no casualties.
Now we’ve had several glorious weeks with our great friend Daisy staying. She’s Derek and Richard’s dog but moves into this household without a blink. She knows exactly how we all tick.
Marybel is KBJ (Keen, Bright and Jolly) and wants to chase a tennis ball all day. Miss Bibbs is the soul of generosity and gives into everyone else – and Lucy has remarkably few rules to worry about.
I do however, have one unchanging rule which is that everybody sits down in silence when dinner is being dished – ‘Thank you for the world so sweet, thank you for the food we eat’ and it has to be a peaceful pause.
It’s a busy household with friends at the gate, some coming in to look at the garden, or stay for a cup of tea or a glass of whatever. Best of all are the ‘overnighters’ who can be visited in their beds in the early morning.
Daisy is the boss girl, not in the least bit aggressive but she quietly tilts the world in her direction and the rest of us do everything to please her. I of course adore her as one of my own. When Derek and Richard came to ‘fetch her home’ no one was pleased but I was due to go to Crufts the next day, but Derek rang from Winchester saying
“For Heaven’s sake, stay where you are, we’ve hit a ghastly snow storm.” I was supposed to go that day, but there was no way I could get safely to Stratford Upon Avon which is an easy drive from the NEC.
Needless to say, there was not a snowflake to be seen in Lymington, I do believe we shelter behind the Isle of Wight and the more extreme weather seems to go over our heads rather like the geese.
I set off the next morning and that was scary enough but managed to get to the NEC after lunch to deliver the calendars, cards and books we’d held back to take to the show.
I do mourn for the days when Crufts was a proper Dog Show in a far less commercial world. We were all smartly dressed in our tweed suits, lace up shoes and felt hats. The men of course wore ties, suits or blazers, now please don’t laugh . . .
“Am I the last woman in the world to wear a hat a crufts?”
People come round in droves saying “We take a picture of you every year, look here, they’re all on my phone.” I manage a sickly smile and say “Well I recognise the hat, but not the ancient lady wearing it.”
But I seemed to be plagued with a crippling fatigue this year and even our lovely dogs flying the flag for the Micks couldn’t help. They were all wonderful and several were very young and incredibly well behaved, they seem to know instinctively how to cosy up to the fan club while playing to the gallery. Bless them and so many thanks to everyone.
Terrier Day (quite right, it was Saturday!) was a nightmare. I have never seen such crowds nor have I ever seen so many mobility scooters. It was impossible to talk to everyone who came to Discover Dogs to see us, and quite impossible to walk about and spend any time at the ring when the Terriers were being shown.
It was disappointing and I missed seeing any of our Best Beloveds in the ring. The Kennel Club sent someone to interview me (was it because of my hat?!) It seemed quite larky at the time and I did talk about the dogs but I have no idea whether it was in house but they mentioned something about an article.
One sad thing was that the stand opposite us, I imagine it was a charity stand for rescue dogs from abroad. There were 3 bone thin Lurcher type dogs standing forlornly all day. The woman in charge spoke to no one sitting firmly in the corner and paying no attention to the dogs at all.
I was appalled and feel that some more sensible approach should be made to cope with the ever increasing numbers of foreign dogs – seeing these 3 traumatised and exhausted dogs was a piteous sight, I tried to talk to them and to the woman in charge, but they worried me all day.
One wonderful piece of news is that HM King Charles has invited members of The Kennel Club to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. It is to celebrate 150 years of service to dogs and is such a wonderful gesture. We’re all thrilled and even more so because it comes immediately after The Coronation.
King Edward VII had an Irish Terrier called Jack. He died sadly of distemper while still a young dog. The King was heartbroken and always said that Jack was the best dog he ever knew.
I was just about to put down my pen and sign off the letter when someone arrived at the front door with the most beautiful enormous bunch of flowers I’ve ever received and the card came from Daisy.
Well, I often say to Derek and Richard . . .
“You may be her Dads but I’m her Mama”
. . . and it is Mothering Sunday this week and my good spirits have returned.
With my love and special love to all the Micks as always.