What a wonderful relationship it has been.
Years ago if I was ever to own a dog, it had to be one breed and one breed only: a German Shepherd Dog.
The reason for this was that back in 1955 my father and mother looked after a German Shepherd dog called Boy. Boy belonged to a lovely couple, Maurice and Marie Davies. They were in the process of taking over a new Public House (Pub); the Jack & Jill in Coulsdon, Surrey. My father had been the architect of the Jack & Jill.
As publicans have a tough time taking holidays, it was agreed that the move from their old pub to the Jack & Jill represented a brilliant opportunity to have that vacation. My parents offered to look after Boy for the 6 weeks that Maurice and Marie were going to be away.
Boy was the most gentle loveable dog one could imagine and I quickly became devoted to him; I was 11 years old at the time. So when years later it seemed the right time to have a dog, there was no question about the breed. Boy’s memory lived on all those years, and, as this post reveals, still does!
Pharaoh was born June 3rd, 2003 at Jutone Kennels up at Bovey Tracy, Devon, on the edge of Dartmoor. As the home page of the Jutone website pronounces,
The Kennel was established in 1964 and it has always been the aim to breed the best German Shepherd Dogs for type and temperament. To this end the very finest German bloodlines are used to continue a modern breeding programme.
and elsewhere on that website one learns:
Jutone was established by Tony Trant who was joined by Sandra Tucker in 1976. Sandra continues to run Jutone since Tony passed away in 2004. Both Tony and Sandra qualified as Championship Show judges and Sandra continues to judge regularly. Sandra is the Secretary and a Life Member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of Devon.
Turning to Pharaoh, here are a few more pictures over the years.
The next picture of Pharaoh requires a little background information.
For many years I was a private pilot and in later days had the pleasure, the huge pleasure, of flying a Piper Super Cub, a group-owned aircraft based at Watchford Farm in South Devon. The aircraft, a Piper PA-18-135 Super Cub, was originally supplied to the Dutch Air Force in 1954 and was permitted by the British CAA to carry her original military markings including her Dutch military registration, R-151, although there was a British registration, G-BIYR, ‘underneath’ the Dutch R-151. (I wrote more fully about the history of the aircraft on Learning from Dogs back in August 2009.)
Anyway, every time I went to the airfield with Pharaoh he always tried to climb into the cockpit. So one day, I decided to see if he would sit in the rear seat and be strapped in. Absolutely no problem with that!
My idea had been to fly a gentle circuit in the aircraft. First I did some taxying around the large grass airfield that is Watchford to see how Pharaoh reacted. He was perfectly behaved.
Then I thought long and hard about taking Pharaoh for a flight. In the Cub there is no autopilot so if Pharaoh struggled or worse it would have been almost impossible to fly the aircraft and cope with Pharaoh. So, in the end, I abandoned taking him for a flight. The chances are that it would have been fine. But if something had gone wrong, the outcome just didn’t bear thinking about.
So we ended up motoring for 30 minutes all around the airfield which, as the next picture shows, met with doggie approval. The date was July 2006.
What a dear dog he has been over all the years and, thankfully, still is!
As if to reinforce the fabulous dog he still is, yesterday it was almost as though he knew he had to show how youthful he still was.
Because, when I took his group of dogs out around 7.30am armed with my camera, Pharaoh was brimming over with energy.
First up was a swim in the pond.
Then in a way he has not done before, Pharaoh wanted to play ‘King of my Island’, which is in the middle of the pond.
Then a while later, when back on dry land, so to speak, it was time to dry off in the morning sunshine.
Long may he have an enjoyable and comfortable life.
8 thoughts on “More on Pharaoh’s life.”
A big thank you to Pharaoh for allowing his best friends Paul and Jean to share his life and pictures on the internet. My cats (especially Chloe, who is 16 later this month) send their congratulations on reaching the double digit years. 🙂
Thank you, Wen. I will read your comment out to Pharaoh later!!
Oh, I love this post!!! Thank you for sharing the photos and stories!
I love Pharaoh’s island and he has flown in a very special plane too. (For some reason, I have known many pilots and I did fly in a Piper Cub once, but I don’t know the model exactly. My mom flew in it once too).
I would like to have a dog like Pharaoh one day. Ruthie would too. I know she would like another dog friend.
Pharaoh, thank you for being Paul’s good friend!
DK, thank you. You see that it’s Pharaoh’s influence that brings us together; like so many others who have become such great friends via this blog.
Must correct one minor aspect of your lovely comment. That is, as I wrote, I never took Pharaoh for an actual flight – just a long taxi around the airfield. I just thought that if something went wrong, it could be the end of me and Pharaoh. As professional pilots say, “When there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt.”
Keep up your fabulous writings.
Oh he’s beautiful, Paul! My first friend was a Shepherd called Kim. They are the most delightful creatures, inside and out. Not that I would swap Ani, of course, mad and unique as she is… 😉
Sue, your phrase ‘inside and out’ sums up something fundamental about all dogs, not just German Shepherds. Their ability to love us funny, complex humans is fantastic, wonderful and very beautiful.
Thank you so much for your comment.
Ani is my mirror on myself. I could hardly wish for a more loving teacher.
Pharoah sounds like a wonderful dog and oh so handsome. A rough life in deed… 🙂