Scrumpy is the first small dog I have ever owned. I had never particularly liked small dogs, preferring instead the big labs. But then I met her mother, Scrappy, the most heavenly long-haired jack russell. (You can read all about her here) and my canine tastes changed irrevocably.
Scrumpy, Scrappy’s daughter from a 2nd litter, was ‘guaranteed’ to be long-haired since both her parents were such. As it turned out, her grandfather got to her mother before the intended father, and the promised long-haired pup grew into the dog with the finest of fine hair and a spectacularly undershot jaw.
She is, without a doubt, the most wonderful dog I have ever owned. Always by my side, whether on the central arm-rest of the car on any trip no matter how short or long, or out walking for hours (as long as it’s not raining), asleep in a basket by the radiator in my studio (or on a nice comfy chair), or curled up on my lap on the sofa.
At 4 she had a litter of 6 heavenly pups, of which we kept one – the woolly Waffle. All 6 of Scrumpy’s puppies share her habit of throwing themselves upside-down at people’s feet for some instant loving.
Now 10 and getting a little matronly, she has quite a sense of entitlement which is growing exponentially with age. Breakfast is expected to be served first thing in the morning and tea absolutely no later than on the dot of 4pm (although she is usually ramping up the big eyes for a good hour beforehand). If you are on the sofa, she expects to be cradled and have all 9 teats stroked simultaneously. Should you stop for a moment she wakens, fixes you with her beady eye and grabs your momentarily stationary hand with her paw and moves it.
I did do a little pastel sketch of her with oldest daughter about 8 years ago (see below).
But I felt it was high-time that she was immortalised in her own right. This latest painting of Scrumpy makes me.