The Story of Sheila

Sheila was born on the 7th May 2006, the smallest of a litter of eight. There are a few fuzzy photos of Sheila as a puppy, but it wasn't until she was three that I started taking an interest in photography.

Sheila loved rides in the Land Rover (a location we'll be seeing more of later). When Dad was out of his seat she would keep it warm for him until he came back.

When Sheila was around nine months old Kim, her sister, came to live with us. Being sisters and having very similar personalities, they didn't get on particularly well. Kim stayed with us for a number of years, but Sheila was a much happier dog when she was moved on.

Sheila also loved tractor rides.

She wasn't what one would call gentle with lambs, so I have to admire this one's bravery!

She did a little bit of work in the pens, but often did just what she wanted. She would have been an amazing sheepdog, I'm sure, with some proper training that I was unable to give her.

I was looking at this very photograph just last week and commenting on the fact that Sheila was the only surviving dog in it. Now, sadly, that is no longer true. (This is Sheila, a young Ben and an old Fly, for those who don't know.)

Sheila loved football. Ben didn't understand that this was Sheila's football.

Posing on walls became a special skill.

A family expansion.

Posing in front of walls? Now that's new!

A football was sure to get Sheila's attention.

Another family expansion.

Sheila checked the sheep on the quad almost every day of her life and it was always a highlight for her.

With Ben.

While she always preferred a Land Rover or a quad over the tractor, she still didn't say no to a trip!

Another family expansion.

When working in the pens Sheila was jump these walls and walk along the tops with ease.

A pose for all seasons.

Yet another family expansion.

More quad adventures. It's behind you!

Teddy kisses.

Such a gorgeous girl.

An autumnal portrait.

Sheila didn't believe me when I insisted that this pumpkin was a prop for a photo shoot and not a ball.

Sheila being minimalist.

I make a calendar every year for family and friends and this is the image for April this year. I took this on my birthday last year with a new lens that I'd just gotten.

A favourite from Sheila's birthday photo shoot last year.

Another ride in the Land Rover, and this time I'm the driver and it's my first time driving it on the road.

A flare over Sheila as she plays in the stream.

My favourite from her birthday photo shoot last week.

Your first dog teaches you a lot, and so I want to thank you, Sheila, for teaching me so much about being a dog owner. Thank you, love you lots.




Honey & Blossom

Yesterday evening I visited Clydesdale foal Honey and her mum Colleen.

It wasn't long before the pair of them were performing for the camera!

A moment of calm by the house.

Colleen is such an attentive mummy. It is very sweet to watch.

Oh - Honey's off again!

Brakes, Honey - don't bump into mummy!

Another moment of calm.

The last time I saw Honey she was only a couple of days old. She has grown so much in the five weeks since!

Off again!

A moment of calm, please, to admire this fuzz.

They sure don't stay still for long!

One side of the field was lined with beautiful cherry blossom trees.

Mummy can move too!

They stood for a while next to the gate.

Colleen rocking the windswept supermodel look.

Honey was very kind and came over to give me a kiss on the nose.

Hello, there!

Colleen likes to check up on Honey from time to time.

All is well - time for a trot.

(A moment to pose.)

Go, Colleen, go!

This seemed to be their favourite place to stand.

No one could resist this adorable face.

Sniff test...

...tail swish!

Colleen silhouetted against the setting sun... an instantly recognisable profile.

After all of that running around Honey was content to stand next to mum.

Her eyes were getting a little droopy.

She tried to copy her mother and rest a leg but it wasn't quite right.

True to form for Honey I had to wait a good fifteen minutes as she shuffled from tired hoof to tired hoof before she finally lay down.

So much more comfortable.

Dutiful mum Colleen kept a watch on her as she napped.

And that is how I left them, resting at the top of the hill.

Thank you to Dairylough Clydesdales Colleen and Honey for letting me spend some time with them.