Wednesday, December 5, 2007

An Introduction to Digby

Having always had animals around me, I was so bereft of their companionship those first few months we were in England, that I had taken to "dognapping" my lovely neighbor dog, Cinda. She was a buff coloured Cocker Spaniel with the most soulful eyes. She loved to go "walkies" and Bubbles (Violet Loxley, the West End Actress), my dear neighbor ("Mum" to Cinda) and I went on walking excursions twice a day. The school bus would pick the boys up at 0:dark30 and after a cup of coffee, off we'd go to Burnham Wood, or Watership Down, or the rugby field. Sometimes in the middle of the day, before the prescribed evening walk, I would go next door and take Cinda on a stroll into the village. She was such a sweet girl, but she only made my "dogless" state more apparent. On January 7th (my birthday), Mac came home early and told me we had an appointment in Gerrard's Cross. He wouldn't tell me with whom or what it was all about, he made me wait. We drove into Gerrard's Cross and out to this huge farm house. I could hear the barking as I exited the car and a beautiful Old English Sheepdog ran out to greet us. She was quite well behaved, offered her paw (I wonder how long it took them to teach her to do that) and then led us up to the door. We were met by the Kennel Master who took us into the large barn where there were 7 puppies in a bed of straw, all romping and rolling over one another. There is nothing sweeter in this world to me than a rambunctious mob of dancing eyed puppies, all fighting to be first at the gate to show off. And show off these young rapscallions did. It took us over an hour to pick out the two puppies we had decided to take. I say "take", but they weren't free. In actuality, the puppy that would be mine had chosen me from the very beginning. As I sat in the straw, she climbed into my lap and fell asleep. The others were all busy pushing and shoving each other and this sweet little one slept on. When I went to stand up, it was just a natural thing to walk out to the car holding her close. I have loved the Old English since the movie "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" with Doris Day and David Niven (highly under rated British actor in my opinion) starring. So Digby was really a dream come true. Her sister, who was dubbed Tanque since she was so much bigger than Digby, was just as lovely but twice as rambunctious. After about two months, seeing that I was overwhelmed, Bubbles spoke to a friend who was in the market for a puppy for their children. So we were left with the one puppy who had stolen my heart from the very beginning. I watched every Barbara Woodhouse show that came on and learned how to easily house break the girl. It was so easy I always told everyone she housebroke herself. Now when Bubbles took Cinda, I had my own lead to handle. She learned so quickly to stop at curbs and believe it or not, look both ways...when I gave the command "over" for crossing the street, off she loped, hind quarters rolling like a great bear. The British are extremely "dog friendly" (actually about any animal) and often shout out as they are driving by to compliment your walking companion. "Lovely Sheepdog" was what I mostly heard. But one day as we strolled along in a nice foursome, Bubbles, Cinda me and Digby, a car slowed and a woman leaned out the window of the car and called out "is it a bitch?" I turned to look behind me, I knew this rude person was certainly not talking to me. Bubbles, seeing the anger building in my face quickly intervened. "She wants to know if Digby is a girl...you know, a bitch..." Smiling icily I called back to the woman, " no, she's quite ladylike"which brought Bubbles to a state of near hysteria laughing. A bitch indeed.

19 comments:

Wanda said...

What a lovely story. I'd like to have known Digby.

Jenn and Jacqui said...

Sandi you are so funny, love this story!!! We need a bit of light relief right now, can always counnt on you our friend :) David Niven is one of hubby's favourite actors, along with Michael Caine. He is underrated, and he's gorgeous :) Old English, adorable :) Hope you are doing ok:) Jenn and Jacqui

justabeachkat said...

Awwww...what a nice bedtime story. So glad it's a true one too. Do you still have Digby...please tell me you do. I'd love to see a photo of you two.

Hugs!
Kat

Adla said...

Attachments to pets, mine was with a little lopped bunny named Piero. Broke my heart when we had to say Goodbye! Do you still have Digby?

Kari said...

I remember Digby. You brought her back from England, didn't you? Or am I just imagining she and I met? lol

I know how you loved her, though. I meant to tell you the other day that I really like your new banner.

Love ya'll!

Sandi McBride said...

No, you met her. We brought her back with us for sure...she had thirteen wonderful years with us, and I still feel her around me...I call her my guardian angel...there was something terribly special about her...I feel she's been with me all my life. Will explain in a future post

A Thing for Roses said...

Hi Sandi,

Loved your story about Digby. Thanks for your funny comment on my blog. It really made me laugh. I will be posting again today. Have a fun day!

Lisa

Christine of Epiphany said...

My mother's birthday is on the 7th, too~ 'Day of the Holy Family', I think.

Pets are fantastic company!

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

What a wonderful story! I love sheep dogs!
Penny

NeereAnDear said...

How do I keep missing you??? I need to figure out the rss feed thing... because I keep missing all these lovely stories and blogs....

HUGS

JO

Pam said...

I nearly spit water out when I read that last part. I would have been laughing too.
Digby sounds wonderful. Do you have any pictures?

Brenda said...

Awww such a sweet story. I just love animals. Elima is me..if it needs a home i'll take it.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

"She's quite lady like". That's hysterical. I laughed so hard. Hey...our birthdays are the same....well kind of. Mine's the 17th of Jan.

Jenn and Jacqui said...

Hi hon, just us again! LOL, keep that evil sister under control please!! Hope you are ok, thinkin' of you :) J & J xo

Mary said...

Sandi
I love that you being able to deal with middle class English b......!

joan said...

Hi Sandi,
I liked this post and you will have to post a picture of Digby, would love to see her. Dogs and animals are special in our lives.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Awwww, Sandi, I could listen to you read all day. ;>

And that little story was so Herriot-esque that I, of course, loved it.

Ever read David Niven's BRING ON THE EMPTY HORSES? It's a good one!

Jodie Adams said...

Now I know your birthdate!!!! YEAH!! Animals fill a special place in our hearts and we are never ever the same afterwards. Oh I mailed your Christmas card today. I cheated with the easy homemade kind, but anyway wanted to let you know I sent two pics. One is Maddy's school pic from this year and the other is a family pic we took in 2006, I thought you might like one and I had some extras so I hope you enjoy. Talk to you soon. Love you!

Katherines Dream said...

Great story Sandi. Dogs, can't live with them, can't live without them.
I love my two, hate the mess they make. I feel so safe with them at home. Two neighbours have been broken into while alseep during the night!!! nobody could ever get into our house without the dogs going mad.
Hugs,
Carol xx