Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge Day Four: German Shepherds And Guy The Gorilla

One day when I was little, I remember walking with my mother across the road to the mushroom farm to buy goat’s milk for our Siamese cats. This was nothing new,  but on this particular day two huge dogs appeared out of nowhere bounding towards us, barking their heads off.

Strangely,  I don’t recall feeling frightened, but they gave my mother a real scare.  She scooped me up into her arms as the dogs leapt up at us before the owner called them off.

Not a pleasant experience, but it didn’t stop us from owning dogs as family pets in the years to come.  In fact, after my parents split up and I  moved with my mother and brother to Suffolk, we adopted a gorgeous German Shepherd called Simon.

I adored Simon, but he was disobedient and hard to handle when we took him on.  By then fourteen, I took up the reins thinking that I could soon train him into the calm, obedient dog I believed him to be.

After a few ‘lessons’ and to test my training thus far, I got the bright idea to take him for a long walk through a waist-high field of barley, letting him off his leash and then calling him, expecting him to return obediently.

You are probably not surprised to learn that this aspect of my training failed miserably; not only did Simon take off for hours ignoring my frantic calls, but he didn’t return home for two days.

Local farmers congregated on our doorstep threatening to shoot him if they caught him worrying their sheep again, and so Simon’s days as a young German Shepherd running wild and free through the Suffolk countryside came to an abrupt end.

Me with Simon the German Shepherd, Field at the back of our house in Suffolk, July 1974 (c) Sherri Matthews

I asked my brother to take this photo with my Kodak Instamatic.  I wrote on the back: “Sherri and Simon in the field at the back of our house in Suffolk, July 1974”.   (c) Sherri Matthews

It seemed that my dad and his new wife also acquired a dog. One, hot summer’s day during the school holidays, we set off for a day out to London Zoo in Dad’s latest toy, a British Green MG Sports car.  Crammed in the back between me and my brother sat their massive German Shepherd, Bilbo Baggins. It was chaos and I loved it.

My love for German Shepherds will never wane despite one unfortunate experience for which I blame not the dog, but the owner.

When my middle boy was just a baby, my ex-husband (EH) got the idea that we needed a companion for our lovely dog Bonnie, a cross Labrador/Collie.   We had always harboured the dream of owning a German Shepherd and one day, EH saw an ad in the local paper:

‘Free to good home, German Shepherd, good with children.’

The dog was two years old and the owner, a young woman, was moving to San Francisco and couldn’t take him with her.  We arranged to meet her at her local park, EH told me, because the dog wasn’t keen on men and might not like the idea of us going to meet her at her house.  This news made me nervous to say the least, but EH said it would be fine.

But it wasn’t fine.   We got to the park and spotted the woman with her dog sitting by her side beneath a shady tree.  As we approached and only about twenty-five yards away,  the dog stood up to alert, snarled and bared his teeth as the woman tried – and failed – to control him.

That was enough for me.  I yelled at my six-year-old son to turn around and run while I swung the stroller holding my baby boy around so that I could run too, but I wasn’t fast enough.

EH tried to placate the dog – “It’s alright boy, we won’t hurt you…” – but this made the dog even more angry and it lunged towards us. The woman, who was timid and barely spoke above a whisper, didn’t hold the long-running leash firmly enough and was unable to rein her dog back in before he managed to sink his wonderfully sharp teeth into my lower right calf.

Not only did the bite hurt, a lot, but the dog ruined my favourite pair of jeans which I had only just been able to wear since losing my baby weight.  That really annoyed me, once I recovered from the shock and pain of the dog attack and of course, immensely relieved and thankful that my boys did not come to any harm and far worse hadn’t happened.

Finally and as a postscript, I return briefly to that trip to London Zoo. In the 1970’s, the zoo boasted of its most famous attraction: none other than Guy the Gorilla. I couldn’t wait to see him that day, but at first he sat quietly in one corner of his cage, minding his own business, ignoring his visitors.

My dad, in typical fashion, began to make gorilla-type grunting sounds to try to get Guy’s attention.  One or two, then a few more, and suddenly, much to the amazement and delight of the now gathering crowd, Guy looked over at my dad and got up on all fours.

With huge head and body, he shuffled over to the front of his cage and looked squarely into my dad’s eyes.

For a moment nobody dared move, a hush fell upon the crowd, all eyes on Guy.  Dad whispered to me and my brother out of the corner of his mouth, “Watch this,” and he grunted again and this time Guy grunted back.  I couldn’t believe it.  Then Dad went a step further: he grunted while he beat his chest in feigned gorilla action.

Guy looked, blinked and slowly rose to his full, magnificent stature.  With deep, brown eyes locked on my dad’s, he beat his massive chest and the pair of them carried on like that, back and forth, for several minutes.  The crowd went crazy and I’m sure I saw a grin on Guy the Gorilla’s handsome face.

There was no doubting who was the star attraction, but to me that day, my dad was the leading man. Quite what Bilbo Baggins thought of the show I’ll never know, but for me it was one of the best moments of my childhood.

 *******

Thank you again to Irene and Norah  for inviting me to join in with the five Photos, Five Stories challenge: ‘Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge’.

Dear Irene recently lost her beloved Zach, a most handsome German Shepherd. She shares his story and how he came to be such a ‘faithful friend’ in her moving tribute post.

Finally, for today’s challenge, I am nominating new blogging friend Melinda from purpleslobinrecovery.  No obligation Melinda, but if you do decide to take up the challenge, I set only one rule:  Have Fun!!

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Childhood Memories, Pets, Photo/Story Challenges, Suffolk Tales and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge Day Four: German Shepherds And Guy The Gorilla

  1. I loved the photo of you and Simon, and the story about your dad and the gorilla, what a sight that must have been! 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…it was an amazing sight Edwina! I’ve never forgotten it. Of course, zoos have come a long way since then. Gorillas now have entire parklands and islands in which to live, such as at places like Longleat, and it wasn’t good to keep Guy in a cage, but that was how things were in the 1970s. Thank you, I remember asking my brother to take the photo. As you can see, I was trying to get Simon to look at the camera but he had other plans! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to hear about Simon, Sherri. I’m happy your brother snapped that photo, it’s wonderful. What’s the saying, “Monkey see, monkey do.” You’re father is too funny. Have a great weekend! xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Simon was beautiful Jill! After the farmers’ warnings, we had to make sure he was kept on a leash around the fields as he was a terror for running away. His previous owners hadn’t trained him at all and he was difficult to handle, but such a lovely dog. Haha…yes, that would be the one! I have never forgotten that day Jill. Thank you, and you too, and once again Happy Birthday 🙂 😀 😎 xo

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  3. Sue says:

    Great post, Sherri! Your father and the gorilla sounds a hoot! The dog tales were more sobering

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  4. Heyjude says:

    What lovely stories you have to share from your past. I could almost see your dad and Guy competing in that display of macho behaviour. It must have made everyone smile. German Shepards were the one breed I never liked or trusted, probably because my mother was bitten by one when a small girl and she passed on her fear to us. But I love the name Bilbo Baggins. I want a ginger cat who will be called that. And a grey one to be called Frodo. Nice end to the week Sherri – enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      It was a wonderful moment Jude, as you can tell, I can still remember it very clearly and I felt really chuffed that it was my dad who got that reaction out of Guy!! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading about it, thank you! Yes, I can understand your mother’s fears being passed down to you like that. And I can’t wait to hear about your new cats and their wonderful names when that day comes 🙂 We have a new addition to the family…I know, you’ll think we’re nuts over here, but you’ll read why and I won’t say anymore until I post about it. How’s that for some suspense, ha! Hope you had a good weekend, Saturday was lovely thank goodness which is just as well as we went to a wedding and the reception was in a marquee outside! 😎 On a downer, I’m not at all happy at WP this morning, they swiped all my customised colour settings and still trying to get the background restored. It’s too white and I don’t like it one bit 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Scary story about the dog attack! i would be suffering post traumatic effects if it were me.

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  6. Thanks for the smiles, Sherri. That duet between your dad and Big Guy must have been a sight to behold. What a gorgeous photo of you and Simon, although I would have loved to see his face. The frightening episode of you and the German Shepherd in the park, made me shiver. It reminded me of when I was bitten by a dog whilst walking on the beach. To this day, I can’t relax if I see a strange dog off the leash, anywhere in my vicinity. Have a lovely weekend. 🙂 xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Sylvia, I’m so glad this gave you smiles 🙂 Yes, I wanted to get Simon to look into the camera as you can probably tell, but he was too intent on running across those fields! I can still hear myself telling my brother to hurry up, ha! I’m so sorry you had a dog bite experience too. It is very frightening indeed. I still adore German Shepherds, all dogs, but when I go walking around the park here, sometimes there is a man with two of them that he lets off their leash and I am still to this day very nervous when that happens…
      A lovely weekend thanks Sylvia, we went to a wedding at which Nicky was best man! Hope you had a lovely time too 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A lovely post. (I had a Siamese cat as a young girl too.) Hugs 🐱

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello Teagan, and thank you so much, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the read! And how lovely to have had a Siamese cat too! My mother used to breed them and we had a cattery at the bottom of our garden, enough for six boarders 🙂 Hugs right back to you 🙂

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  8. cardamone5 says:

    Sherri,
    You have such a gift with personal narrative. Keep it up.
    Love,
    E

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  9. jeanne229 says:

    Loved the post Sherri and the photograph. I had a brief stint with a beautiful German Shepherd I found wandering the streets of the Fairfax neighborhood in LA around 1982. My apartment building had a no pets policy but I brought her home with me anyway. She was a gorgeous, well-mannered dog. I was sad to see her go but happy to have found a good home for her with an older stable friend. And the gorilla tale! That is a classic. Enjoying a sneak at my favorite blogs this morning from San Francisco. Thought of you as I made the long haul up here from Oceanside on Thursday. And now thinking of lovely England too!

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    • Sherri says:

      I know Fairfax Jeanne! I left LA in late 1981 (worked on Wilshire Blvd, 700 block) and returned in 1986 🙂 Just missed each other by the sounds of it! What a beauty you found, sad you had to let her go but so glad she went a happy, good home. That always helps. I had a similar experience with a Golden Retriever, and so the story goes, ha!
      So glad you enjoyed the story about Guy the Gorilla, I will never forget it 🙂 So lovely of you to take the time during your trip to read my blog, thank you so much Jeanne and how lovely to know you read this from SF and to be thought of during your long drive. I send the same thoughts right back to you from a rather wet and grey but sticky England this Monday morning. Have a wonderful time 🙂

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  10. Dogs have this special way of working their way into our hearts. Such a lovely photo of you and Simon although the story is just heartbreaking. Love the imagery of your dad and the gorilla, what a fun memory to have! Hope you are having a lovely weekend Sherri!

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    • Sherri says:

      They certainly do! But oh dear, I hope I didn’t give the impression that poor Simon came to a nasty end, we paid heed to the warnings and after that he had to go everywhere on a leash as we didn’t dare to let him run free through the fields. It was his free-running days that came to an end as he was just too naughty 😉 So glad you enjoyed the story of my dad and Guy the Gorilla, I will never forget it! Thanks so much Heather, a lovely weekend and hope for you too!

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  11. These were very interesting on so many levels. Dogs are often a reflection of their owners. The timid lady with the vicious dog needed to learn to be the alpha dog, as Caesar Milan says. I had to learn that with my own Yorkie-poo. If I wasn’t assertive and master, she felt like she had to be. It’s like raising children with a wishy washy voice and no follow through. My son was bitten by Doberman owned by one neighbor using him for guard duty. He did not know kindness or any other training. 2 doors down another neighbor had their own Dobie that lived inside with their kids. When they saw my son’s new fear of Bristol, they asked if they could take him camping with them. I agreed and they made my son sleep with the dog. End of fear. Good people they were. You were so lucky to get the kids away from a dog that had no boundaries. Your dad must have been quite the character. I don’t go to zoo’s. They break my heart. I wonder if the birds feel that way when they look at us in our cages, I mean houses? 🙂 Hope you are having a lovely weekend. I’m reading blogs!! )))

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, she was far too timid and obviously couldn’t handle her dog. We were nuts to even consider taking it on, and I was not happy with EH as we always agreed to wait and get a puppy. Still, not worth laying any blame now, but I do wish I hadn’t had to go through that! And yes, I shudder when I think what could have happened, thank God the kids were safe…
      What a lovely story about your son and the Dobie (the second one I mean, so sorry for the bite poor lad…) So glad he overcame his fear, how very kind of your neighbours. I tried not to let my fear of that moment rub off on the kids but it did take a long time to get over it. We had two dogs when the kids were young, Bonnie, the Lab/Collie who we brought over to the States with us from England and Monty, our pure breed Lab we got over there. Both lived to 14, both beloved and treasured family members we all adored.
      Zoos have certainly come a long way since those days. And that is a great thought about birds, I never saw it that way before. Oh to be as free-wheeling as they 😉 A lovely weekend thanks Marlene, and hope you did too. I’m now catching up again too, as per… !!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Fun, fun post. I have always liked German shepherds – when I was a child our neighbor had “Sam,” smartest dog in the world. I kept on waiting for him to talk to me – he was that smart. Too bad the woman with the German Shepard you came up against had not trained him properly. Sad. But then I laughed and laughed at the scene of your dad and Guy. Wonderful.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the read! I know what you mean about those smart dogs and yes, it was a wonderful moment with my dad and Guy, I’ve thought of it so many times over the years 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Mmmm – not sure about your dad and the gorilla. I guess I just don’t like animals behind bars – even back then it was always an uncomfortable experience for me, And teasing ….. Oh oh, my unresolved past is peeking through 🙂 Moving on Sherri, lovely photo of you and the unwilling Simon! 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, yes, well, perfectly understandable. Zoos have come a long way thank goodness. But there it is, a story of the times in which we lived, for better or worse :/ I remember though thinking even then (I would have been about 10 or 11) that I wished Guy could roam free. As for the photo, I remember my brother taking it as if it were yesterday…I was trying desperately to get Simon to look at the camera, to no avail! Thanks Pauline 🙂

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  14. Great stories Sherri. I remember lots of German Shepherds being around in my youth but then they seemed to disappear – but they seem to be having a re-surgence. That’s a fantastic memory of your dad and Guy the Gorilla.

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  15. Norah says:

    That is a gorgeous photo of you and Simon, Sherri. I love that you wanted to teach him how to be the fun and obedient dog you wanted – change the world with love. We all thought we could do it. I wish it were really that simple!
    What a great story – your Dad and Gus! You said you weren’t sure what Bilbo Baggins thought of it. Were dogs allowed into the zoo back then? I really enjoyed my trip to London Zoo last year. I didn’t see anyone urging gorillas to communicate with them. Actually I’m not sure that I saw any gorillas. There was much to see on a quick trip.
    Thanks for the mention once again. It’s interesting that WordPress doesn’t automatically notify me of the link. I thought it was meant to do so. I’ll have to make sure I link to other WordPress sites I mention rather than expect it to happen automatically.
    I am so pleased that you have enjoyed doing this five photo challenge. I have enjoyed reading your stories, though the one today with the German Shepherd in the park is rather scary. You were brave to take on any dogs as pets after that. Your poor jeans, not to mention your leg! Did you need to get a tetanus shot after the bite? I’m pleased you have lived to tell the tale. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Norah, how idealistic was I? As were we all? I really did belive I could train Simon and I did my best! He had to walk with a leash everywhere after that, no more running free through the fields for him! You can see his desperation to break free just from this photo!
      How wonderful to know that you enjoyed your trip to London Zoo last year! Gorillas are kept in open spaces now, as in Longleat where they are kept on islands and allowed to roam free within huge, fenced areas, so I’m not surprised there weren’t any to be seen there. Zoos are quite different places these days aren’t they? I seem to remember Bilbo Baggins being with us, on a leash, so it must have been allowed back then. Strange to think that now…
      That was a very scary attack, and it took me a long time to get over it. We already had our dogs so I was okay with them, but I am still nervous of big dogs off their leashes running free in parks and such when I’m out walking, even to this day. My leg hurt for ages and they have rabies over there! Thankfully, we found out the dog had all its shots but yes, I did indeed have to get a tetanus shot so then I had a sore arm also!
      As for WP…I’m not at all happy. You will notice that I’ve lost my background colour. This morning all my theme settings had disappeared and I’m trying to get it sorted out. It’s all way too white!!!!! Seems it happened to a lot of folk according to the forum I’ve been on (hence more delays with blogging grrrrrr….). As for the links, I thought they did it automatically too, thanks for letting me know that for next time.
      Thank you so much for your great comment Norah, I love chatting with you and yes, I’m rather glad I lived to tell the tale also 🙂 😎 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        I think we find connection through our idealism – our meliorist glasses. I try to keep mine on all the time, but sometimes they slip a bit low. 🙂
        I feel sorry for Simon having to be on a leash. It’s just what “we” do with our children isn’t it: break their spirits, make them conform, fit them all into the same size and shape of hole. Sad. I think the children peer off into the distance in search of greater freedom also.
        I’m so pleased that dog had it’s rabies shots. At least a tetanus shot, bad though it was, would not have been as bad as rabies. I always think of the movie “Old Yellar” I saw when I was a young child. I was so sad when he got rabies. I cried and cried, and still remember.
        I’m sorry to hear about your WP woes and hope they are sorted now. I read about them on Hugh’s post too. If my blog suffered I am not aware of it. I don’t always check out my site – just the comments in admin. Are you a .com or .org? I am a .com. I wonder if the problem was mainly with .orgs. I noticed Hugh has a post about backing up what is on our blogs. I had never considered that, but it is probably a good idea. While I write my posts offline and keep a copy of them, it would be lovely to have access to all the wonderful comments. There is so much thought and wonderful writing that goes into them. I’m not sure if they get saved as well in a backup, but it would be good if they can. I still have to try out what Hugh has suggested.
        I love chatting with you too, Sherri: a meeting of minds across the seas! Thank you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Oh Norah, I cried at Old Yellar too, so sad 😦 But yes, I feared rabies and so relieved not to have to content with that, phew!! Yes, poor Simon, and that is a great analogy for children and education too. Even tougher today for children and the constraints put upon them.
          Re WP I registered my own domain, so I have a dotcom address: sherrimatthewsblog.com It was all very strange. Everything got sorted pretty quickly thankfully, but yes, that was a good idea of Hugh to post that reminder. And what a good question about the comments, I really don’t know.
          I hope you have a great day Norah, and I’ll be back shortly, as always! So nice to know that you aren’t that far away…in blogland at least 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Norah says:

            Thanks Sherri. My WP address is a .com too: NorahColvin.com so I’m still not sure if we have the same type of blog or not. I don’t quite understand the differences between the WP hosted sites and the self-hosted WP blogs. I’m pleased it all got sorted for you quickly anyway. As I said, I was completely oblivious to anything that may have gone on.
            It is nice to know we are just a few clicks away from each other. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  16. Ste J says:

    Dogs are great, I love them although there is something unpredictable about them but I put that down to looking at some of the owners, it’s like kids in a way, you need to bring them up right, although you can’t sell them in parks, well not legally anyway.

    It’s a shame that Simon was so untrained but I loved the balancing story of the gorilla, what a star,a true showman that one hehe. I saw a dog swimming with a seal once, the seal was friendly, the dog just seem spun out which made me smile.

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    • Sherri says:

      Well I’ve not seen anyone trying to sell kids in parks, but then these days…and I’m glad that woman didn’t have any kids judging by the way she brought up her dog. Something very wrong there…
      Yes, Simon was so lovely but for the first two years of his life, he had a wild upbringing. We couldn’t cope with him and he ended up going to another home eventually.
      So glad you enjoyed reading about Guy the Gorilla…a true showman indeed!
      Haha…that’s so funny about the dog and the seal, I almost spilt coffee all over my laptop just then…I do not want another laptop incident Ste!!! What a great story, love it 🙂

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  17. Absolutely LOVE that photo of you. That dog attack must have been horribly frightening. Though, as a mum, of course I’m glad he got you instead of the little ones. (Sorry!) But the jeans! Roar! 😀 Well, thanks, again, for sharing these tidbits of your life. I so enjoy reading them. Have fun at the bloggers bash. I really, really, really, (I mean REALLY) want to be there. I am looking forward to hearing all about. And seeing pictures. And hoping that I can make the next one.

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, I’m glad he got me instead of the kids too Sarah! After the shock and the pain of the bite wore off, and I stopped shaking, I became enraged about the entire incident and was furious about my jeans, ha! Oh thank you so much, I love that you enjoy reading these stories (and the last one to come is a story I long promised you, as you will see!). Oh I wish so, so much you could be at the bloggers bash too. I’ve never been to such a thing in all my life, and feel very excited and nervous at the same time. It will take me 3 hours by train/underground to get there but it will be worth it and sure there will be tons of pics from everyone to share. And if you make the next one, wow, how amazing will that be? 😀 😎 🙂

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  18. Among all of our family’s dogs, Sherri, we had only one German Shepherd. Duchess was my puppy, and I loved her so much. She grew quickly into a protective, bark-warning dog, and we kept her in our enclosed back yard except when she was on leash for a walk. Then one day the mail man said she took a nip at him, and we had to sent Duchess to live with a farm family in the next county. I never trusted the mail man. Unless he went to the back of the house and reached over the fence, Duchess could not have nipped him.
    I’ve never trusted mail men since then. And I still miss Duchess.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Marylin, what a sad story. Duchess sounds just beautiful and wonderful. You have a very different twist to the dog/mailman story. We always said that we would get a German Shepherd from a puppy and raise it with our kids as we did our Labs, but EH thought this two year old would be okay, except we obviously had no clue as to how it was raised and raised well it wasn’t! Duchess was doing her job, protecting your family. They say the best protection is a dog. That’s one of the reasons why we always had dogs (EH worked for the Department of Corrections). But I wonder why the mailman was trying to get into the back of your house like that? No wonder you don’t trust them. I’m so sorry you had to give up Duchess. Did you ever get to visit her? I hope so…

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  19. Denise says:

    A happy story and a not so happy story. It almost invariably is bad ownership that leads to “incidents” with dogs. Must have been awful for you, but I’m glad you weren’t too shaken up to be cross about your jeans.

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, the stuff of life eh? I was very frightened at the time and then the pain of the bite took over and then I was very angry about the whole incident, thinking what could have happened to the kids. It was strange the way I focused all that on my ripped up jeans. I had scar tissue for years beneath the surface of the bite and everyone told me at the time to sue the woman but I didn’t. I wanted to forget the entire incident…and buy new jeans, eventually 😉

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  20. jennypellett says:

    I love it when dogs are given human names. I’d have loved Simon although as a child I was wary of dogs. We aren’t a doggy family, as you know, although I’m beginning to think a little companion wouldn’t be a bad idea 😀
    And I just love how your Dad took charge with Guy the gorilla. Oh for a video camera in those days! What a wonderful memory to have Sherri – and I bet a lot of the other visitors that day have never forgotten it either!

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    • Sherri says:

      I don’t remember who named him, or if he came with that name, but Simon was a lovely dog despite his naughtiness. I’m very curious about your ‘little companion’ thoughts Jenny…a small dog perhaps? We have a new addition to the family, totally unexpected…believe it or not, we now have a bunny! I know, we’re nuts, but there it is. Will be posting about him…might give you more ideas 😀 Oh yes, a video camera would have been brilliant, if only! Thanks Jenny, I’ve never forgotten that day 🙂

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      • jennypellett says:

        I’m not sure I’m serious about a doggie companion, it’s just that a very good friend has recently acquired a cavapoo called Dougal who is gorgeous. She’s never had a dog before so it’s like having a first baby again. Sounds like a lot of hard work…sleepless nights…I don’t think I could go through that again😃

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      • Sherri says:

        These pets are hard work Jenny, that’s for sure. A big commitment. Dougal sounds so sweet…and how nice that you get to enjoy him through your friend, that’s the best of both worlds 🙂 So maybe a hamster then? Or a quail? Haha 😀

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  21. restlessjo says:

    No fun having a dog swinging off the leg of your jeans, Sherri! (especially new ones!) I’ve been in that situation and I didn’t like it a bit, even though it didn’t actually bite me. Lovely photo of you and Simon! Same smiley face but curly hair 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…no, definitely not! It was over in a flash, but I long had the pain of it as a reminder. I never did find quite the same pair of jeans again, darn it. Glad you didn’t get bitten, but still scary. Ahh…thanks Jo. And yes, my hair was not so much curly as frizzy back in the day…oh for hair straighteners back then 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh, these are quite the experiences with animals! I got bitten on the hip by a german Shepard while visiting my cousin in her neighborhood. I was petrified of big dogs for a long time! I was thinking about your ripped jeans and how nowadays those jeans would have been so cool just like “boyfriend” jeans! Ha,ha!

    The story of your dad and Guy is priceless! 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Ouch…on the hip? That sounds horrible! Haha…yes, I would have been quite the trendsetter wouldn’t I? Just think, I was cool and didn’t even know it lol 😀
      Thanks Maria, glad you enjoyed the gorilla story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. At least Simon enjoyed two days of being wild and free in the Suffolk countryside. Who decided to name your father’s German Shepherd Bilbo Baggins?

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  24. TBM says:

    When I was quite young, a dog entered our neighborhood and bit two of my friends before animal control arrived. I don’t remember if he was rabid or not. It was a terrifying experience. It hasn’t dampened my love for animals, but I am very careful when around unknown dogs. Miles, my dog, is terrified of big dogs since he was attacked once even though the owner assured me his dog was friendly. I err on the side of caution now when it comes to Miles. Some owners get insulted, but hey, my job is to protect Miles.

    Another memory. When I was a kid, my parents to me to the zoo and a monkey flung poo at my dad. I thought it was hilarious. (Still do) He never saw the humor in it 😉

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh that’s scary. And yes, you have to protect Miles. I’m like you, I still love dogs and wasn’t put off German Shepherds, but I am wary of dogs I don’t know, especially ones I see in the park where I go walking and are off the leash, running around. The ones that scare me the most are pitbulls. One came over to me once, off the leash, and I froze. The owner, a young lad, did nothing, I was so scared. You get the jaws of one of those on you and you’ll know it. Oh that story about the monkey is too funny 🙂

      Like

  25. What a great post about dogs, showing both their naughty and good sides, Sherri. I love the name ‘Simon’ for your German Shepherd, but sorry to hear of his fate. Wasn’t that the time that Barbara Woodhouse was around? I don’t know if you remember the dog training programme she did for the BBC? It was quite funny.

    I remember Guy the Gorilla as well. I would have loved to have been there that day your dad put on that show at the zoo. Sounds like it could talk to the animals…maybe?

    Thanks for sharing these memories with us Sherri. I know some of them are not so nice, but it is always wonderful being able to look back into peoples lives.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I remember Barbara Woodhouse very well Hugh, but I think she came along after we had Simon if I remember correctly. She would have been horrified by his antics wouldn’t she? Oh you would have loved to see my dad and Guy the Gorilla that day, it was amazing. Really left an impression on me as you can tell. Maybe Dad can speak to the animals, he certainly had a way with them back in the day. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading these stories Hugh, thank you very much, even, as you say, they are a mix. But then, that’s life isn’t it? All part of life’s rich pattern, as ‘they’ say 😉

      Like

  26. Rachel M says:

    Gorgeous photo of you, Sherri and lovely story, except for the bit about the dog bite. I have had a bad experience with a pit bull terrier and I now have a strong dislike for this breed.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much Rachel! But yes, not pleasant to be bitten and I’m really sorry to read about your pit bull experience. Now they really scare me, I don’t blame you one bit for disliking them. I don’t trust them at all, their jaws lock on and that’s it. I’ve read of them killing children, bad news altogether around families.

      Like

  27. Wow on all counts. The photo of you and Simon is great and you are so beautiful, again Wow! Because of your experience with the German Shepherd and that of several others I have known I have a real wariness when it comes to those beautiful creatures. And yes it largely goes back to the owners, almost always. And love, love, love the story about your Dad and Guy. As I read it your Dad was also a hero in my eyes. What a precious memory, it makes me smile now thinking of that wonderful day. Ahh if we only had Youtube back then!!! 🙂 xoxoxo ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…well I thank you so much dear Diane, you are too kind, but I think I look a bit annoyed as I’m trying to get Simon to look at the camera but he has other plans, to run off, and I’m probably telling my brother to hurry up and take the photo, ha! But yes, you remember well this incident with the dog bite, sadly 😦 Oh I’m thrilled to share this story with you, I don’t remember if I ever told you about it or not, so many stories we’ve shared over the years 🙂 But yes, my dad was my hero that day, for sure 🙂 Maybe it would have gone viral if Youtube was around, LOL 😀 😉 😎 ❤ xoxoxoxo

      Like

  28. wow — I hope you’re incorporating that into your memoir!

    And it really, really irks me when people are irresponsible dog owners. I understated that. It enrages me, because not only have we suffered dog bites, but also, I know a couple of families whose children were killed by uncontrollable dogs (pets, not wild). What a blessing that your children were not harmed.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Tracy! I will now!!
      And yes, I know just what you mean. There has been a lot of bad press here lately about pit bull terriers killing children. I’m terrified of them and would never have that breed near a child and don’t understand why anyone would allow it. I’m so, so sorry for your dog bites and the families you know who’ve suffered such tragedy. Just horrendous 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Some great memories here Sherri, except for the dog bite, that must have been frightening. I love the photo of you as a young gal with your wild German Shepherd its really beautiful and timeless.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      The dog bite was very frightening indeed, it took me a while to get over it. I remember the day that photo was taken like it was yesterday. Thanks so much Kath 🙂

      Like

  30. Marie Keates says:

    What lovely memories, especially of your dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Better late, than never, right? I’m just now writing the first photo challenge post! It’ll be a few weeks before it shows up on the blog. But, I’m gonna enjoy it! Your pic with Simon, is so sweet. The dad/gorilla story is a classic! And, oh no! Glad the dog got you instead of one of the boys! But drats! Why did it have to be your new jeans???
    Melinda

    Like

  32. Pingback: 5 Photos, 5 Stories Challenge | purpleslobinrecovery

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