Monday, 3 December 2012


The snow comes blasting in from the north. It is not picturesque snow, but the dirty, messy, sloppy kind. Stanley the Lurcher finds the whole thing delirious. Not quite as delightful as my old girls did; they ate it in their mouths as if it were some kind of delicious ice-cream. But he thinks it vastly diverting and faintly comical.

I go back to familiar routines. The Sister and I walk and talk in the weather. The Horse Talker and I chat for hours about matters equine, leaning on the fence, watching the herd eat breakfast, so rapt in our special subject that we don’t even notice we are being snowed on quite hard. It is important in life to find someone who shares your obsession, so you don’t have to bore everyone else with it. I am aware that some curious people, amazingly, do not find horses quite as riveting as I do. Luckily, I have my kindred spirit in the field, and we can discuss hooves and rugging and different varieties of hay to our hearts’ content, and no one else needs lose the will to live.

Stanley the Lurcher proves immaculate, apart from a moment of wild barking at the equines. Clearly he imagines that I am about to be attacked by these huge red dogs and he must see them off. There is the occasional slight pulling at the lead, but aside from that he is a model dog.

How could he be so good? He has been from pillar to post and back again, he really does not know me from Adam, and yet he is settled in here, as calm and quiet as if he had lived in this house always. He even does that enchanting thing of rushing to the door when we get back from the horses, and putting his nose up to be let in, as if he knows this is his house, which rather tugs on my heartstrings.

He is beside me now, fast asleep, his nose tucked under his tail, exhausted from his snowy shenanigans. I look at him with love. It is a different love than that I had for my soft old girls. He is a different person. But it is love for all that, and I feel it grow in me like a sapling in springtime. Quite often I wonder at my luck. This is one of those times.

Too tired for more; these long journeys take it out of me. Just a few rather bad pictures; the light was going, but I did want you to see the winter field:

3 Dec 1

3 Dec 2

3 Dec 3

3 Dec 4

They really are rotten. But I suppose it is important in life to allow imperfection, from time to time. Better tomorrow.


  1. I am struggling to get another dog after a 15 years with a superstar just like The Pigeon. I am hugely encouraged by your story to check out my local rescue kennels. My heart yearns for my old girl but like you say; there must be different love allowed. Stanley Looks a bit like The Pidge in that last photo.

  2. I can just see him nose tucked under tail, my greyhounds both did that, so comfortable and complete about a restful dog, and I'm glad he likes the snow. Ours only wore coats when they were rather elderly and slow, they adored sprinting in the snow.

  3. I like the grainy quality of the shots, it makes a change and gives life a neige quality. I am fascinated by Stanley. There's more to him than he's letting on right now, I'll be bound :-)

  4. Exactly that. A different kind of love, but love all the same. Just so - with Boo sat next to me instead of my old Fig.
    I always think of you with the snow. Saw the early weather and noted you would be having some. I always look forward to the photographs.
    Much love to Stanley.

  5. Ruminating here about the nature(s) of love...starting to think it's entirely possible to love every single person, animal, and even place "the best" without taking a whit away from anyone/ thing. It's not hierarchical....
    (Of course, some people and animals I HAVE loved more than others; that says more about me than about love....)

  6. That one with the lone tree tugs at my heart. I have a photo of the snowy mountains of Glen Coe, with a single tree in the foreground, which I took back in the 1980s on one of my two trips to heaven (Scotland). I had it blown up and it lives in the stairwell, where I can see it every day. Every wall of my cottage has an enormous photo of Scotland from my trips, so that I can always see it, even when I'm not there.

  7. I found your blog only recently and am so happy I did. Reading about Stanley I am in tears, of joy for you, and from thinking about my beloved Australian Blue Cattle dog. I had him for sixteen years until he quietly and politely departed this life while curled at my feet. That was three years ago, but I miss him still, talk to him often, and still keep his lead in my car.
    Thank you so much for sharing your animals with us.


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