A genealogy and history blog.
Dogs from my Family History
Dogs from my Family History

Dogs from my Family History

As it’s International Dog Day, I wanted to take the time to remember and acknowledge some of the dogs that have been an important part of my family history. The memory of our ancestors’ pets is often lost to time as their records are not acknowledged in the same way our records are. All that’s left of your ancestor’s beloved pet might be a photo, or a tag from their collar. (Please name your pets in your photos, your descendants will appreciate it!) I don’t know the names of the dogs in the photos with my ancestors, but I wanted to share their pictures because it makes me happy to know that they loved their dogs as much as we love ours.

Large family photo – LtR: Sarah Large, unknown girl, Hannah Elizabeth Wright holding a black Terrier, unknown boy with his hands on the back of an Irish Wolfhound, Lizzie Large, and Josiah Large.
Joseph Stanley “Stan” Large and Irene “Renie” Griffin with a black terrier on her lap – possibly the same black terrier her mother in law, Hannah Elizabeth, was holding in the previous photo. Taken outside South Lodge in Longford, Derbyshire.
Josiah Large and Hannah Elizabeth Wright (Large) outside South Lodge in Longford. Hannah Elizabeth has a terrier on her lap.
LtR: An unknown older woman with her hand on a border collie, Hannah Elizabeth Wright, Lizzie Large, and Josiah Large.
Hannah Elizabeth Wright (Large) in her older years with what looks like a Skye Terrier on her lap.
A list of important dates on my Haire line. Third down is listed “Mr Tobie, best of dogs, died April 6th 1936 at 1.30pm.”

Dogs have also been important on my Mum’s side too, although we haven’t got many photos to show that. She grew up with large dogs like German Shepherds – her Dad once bought a pup home and told her Mum it was a Labrador… it was a Great Dane.

It was in 2012, after many many years of pleading with my Dad, that we finally got a dog in our household, a Labradoodle named Dougie. As you can imagine, my Dad who was most averse to having a dog is now Dougie’s best friend. We eventually got a second dog, Gus, on 1st January 2020. He’s affectionately named Goblin or Gremlin.

Dougie, a large blonde labradoodle, and Gus, a small black and tan jack russell, cuddled together on the sofa.

Before we got Gus, in September 2019, we adopted a Romanian rescue that my brother named Cleo – because she was a queen. She turned out to be very poorly, and despite our best efforts she sadly died almost a month after we rescued her, on 15th October 2019. Her death still hurts almost two years on because I truly thought we could get her better. Being a Rommie, she was a mix of many breeds, and I was looking forward to see how big she’d grow because she had such long legs.

Earlier in 2019, I’d been gifted a ‘Name a Star’ by a friend and I’d had no idea what to call it, so I waited in hope that I’d find inspiration at a later date. I decided to name the star “Cleo of Mercia” after our Cleo; Mercia being the Anglo-Saxon name of the region where we’re from. (Not that I’m particularly an Anglo-Saxon fanatic, it just sounded a bit more unique and I thought my brother would like it.)

Cleo, a black and white Romanian rescue with brown patches on her cheeks and feet.
The ‘Stardeed’ certificate of the star I named after Cleo.

There are so many other dogs that have been a huge part of my own story. Perhaps I’ll find photos and share them next International Dog Day. It’s been great to see all the dogs you’re celebrating on Twitter and Instagram. Please give them a big cuddle if they’re still with you, and try to spend a little longer throwing that ball, or tugging that rope, because you’re the centre of their world for the time they’re with us, and when they’re gone that time never feels like it was long enough.

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