I grew up with a dog. No, not JUST a dog…

She was part of the family, always there, she went everywhere with us for the most part. She was a bit daft, as golden retrievers are prone to be, but she didn’t have a nasty bone in her body. She loved giving people presents (including the oft recalled ‘tortoise incident’). I miss my dog. I miss taking her out for walks. Brushing her, playing in the back garden, taking her to the park. I miss Sintra.

The nearest park to us was Levengrove (Dumbarton Common was the nearest piece of ground but was surrounded by roads) and every weekend, and some week nights, we’d pile into the car and drive over. The park sits at the junction of the River Leven (which runs down from Loch Lomond) and the River Clyde.

The minute the boot opened, Sintra would leap out and head straight for the water. There was no stopping her, so we’d just let her run off and trail after her, maybe kicking a football, or throwing a frisbee (or an aerobee – remember them?). When we caught up with her she’d be waiting in the water. Now those of you who had a dog may well remember this kind of thing. The expectancy. The patience. That dog would stand in freezing cold water for as long as it took to make you throw something. Silly dog.

So you’d pick up a pebble and chuck it and Sintra would leap into life, dashing for where she thought it would land (thinking back it was a bit dangerous chucking stones near to a dog… we weren’t throwing AT her!). Then she’d do that thing dogs do when something lands in water. They’d try and .. well.. bite the splash. Obviously doggy brains can’t quite handle the fact that, despite the fact they are standing IN the water, items landing on it will not stay on TOP of it. She’d stand there, staring at the spot where the pebble had splashed, utterly bemused that it had vanished.

You could repeat this for several hours, or until your arm dropped off. Silly dog.

Louise grew up with several dogs, all retrievers too, but we only ever had one. Anymore would’ve felt… I dunno… disrespectful or something.

Anyhoo, thanks to weedavid.com for the memories. His pictures of Levingrove Park (and Dumbarton Castle – a volcanic plug don’t ya know) have left me with a nice ‘homely’ glow.