My Wee Doggy – Watercolour in a Watercolour Moleskine
This is my childhood friend, an Alsation (known these days as a German Shepherd), given to me by my parents in 1958. I called him Bruce, after Scotland’s famous King Robert.
I have a theory that, if you concentrate on things long gone; say by writing an autobiography, you will first recall a single memory which will quickly lead to many others. As I painted this I remembered many things about Bruce. My father sneaked him indoors in an old shoe box and hid him upstairs. I was then told to go to that room to fetch something. I found the scrap of a pup, six weeks old at the time and was heard to say, “Hello my wee doggy”. As Bruce grew we became inseparable. He used to wait at the school gates for me to accompany me home. He was extremely fierce looking but, in reality, was the gentlest of creatures. The school bullies did not know that. They avoided me like the plague. He became a very large, affectionate beast, his favourite trick being to lick your face while standing on his back legs with his front paws on your shoulders. Like all dogs he craved exercise and I particularly remember long walks with him and my new fangled transistor radio. He would run all over the place while I would listen to the latest pop tunes – anyone remember Alan Freeman’s “Pick of the Pops” on Sunday afternoons? Bruce developed a cancerous growth in his fifth year and we had to say goodbye. After all these years I still miss him but remember his presence fondly.