Tag: Jean


Some more thoughts on this delightful German Shepherd.

Cleopatra has been with us since 2011 when we lived in Payson, Az. The background is that Sandra Tucker who ran the GSD Breeders Jutone, in Devon, England, where Pharaoh was born, gave me some advice. Sandra said that when Pharaoh was getting on in life, then bring in a German Shepherd puppy. Apparently, there were two solid reasons why this made sense. The first was that Pharaoh would teach the new puppy many of the skills and disciplines that Pharaoh had learnt as a young dog and, secondly, the puppy would keep Pharaoh active.

That was the case. Cleo has never had a day’s training from Jean and me yet she is a bright, smart dog that knows all that is to be known.

Well Pharaoh died in 2017 but Cleo is very much alive. She is a beautiful dog!

Cleo deep in meditation.

One of the issues with Parkinson’s disease is that it plays havoc with one’s sleep patterns. For a long time Jean has been waking anytime between midnight and 3am and having to get up. Jean tends to go into the kitchen and prepare the breakfast to be consumed much later on when we are both washed and dressed.

But this article is about Cleo.

Cleo has the instincts of a hunter dog; that’s a common feature of GSDs. So when Jean gets up and goes into the kitchen Cleo is right with her. Indeed Jean says that she won’t enter the kitchen area properly until Cleo has given it the all clear. Cleo takes a careful observation, including scent and hearing, looking for any sign of mice and rats. Luckily I sleep through it all albeit in the early days I used to wake up as well.

Just another example of the way that dogs embrace our human lives!


A Valentine Day reflection.

Yesterday was, of course, Valentine’s Day.

Rather than copy something from somewhere else I wanted to be original in my thoughts about love.

Jean was happy that this be published.


February 14th, 2022

In a world where new gizmos are coming onto the scene with what seems like ever increasing rapidity there is one thing that remains constant. It is love.

To my mind, love is a great deal more than the emotional and romantic connection between a man and a woman. Of course, that love, the romantic connection, is the one that is the subject of countless songs, poems, plays, books, and many other forms of communication, and one that goes back to almost the origins of warm-blooded life.

If one opens one’s mind, however, love can cover so much more. Love for the land; love for the distant stars in a dark sky; love for the sea; love for nature; and on and on. Too many times for me to count, and why would I want to count them anyway, each day I look out to the north-east and towards Sexton Mountain. My fondness for that sight is, I think, a form of love.

But this is Valentine’s Day. Despite the history of the day being an ancient Christian feast, as in Saint Valentine, an early Christian martyr, it has long become an important cultural and commercial celebration of romance. I sense you and me wanting to kick back against the commercial imperatives although, as you can see, I offer you a Valentine’s card.

With this card, I celebrate our love.

With this card, I celebrate that you and I found true love back in 2007; the first time this had happened to me.

With this card, I celebrate all that we have.

Dear Jeannie, I Love You!


Here is the card:

Card and Brandy!

The Wise One

Fond memories of June, 2007.

I have been trying to tidy up my office these last few days and came across a tribute that I wrote for Pharaoh in 2007. I flew out to California in June, 2007 and stayed with Dan Gomez and, quite by chance, Suzanne, Dan’s sister, called by and invited me to stay with her and her husband, Don, in Mexico. I flew from Los Angeles to Hermosillo on the 14th December, 2007. That was where Jean and I met for the first time!



June 3rd, 2003 – June 19th, 2017

Just being a dog!

I am your dog and have something I would love to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead very busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise, some have to do this alone. It always seems like you are running here and there, often too fast, never noticing the truly grand things in life.

Look down at me now. While you sit at your computer. See the way my dark, brown eyes look at yours.

You smile at me. I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a single moment of your time? That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes, to be with me.

So many times you are saddened by others of my kind passing on. Sometimes we die young and, oh, so quickly, so suddenly that it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes we age slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract-clouded eyes. Still the love is always there even when we must take that last long sleep dreaming of running free in a distant, open land.

I may not be here tomorrow. I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes that humans have when grief fills their souls and you will mourn the loss of just one more day with me. Because I love you so, this future sorrow even now touches my spirit and grieves me. I read you in so many ways that you cannot even start to contemplate.

We have now together. So come and sit next to me here on the floor and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? Do you see how if you look deeply at me as we talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come not to me as my owner but as a living soul. Stroke my fur and let us look deep into the other’s eyes and talk with our hearts.

I may tell you something about the fun of working the scents in the woods where you and I go. Or I may tell you something profound about myself or how we dogs see life in general. I know you decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share things with. I know how much you have cared for me and always stood up for me even when others have been against me. I know how hard you have worked to help me be the teacher that I was born to be. That gift from you has been very precious to me. I know too that you have been through troubled times and I have been there to guard you, to protect you, and to always be there for you. I am very different to you but here I am. I am a dog but just as alive as you.

I feel emotion. I feel physical senses. I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a dog on two feet; I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

So come and sit with me. Enter my world and let time slow down if only for a few minutes. Look deep into me eyes and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow but do have now.

(Written on the 14th September, 2007 to reflect the special relationship that I have with me and my 4-year-old German Shepherd.)


I first got Pharaoh as a puppy from a breeder. When he was sufficiently old to start training I learnt that he was a beta dog. Let me explain. In a dog pack there are three dogs with status. The first is always a female and she is the pack leader, or alpha dog. The alpha has first pick of the male dogs as a mate. The second-in-command is the beta dog and is always a male. The beta dog is to keep control and break up fights and squabbles. The third dog, either gender, is the omega dog or the clown dog and its role is to keep the pack happy.

The training was suitably modified and Pharaoh quickly became a perfect friend to me.

On the beach in Devon

Taken near the end of Pharaoh’s life.

So you can see that the above tribute to Pharaoh makes more sense. Especially as on the 20th December, 2006, the 50th anniversary of my father’s death, when I had turned 12 on November 8th 1956, my then wife walked out on me.

Pharaoh was a huge comfort to me at that time. I wasn’t to know then that on the 14th December, nearly a year later, I was to meet the woman of my life. Then in 2008 I flew out to Mexico with Pharaoh to start the most beautiful relationship I have ever had. Pharaoh died in June, 2017.

I still miss him badly. But that, dear folks, is life!

More of Jeannie’s paintings

This time Lexi and Brandy

There is no question that Jean has a real knack of capturing the essence of a dog. I continue to be delighted at the quality of her paintings.

Here is one of Lexi that was also featured in a recent Picture Parade. Lexi is Dan’s dog.

And the next is Brandy, one of our own dogs but the biggest of the pack. Brandy is a cross between a Great Pyrenean and a Mastiff.

They are gorgeous!

Jeannie is painting again!

And it is thanks to all of you!

There was such a wonderful response to when I recently posted some of Jeannie’s paintings from previous days that she picked up her paint brushes again.

To say that I was delighted is an understatement.

So I present a painting of Louis, a dog belonging to Jim and Janet Goodbrod, when he was a puppy, that’s Louis not Jim!

Jim and Janet used to live just around the corner from us but moved some time ago up to Roseburg. We are going to visit them today and Jean is taking the painting with her as a gift to the Goodbrods.

But to close with another thank you. Because it really made such a difference.

Picture Parade Three Hundred and Seventy-Seven

The last Picture Parade for February.

But yet more dog photographs from Nimbushopper!







These are such beautiful photographs and that’s not all! I have just chosen the photos of the dogs looking at the camera. For the eyes of most dogs are just captivating.

Let me share with you a couple of the photos I have taken of our dogs.




Oliver, as a younger dog being hugged by Jeannie

See you all next week!


A tale from a friend of Jean.

Many years ago, when Jean was still in England, she and Jane became good friends. They still stay in touch today thanks to the modern world.

Recently, Jane sent an email that contained a lovely story of her dog, Molly. Or rather I should say Molly, that belongs to her and her husband, Al.

Here is Jane’s story.


Our beloved Molly. Re-homed, not badly treated but was a working dog. Molly’s owner had a bad accident and his life fell apart.

Got rid of his other dogs and eventually, when boarding her with my friend, asked if she knew a good home for her. We’d just lost our dog and though he’ll never be replaced it’s not a home without a dog. So a friend and I went to see her – fat, scruffy, lived in an outdoor kennel. So, she came home with us.

She’d never set foot in a house so not house trained but SO clever. She quickly learned to toilet outside and now ASKS to go out. Nudges my elbow and if I stand up but don’t act immediately she paws my leg. How clever is that. Quickly learned how to negotiate stairs and not catch birds.

She knows exactly what she’s due – treats, dinner – and you can set your watch by her.

She is the most loving little girl and loves being cuddled. The thought of her being alone in the kennel, no company, frightened in storms, cold, not knowing when she’d see anyone breaks my heart.

The only problem, probably because of erratic feeding, or maybe survival instinct and not leaving scents for predators, is she eats her own poo and out walking I keep constant check or she’ll eat others too.

She had to be spayed and they found cancer last year and that meant a further operation.


She is a scavenger and I watch her constantly to see what she’s got in her mouth – in return for giving it up she expects a reward, she quickly caught on how to get treats!

Well enough, you know all about dogs and their ways – each one unique.
Keep well xxx


 Dogs are so precious.

Thanks Jane!