The hounds of Lancaster

This is Molly, one of my favorite dogs on earth.


Molly is a hundred pounds of good-natured Golden Retriever. When she’s in the house she’s the epitome of a house dog but let her outside and she’s a beast unhinged. She’ll dig out a ground hog, fell a deer and take down a damn cow if she’s given the chance. But indoors, she’s a lapdog and all she wants is to be petted and loved. My nephew Tony insists that should he die, in lieu of a funeral all of us have to pet Molly for a half an hour. If she sits next to me when I’m scratching her head she’ll lean into me. If I stop and walk away, she’ll fall over due to the trance head scratching puts her in. Her devotion to my brother Matt is awe-inspiring. Really. Molly pretty much sums up what a dog should be.


This is Sadie, the grande dame of Lancaster dogs. Though she’s getting up in years she is the alpha. Nothing happens unless Sadie allows it to happen. She’s one of the most affectionate dogs I’ve ever known despite her domineering nature.

Back in the day when she was young and spry, Sadie used to go out in the yard and bring back a single pebble. She’d drop it at my feet. I’d then pick it up and throw it back into the yard. She’d retrieve it and drop it at my feet again. We’d go on like this for hours.


This is sweet and neurotic Lily. I’m convinced that she’s misunderstood and her crazed nature is all a misunderstanding. Poor Lily just wants to be loved, can’t everybody see that? She and Greta got into it over the summer and I’ll never forget my brother jumping between them and shouting “Asshole! Asshole!” as he dragged apart two dogs who were nearly as big as he is.

greta rose

This is Greta. Greta is the most neurotic dog I’ve ever met. Can a dog be autistic? Despite her many issues, she’s still a lovable lump of dog who makes sitting in front of a fireplace more enjoyable. That’s my brother Steve’s arm and his other half Christine’s leg in that shot. Were it not for them, Greta wouldn’t stand a chance. She used to be a normal dog but back when she was a puppy she was spooked by a neighbor’s Collie. She’s been a basket case ever since.

Greta, Lily and Sadie all sleep together every night but heaven help anybody who’s nearby when one of them touches another. Hell hath no fury as Lily and Greta when they’re getting into it. Those two need to take the chill pill Sadie takes or even better, learn to take it outside like Molly does.

I’ve been dog-less since the late ’90s and I’m looking forward to having the hounds of Lancaster to keep me company. Big dogs in the country get into all manner of trouble but so far as I’m concerned, that makes them all the more appealing. I’m dreading dealing with winter but having Molly, Sadie, Lily and Greta to curl up with will make it easier.


4 thoughts on “The hounds of Lancaster

  1. Paul, I have just recently become a “friend” of Facebook and so far, your renderings have made it all worth while. Good Luck in Lancaster!
    Love, Aunt Ginny

    • Thanks Aunt Gin! My sources tell me that you and Ellie are taking Nina and Alexine to dinner next month. Have fun, Nina’s a gas. Further, Adele told me last week that you’ll be at Elena’s wedding in February. What a time that will be! It’s going to be great to see you again. I’m trying to get Adele to calm down and not take on this whole thing as a personal project but I think that ship has sailed.

      The wedding’s on Friday afternoon and the reception will run ’til around nine or ten. The following day, Saturday, Adele’s planning to have everyone over for dinner. That’ll be dinner for about 40 people if you’re counting. My sister is one of a kind.

      Your little brother Ray will be 80 this summer and Adele, Steve the rest of us and I are trying to figure out how to commemorate it. Any suggestions would be helpful and if my Dad’s your little brother I don’t want to think about it any more. I’m sure you don’t want to either. Damn this whole march of time thing.

      Thanks for your comment and I’m looking forward to seeing you in February. Give my best to Richie, Rodney and Jeanette.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s