Monday, 9 March 2009

The love of a good dog

When you do something for TV you usually get a car to pick you up and take you back. And those drivers do this job for lots of other programmes and over the years I've found them a marvellous source of gossip! (One day you must remind me to tell you about Richard Madeley and the time he refused to wear his jacket for a whole week on This Morning...).
When the Sky car picked me up, Jay my driver was most charming and talkative. He'd been a driver for the Jonathan Ross show, Dancing on Ice you name it. My ear for gossip prepared to be tuned, when he threw me off the scent by asking me why I was on the show.
As often happens, he started to tell me about his dogs. And very quickly we got on to his first dog.
Jay had grown up in Southwark, which at the time was having riots and the streets were very hostile. There had been terrible clashes between the Asian youths and the Nazi supporters and his large family felt nervous.
When Jay, aged 18, brought home a tiny German Shepherd pup his father was furious. He had no experience of dogs and had a very low tolerance of pets generally. Years before when they had lived in Singapore he had simply left a window open to liberate the family's parrot when it got too annoying.
Jay had to promise to do everything, but still he joked to me he was half terrified he'd come home and find his dad had picked some spinach out of the garden and eaten the dog!
A few weeks later Jay was called away on business and he made his brothers promise to look after the dog and not let her become a burden to his dad.
Jay was away even longer than he'd expected as the ferries went on strike and he couldn't get back home. He was dreading finding his beautiful GSD gone.
He did lose her, but not in a bad way.
When Jay came home the dog had become very definitely his father's dog. She wouldn't leave his side and the feeling was mutual.
Jay's father was a traditional Sikh and every morning he would oil his waist length hair before putting it into a turban.
Every day he would also oil his dog's coat. According to Jay, that dog shone!
Each morning they would also share the traditional breakfast of pancakes.
The love the two shared was huge and the day that dog had to be put to sleep (she was 14) Jay saw his father totally overcome with grief.
The dog received a full Sikh funeral.
What a wonderful story of man's love for a dog.
The whole family loves dogs now - Jay would not be without a dog, either. He has two.
What a fascinating story and much more interesting than celebrity gossip. Has anyone else heard of a dog having a Sikh funeral?

1 comment:

Julie Hill said...

What a lovely story!

Now - about the Richard Madeley thing.....