Monday, August 31, 2015


I am crazy nuts about Puppies!  All of them, but especially Sheltie pups, just melt me.  I love their quick little pink tongues, the bright shining, shoe button eyes, the little pink bubble-gum toes, the pudgy teddy bear fluff bodies and the T-tiny shark teeth.  But most of all, I love Puppy Breath, an ephemeral pleasure that vanishes all too soon.  
They are amazing little critters - so fast, and they seem to have at least a dozen paws that they keep getting tangled so that they fall in a heap.  Then they are up and running again, so much to see, so much to do!

I love the the great joy they have - everyone is a friend, and everything is to be investigated.  Their world is enormous and everything is new.  Watching them learn is a joy all it's own.

 It's fun watching them figure things out and find ways of getting what they want.  Some are bold and brave, some are quiet or reserved, and some just want to be cuddled, but all demand that you fall in love with them.
I've heard people say that after their one beloved dog goes to Rainbow Bridge, that they will never get another dog.  It would be disloyal to the dog they no longer have.   Part of me understands the feeling, but personally, I have to disagree.  Think of the Shelter dogs that  end up being put down because there is no one who will take them, or the registered breeds that more often than you'd like to believe, end up in a less than decent home where they will not be properly loved and cared for.   These are dogs who could have had a great life if the person who is heart-sore over their lost dog (or cat) could find a way to honour their departed loved one by opening their heart and home to another dog.     It is my belief that the heart is expandable, there is always room for one more to love and care for.  If I had not believed this, I   would have missed out on the wonderful dogs we have had through the years.     I  would have missed having our Once-In-A-Lifetime dog, Skye!    I shudder to think of it!    Granted, it takes an emotional toll to own and love a dog, and way down the road, we pay for all the love, fun, and companionship.  As author Albert Payson Tehune said, 'All dogs die too soon'.   But for we who love them, the price in pain is soothed by welcoming another little pup with their funny, bouncy, pretzel-dog ways, into our hearts and homes.  We never forget the loved ones who wait for us on the other side of Rainbow Bridge, we just increase the crowd waiting  to lead us Home.

Til next time,
Heather                            The Dog Art Gallery on ETSY

All photos and artwork are copyright Heather Anderson.

Monday, August 17, 2015


I called him Bob, although his registered name was SUMMIT'S LITTLE WIZARD, and when I first picked him up, we looked at each other, and it was mutual love at first sight.  He came from the famous Summit Sheltie Kennel owned by Ruth Lane in  Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  But how did I get from Collies to Shelties?
It was time for me to leave home, and I couldn't take a huge Collie into an apartment, neither did I have the heart to separate my dog from my Father.  So with much sadness, I left Gareth safely at home, with his green lawn, his spacious house, and the person he loved most in the world - my Father.  But I couldn't imagine life without a dog anymore, so I went looking for a small dog who could live in an apartment.  A dear friend said it was clear that I needed a Sheltie, and she gave me the name of a Kennel to contact, and off I went.
I would visit home often, with Bob in tow, and Gareth appointed himself the puppy's guardian.  For Bob, it was a case of serious hero worship.

I was still in the early stages of learning about everything, and was busy making my first 3,000 mistake on the road to understanding, and I made a few with Bob.  He taught me to never take my eyes off a pup on the loose.  One day, I was upstairs at home, and Bob, unseen by me, was getting closer and closer to the edge of the second floor stairwell.  But Gareth saw and acted, snatching the silly puppy back from a disastrous fall, and teaching me to look after my pup better.

When Gareth passed on, Bob took over as guardian, all 14 inches of him.  He guarded me from people he didn't like, and to my horror, from large dogs whom he didn't approve of, as a German Shepherd discovered when a tiny sheltie latched onto his cheek because Bob felt he was too close.   What a good tempered Shepherd.  His only reaction was surprise, while I grovelled in apology to the  owner.  I also made sure that this sort of thing never happened again!
Bob was my loyal and brave companion through good times and some very bad ones, including a ruptured disc in his spine that left him slightly lame.    He was always ready to cuddle  and make me smile by curling his lips back in a silly smile that he saved for me alone.  Our living space was quite confined at times (small living space, all exercise on leash) due to life's curves, but he stayed cheerful and helped me do the same.
The little guy enthusiastically joined the cast of a local production of 'MAME', playing the Fox, and he rode out on stage on Mame's shoulder, (yes, I trusted her completely) with Mame herself on the shoulders of a couple of dancers.  He grinned happily as the full orchestra blared forth, just a few yards in front of him, and he graciously greeted 'his public' back stage where he handed out pawtographes.   He had the time of his life.
One of the happiest days in my life came when I brought him into our own hard earned  home and turned him loose to run in a big, fully fenced back garden where he happily put the run on racoons and skunks.  Our Brave little Sheltie, Bobbie Lion Heart, had years to enjoy his kingdom, and he left such an impression on our hearts, that he made it impossible for us to be without a Sheltie or two . . . or three, or  . . .

Til next time,
The Dog Gallery on Etsy

Monday, August 10, 2015


When I was a young girl, I discovered the marvelous dog stories of Albert Payson Terhune.  I was enscorcelled!  In my imagination, I lived at Sunnybank and had a flock of beautiful Collies around me.  I made a life decision that someday, I would live in the country, work from home, and have multiple dogs, a cat or two, and a horse, just like it was at Sunnybank.  And of course I wanted Collies.  I begged, pleaded, and generally drove my parents crazy until I got my first, and to me, totally wonderful, Collie.   His name was Liberty Bell Black Gareth, and he was a very large and handsome Tricolour.  I was at the time, also deeply involved with reading about King Arthur and his Knights, and Sir Gareth was my favourite of them all.  So my dog had to have his name.

Gareth was patient, kind, and loved to have a job to do.  Every night, he would escort my Grandmother up the stairs to bed ( and she patiently allowed him to do so).  Then he would go about his "Butler Duties" as we called it.  He would very deliberately go around the house closing doors, the fireplace metal screen, and shoving in any drawers that might have carelessly been left partly open.  He took it upon himself to protect me during our walks, and not a single young man from the high school football team was allowed to speak to me as they passed us on their way to practice.  That did not particularly please me, but by that time I'd learned it was futile to argue with a Collie who had made up his mind.  He had a brief show career where he won a couple of minor ribbons, but I had so much fun that it didn't matter.  Gareth on the other hand, hated going into the ring, and the instant his paws hit the ring, he would pop up his carefully coaxed down ear, drop his head, slouch, and drag himself around the ring with a mournful look on his face, for the most part ignoring my hissed pleas to 'Straighten up for Heaven sakes!'  As I said, it was a very brief career.
Perhaps his strangest quirk was his love of Scotch.  I know, dogs should absolutely NOT have alcohol.  But this sweet Collie, who was kind, patient, and loving with all of us, and supposedly my very own dog, decided that he was really my Father's dog.  Every evening, the people who walked by our house and who often glanced in our big front window, were treated to the sight of a huge black Collie sitting in a chair beside the fireplace, apparently reading the newspaper and with a glass of Scotch by his side.  Gareth was so big that no one ever saw my father underneath and behind him, attempting to read his paper around Gareth and enjoy a pre dinner drink, but loving the dog too much to ask him to move.  And always, just before he got down, Gareth would lean over and take a little lap of the Scotch.  We came to understand "Eccentric" was his middle name. :D

We were so lucky to have him in our lives, and it never would have happened if not for Albert Payson Terhune.  And yes, I did eventually come to live in the country, on a little piece of land at the edge of a small village, where I work from home and have my flock of dogs, Shelties now, with the occasional rescue Collie, our cats, and until a few years ago, our lovely old Morgan.  Dreams do come true, especially Dog Dreams.

Til next time,
Cheers,    Heather 
*all photos and drawings are copyright of Heather Anderson.