Jack Holloway
Passionate Gardener
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SEQUOIA FARM Haenertsburg South Africa

Introducing Barbara

7 Apr '07 8:25 am
As I might have mentioned before my holiday, Phineas Magwale, our foreman, has a new dog. He used to own a wonderful little Canus africanus * called Legho, meaning lion. She used to come up every night to my parents for her bowl of milk, and towards the end of her life, arthritic and senile, she would forget and come up a second time. We all mourned her passing two years ago. Now Phineas has a new dog, a young *, rather unC. africanus and, my guess - stolen. But rather sold to him who loves and cares for his dog than someone who will believe one beats a dog into looking after you – and believe me, Liza, the Greeks can be kind in comparison!

Before I left she did not yet have a name. Now he tells me her name is Barbara. I am intrigued, as blacks simply don’t give their dogs the names of white women! But Taubie was tentatively Barbra (after Barbra Streisand) as a pup and perhaps consciously or un he remembers and there is a connection.

Whilst we were away the staff looked after the dogs and it is typical of relations on the farm that the welcome home was no more ecstatic than when my folks have looked after my dogs for a fortnight. However in the process the bond between Barbara and my dogs has grown. Today she went walking with us, and I took the photos of her! In fact right now all my dogs are with my cousin and family at the guest cottage, but Barbara is lying curled up fast asleep in Monty’s basket. And during the walk, my dogs decided teenagers were more interesting and absconded, but Barbara stayed by my side. Do you wonder why I’m rather taken by her?

I really don’t know what her bloodline is. She is slight enough to be C. africanus, but her overall look is rather Setter even though she is much smaller. Perhaps there is Spaniel somewhere. My friend Bridget, a Border Collie fanatic if ever there was one, who came visiting the dogs whilst I was away, is adamant – she’s the first miniature Border Collie and a winner! (And the alpha female… to hell with males!)

We had a little game of hide and seek on the walk. Actually I whistled for the dogs who had gone to join the children, and they all came storming past where I was photographing autumn foliage next to the dam. But she found me and came sitting mouse-quiet with me. That is why she looks so smug on the first photo. On the last photo she is stalking some rather large, fierce ibises known as Hadedas for their raucous call. She was quite pleased when they flew away noisily before she reached them – those beaks don’t keep South Africa snail-free for nothing!
Barbara.JPG
Don't ever call me, she says, a BROWN DOG!.JPG
Stalking Hadedas.JPG

moosey
head gardener
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7 Apr '07 11:58 am
Welcome to Barbara! Blimey, named after Barbara Streisland, that's rather nice! I expect Jack to dust off the Barbra Streisland songbook, find his best bass-baritone voice and do some dog-walking-with-singing!

On a cleeeeeeeeeeeear day
You can seeeeee for evvvvvvver...

Ah! South Africa will be on its knees - well, certain folks in certain parts will be!
Cheers, Jack, good to hear from you again, as always.
Head Gardener
mooseyscountrygarden.com
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Jack Holloway
Passionate Gardener
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SEQUOIA FARM Haenertsburg South Africa

On bended knees

7 Apr '07 5:55 pm
Problem is, Moosey, that when I start singing everyone will be on bended knees begging for mercy. Oh, to love music and not be able to make it - especially when my harshest critic is right there in the shower!

Liza
gardening consultant
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Waterloo, Belgium

Welcome Jack AND Barbara!!

9 Apr '07 8:16 am
Isn't it lovely and touching news about Barbara (Streisant)??? My beloved Tina cat was actually called ...Tina Turner, you know....Those inspiring , enchanting female singers!....
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
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Alabama, USA

Barbara

10 Apr '07 2:53 am
What a sweetheart Jack. Thanks for sharing her with us. As for naming pets after singers, my dog Willie is named for Willie Nelson and his cat companion is Emmie after Emmie Lou Harris. Can you tell we are a little nuts for country, folk and Americana music?

Actually, the naming of these animals was influenced by my daughter Cathy. My husband and I had just seen Willie Nelson in a concert on Friday evening. When I spoke by phone with Cathy on Saturday, she commented that she would love to see Willie Nelson. I replied that maybe she would have that chance someday as he might appear somewhere near Seattle. Cathy died on Sunday. We chose a Willie Nelson song to be played at her funeral, "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground". When we got our new puppy and kitten several days later, Willie was still on our minds. Emmie, just seemed an appropriate name because the two singers have often appeared together.

Sorry to have gotten so sappy on you, but we people do tend to humanize our animal companions so it seems appropriate that we would sometimes name them after humans that we admire.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Dixie
garden enthusiast
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Waikato-New Zealand

Willie

10 Apr '07 7:32 am
That story is so very touching ,Faith .It is true that certain music has a deeper meaning for us whenever we hear it .We have very strong American country music clubs in NZ too . I particularly like the music of Mary-John Wilkin -she wrote 'One day at a Time 'and 'Why me Lord ' .
Dixie

Jack Holloway
Passionate Gardener
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SEQUOIA FARM Haenertsburg South Africa

Is this what is meant by top dog?

11 Apr '07 2:51 pm
What a wonderful way to remember Cathy, Faith! And personal too - thanks for sharing with us.

I thought of you and all mothers who lose children unexpectedly on my return from holiday. Two brothers, ex pupils, had motorcar accidents a week apart over the holiday. The younger nearly lost both legs, but they have been miraculously saved - it will be a year before he walks again though. The elder, John, was killed on impact a week later. John was awarded the highest service award a pupil can receive in his final year, only the second to receive it. It was for service to the theatre at school. We will be unvailing a plaque in his honour at the lighting box. I have not yet been to see his mom. Now I will take this news (decided at the first staff meeting of the new term) with me and we will have a good cry together. Usually I deal with death very calmly, but I dissolve in a puddle when the young and the good die.

But this is a dog post! Last night at nine I discovered Miss Barbara was curled up on Taubie's sheet-covered sofa. So I coaxed her outside to pursuade her to go home. (Phineas and the rest of the staff went home for Easter and she moved in with me.) Well, I sat on the stair at the front door and in no time at all Monty was on my lap, she was lying ON TOP of him, with her head pressed in under my neck and making happy noises and Doubly had his head on my thigh. Monty, poor down-trodden boy, was doing his best not to notice Doubly or the indignity of his position. I wished someone had suddenly pressed a shutter! Then when I sent Barbara on her merry way, she trotted off quite happily. She is an amazingly intelligent, loving and self-assured dog!

At this point Taubie arrived from the outside kennel, to which she must have withdrawn on finding HER sofa occupied. She is a remarkably accommodating dog. So she got an extra big dose of Special Love, which she knows is her due and her right.

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
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Alabama, USA

12 Apr '07 5:04 am
Oh Jack, I was sorry to hear about your students. Don't worry about crying when you visit the mother. She will appreciate having someone cry with her.

Now on to happier subjects. I do so wish I could have been there to snap the shutter for you. What a hoot! Dogs are such dear animals when they want a cuddle.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

Animals and humans...

13 Apr '07 9:19 am
Any comment from me would be redudant....I just need to express my tenderness and love to Jack and Faith for their dialogue, which warmed my heart...I was deeply moved...Death is not the end, and even more so, it creates deep bonds of Love between humans...This is absurd...

Concerning the tenderness of Jack's description , when all his doggies were so close and ...all over him, I felt again an immense tenderness ...all over me...Like I was watching the scene closely...
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

Hello to Liza

14 Apr '07 12:36 pm
Just a quick hello to sweet Liza.

Also, Dixie, I forgot to respond to your post. I have not heard of Mary-John Wilkin, but I have certainly heard of the two songs you mentioned. "Why Me Lord" and "One Day at a Time" are two favorites. I thought Chris Christopherson wrote "Why Me Lord", but maybe they are actually two different songs with the same title. "Why Me Lord, what have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I've known". Is that the same song?

Okay Jack, now we can go back to doggie discussions.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

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