I didn't know whether to post this; this particular loss is fourteen years past. I've always loved dogs- and after we'd owned, loved and lost a little Border Terrier when I very small child (name Sam- my clearest memory is singing to the little blighter early one morning 'Away in a Manger', I think, and the blasted dog howling along with me! ) my parents finally caved in and got us (read, me) a second dog.
She was a surprise. I was reading- as usual- and my mum told me to put the book down 'cos they had something to tell us... and then they announced that we were going to drive to Carrickfergus to look at a dog! She was six months old, and a black and white (we didn't know the term 'Blue Roan' at that stage) Cocker Spaniel. I was overjoyed; I'd spent some of the summer walking a friend's black Cocker -Trixie. I remember shaking the whole drive to Carrick!
When we were shown in we saw a small mainly black girl curled on the rug. She was shy, and remained so for exactly two days. On the third morning, I came down early. My dad had let Holly in as he was studying, and when Holly saw me.... it was my first taste of a true spaniel greeting. My brother dubbed it the 'wacky races'.
Holly and I bonded closely from then on. I used to take a rather evil delight in giving my younger brother Holly's lead, running off a good 20 metres in the opposite direction, and then calling for Holly- knowing she'd come full pelt, probably dragging my unfortunate brother behind her! Luckily, he loved her too- although that didn't stop her from getting revenge on him. He'd been mock wrestling her one day, and then stopped to laugh at her. Holly- I swear this was deliberate- backed about 3-4 metres away from him, eying him carefully all the while, and ran at him. She put her all her weight behind her front paws, which landed on my bro's shoulders. He was kneeling down and was small for his age so- kersplat. I nearly had hysterics laughing.
After about a year, we decided to move to Australia for a time. Originally, the idea was to take Holly with us, but my parents decided against it because of the expense. We cried and cried. We decided to leave her with my uncle and aunt. As it happened, the postulated 3-5 year stay in Oz turned to 18 months and we were home again. In the meantime, my uncle and family had moved to Co.Fermanagh.
A few weeks after we got home, we went to see them. I remember the car going into the driveway and Holly barking like crazy- and she stopped as soon as I got out of the car and went crazy to get close to me instead. She had always been, first and foremost, my dog. For the rest of our visit, she refused to leave my side.
The following weekend my uncle phone to say Holly had been killed on the road. I don't need to tell anyone here how devastated I was. I never forgot her; eleven years later when I got my next dog, my beloved Cav girl, I named her 'Holly' in memory of my first Holly-dog. My parents still use that phrase 'Holly-dog' both to my present Holly and for a number of other things. I never do. 'Holly-dog' was my pet name for my first Holly, and to me, it's sacred to her. Holly II has plenty of pet names of her own!
So, finally, I'll dedicate this post to the memory of my darling and only Holly-dog, and also to Sam, the little Border Terrier I remember so faintly. He, too, was killed on the road.
And my parents call me paranoid!
I'll post a pic of Holly I when I get it on the pc!