Ben is a Rhodesian Ridgeback acquired from a breeder in New York after his showing days were over -- after he became a grand champion. He will be seven this coming November but is still in very good shape. Years ago, when Susan became too sick to work, and would be staying home alone while I was at work, I insisted that she have a protective dog. She knew nothing about dog breeds and so we "negotiated" for a while. I thought a medium sized dog like an Irish Terrier would be a reasonable choice, but she said a dog wasn't really a dog unless it was big. I bought some books on the dog breeds and she liked the look of three, the German Shepherd, the Rottweiler and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Then I took her to a dog show where she saw Rottweiler's lunge at passers by and decided against them. I argued against the German Shepherds because of serious genetic problems in the breed. The Rhodesians were just then being shown and she fell in love with the breed. We got our first Rhodesian in 1986 and have had them ever since. In her last days she wanted me to bring him into her room so she could pet him. The breeder had told me that he was good-natured enough to be a therapy dog and so it proved.
The little black dog is half miniature schnauzer and half miniature poodle, called by those who breed this combination, a Schnoodle. When Susan was too feeble to handle a Rhodesian she decided she wanted a small dog she could carry to church in her purse. I talked her into this particular breed which was small but not so small that I couldn't take him hiking after she could no longer care for him. She did carry him in her purse when he was a puppy. He was seven this past May.
The dog you see following Ben is an Irish Terrier, Jessica. After trying to talk Susan into one for so many years, I decided to get one after she was gone.
In a Rhodesian Ridgeback discussion group it was pointed out to me that I bore a resemblance in my old age to the Reverend Helm who had the dogs that formed the breeding stock for what eventually became the Rhodesian Ridgeback. I have no ancestors who lived in South Africa as far as I know, but it is possible that my ancestors were related to Reverend Helm's ancestors.
I was very interested in the Boerboel when it was developed, but actually getting one wouldn't have been practical.
Thanks for your comments,
On 10/1/2017 5:36 AM, adriano paolo shaul gershom palma wrote:
thnx on a different matter, is that a ridgeback or a boerbond?
On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:28 PM, Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
Thanks to Palma's gentle hint, I revised the last stanza. I
probably should have spent more time working on it. I could have
ended it by bringing "hiding" up into the second stanza and making
it a two stanza poem. I briefly thought of that at the time, but
that isn't the way it ends.
One of the pleasant aspects of never publishing is never having to
assemble a group of poems and discover that they all need to be
rewritten. There is a danger in that as well. The other day I
read Lowell's 3 stanza "Beyond the Alps" from his /Life Studies
/and then in an appendix of the Bidart and Wanter /Collected Poems
/read the earlier 7 stanza Magazine version. I liked the earlier
version much better. I wondered if the bipolar Lowell had written
the earlier version in his manic mode and then later for /Life
Studies /revised it in his depressed mode.
The lights dim. I seat her
At our table. I am younger
Then, smiling, full of music –
Singing softly so only she
Can hear – smiling and she
Smiles too, catching her breath
As she does. Beauty is thrown
Down and we take it up. Which
Ever way we turn the light’s
Brighten. Then comes the drum,
Cymbals, sax and trumpet. Then
Keys thunder and outside rain
Begins to fall. We step out
In night-air crisp and wet
Hiding tears she shed on a
Night I’ll never see again –
Nor smile – nor hear her
Catching her breath as all
About us thunders in my ears –
Leaving me singing songs
She’ll never hear.