Aitch’s Dogs

Aitch TC (2)

TC was her first dog, and she was Aitch’s favourite. She arrived while we were still living in our flat in Marriott road. She was a flat dog for a month or two and couldn’t believe the wide open spaces of our first suburban home.

Then Matt (because he wasn’t glossy when he arrived) came along and HE was definitely her favourite. Big time. She wept when he died, killed on the M13 highway one night. Bogart tried his best and she loved him too, but Matt was a hard act to follow, he was soppy and used to bring her dried leaves in his mouth as a gift! We buried Matt near the river at 7 River Drive.

Bogart River Dr (3)

Bogart (Trish’s maiden name was Humphrey) was third. He had a tail. Docking tails had been stopped – at last! What’s a dog without a tail? Shame, man!! She loved old Bogie. He was killed on the N3. Buried at River Drive.

And then came Bella! Bellisimo!

All the while, TC was still there, still the boss; wondering why we kept getting new tiny black nuisances which grew up to be bigger than her.

Now, make no mistake, Bella became Aitch’s all-time favourite. She loved Matt next best and Bogart too. Also Shadow and Sambucca in later years. And TC all along. But Bella!? She and Bella the Brak won the top prize at dog training. Her friend who won second prize with her pedigree German Shepherd turned to Trish when Bella won the last round and said “You know, Bella would fly if you asked her to!”

– Canine Academy Winners!! –
Family 2004 Frame 2
– Houdini the blonde pushy – Bella polite –

TC died of old age at River Drive, where we buried her on the banks of the Mkombaan river near the paperbark Commiphora, near Matt and Bogie. (Note to new owners: Don’t go digging too much in 7 River Drive!).

Yes, Bella you WERE her favourite, but then kids arrived and took over. And then Aitch rescued Houdini from euthenasia and look how he is pushing in while you wait politely as ever for your turn!

– Houdini the blonde –

Houdini escaped once too often, never to be seen again. Which is how we got him to start with: A friendly dog that no-one knew who he belonged to was given to Aitch by a vet.

So when we moved to Elston Place, Bella AT LAST had the family to herself. Didn’t last long: Aitch decided Bella ‘needed company’ and told me “Bella is lonely, I want to get her a puppy.” “Absolutely not!” I decreed, laying down the law as the boss of the house. “No more puppies!”

So she got two. Enter Shadow and Sambucca:

Sambucca was in danger of becoming “Sweetie” (Jessie’s choice of name!) so we sent out an SOS for a name for a pitch black dog. Terry Brauer came up with Black Sambucca – just right!

Bella died at 17yrs old, about a year before Aitch died. Aitch was right there with her when she died. We buried her in the garden at 10 Elston Place. Only Sambucca outlived Aitch.

~~~oo0oo~~~

WhattaSoftie!

After giving me a big hug and “Love you Dad!” last night Tom stepped up a notch this morning, shouting out “Wuv you Jess!” when his sister left for school! Amazing. A twelve year old boy. It did cross my mind that his birthday and Xmas are coming up, but I dismissed those thoughts! It’s because he’s a wonderful human being. With only a passing resemblance to that lil girl with

a curl in the middle of her forehead.

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when she was good she was very very good – and

when she was bad she was horrid . .

For You Guys When I’m Not Around

For You Guys When I’m Not Around

Like, if I was on an island in the Okavango Delta sipping champagne out of cellphone reach and you can’t ask me for advice or money?* Then read this . . .
Love – I love you guys more than you’ll ever know. And I’m very very proud of you and so very very pleased I am lucky enough to have you as my children.
Kind – Be kind. Especially to the poor, meek and timid.
Help – Where you can. Help yourself, be kind to yourself (and hard on yourself as far as getting things done) but also help others wherever you can. It feels good, and it’s rewarding.
Do it for you – When you help people, don’t expect a reward; When you greet people, don’t expect a reply; Do it for you.
Work – When you’re at work, work. Work honestly and deliver. If you’re unhappy, don’t leave. Plan first. When you have your alternative ready, leave on your own terms, without rancour. If no alternative pans out, and where you are is really bad, then leave anyway, and work honestly and deliver on the next job. When you’re unemployed, you still have a job: Finding your next job. Work hard at finding it: Plan, prepare, talk to people, work at it.
Religion – Look into all religions. Understand their origins and the holes they were meant to fill. Know that we know far more now than they did then (even as recently as the 1950’s when L Ron Hubbard started his religion (called Scientology – hidden behind the recruiting front called Dianetics); Hell, we even know more now than in 2005 when Bobby Henderson started one of the kinder, more rational religions, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Learn about how many Gods there are (hundreds) and what each one of their followers believe. Take the time to really understand religion. And when you have carefully worked out why people dismiss all gods other than their own, you will start to see how ALL gods have actually been created by humans. In their own likeness. To fill a need.
If learning about the world and how it works doesn’t satisfy your need for “why are we here”, and you feel you need to be a something, then become a Humanist. Read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism – and when you have time to read slowly and read over & over, read here: http://infidels.org/library/modern/fred_edwords/humanism.html – its just 8 pages, well worth reading and re-reading.
Even better, DO something: Become a scout leader, a coach or a dance teacher.
Teach – Be a teacher. Even if you don’t become a teacher, still be a teacher in your life. Right near you there are children who need guidance and support and fun. If you have a car and they don’t, just take them to the beach once a month. Or take them fishing with you. Teach them how to attach a hook and cast. Teach them how to use a computer. Or to play a game. COMMIT to once a month.
Laugh – Laugh lots. Laugh with people, not at people.
Be scientific – Require evidence. When someone asks you to trust them, ask them to do you the courtesy of giving you proof, evidence, a link – or at least their statement in writing, signed by them (a lot of strong adamant statements evaporate – or at least dilute – when asked for in writing). “Trust me” is used by too many dishonest people to trust it. Look for evidence. And always get a receipt (remember my mantra “slip and change”!?)

Love again – Love people. Love them. Be gentle with them. Sure they can irritate you and frustrate you, but they’re great, all in all.
Mom – Mom loved you fiercely. She loved you with her whole heart – and was awfully proud of you. Same as me.

Well, we weren't married yet . . . .

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Oscar Wilde said: Advice is great stuff – in the giving . . . .

*or if I have shuffled on . . .