The first dog I ever remember was a Labrador/Boxer cross who lived with us until I was nine years old. She had two puppies and the father visited to see how they were the day they were born.
The fastest dog I ever knew was Bella a terrier cross who outran a Whippet in our local park. I used to throw sticks for her and run the the opposite direction. I never got away. She was with us until I was fourteen and illness and the sadness of my mother’s life lost her to us.
We had a long period of time without any dogs but when we came back to live in the countryside we started by buying a collie who was over bred and was put down when he was three. The second collie we bought from a farmer and he was the cleverest animal I have ever know. I used to hide behind trees expecting him to seek me out but after doing this a few times I noticed he did not come to find me. When I peered to the side of the tree he was looking at me from three trees away… from behind the one he was hiding behind!
We rescued a little girl Welsh Collie who lived with us for five years and was as gentle as a lamb. Momo who is downstairs as I write has hurt her foot, she is some kind of terrier abandoned on our hill eight years ago. And our newest family member Queenie who is mum’s gift to herself, a rough collie to remind her of Scottie who used to greet her off the school bus when she was a child in the fishing village of Porthtowan in Cornwall.
Personally, living without dogs would feel unnatural to me now and walking in the fields strangely lonely.