Saturday, October 20, 2012


  May 9th 1998 - October 20th 2012

Many of you will know about my three dogs - Taz, Jack and Pip.  I have occasionally posted photographs on blogs and Facebook, and some readers will have met 'the boys' at talks I have come to give around the UK.

 Today's post is especially to remember and celebrate Taz.

He was a rescue puppy.  His mother had an irresponsible owner who had not bothered to spay her, and would let her out when on season.  She was 10 years old when she gave birth to Taz and a brother and sister.  At that point, she was taken into the care of a charity.
We were looking for a pup for my dog-mad 12 year old son and were put in touch with the charity.  My son chose Taz from the litter and at 7 weeks old, he joined our family.  My son was also a huge fan of the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character at the time, hence the name.  It was good from out point of view because it was short and strong and an excellent training name.
Taz (right) and his brother as puppies features in our local newspaper
and held by the kennel manager where they were being housed.

Taz the tiny (just visible) puppy, already being introduced to the allotment!
Taz did indeed prove very easy to train.  We didn't know his ancestry, but he obviously had a lot of collie in him.  At different times we also suspected corgie and spaniel, but who knows?  He was bright and intelligent.  By the time he was a mature dog, I could order him to stay outside a shop and he would do so, come hell or high water.  He quickly learned to stop at kerbs and wait.   We never taught him 'Sit' even though he knew 'Stay.'  As my husband said, 'How would you like to sit down on a cold wet pavement?'
Taz as a handsome young dog

As above.  About one and a half

He loved his walks and despite his short legs could go for miles and miles.  He would chase rabbits and squirrels.  A few he caught, most escaped to live another day.  He was an expert ratter, and mouser.  There was the embarrassing time he caught a pheasant on our walk, having veered off the path and onto a private game reserve.  Then trotted all the way home behind us with his contraband booty in his mouth.
He wasn't a knee sitter at home, but out and about was a different matter and he would enjoy plonking himself down in your lap while he gazed round at the world.  Wherever we were, he was always close, always attentive.
On the steam railway train to Whitby

One dog and his man
He wasn't that keen on playing fetch with a ball, but loved to catch one in his mouth and throw it back to you with a little twist of his jaw.  Among other simple pleasures he loved a good swim in the local pond, and was always game for a paddle.
Settrington Yorkshire during research for To Defy A King

A wet car in prospect!
However he HATED being give a bath (just look at the colour of that water!).

 He adored the snow and the moment any fell he would be out in it making doggy snow angels.

 One of his most favourite occupations was riding in the car.  He especially loved it at night, where he would watch the lights like a child watching the illuminations.  Even in his last days when he was too poorly to go for walks, he still liked a trip in the car and some of his old spark would return.  Taz had a weakness for soft toys and always had a favourite one that would be chewed, sucked and carried round until it fell to pieces.  We always knew when it was bed-time because Taz would trot past us, his teddy in his mouth, run up the stairs and climb into the built in wardrobe where he slept.  Never in the bed; always in the wardrobe.  He stored his marrow bones in there too.
Taz was equable about sharing his humans.  He got on with our cats when we had them.  There was the occasional spat, but it was all mouth and no trousers.  Later, when he was an elderly gent, but still with all his faculties, he weathered the arrival of two spirited Patterjack pups with aplomb.  They might have seemed as if they were running rings around him, but he was always in charge, even to his final days and always led the pack out on walks.

In later years, medication for an enlarged heart kept the problem well controlled.  A benign tumour that could have turned nasty was dealt with by an operation and he went on for another three years until the increasing problems of old age finally overtook him.  He started refusing food and his quality of life diminished to grim existence, so we took the hardest decision any pet owner has to face.
Taz was our first dog and a deeply loved, very special family member. We had the joy and privilege of knowing him for more than 14 years and there is a place in our hearts that will always be filled with his presence, and empty without it.
Farewell but not goodbye forever, our lovely Taz.
A blissful doggy moment.

A few more photos of Taz going about the business of living a full and rich doggy life.

On the train to Whitby

Waiting for instructions on his walk

Enjoying the Cleveland Way

As above

An Ear Tussle (Ludlow)

Any rabbits in here?

Trying to sleep in the cat basket

Seeking prey on the disused railway line

A summer day walk

a dip in the river

Wet dog after a dip in the river!

Alert at Castle Acre Priory

Inspecting the well at Castle Acre Castle

More well inspection

On a beach somewhere in Norfolk

Exploring castle walls last year

Photo taken this spring and still full of bounce.

Taz enjoys a roll in the sand on the riverbank


Tess said...

a lovely and loving tribute...thanks for sharing both his story and all those wonderful pics...more hugs...

Kemberlee said...

A beautiful tribute to a wonderful part of your family who's left you with many incredible memories.

Christy K Robinson said...

Taz was a lovely boy, and you had the best bits of all his ancestry come together in one package! Here's to seeing our innocent and loving fur-children again someday.

Christy K Robinson said...

Taz was a lovely boy, and you had the best bits of all his ancestry come together in one package! Here's to seeing our innocent and loving fur-children again someday.

Christy K Robinson said...

Taz was a lovely boy, and you had the best bits of all his ancestry come together in one package! Here's to seeing our innocent and loving fur-children again someday.

Christy K Robinson said...

Taz was a lovely boy, and you had the best bits of all his ancestry come together in one package! Here's to seeing our innocent and loving fur-children again someday.

Lisa Deon said...

The hardest part of loving a dog is saying goodbye. Sometimes they make it easier on us by going of their own accord, but our kindest act is releasing them from their pain.

Taz looks like a good fellow. He's running free and healthy with my beloved Border collie, Cowboy. It must be so, because if there are no dogs in Heaven, then I'll go where the dogs are.

You have my deepest sympathy.

Peggy West said...

They never really leave our hearts and I can see that Taz was someone special and very well-loved. I hope that you and your family think highly of your choice, which I see as one more step in caring for a beloved family pet.

Christina said...

What a lovely tribute! He was a very handsome dog! ((hugs))

Misfit said...

A very lovely and loving tribute, and so sorry for your loss. However, you did make the right decision, as difficult as it was to make.

cherrychnagan said...

Wonderful tribute.

cherrychnagan said...

Wonderful tribute. Always tearful and heartfelt to say goodbye to our wonderful furry babies.

Danielle said...

It looks and sounds as if Taz had a wonderful, well-lived time on earth with you.

Partings hurt so much. Here's to the memories - and to reunions.

Jules Frusher said...

Bless him - such a beautiful dog and companion. And such a wonderful tribute too - I loved seeing all his photos. As I am about to go through the same pain, I can say that I know how deep your loss is - and I'm sure we'll see our babies again... sooner or later. My love to you, Roger and your son (and Jack and Pip) xx

Marsha said...

Such a lovely tribute to a beautiful dog. Loved looking at Taz's pictures. Sending hugs and best wishes your way.

Marsha said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beautiful dog Taz. A wonderful tribute. Sending hugs and best wishes.

bren said...

Here's to seeing Taz on the other side of that rainbow! He will have plenty of company while he waits for his family to meet up with him again.

Karla said...

So sorry to hear about your loss, as my aunt used to say, dogs only hurt you once in their life, but when they do... He must have had a great life though

Vanessa said...

Taz looks as if he had a great life. A moving tribute to him. You will always have your memories.

Sonia T. said...

We humans are truly blessed when we are given the honor and gift of a dog's love, loyalty, and companionship. Taz had a wonderful life with your family and I'm sure he will be waiting for you on the other side of the veil. Thanks for sharing his story with us.

Bette Ward said...

Dear Miss Chadwick - your Taz had an amazing life - and you are so lucky to have shared it. Thank you for your beautiful posting - it made my heart happy despite knowing of your loss.
Elizabeth Ward

dolphoto said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute to Taz is lovely, but it is also tribute to you. The pictures clearly show what a wonderful, happy life you gave him and how much he appreciated it and you.

Anne said...

So sorry for the loss to you and your family.As a pet owner/lover,I understand the hurt is causes.Have had to make that decision and go through with it myself for my four-legged babies.It's tough and painful.Thank goodness we have the option to humanely end our fur babies suffering though.Loving hugs to you and yours.

Prue Batten said...

Exactly a year after losing our wonderful JRT, I had to shed a tear as I read about Taz. WHAT a perfect dog's life he had though - doing everything a dog should do and being loved and loving in return. There's definite border collie in that priceless package.

Kindest regards from Prue in Tasmania, and from her two other JRT's...

Gillian said...

Ave atque vale, Taz.

Tamara Mazzei said...

Oh, my dear, I am so sorry. Taz was the best. I am so glad I got to meet him. Long-distance hugs and my deepest sympathy. I have tears in my eyes just thinking of how much it hurts for you to lose him. xoxo

Alison King said...

Taz has been a very special dog in my life too. I feel I have been Doggy Aunty to Taz since first meeting him as a puppy. I have been privileged to share some memorable walks with Elizabeth and Taz, most memorable being the first one,when as a young dog of very short legs, to my amazement he stopped on the way back, unable to walk any further. I picked him up and carried him the rest of the way and from that moment I felt a close bond with him. He always greeted me warmly and noisily, and often broke out into doggy song, which was always a magical moment. Taz consistently had a sense of good manners and proper convention, often in excess of my human behaviour: for example, if in a spurt of high spirits I ventured to throw a stick for him, he would look at me and then at the stick as if in bafflement that I should do such a senseless and immature thing. Although I shall miss him greatly, I know that he has lived a full and joyful life within a loving family where his unique character was allowed to blossom and flourish. He has been one of the blessings of my life also. I know he has gone to a good place where he will continue to be loved and cared for and to be himself.

Joansz said...

What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful dog. Thanks so much for sharing some bits of Taz's life and the beautiful photos. I feel I got to know him a tiny bit. Having gone through this myself, I do know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet. They are part of the family. It looks like he had the best life with you. I'm sure that all your memories of Taz will be warm and loving.

Daphne said...

I'm so very sorry :(

Marg said...

What a lovely boy Taz was.

Sorry you had to say goodbye to this treasured member of your family.

Ali Mal said...

Such a sad loss but the pictures show that Taz was one happy dog.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute! Gotta love a dog who relishes a roll in the dirt - good and grubby and happy :-)