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In January 2014 we began to notice the cat food disappearing. The cats were not happy and sort of twitchy! We thought it may have been the possums and put it out of our mind until early one morning a little dog was spied dashing away from the house. We had lost our tall, elegant Borzoi Midas to renal failure some years before and for the life of us we couldn’t make a decision on what breed to choose if we decided to have another dog.

As cute as a puppy might be we thought about puppy training and again shelved the idea. We knew something missing from our lives but Don was busy working, I was busy writing and my health was not up to par. The horses had been cut back with only about five left and during this time we constantly debated, between ourselves, that we’d always had a dog shouldn’t we make a decision.


So someone waved a magic wand and we got a dog. But not quite as you think! As you may have gathered, we didn’t have to make a decision at all. A tiny (compared to a Borzoi) scruffy, dirty dog simply arrived. We informed the Westbrook vet who put up a notice and we visited all the neighbours asking if they had lost a little male dog. Somehow we knew he’d been dumped and wandered down our driveway. So we waited and waited. We grew fonder and fonder of this funny little dog. Suddenly I was laughing every day and the more I laughed the funnier he became. After years of indecision we didn’t have to make any decisions at all, it seemed as if the universe sent him to us or maybe Midas and Arish from wherever they were watching could have thought it would be a hoot to send us tiny dog!

But Roger (named after the dog in the Smackos ad because he’s as funny) is not just any dog, he’s intelligent and loyal, with a HUGE chip on his shoulder. He has no idea of his size. I’m sure he thinks he’s as big as the horses that he trots behind every night as I bring Shaina and Sorsha up to bed.


Roger insists on being in the same room as me, day and night, and yes I mean every room! This was a little disconcerting at first. The Borzoi’s didn’t do this. When I’m writing on my laptop  he’s curled up beside me, and if any intruders (visitors) dare to visit they are now barked at with gusto! I think he’s a bit out of control when it comes to telephone calls and he now REALLY makes himself known when visitors arrive. In short, Roger barks LOUDLY at anyone who comes to our house or telephones.

Every night he sits on the armrest of the couch his gaze fixed out into the darkness waiting for Don to come home from work. It’s the perfect vantage point. He then dashes around the house barking with excitement when the headlights shine up the drive. He races outside once the car is parked, briefly greets Don then races back inside to find the first toy he can find. You see Don’s his playmate so Roger usually has the ball in his mouth ready to play as soon as Don steps in the door.


To be fair, I should add that we also have two cats, Bobby and Ginger. Bobby is a wonderful animal—one of the nicest cat around. He has such patience with Roger who harrasses him mercilessly. Alone Bobby is friendly and affectionate. But the thing is if Bobby and Roger are inside together there’s hell to play! Ginger isn’t interested in being inside he mainly plots ways to terrorise Roger. He often jumps out of nowhere and chases Roger back to the house.

When I’m writing one of my books I try to write every day, and although the feline members of the family are not so great at helping me work. Roger on the other hand is dedicated to my work. He sleeps by my feet under the desk/table – yes he’s there now not asleep but looking out the window. I only have to mention the word “computer” and he’s off to the office looking back making sure I’m behind him. In fact he has a lengthy vocabulary. Of course he knows the word, horse, he was told over and over to be careful around the horse! And now he is. He knows car, home, stables, mummy, daddy, ball, bubble, bed, play, dinner, wee-wee, Bobby, no, come, sit, wait, okay, quick, up, lookout, feed-up(he goes straight to the horses feed room) wash and many more. Could he be a dog genius? I’m sure if he could talk and he does try he would be a terrific writing critic.


Can you see where this is going? Of course you can, anyone who loves and owns a dog knows exactly what I’m going on about. But I hadn’t lived with a small dog since I was a little girl and that’s a long-long time ago.

For better or for worse, our beloved dogs never take a day off, they are always there to make us laugh, to hug or even to drive us crazy. They’re always excited about everything—excited about all the things they see and do WITH US. And that exuberant, excitement is incredibly contagious. Even if my day is unbearably challenging I turn my head and glance at Roger and no surprise, he’s already looking back at me as if to say, ‘it’s fine, push on.’ With Roger in my life I always have a fresh perspective because it’s very hard not to smile at his happy or questioning face. He’s the best little writing mate around.

2 Responses

  1. Dale
    | Reply

    So enjoyed reading this blog Carmel. Little Roger is a character. Missing having a dog, since we lost our Soph. We will have to search for a puppy again as the girls are bigger now and would love one, just don’t know what breed to get as Faith is rather nervous around dogs.

  2. Carmel Rowley
    | Reply

    Dear Dale,
    It was a fun blog to write and Roger is such a personality. Soph was a darling wasn’t she and yes it’s hard to choose the right dog for every member of the family. I’m sure faith would get used to a puppy she could cuddle and love. I have no suggestions because I couldn’t even decide for myself. 🙂 Thanks for the response Dale always lovely to hear about you and the family. Fond regards Carmel

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