Saturday, August 05, 2006

HAVOC

HAVOC

‘Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war’
William Shakespeare

Deciding to have an animal is as important a decision as deciding to have a child in my book.  So I decided to wait for motherhood.  However each time I have married, a dog has been part of the package and the first one was Havoc - oh so aptly named.  My mother in law to be, bred dogs and Havoc – a Pembrokeshire corgi was a gift to her son.  When I first met Havoc in deepest Norfolk she ruled the roost over two other dogs – Annette and Brunette. Annette was a fat galumphing dachshund who galloped everywhere with her ears flapping.  Brunette was a chocolate coloured, miniature dachs – completely neurotic who would stand with her front paw raised and shiver.  Havoc hated them both.

I was spending the week before the wedding with Ma in law to be, so we could get to know one another.  She was not without a sense of humour and asked me if I would take the three dogs for a walk.  No sooner had we got out of the drive than all hell broke loose.  They whirled round me like dervishes, snarling, snapping and yapping as only small dogs can.  Havoc of course was the instigator – I knew you should separate them by pulling on their tails – but she hadn’t got one.  A passing motorist took pity and stopped and soon we were both entwined in their leads.  Then Ma in law, having heard the row (thank God she had her deaf aid in) appeared with a large pepper pot, sprinkled it liberally over the melee and it was over.

When Havoc came to live with us, she captivated me and developed the ability to speak – through me – strangely with a broad Lancashire accent.  One day my husband was away and I didn’t want to leave her alone so took her with me for three auditions – I was modelling then – and got them all – because of her, I’m sure.  Suddenly one night when I was expecting my first child she died and we were heart broken.

The photograph was taken by Lisa Sheridan – Royal photographer.  The princesses, Elizabeth {our Queen) and Margaret used to call her Minister without portfolio. She was a great character – I often worked with her and her husband and they were parents to Dinah Sheridan of Genevieve fame – the film about a car with Kenneth More. There were lots of photos of Roger Moore who started out as a model before he became famous.

Havoc is buried in a garden in Epsom.  I wonder if the flowers still bloom.

21 comments:

Life of a Banana said...

I know exactly what it's like to be entertwined with leads. Absolutely nightmare when crossing busy London streets.

PI said...

LoaB: I do hope yours are better behaved.

kenju said...

I loved reading this! He looks like quite a character. Isn't it amazing how we "give them human charistics" and make them members of the family?

PI said...

Judy: when we first started having conversations with her, the rest of the family thought we were nuts. Then they started joining in.

her indoors said...

i talk to my dog i just love dogs they give you unconditional love hope you have got another dog to care for

PI said...

Welcome HI: I just have my husband to pet now - and the rest of the family when they are around.

Z said...

Hang on, hang on, haven't you left a chapter out here?
Such as, whom did you marry, when, where, how, what happened with Andrew, what happened to Jamie?
Rascal!
And the airy 'Each time I have married" Hmm.

PI said...

Z: oh 'eck! Let me try and get it straight - in my head! The story of my life and times I write in sequence - now 1949. Every now and then I get the urge to write a
post - normally in the present. This time - writing about Havoc-
was a period in the early fifties.
Tomorrow I'm back on track cotinuing the story. Does this make sense?
So next is what happened about Andrew then Jamie. It will all become clear I promise.

Life of a Banana said...

Pat, dogsitting for me will be good for you. It's like having dogs without the responsibilities.

PI said...

LoaB: totally agree love, but we are so far apart. Deep sigh!

collegegirl said...

I miss my dogs so much!! I have found it damn near impossible to find student housing that lets you have any kind of pets (lizard or otherwise).

her indoors said...

thanks for dropping by. yes it was coles in sheffield and it is still here!

PI said...

Cgirl: it must br hard on both of you but great in the vacation.

Hi: great that it's still there after 50 years.

Z said...

Honey, I'm sure you know I was teasing - talk to us about whatever pops into your mind. Sometimes, one needs a break from writing about a memory of a difficult time and simply to tell an entertaining story.

PI said...

Hi is meant to be Her Indoors. doesn't really work does it?

PI said...

Z: great - that's a comfort but I am always open to helpful suggestions from writers I admire.

FOUR DINNERS said...

They bloom in your mind. All yer need.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Ma-in-law sounds a bit formidable.

PI said...

4d: that's true.

Sam: she was - totally pre-war. Was I crust or crumb she asked her son. In the end I came to love her.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hehehe, I like Havoc. She was baaad :-D

PI said...

GG : but lovable with it!