My Story (It’s a dogs life) – by Nancy Blackett
I am told I was conceived at the back of a boatshed in Pascoe’s boatyard St Just–in-Roseland. My mum was less than a year old; my father was over 10 years old and thought to be not interested in ‘that sort of thing’. I was one of nine puppies.
My owner subsequently told me that at the same time as my birth she was thinking about getting a dog because she was about to retire and is quite a doggy person. She is also a bit of a dreamer. She met my mum and dad just by chance when they were finishing a long swim in the creek. It was clear from one look at my mum that she was feeding puppies. She fell in love with the idea of the mother of her new puppy emerging from the sea, rather like a Greek myth.
The owner had also been swimming with her dogs, my owner to be and my owner at the time fell into conversation and by the end of that day my new owner was smitten and committed. She chose me because I seemed quiet and thoughtful as well as being very beautiful.
Six weeks later I was collected by my new owner and driven to Bristol. I managed to sneak onto her lap for most of the journey. With the help of a towel smelling of my old family I managed to settle in quickly, I did not even cry on my first night.
Two weeks after I arrived I visited the Thomas family and peed on their floor, a little mistake. Mrs Thomas noticed it was pink. There followed 16 months of vets, discomfort, buckets full of antibiotics, samples, anxiety and the removal of one of my kidneys. I remember my owner whispering to me one night and saying let’s at least try to have one summer together. I am now 2 ½ and so we have had two summers together. The vet says I am a miracle.
My life is full of variety. In the winter I live in Bristol, great for walking so I have at least two hours a day in woods. I also spend regular amounts of time in Lambourn and Wimbledon with the grandchildren and foster children. I have learnt to travel on buses, trains and tubes. I also enjoy trips in the owner’s soft top; you should see my ears when we travel at her top speed of 60mph.
I attend carol concerts and even a concert of a solo violin, I enjoyed the music but found the clapping a bit disturbing. I sit outside most shops except the butcher and the hardware shop.
In summer I live on the boat. The season starts with my owner preparing the boat for the water. This seems to involve her in lying under her boat for hours on end scraping and painting the hull. In the absence of a walk I take myself off and go crabbing and musselling in the creek, both make excellent snacks. Sometimes I find stranded fish and eat them despite their wiggling. Once I found two huge fish left on the beach, a great feast. When on land I am expected to get on board via a home made dog plank. Personally I think it is very dangerous and I think she needs to take more heed of Health and Safety guidance.
Eventually my owner decides that her boat is ready and it is time to put it in the water, I am not sure how she reaches this descision, it always looks much the same to me, but lo and behold my life is changed again. The boat lives in the middle of the creek, rather inconvenient in my view. Whenever she goes ashore we have to get into a very wobbly tender, (that means a very small boat). I am now good at knowing when it is safe to jump out, the result of one or two unfortunate experiences.
If it gets rough in the creek we move to other more sheltered creeks, this makes for plenty of variety in walks and hunting grounds. Sometimes I don’t want to leave the shore, she says “if you don’t come now I will leave you behind”. This means that at times, me having to undertake some very long swims.
You maybe wondering why I was called Nancy Blackett, apparently an unusual name for a dog. It was to do with her expectation that I would learn to be a ‘boat dog’. Luckily I seem to enjoy being First Mate. For those who don’t know Swallows and Amazons, I am told that Nancy Blackett was the heroine in the ‘other’ boat.
My owner spends quite a lot of time on her laptop, at times like this I fancy being a lapdog but sadly my legs seem to be too long for this now unattainable comfort. The best thing about my owner is that she seems to need a lot of exercise, I am happy to accompany her.
As for me I would describe myself as enthusiastic, intelligent (up to a point), loving and lovable, some times hard of hearing (I’m told), a very fast mover, companionable and altogether the best dog she has ever owned.
I am looking forward to the Cornish Crabber Challenge, I hope you are too…
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