Dear Irish Terrier Friends,
I am very embarrassed to tell you that once again we have had a muddle with the management of the emails. A year ago almost to the day I discovered after endless exasperated phone calls that the ‘boxes’ were full and no emails were getting through. The same melt down as last year has been replayed. I am so sorry and it has proved more difficult than before to clear the ‘boxes’ and to get things up and running again.
Anyway, here comes the letter with apology at last! And I do hope that you haven’t given up on us.
The summer has been extraordinary, too hot for some but heaven to sit in the garden with 2 dogs moving between sun beds (mine and their own) with regular ‘flop outs’ in the shade to cool off.
Living at the coast is bliss on a summer day and even now with the pale lilac sea asters along the marshes, the geese flying in and the swallows long flown I can hardly believe my luck.
We have twin baby boys in the family, great grandsons, William and Albert and they have been to stay. I don’t think that Libs and MaryB had ever seen little people crawling on all fours and they were completely baffled. Marybell kept inviting them to play – you know the stance, with front legs down and tail in the air. Both were so incredibly gentle with the babies and were completely bewitched by them. MaryB never left them for a moment even supervising bath time to the boy’s huge delight.
We were forlorn when they left and I was intrigued once again by the extraordinary and instinctive love the ‘Micks’ have for children. I wrote this piece for our beloved Ceiligh Mavourneen who loved my children, she soothed away every tear, joined in with every game, ‘nursed’ them through mumps and measles. They speak of her to this day.
Daisy has been to stay and you can imagine the rioting with Marybell – ‘nonstop’ is the word. Libby is given the odd chance to lead the chase, but she has to be encouraged to go and play with the ‘babies’ and there has to be an audience applauding her speed and skill or she looses interest.
I was surprised that Daisy and I walking around the town, while the other two were out with Cat, was so quiet and well behaved – no tugging on the lead and no jumping up at friends, real or imagined. I almost thought I had the wrong dog. When I mentioned her change of persona to Derek and Richard they said “she is always very well behaved as long as she is not with Marybell.” Well I have heard all that before as whenever I collected my children from a party I’d be regaled with tales of all the calamitous enterprises set in motion by Boo who would, at this stage be standing in the line-up waiting for his ‘going home present’ with his dazzling smile in place whilst I grovelled and apologised profusely.
We did have a walk on the sea wall when the tide was alarmingly far out with acres of mud flats. Marybell of course led Daisy along the shoreline racing through the mud and no end of calling would bring them back.
Richard was not pleased “I hate the smell of the swamp; it makes me feel quite sick.” And Daisy was shampooed under the shower and emerged looking even more like Shirley Temple with little curls all around her face.
One of Marybells best jokes recently when some friends who had come to stay decided to do a Pilates class in the conservatory. Both the girls took great interest as it all happened on a rug on the floor – perfect for inspection and interference.
They were expelled to the garden and promptly stood up on their hind legs watching through the windows. They burst back in at the end of class welcoming everyone as if they had only just arrived. Marybell then took to the floor rug and gave her rendition of the class rolling and stretching – one front leg across, a roll and then the other front leg over. There were long stretches on her back, legs out straight like a rabbit and front legs above her head.
It was hilarious, a real performance and the funniest thing for me was that she kept catching my eye and she knew that I knew she was sending us up and she was laughing too.
In readiness for the fun day at Roade and the SITS show at Steventon the girls were stripped and bathed at Nutz Mutz in London, they enjoyed the whole procedure from their arrival at the ‘parlour’, meeting old friends there including the large cross bred Mancoon and Moggie who sits on the counter looking baleful but it is really very benign.
We had a visit from Ruth Elkner and her friend Michelle who are Australian Irish Terrier breeders. Her dog Darcy was on the cover of the 2011 calendar and it was good to meet her and talk about the ‘Micks’ down under.
My son James and I had lunch at the Kennel Club with one of the ITA’s Patrons, Tom Coke, the Earl of Leicester. He has had Irish Terriers all his life and his present dog Jupiter is a feisty lad who keeps a wary eye on all that occurs at Holkham Hall.
Rosemary Smart, the chief executive joined us and we had a very jolly lunch in the bar. We were all delighted to see the Maud Earle picture of ‘Erin’ back in its original place and Arabella Dorman’s picture ‘Miss Libs – Top o’ the morning sparkles at us at little further down the passage.
The Kennel Club is in some disarray and there have been accusations and resignations. No one knows exactly what it is all about but there is a special general meeting next month which may cask some light.
Having become a member and have known the Kennel Club better in the last few years I have been so impressed with their passionate dedication of the welfare of pedigree dogs; that is their main role and a very real concern. I’m amazed at the way our Common Law which holds that no one is guilty until proven is moving towards the European Code Napoleon which allows anyone to be accused of anything.
Well – we shall have to wait and see.
What a joy and a privilege to have two beautiful pictures of Irish Terriers prominently we know they deserve it as they are ‘simply the best’
The 2019 Calendar will be ready shortly – thank you all for your lovely pictures!
Please order your calendars as soon as you can to avoid a last minute ‘Christmas rush’.
WW1 Centenary Event
Animals In War Memorial, Park Lane, London
Friday 9 November 2018
With many greetings
And my love to the dogs