JET, THE FAMILY POOCH was a puppy in 1956 when my father went over to BADLEY MOOR near East Dereham to buy him from the farmer who had reared him. He wasn’t the first dog I remember; that was Flossie (see my blog of August 8 2011), but she lasted a relatively short time, where Jet lasted from my childhood until I was an adult. He was a spaniel crossed with (I think) a retriever. He had all the soft gentleness of a spaniel with none of the short temper that the pure bred spaniel sometimes exhibits. His worst flaw was an enduring travel sickness. We could never take him very far in the car, and even the annual holiday to Southwold was only accomplished at some personal cost to Jet. He wasn’t quite fully grown for his first Southwold visit which was to the cottage on the front under the lighthouse, called Guardship.
Guardship was not in those days a listed building, as it has been since the early seventies. I am afraid Jet did not treat it with the respect it deserved, not being fully housetrained! Jet remained the family pet throughout my childhood from my early days at St Mary’s school at Bungay, finally passing away as few days before I returned home from my first term at Oxford, just before Christmas 1968.
My next dog was Fido. We got him on Thursday the 7thof September 1972. He came from the petshop on the approach to Norwich Castle that was demolished when the Castle Mall was built. He was my dog throughout my young adulthood from my early twenties to my mid thirties. I have often been told that Fido is a suitable name for a little toy dog, not for big boisterous animal. Fido was certainly not a toy dog. He was a big, gruff Labrador cross with quite a lot of German Shepherd in him somewhere along the line, but to me he was Fido, my dog. He cost about £5-probably less, I can’t remember- it was after all the early 70s. He came out of a cage of puppies on Norwich Market. The cattle had gone by then but there were still some animals for sale. He was a sweet looking puppy, but he growled and bit. We put a stop to any viciousness and he grew into good dog. It was a slow process but as time went on we straightened him out.
He became my constant companion for over 10 years, and I was very fond of him. He was a softee at heart and liked nothing better than rolling on his back to have his tummy rubbed. I sketched him in this position, waiting my attention..
There was long period when I was dogless, but now we have a dog once more; Wesley. We bought him from a bungalow in Cawston as pup in February of this year. He loves my wife very much – she says it is cupboard love – and she thinks he is clever. He promises to be quite a character. When we take him out he gets praised for his friendliness, but we also see his faults. He is certainly very wiry and a great jumper but not a water dog; perhaps a typical terrier. His ancestry is rather mixed but he is all terrier. His Mum was a Jack Russell x border terrier, and his dad was Jack Russell x Norfolk terrier. But all my dogs have been mongrels, and Wesley is no exception.
THE BLOG FOR MEMORIES OF EAST ANGLIAN LIFE