Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Quite a lot of moons ago when I was about nine years old, my mother came home with a scrap of a pup who'd been orphaned as the girls who'd been looking after her weren't allowed to have animals in their flat. We already had one dog, Chips, and so my parents both agreed that we'd only look after the pup until a new home was found for her. Fifteen years later we still hadn't found a home for her, as I for one couldn't bear to give her up, and also Chips looked upon her as a pup of his own and taught her how to behave properly in and out of the house, bless 'im.
She was a Borderline Collie, we named her Sheba and within months her own personality began to shine through.
To say she was mad as a brush on occasion was an understatement, but she always kept everyone entertained with her antics.
One of her favourite games was to play on the slide at the local playground, and it wasn't one of those tiny little plastic slides you get nowadays in the Nanny State known as England, but one of those slides that towered into the heavens and gave you a nosebleed when you reached the top of the wrought iron steps. Many children were too afraid to climb the slide, but not Sheba the wonderdog, oh no. She'd scamper up the steps and launch herself down the slide with gusto, often to the surprise of children who were brave enough to wait in line to hurtle down the death chute.
Sheba also liked to climb things, once much to the surprise of a chap who was fixing the chimney when he turned round to find Sheba sitting beside him on the roof. We had to attach a chair to ladders after that else she'd be up them quick as a flash, but unable to get back down on her own.
There were also the times such as when we took her on a boating holiday, when she endeavoured to take home a branch, and caused a fight, and regular readers may remember the tale of Socks and Violence.
This is another tale of Shebie's obsession with Socks.
One fine summer's day, I was in the park with a friend, Sheba, Chips, and my friend's dog. We were about eleven at the time (Us humans, not the dogs) and had spent a wonderful time playing along the banks of the river.
We were wending our way home when we heard some very strange sounds coming from a copse up ahead, and after listening for a short while we wondered if someone was in trouble as to our young, innocent ears, it sounded as if a man was having trouble breathing.
We stood there whilst trying to work out what to do and unknown to us, Shebie had gone ahead to investigate.
Next thing we heard was a startled cry of "Oi, gerrof!" followed by a bark from Sheba.
Next thing we saw was a man trying to run out of the copse with his shorts and pants around his ankles after Sheba who was proudly carrying a trophy sock in her mouth.
A few seconds later, a woman also came out of the copse, looking rather nervous and hastily adjusting her attire.
We weren't stupid.
We realized what had been going on and we did the only thing we could think of in the circumstances which was to hoof it away, as fast as our legs could carry us, with the dogs following us, Shebie still carrying her new found treasure, and the angry shouts of the man interrupted still ringing in our ears.
We went to a different part of the park to play in after that.
Shebie on the slide.