Saturday, 12 May 2012

Dogs – Man’s Best Friend

Dogs – just a dog? ... well no – they could be a domestic dog, beloved pet plain and simple, now dogs do work in so many disciplines ... but before that they had an interesting evolutionary journey.

Domestic dogs inherited complex behaviours from their wolf ancestors, which would have been pack hunters with complex body language – as I saw when I was lucky enough to see Cape Hunting dogs set out on hunts in Botswana.

Cape Hunting Dog

Sia McKye offered us a detailed insight into how our ancestors needed their dogs to have particular characteristics ...

A Harlequin Great Dane
Sia, who breeds Euro Great Danes (Harlequins), tells how the North American Indians, in this case specifically Buffalo Bird Woman, born 1840, went about her dog-work:  It is a very informative read – enjoy.

Dogs, foxes, jackals, wolves, coyotes et al ... are of the tribe Canini ... and were invaluable to early human hunter-gatherers, quickly leading dogs to becoming ubiquitous across world cultures.

Ancient Greek rhyton (drinking vessel)
in the shape of  a dog's head,
Made by Brygos, early 5th-C BC.
Aleria Museum, Corsica

Their various strengths were evolved ... as hunters, herders, beasts of burden, guard dogs ... while as our Western culture gathered momentum in the 20th century – we added them as companions, dogs for the deaf or the blind, or the people needing an outlet ... a ‘pet pal’ ...

Tamaskan from Finland - look wolf-like

Genetic studies show that the dogs were descended from the grey wolf, which was first domesticated in Asia about 15,000 years ago.  Our first dog-like creatures were similar to the modern Alaskan Malamute, or Norwegian Elkhound.

Working and Guard Dogs’ progenitors were the Mastiffs of 5,000 to 3,000 BC from Mesopotamia – now the Rottweiler, Great Dane, Bulldog, Boxer ....

Irish Wolfhound running

Sight Hounds’ ancestors, also from Mesopotamia or Egypt around 5,000 to 3,000 BC, have keen eyesight and speed for pursuing game – now the Greyhound, Afghan Wolfhound, Irish Wolfhound ...

Norwegian ElkHound

The Northern Breeds – the Norwegian Elkhound from around 4,000 BC – these dogs have specific adaptations for a cold climate, such as a heavy “guard” coat that protects against wind, rain and snow, and can rapidly be shaken dry ...

...  almond-shaped eyes for squinting in the snowy conditions, and longer nasal sinuses to warm the air before it is breathed in: now also include the Siberian Husky, Iceland dog, Canadian Eskimo Dog breeds ...

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Toy Dogs – the Maltese from the period 3,000 BC – 1,250 BC in Egypt -  small dogs bred for their docile temperament ... the pug, Pekingese, King Charles Spaniel ...

Herding Dogs – the Canaan Dog from Israel around 2,200 BC and the Welsh Corgi around 1,200 BC – came with characteristics for herding: a good memory, intelligence with great agility ... from these two we have the border collie, old English Sheepdog, royal corgi, and the Australian cattle dog ...

Border Collie

The Spanish Pointer and Spanish Spaniel – both extinct as progenitors – but from which the Pointers and Springer or Cocker Spaniels originated approximately 2,100 years ago ... to flush birds from the undergrowth, or through marshy river banks, while pointers were bred to work the upland game.

The Water Spaniels and Retrievers came from Newfoundland and Ireland only about 1,300 years ago (700 AD) – they have a long muzzle for carrying birds, a crisp oily coat that sheds water, perhaps even webbed feet for swimming, and they are gentle – these are the Standard Poodles, Labradors, Retrievers ...

A Yorkie ... 

The terriers, particularly, were bred in Medieval Britain 1,500AD) to hunt vermin.  They are curious creatures with a tenacious approach to hunting – which we know today as Jack Russell terriers, bull terriers, Airedale terriers ... from which came the smaller breeds - the Yorkshire terrier for one ...

While the last type – the blood hounds: the scent hounds were bred at the end of the Roman Empire (300AD) in southern Europe for their keen sense of smell and endurance – from these came the harrier, dachshund, beagle, Basset hound and fox hounds.

Gaston III, Count of Foix,
Book of the Hunt 1387-88
In 14th-century England hound was the general word for domestic canines, while dog referred to a sub-type, a group including the mastiff.  By the 16th-century, dog had become the general word, with the hound referring to hunting dogs.

Man’s best friend over the centuries has been moulded by humans for specific talents that suited earlier civilisations but which continue to evolve to this day.

So as dogs’ relationships and place in human society evolves there is one place that a dog continues to hold ... a special place in the human heart.

Happy Mother’s Day for those in the United States ...

My mother has been ‘quite lively’ this week – i.e. communicative – I read to her from a book on Cornwall; she asked me about the book I am reading up there – it is about Hereward the Wake and the build up to 1066 and the day of Conquest in England. 

She was pleased to see some photos of some German friends – we keep up her tradition of sending them a few Euros for their birthday, Christmas and Easter. 

The kids had sent a thank you letter each ... so we have some news – a confirmation at the Church next to the hotel we used to stay in when we visited, see "tea-bag" post here.  Boy – have the they grown ... kids do grow don't they!!

However, perhaps sensibly?!, she slept through the Opening of Parliament and The Queen’s Speech – but it is a pity ... as it has great pageantry and she would have loved to have watched.

PS:  Friko from Friko's World here in Shropshire has written a delightful post on Man's Best friend from the very human take of how animals embed themselves in our lives .. Please Read it here - she has an excellent blog with wonderful stories and photos ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Unknown said...

Stopping by to wish you a great week-end and give you an award. Such cute doggies!

Siv Maria

Betsy Wuebker said...

Hi Hilary - I am just crazy about dogs - any kind. This post was a treat! Thanks.

D.G. Hudson said...

I like Airedales and terriers myself. Something about their spunkiness and stubborn nature appeals to me. Never give up. . .

I won't forget my childhood dog, even thinking about him now makes me sad. These animals, our pets, give us much needed solace (well some types do). It's nice to know their history.

Interesting post, and images. I like hearing about your mom, too.
Have a good weekend, Hilary.

Rosaria Williams said...

I didn't know all the different background of our modern dogs. We tend to love their company more than their skills these days in our modern apartments and walk-abouts. Great summary.
Happy Mother's Day, H.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for this great history Hilary - what would we do without our four-legged friends?

Anna :o]

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Quite the history lesson on dogs! We always had dogs growing up.

Jo said...

Interesting history of dogs Hilary. You didn't mention my favourites, German Shepherd Dogs or Alsatians to you. They are, of course, a relatively modern breed. Created by Captain von Stefanitz. (sp)

My hubby is descended from Hereward the Wake by the way.

Bob Scotney said...

First castles and now dogs, another of my favourite topics. I'm the man in our village who talks to dogs!
Great post, Hilary.

Eliza Wynn said...

Great post! I love dogs of all sizes but had never delved much into their history.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Siv .. many thanks for the award - much appreciated.

@ Betsy - excellent .. so pleased you enjoyed it ..

@ DG - I love poodles and had a bull terrier in SA .. and we didn't have a dog as children. But know that we all miss our dogs.

Glad you enjoyed the history and appreciate your notes re my mother - thanks ..

@ Rosaria - yes you're right there - the more domestic a dog is, we forget their origins

@ Anna - so true what would we do without our four legged friends ..

@ Alex - glad you enjoyed the history ..

@ Jo - sorry about that .. some had to be omitted and these were from the original breeds that evolved early on ..

Of course I should have thought about Wake and Hereward .. doh! Interesting heritage though ..

@ Bob - just something I've had and wanted to write about .. but you've reminded me of another aspect.

I was going to write about the dog-whisperer .. but tried to curtail it .. I can imagine you walking your dog and stopping on your journey round ..

@ Ellie .. glad to meet you .. and am pleased you enjoyed learning their history

Cheers everyone .. to all those in the States - Happy Mother's Day tomorrow .. Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Wonderful post on man's (and woman's) best friend. I love all creatures and dogs included. We had so many dogs as I was growing up I can't even remember some of them.

As an adult, I've only had a couple of dogs who lived with us as members of our family. My Yorkie was first. She lived 13 years. My boxer lived 10. I still miss them.


Chuck said...

Hilary, that was very entertaining and informative about man's best friend. As you may have read from me in the past, I have two Boston Terriers and they very much express a guard mentality. From the door bell ringing to dogs barking on TV...they are off like a shot barking and trying to track down the intruder. It's funny unless I happen to be dozing and they startle me awake!

Juliet said...

How fascinating to read about the origins of so many dogs, and the different characteristics that they have. When I was a child we were gifted a beautiful dog, a cross between Alsation, spaniel and terrier, for a mix of looks, gentleness and intelligence. I was always curious to watch him for the different traits, and to think about how he'd been bred for them.

Ruth said...

I have never heard of the cape hunting dog.
You have received the Kreative blogger award. Stop by my blog and pick it up.

Empty Nest Insider said...

What beautiful dogs, and interesting facts! Glad your mom has been more "lively," and you were able to spend some quality time together. Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Teresa .. many thanks - I think we all love our dogs and cats - I've never been too sure about other critters as a pet - but that's just me!

Your two were long lived and like you I still miss mine - even after all these years.

@ Chuck - glad you enjoyed the dog history .. I hadn't realised you have two Boston Terriers - and express that guard mentality .. I bet you jump if they startle you - those barks can be quite sharp!!

@ Juliet - pleased you enjoyed the background to dogs .. cross breeds, or Heinz 57 varieties .. show many characteristics don't they. It was the specific breeding - that Sia spelt out in her post, which I found fascinating ..

@ Ruth - comes of visiting Africa - but they are wild and utilise their original skills of pack hunting .. it was brilliant to watch as they set out. Thank you for the award.

@ Julie - many thanks re the dogs .. and yes it's nice when my mother does come too properly, even only for a few minutes.

Thank you dog lovers all - Happy Mother's Day to Stateside friends and family .. cheers from another sunny morning (strange but true) - Hilary

Bob Scotney said...

We don't have a dog ourselves but my daughter in Michigan has four. Because I wrote about to dogs in our village I had to talk to them to get their permission!


Wonderful post Hilary, dogs are great companions how anyone can be cruel to them beats me.

Have a lovely Sunday.

Luanne G. Smith said...

It's hard to look at my little Boston Terrier and imagine her having any relation to a wolf, though she must.

I love dogs, but I've done them no favors in the novels I'm writing. It's post-apocalyptic and the dogs have become renegade, feral killers in some areas. My main character is terrified of them. :(

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob - ok must have been someone else in the north off walking their dog! Well talking to the dogs in the village is probably better than muttering to yourself all the time?!

It must be wonderful visiting your daughter in Michigan and then finding 4 four footed friends too - let alone those very special two footed ones!!

@ Yvonne - glad you enjoyed it - yes dogs are great companions for many.

@ Luanne - it does seem strange when we realise where their lineage goes back to .. Boston Terrier back to Siberian wolf somehow?!

But honestly - I can't believe you're writing about feral dogs .. interesting twist in your stories .. and I'm sure they've got Welsh wolf hounds too!!

Cheers Bob, Yvonne and Luanne - enjoy the coming week .. cheers Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I hope you and your dear mum have a lovely Mother's Day today, Hilary. And I love your posts. Dogs are very special beings, and I can't imagine my life without one.

Ella said...

Another dog lover, so enjoyed the details and wonderful photos!
Thank you for your kind comments
I do hope you and your Mom have a lovely
Mother s Day : )

Helen Ginger said...

Great post Hilary. I was really intrigued by the ancient Greek dog's head drinking vessel. It's really beautiful, especially when you know it was hand-made, not machine-made. I wonder what significance it had or if it was for a particular ceremony.

Old Kitty said...

And guess who won Britain's Got Talent?!!? Yay for Pudsey and his very well train human Ashleigh! Yay!

Erm.. I don't really watch BGT - I only did because there was Pudsey in it! Ahem! Take care

Alan Burnett said...

A fascinating review of dogs. Ours is a wheaten terrier : a terrier without doubt, but hopeless at hunting anything.

Unknown said...

I love dogs. I have a Boxer myself and just love her. I think dogs need a job. If they don't have one, they go crazy.

Linda said...

Happy Mother's Day Hilary. This was a great post! I've never had dogs (being a cat person), but my niece and nephew have a Cockapoo that is absolutely the sweetest dog. Really loves his family and had a great disposition.

I enjoyed seeing the pictures with descriptions of the breeds I'm not familiar with. Another blogger friend has a JRT named Benny. He's adorable!

Lynn said...

My sister has a corgi named Tucker. He has quite the lively spirit and indeed does try to herd my toddler great niece. :)

scarlett clay said...

It is really hard to imagine all dogs coming from the grey wolf isn't, it? I mean there are just so many varieties, so many different sized and colors...amazing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Everone .. this comment is from Mimi - it has got lost in Blogger land:

You might have been instrumental in inspiring me to paint that wolf because you included a photo of the wildly colored African wild dog which I admired. I visited your blog before I started my painting. :-)

Mimi Torchia Boothby on Feast for the senses - a celebratory end to the A - Z Challenge ...

I saw her post come through - and it is in my comment section as published - but where?!

So Mimi painted a wolf after coming here to read the post ..

Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - many thanks, we had a peaceful weekend .. delighted you enjoyed the dog history - I'd love to have one .. but I'm often away.

@ Ella - I love them .. and so pleased you enjoyed the post. Your story about the post office and your mother's parcel - is just terrible.

@ Helen - I had to put that picture in .. if you go to the Wiki page - you'll see the montage. It was used (probably) in libation ceremonies as an offering to a god or spirit in memory of those who have died.

The article and links are quite interesting .. I liked the fact it is in Corsica and not mainland Europe.

@ Old Kitty - no I didn't watch! and sorry I didn't feature Charlie and his clan!!

@ Alan - glad you enjoyed it - wheaten terrier .. presumably from his colour .. yes you can see the terrier aspects can't you. Fun dogs as they're so curious.

@ Clarissa - Boxers are strong dogs aren't they and very loving. What on earth does your Boxer do - beta read your scripts, or edit them?!! Good for walking though .. and dogs certainly need to get out.

@ Linda - thank you - we were cat people, but have become both as the years go by. I don't have either - but only because I'm peripatetic!

I have never seen a Cockapoo - looks like a good small dog and I can see he'd be a good pet.

Glad you enjoyed the descriptions .. Jack Russels are great too ..

@ Lynn - what fun to see Tucker herd your great niece toddler around at home ... a quite delightful description!

@ Scarlett - it is amazing that so many breeds have come from the grey wolf.

Sia's post is fascinating - as she explains how it was done in the 1800s ... that I found so interesting.

@ Mimi - we often wonder where inspiration comes from - well you've provided an answer ...

African Cape Hunting Dogs are stunningly pretty aren't they - in their environment ... dusty sandy greys of Botswana and the Namib - you just can't see them.

Thanks everyone .. appreciate your visits and thoughts - hope everyone in the States had lovely Mother's Days with family and friends .. cheers Hilary

MorningAJ said...

I love the border collie photo.
Fascinating stuff. I grew up near an arhaeological site that has some of the earliest evidence of domesticated dog. (Star Carr) I remember being horrified when I found out that the bone remains showed eveidence of butchery.

Julie Flanders said...

Hi Hilary,

I'm so glad you had a good week with your mother, those times are something to treasure, no question. I had to laugh about her sleeping through the speech! :D

You know how I love dogs, and this post was so interesting. Love the history of our "best friend." Clancy said to tell you he thought this post was awesome. ;)

Have a great week ahead!

Chase March said...

I always wondered why there are so many different kinds of dogs. I can't keep track of them at all. But one of my students can. She absolutely loves every kind of dog.

Glad to hear you had a great Mother's Day with the family.

All the best!

cleemckenzie said...

I loved this post. I've done quite a bit of research on the domestication of the dog. So much to find out about how they came to be our "best friends."

Happy post Mother's Day. Wonderful that you were able to share it with your family.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Wow, so much information about Our favorite four-legged critters. (Oops, my cats just growled at me!) That Cape Hunting Dog has a feral look about him, like a cross between a dingo and a hyena. I'm so glad you had a good visit with your mother.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Morning AJ .. it was a photo I couldn't resist - she looks well washed, scrubbed up, and blow dried to perfection.

I didn't put that bit in about Asia and their uses for dogs - sadly much like this .. but if we eat boar and pig, why not wolf and dog .. just thankfully we don't do it now - to our four-fotted friends.

@ Julie - I thought Clancy might be chuffed and interested to read this!! It's good to know our ancestors .. as we humans strive to find out our family trees.

Thanks re my Ma - yup, she slept through the whole ceremony - 1 1/2 hours .. but now-a-days I expect it. But it's good when we have a few minutes of awake time together.

@ Chase - well now you can regale your student with some sudden knowledge on her chosen passion! What a great passion to have .. her love of animals, dogs in particular.

Thanks re my Mama ..

@ Lee - that's great .. and I hope you had a chance to read Sia's post - as that was so informative. Interesting you'd researched the domestication of dogs ..

Thank you - being with my mother is so valuable for us both now ..

@ Susan - ooh dear - I'd better do a cat one sometime!

Interestingly the Cape Hunting Dog is svelte - the hyena anyway is butch like - very, very strong shouldered.

Thank you re my mother .. just 'sort of' keeping you up-to-date re my Mama .. everything's settled and peaceful at the moment.

Cheers everyone - many thanks .. Hilary

Lynn Proctor said...

i used to know a lot about dogs--but not this much--love it!

Susan Scheid said...

Dear Hilary: I want you to know I spent quite a long time in Cardiff Castle while away--and all due to your inspiration! Well, of course I would have visited it, but I took the "premium tour" as well as wandering around on my own, and boy was it worth it. I will try to put some photographs together and post them at some point. I did see St. Donats Castle, too, though only briefly, as it was raining and, dependent on a ride, I wasn't able to go early. And here you are now, telling us all about dogs!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hilary, thank you for the shout out on native american dogs and their uses. As a breeder, I love reading about how breed has changed and remained the same.

I love the beauty and loyalty of dogs. The variety just touches me. If I wasn't raising Great Danes, I'd probably be raising Wolfhounds. I love the mastiff breeds. Or I'd breed Huskies or malmutes. Love them. My favorite boy, was wolf and malmute. He grew up with my son. We lost him to an accident when when he was 12, I still miss him.

Beautifully written article!


MunirGhiasuddin said...

I still miss our dog "Indy". We had to give him away as he would break the leash and go looking for our son who had left for college to Pennsylvania. Dogs can sometimes be more faithful than people, I have been told.
How are you? I have been very sick with asthma attacks, night after night. I have to catch up reading so many blogs. I do like to read, but sometimes asthma can pull us down.
Please take care of yourself. How is Mama?

Patricia Stoltey said...

The last dog I had was one of those darling pugs, and that was because I'd fallen in love with my mom's pug. We both still miss our doggies...and my mom is 93 now. Glad to hear your mom had a great week.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - many thanks .. I enjoyed writing it ..

@ Susan - how lovely to hear from you .. and I'm so pleased I didn't write about Cardiff Castle as now I/we'll hear about it through your eyes .. that will be wonderful.

Wonderful to hear you took the premium tour and I inspired you in some small way to take your time looking round.

What a pity about St Donat's Castle .. and the weather really has been miserable. I do hope you had some dry times.

Also that the music and concerts were well worth the visit - I feel they were. Dogs have been unleashed from the paperwork!

@ Sia - pleasure .. your post was so interesting about the native American dog breeders from the 1800s.

Your dogs sound just special to you and you've found a passion there .. sorry to hear about your wolf-malmute .... must have been very special and what a sorry way to go. So pleased you had your 'wolf' when your son was growing up and they bonded. Thanks so much .. our posts complement each other ..

@ Munir - I had the same experience .. mine was necessity that I gave mine away. I hope your asthma improves.

@ Patricia - well that's wonderful to read you decided to have a companion dog for your mother's .. great memories for you both. Thanks re my Mama ..

Lovely to see you all - cheers Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

I have three bitsa's...bits of this and bits of that, plus a Cairn Terrier. He is a fiesty 14 year old, and still loves rat chase.

So pleased your mother had a lively few days.

Pop over to my blog and check out the winners post. ;0

Heather Murphy said...

I don't know what I would do without my chihuahua. She's the best! I just nominated you the the Kreativ Award. Just stop by my blog to collect.

Nick Wilford said...

I had a cat growing up, but it does seem like dogs are much more loyal, ie they hang around for more than just a food and bed. My wife called her dog her first baby. Interesting to read about the history. Glad to hear your mum is doing well too!

Manzanita said...

I'm happy your Mum is having a good week. That little chihuahua .... my favorite dog. I've had 3 of them in my life time and always have had some kind of dog.

We must be on the same wave..... Just yesterday, I was sitting in my car up at the ranch, pondering the area and taking into account the objections my kids have for me living there alone. (I've owned the place many years but let it run down with the renters, so I go there to bring workers and I can move in June 1).

I was thinking that guard dogs would quell my kids fears (perhaps) and at that time, a friend called so she went on her computer to look up some guard dogs. She found a site..... the 10 badass guard dogs and many of them would be too fierce. The Doberman sounds interesting..... as it said he will hold off an intruder without going in for the attack.

I have my Cody dog.... an aussie/border collie mix who is all love and play but no guard dog.

Your post was very timely and interesting. Do you have any ideas about a guard dog?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. your bitsas .. sound fun - better than Heinz 57 variety! How lovely that your Cairn is still ratting away at the tender age of 14 - good age for a dog.

Yes - Mum comes too occasionally and loves the company .. and thank you so much for my winning copy of your new novel - Maggie's Child - excellent news .. I haven't a kindle yet - but I'll sort something out by December!!

@ Heather - great - chihuahuas are delightful aren't they .. she is the best - you said it.

Thanks so much for the award .. I'll be across ..

@ Nick - I was like you with cats growing up - but I had a dog about 30 years ago .. and the family have them now. My dog was my baby too!! Thanks re my Mama ..

@ Manzanita - Chihuahua always seem to be favourites .. and for Mother's Day in the States this picture seemed appropriate.

Well - I am very afraid to say I have no idea .. sounds like Sia is the blogger to talk to .. I'm no expert - I just had an interesting article and thought everyone would enjoy a synopsis ... seems it has been enjoyed.

So re guard dogs .. I admire you for doing the ranch up - it looks beautiful ... but to keep you safe while you're out there .. I really cannot help.

Your Cody sounds delightful company - but as you say, no guard dog.

So I'm afraid I can't help you re Guard Dogs - I was interested in the history of their back-story .. Good Luck with your decision taking on this ...

Cheers everyone .. thank you so much for awards and prizes - lucky me Glynis!! Thank you - Hilary

Rosalind Adam said...

I have a real soft spot for dogs, all sorts of dogs. I'm so glad to hear that your mother has been 'quite lively'. You are an amazing daughter.

Tracy said...

dogs have such a special place in our hearts and in our lives. I don't think I could do without ours...he's a mess! Thanks for sharing all the knowledge!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I am fascinated by Great Danes. I would love to own one, but my husband doesn't want a big dog tearing up our yard. ha ha! Maybe I'll convince him someday. :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Love the King Charles spaniels! Because of Charles II, of course ;-)

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Popped in from Ruth's blog she pimped you out so blame her for me coming

I love dogs I just don't love cleanning up after them, and in this household it has only ever been been me to clean up after our dogs. At the moment we only have one dog DC but I have no idea why breed he is he was sold to us as a mini foxy but he isn'

Dogs make great pets for children more so then cats

Amanda Heitler said...

Dog-free at the moment and likely to remain so, much as I love them. Our 16 year old cat would not approve at all. Loved reading this post though.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ros - I think many of us love our dogs, or those we've had. Many thanks re my Mama ..

@ Tracy - you are so right they do have a special place .. even if they're crazy and fun, as your sounds he is!

@ Amy - they are tall dogs aren't they - you probably need a ranch for a Great Dane - but I can see the attraction .. 'cept I'd side with your husband! One day I hope you get your wish ...

@ Deniz - King Charles spaniels they have such wonderful faces .. not sure King Charles himself did though!

@ Jo-Anne - good to meet you .. well clearing any sort of gunk is pretty horrid isn't it ... glad you've got your foxy Heinz 57 variety.

@ Amanda - yes I'm dog free for now .. and I can quite see your cat would not be amused .. glad you enjoyed the post ..

Many thanks everyone - cheers Hilary said...

Hi Hilary Happy Mother's Day belatedly. Glad your mother has been animated this week. I so hate it when my dad is unresponsive and says little, sleeps lots and doesn't seem to know we are there.

Have you heard of Beddgelert?
I love dogs though we own cats now. Our family had chihuahuas when I was younger. I always imagined I'd own labradors.
Have you ever owned a dog?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. sorry I've been dilatory in getting back to you on this comment. How appropriate about that you tell me a story about Beddgelert and Snowdonia .. I shall build it in to my round up post today .. myth and legend of Wales - re Uppingham by the sea .. Wrap Up ..

Thanks so much .. one of those amazing coincidences of life and blogging .. something happens and others follow on ..

We had cats when I was young, then I had a bull-terrier and a Heinz 57 in South Africa .. but now I don't have either - I'm always on the move. Everyone's very keen on chihuahuas .. but I'd rather have a slightly bigger dog!

Cheers for now - Hilary