Finding Beau


     What happened to BEAU  --------------------------------------------  About BEAU  --------------------------------------------  My Search for BEAU  --------------------------------------------Media Stories   --------------------------------------------

HOBSON - Contact Details   --------------------------------------------

     A Message from JESSIE  --------------------------------------------The Death of KHOMET   --------------------------------------------The English Setter Breed   --------------------------------------------

     The Legal Status of a Dog   --------------------------------------------Stolen Dogs   --------------------------------------------  

     Pet Grief  --------------------------------------------  Poems and Stories  --------------------------------------------

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Beau with his father, Sunny, and Lucy

This photo shows my English Setter, Beau on the left at 9 months of age. Sitting beside him is his father Sunny, a retired Grand Champion show dog. The English Setter on the right is Lucy, also a retired Grand Champion show dog.

If you look closely you will see that Beau and Sunny are sitting exactly the same with their left foot forward .. like father, like son.

Unfortunately Lucy died recently. Beau's father, Sunny is now 15 years old. I wonder if Beau will ever be able to see Sunny again?

Unfortunately Sunny died in October 2009. Beau will never be able to see his father again.

Those humans who steal dogs, and this includes humans who deliberately keep lost dogs they find, are not only committing a crime, they are destroying the lives of innocent families and their dogs.

Beau and all the other stolen dogs like Beau have to suffer for the remainder of their lives being kept apart from everyone and everything they love.

Why English Setters ?

English Setter, Jessie, Long Haired Dachshund, BenmoreMany people ask me .. Why English Setters ?

My very first dog who I chose at 10 years of age was an Irish Setter. His name was Kim. My parents gave him away without my knowledge or permission. I came home from school to find Kim gone. I loved him with all my heart. I never recovered from losing Kim this way. I never knew what happened to Kim. In 1990 I was researching dog breeds to find the perfect companion for my Long Haired Dachshund, Benmore and I decided to consider an English Setter because of my first dog, Kim. Everything about an English Setter appealed to me. Fate led me to purchase Jessie. I was not disappointed in any way except Jessie had the worst case of Hip Displaysia my veterinarian had ever seen. Jessie was still the perfect companion for Benmore and me. This is a photo of Jessie at 10 weeks of age with Benmore who was 5 years old. After the first 2 weeks "settling in" period they were inseparable all their lives. Jessie has her own web page because Jessie is a reason I developed this website.

I rescued my English Setter, Bandit from a dog pound in 1995 when he was 7 years old. It was because of Bandit that I purchased Hobson in 2003. I talk about Bandit on Hobson's web page, Jessie's web page and my Poems web page. The puppyhood I planned for Hobson was ruined because of the stealing of Beau. It was because of the stealing of Beau that Rose and Hammer came to me in 2006. Rose was 7 years old and Hammer was almost 6 years old. Hammer died tragically in 2011. He had developed Leukaemia which had not been diagnosed but this is not what ended Hammer's life. Hammer suffered a haemorrhage from being cruelly de-barked before he came to me. Rose developed seizures 9 days after Hammer died. Rose died 7 months later. I then had one of the most distressing experiences in my life purchasing Annie. She died tragically at 13 weeks of age. Her breeder did not give Annie a chance and she lied to me. Because of Annie's untimely death, Misty came to live with Hobson and I in 2012. Hobson was not coping after Annie's death. He had already lost Rose and Hammer. Misty turned out to be completely deaf. Because she had not been socialised before she came to me, Misty also suffers severe separation anxiety. Both Misty and Hobson almost died in 2014.

English Setters, Hammer, Hobson, RoseI have owned English Setters since 1990. I love this particular breed of dog with all my heart. I would like to continue to own English Setters but because I have been betrayed by one too many registered English Setter breeders and I no longer trust any of them, unless an orange belton male English Setter finds his way to us through some miraculous experience, Misty will be my last English Setter.

My Beautiful English Setter boy, Hobson passed away on 28 December 2015 from Hemangiosarcoma which is a rare blood cancer and one of the most deadly cancers a dog can develop. This was a very cruel blow. Hobson was by my side for 12 1/2 years and he helped me to survive some terrible tragedies. Hobson was an extraordinary dog. I will never own another dog like Hobson, but I hope sometime in the future when the timing is right, Hobson will somehow "send" a special boy to Misty and I to heal our broken hearts. Hobson was bred from "English" English Setter lines which I prefer but the trend in Australia has gone away from these traditional lines.

This is a photo of Hammer on the left, Hobson in the middle and Rose on the right. They had received some cards and a box of presents from their overseas friends. I was trying to encourage them to look at the camera with a squeaky toy in my hand. Hammer and Rose were uncertain where the sound was coming from but Hobson was not fooled.

If you are prepared to love an English Setter unconditionally and understand all their unique needs, the bond that will develop between you is beyond words. I love their sensitivity, their intuitiveness and their intelligence. I love their stubborn ways. I love their "in your face" behaviour because they demand and need so much love and attention from you. If you share your life with an English Setter you will never feel unloved and you will never feel alone. Please be aware that an English Setter does not cope being left on his own and an English Setter prefers to be an indoors dog because she craves human companionship.

An English Setter is a fun-loving dog. Even though an English Setter is an elegant looking dog this breed can cause you to end up in some "funny" circumstances so if you have a problem with diving into a lake fully clothed for instance, the English Setter is not for you.Your life will never be boring provided you have a good sense of humour. If you have a problem with slobber and hair being thrown around your home, in your car or on you, the English Setter is not for you. If you do not enjoy grooming your dogs, the English Setter is not for you. If you do not enjoy an active lifestyle, the English Setter is not for you.

This is a critique of the English Setter breed written by the Kettle Moraine English Setter Club in the USA ....

The mild, sweet disposition of the English Setter, together with its beauty, intelligence and aristocratic appearance in the field and in the home, has endeared it both to sportsmen and to all lovers of a beautiful, active, rugged dog. Their lovable character makes them ideal companions for children.

To this dog, love and affection are as necessary as food.

The more pleasant the association with people, the smarter the English Setter will become, and his or her inherent good qualities will be more fully developed when there is more frequent chance of expression. Their natural instinct for bird hunting cannot be developed unless given the opportunity to find birds in the field.

Nor will their outstanding characteristics of love and devotion be fully developed without close association with people .. a Gentleman and a Gentlewoman among dogs.

A Dog Named 'Cider' .. a loving portrait of a companion who was proud, domineering, possessive, and every inch an English gentleman

The following is a story written by Corey Ford in 1966 about his English Setter whose name was Cider ~

When a friend tells me he can't play golf tomorrow because his wife wants him to stay home, I don't jeer and make snide remarks about apron strings. I reply ruefully, "I know how it is. I have a dog .... "

We met for the first time when he was five months old. I had stopped off at a kennel to pick out a puppy (or so I thought) and found myself subjected to the intense scrutiny of six young English Setters in a pen. Five stood with their front paws against the wire, barking and panting. The sixth sat on his haunches and regarded me solemnly until he caught my eye. Evidently he made up his mind that he wanted me, for he thrust a forefoot through the mesh and reached towards me. We belonged to each other from then on.

It was clear at the outset that he had a mind of his own. That night I put him in an outdoor run set away from the house and surrounded by an eight-foot fence. Some time in the wee hours I was woken up by a soulful wail directly under my bedroom window. I have no idea how he climbed out of the run; still less how he knew which window was mine. Sleepily I stumbled downstairs to let him in. He'd never seen a flight of stairs before, but he trotted up them confidently beside me, looked over my bedroom, and selected an overstuffed chair in which he slept every night the rest of his life.

A Portrait of an English SetterI named him Cider .. it suggested a sparkling Autumn, the time of year I like best .. and I bought a book on housebreaking and obedience training. I never had to use it. He came from a long line of English gentlemen, and good manners were born with him. His only fault, which he never outgrew, was the habit of pawing a rug into a rumpled heap to make a softer bed. After several futile attempts to dissuade him, I found that it was less trouble to straighten the rug afterwards. Once I had made this simple discovery, the whole training problem was solved. All I needed was to determine in advance what he wanted to do, and then tell him to do it. We got along famously.

Somehow I never thought of Cider as a dog, and I doubt that he considered me a master. Ours was a mutual partnership, like marriage. The leash in my hand attached me to him as much as it attached him to me. We could not converse, but that didn't matter; he read my thoughts, and I in turn nearly always knew what he was thinking. From the start there was a sort of telepathy between us. He never barked to wake me up, but sat beside my bed and stared at me patiently until I opened my eyes. In the woods, we could locate each other without calling.

He had one object in life .. to make sure that I took him wherever we went. When he caught me packing a suitcase, he would droop his ears and gaze at me with an expression of utter melancholy, accented by one elevated eyebrow, which gave him a look designed to melt the hardest heart. If that failed, he would curl up in his chair with his back to me and refuse to come downstairs to see me off. This would so prey on my mind that I sometimes cut my trip short. And since even a brief absence upset him, I found myself cancelling social engagements. But if Cider was possessive, it was as much my doing as his. For I am a bachelor, and to a single man a dog is a substitute for wife and children.

Even as a pup Cider had great pride, and a natural British reserve about displaying emotion. Not once in his life did he lick my hand. When I patted him, he showed his appreciation by dry-swallowing several times, or stretching out his legs and spreading his toes in obvious contentment. If something vexed him, his only protest was a quick, false yawn, a device that I've tried to emulate. Not only is it safer to yawn than to make a remark which might be regretted later, but there's no better way to insult the other party.

Cider grew more dignified as he matured. The lanky legs feathered out, the chest deepened, the tail became a waving silver plume. His majestic head and sagging jowls suggested a Supreme Court judge. I would no more have dreamt of tumbling him playfully onto his back and scratching his belly than I could imagine myself tickling the stomach of a Chief Justice.

Cider looked on toys and games with lofty scorn. If I rolled a tennis ball across the floor to him, he'd open his red, rheumy eyes and watch it disappear under the sofa .. and then close them again while I got down on hands and knees to fish it out. On the other hand, he had his own idea of fun, and would study a caterpillar by the hour, his brow furrowed in deep concentration.

I was never sure when he was pulling my leg, for his sober face betrayed no sign of amusement. Once, in his awkward puppy days, he overturned a patio table, shattering two whisky glasses and a china ashtray. Immediately he let out a shriek of anguish and started hopping around on three legs, while I ignored the damage he had caused and bent over him solicitously to ease his pain. It was not until he spotted a squirrel on the lawn, and took after it with all four legs functioning perfectly, that I realised how completely I had been taken in.

The older Cider grew, the more we depended on each other. He would not go upstairs without me. If I entertained guests past his bedtime, he would flop down heavily in the centre of the living room and sigh, like an impatient wife trying to signal her husband to say good night and come to bed. Like an old married couple, we had adjusted to each other, our likes and dislikes were similar, we had the same diseases (we were both subject to sinus trouble) and took the same antihistamine tablets. Several people remarked that I was actually getting to look like Cider; the one elevated eyebrow, the sagging jowls, the red, rheumy eyes.

I bred Cider, very late in life, to an obliging female recommended by the kennelman. I was far more excited about the affair than Cider was, and couldn't wait to see the puppies when they were born. One ball of fluff sat in the palm of my hand and yawned, and I promptly marked him for mine. As soon as he was weaned I brought him home, but Cider would have no part of his son and resented him as a rival for my affection. He was so heartbroken that I had to take the pup back to the kennel and leave him, to be kept for me.

Cider was aging fast. They say that each year in a dog's life is equal to seven in a man's, and time ticks off more rapidly than we realise. It seemed only yesterday that he was a gangling puppy trotting at my side; then overnight he was a companion my own age; now suddenly his years were half again mine, as he became a venerable gentleman somewhere in his 90's.

He grew increasingly feeble. Then came the night when his legs collapsed. I had to carry him upstairs in my arms and place him in his overstuffed chair. In the morning he lay in a coma, though the tip of his tail twitched once or twice when I spoke to him. I kissed him for the first and last time.

A friend wrote me later: 'They ask so little, and they give so much'.

I was resolved not to have another dog. I decided to take a trip. There was nothing to prevent it now. I was free at last, I reminded myself .. free to pack my bag and go on a fishing trip.

On my way to the fishing area, I stopped my car at the kennel to give instructions to sell Cider's pup. "Want to have a look at him?" the kennelman asked. I told him I didn't have time. "Only take a minute" he urged. "He's a ringer for his old man".

The pup was in a wire pen, sitting on his haunches. His young body had not filled out yet, but the markings were identical, even to the cocked eyebrow. He looked at me steadily until our eyes met, and then thrust a forepaw through the mesh and reached towards me. It was as though his father, by some transcendent effort, had given himself back to me so I would not be alone.



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