Thursday, 13 May 2010

Blood, sweat and tears

I had some wonderful news today that 'Dogs Monthly' magazine have accepted an article I submitted in February.

Although I submitted the article in 2010, this article has taken nearly two years to write as I had to travel to so many corners of the country in order to get the material. I wanted to visit each site that I was writing about in order to take my own photographs.

The article is about our ever lasting bond with our dogs, and how even after death, we want an ever lasting memory of them by erecting statues and monuments.

The blood was my blood. It came from a trip to Cardiff when I walked for miles in the most uncomfortable boots that gave me blood blisters. But I got my picture which is part of a lovely sculpture in Cardiff bay of a ordinary dog ( who is very special) with his family.

The sweat and tears came in Cornwall last year. I made it my mission to find the statue of little 'Chalky' who belonged to Rick Stein the famous chef.

I walked through Padstow in the midday sun, it was packed with people looking for his seafood restaurant or his fish and chip shop and it was boiling hot.

When I saw the little bronze statue of the famous Jack Russel outside the restaurant, I burst into tears, it was so moving.

The relationship with our dogs and other animals have touched the human soul throughout the centuries. We seem to have this need to remember them in our own way.

The little grey dog in the picture at the top of this post is Oscar, he was my dog. He does not have a massive monument in his memory, just a tiny Celtic cross in the garden where nature thrives, so to me that is special.

I know I had to wait for this one, but it was worth it because I can share on a smaller scale how people have loved and lost their dogs, but will never forget them.


  1. That's brilliant Di!

    I'm sure it's going to be a wonderful article as it comes from the heart. Dogs are so special. I remember all the dogs I've had through the years and I remember the devestation I felt when our dog, Gemma, we'd had since childhood died when I was down in Plymouth doing my nurse training. My then boyfriend had been back up in Shropshire visiting his family and had gone to see my mum who made him promise to break it to me gently as she couldn't bear to. It was awful news and I still well up now when I think of Gemma and that time.

    I haven't had a dog for many years now - well we had one for about five months a couple of years ago, but it took exception to Dave and bit him - he's not a dog person and had only agreed to let me have one because he knew I loved them so much. Plus I had been unwell at the time and plans were being made for me to go in for major surgery so with all the stress I had and the dog biting Dave the dog had to go back to Roden. It broke my heart, still does and I'll never forgive myself for the dog having to go back. I didn't need the surgery in the end and I don't have the kind of lifestyle now to be able to care for a dog properly so we have cats instead. I love them to bits but it's not the same as having a dog. Still I have my sister's dog, Jazz, for cuddles when I visit her house - he's my surrogate doggy!

    I can't wait to read your article - let me know when it's in.

    Julie xx

  2. Di, I know the restaurant you're talking about. I understand the atmosphere of Padstow and I know you and your love of animals. This article, written from the heart, obviously proved itself to the editor. Well done, the sincerity of writing shone through as it does with everything you write

    Sue xx

  3. I know how you feel, we are too old to have another dog, wouldn't be fair, but we long to have our old labrador back again. Yes, your article will help so many to remember a dear lost friend.

  4. My mother loved her dog Michael. She made him a gravestone and decorated it with seashells. I suppose I should be flattered that she named me after him!

  5. I toy with the idea of getting another dog but daren't mention it to Cliff. His idea of a pooch is something the size of a Great Dane; better still, a pair of them. Given that I was the main dog walker for the last two dogs we had, I'm keeping schtum!

    I look forward to reading about man's best friend Di. Well done again. I recently bought a Shropshire mag from the charity shop and found myself reading your article about Ludlow. It was so lovely.

  6. Hi folks, thanks so much for your comments. I would love another dog one day and perhaps when I give up work and become a full time writer I can have one! At least my little hens give me a lot back as do the ponies.
    I can't wait to see the article, they say it could be a while but so pleased it was accepted as this one meant a lot to me.