Saturday, July 22, 2006


Jake is a big wuss, its official.

You need some background information.

Jake is our Golden Retreiver (left) (obviously) thats is his portrait that I did of him last year, he likes it and hangs it above his bed.


We bought him from a gamekeeper eight years ago, way up in the Yorkshire Dales we went, way, way up almost into Richmondshire to a place that I didn't even know existed, a place where we were driving on private land, a country estate where the landed gentry had staff to look after the game on their land, I thought that sort of thing had died out after the first world war, but not so in North Yorkshire.

We eventually found a pair of small cottages on a hillside and around the back of these cottages were the kennels where the gamekeeper kept his collection of hunting dogs, Labradors for sniffing out shot-down birds on the ground (ground scenters) and Retreivers for sniffing out shot-down birds using the air (air scenters) - see, you learn something new every day don't you ?

The litter of pups that Jake came from had already been split up (he was twelve weeks old) according to their destiny, all of Jakes brothers had been moved to another location for their gun dog training and three sisters had been kept back for breeding from - when we eventually got Jakes pedigree it read like a "who's who" of gun dog champions, his mother had been matched up with his father to specifically breed working pups.

But it had all gone wrong with Jake.

The gamekeeper told us that he would be the softest pet dog on the planet once he got over his little problem.

He hates loud bangs.

Which is a bit of a handicap if you're supposed to be a gun dog.

They had taken all the pups out into a field at eight weeks old and fired a shotgun in the air, Jake was back in his kennel before the "g" of "bang".

So he was offered up for sale as a pet dog rather than a working dog, to the eternal disgrace of his family bloodline.

Their loss, our gain.

He is a fantastic family pet dog, totally fekkin useless as a guard dog because he doesn't bark. In all of his eight years I have only heard him bark on a few occasions - when we had a burglar in the house, he didn't even wake up.

But we love him anyway.

So, thats the background.

Oh yes, one more background thing - he is not allowed upstairs in the house and he never, never, ever breaks that rule, ever.

Except for this morning.

5am this morning and a thunderstorm was pasing overhead. The rain started first, it was heavy rain, and then it got heavier, sleeping with the windows open for the last week or so it sounded really, really heavy rain and it woke us up.

And then we heard the tiptoe of paws coming upstairs, the rain was so heavy that it had frightened Jake into breaking the upstairs rule for the first time in his life.

And then the thunder rolled across the valley from the airport and we heard a scurry of claws on the wooden floor of Jodies bedroom, presumably as he tried to get under the bed.

Suzanne shouted at him to get down stairs and like the obedient dog that his breeding makes him he went, despite being obviously terrified, she is a cruel woman is my wife.

I got up shortly afterwards because I could hear him pacing about downstairs and panting in panic.

So I've had to sit with him holding his paw since 5.30am this morning and even after the thunder went away he wasn't convinced, I'm a soft sod me, none of the females in the house have even woken up yet and here I am holding a dogs paw telling him not to be afraid of some weather.

I feel like Judy Garland sitting with the cowardly lion.


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Justine Rhett said...

~~LOL~~ We took delivery of Mack and Mabel, our first cats together, in May, 14 years ago. They were 12 weeks old. That summer, there was storm. Mack dived under the bedclothes and, even in the humidity, stayed snuggled up to me all night. He's not as scared of storms now; he just ducks under the bed.

Mind you, in this afternoons's welcome rain, our newest member of the household, Boudicca, now almost two years old, decided that she didn't mind getting wet. She also discovered the remnants of a bag of barbeque charcoal on the ground and decided that it made brilliant biscuits.

Mad. Stark, staring bonkers.

Gary said...

Poor Jake, when Jodie got up yesterday morning she told us that he wasn't trying to get under her bed - he was climbing onto he bed and he curled up on top of her feet, shivering, until Suzanne issued her orders.

He's a big dog is Jake, I wouldn't want him trying to snuggle in next to me or there wouldn't be a me in the bed very soon.

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