My Granny’s Dog

My Granny’s Dog

This photo is obviously of a cat and not a dog!

This is my Granny and me sitting on top of the coal bunker in her back garden with the ginger cat.

I am sure that during my Granny’s ninety six years she probably had a number of dogs but this little story is only about one of them.

My Granddad, who I never knew, was a farrier and so there were also many horses in my Granny’s life.

I have written a story about my brother and Granny’s dog in my Kindle Book Monsters available here. and how what happened to them both could have contributed to my fear of dogs.

I was told that Granny’s idea was that a dog should have a balanced diet and since she decided that what she ate was a balanced diet then that is what the dog ate too.

So whatever was for breakfast, dinner, tea and supper, the dog had some as well.

I am almost certain that I was told the dog was given a chair to sit on up the table and his own plate as well.  I believe that somebody once asked why the dog was sitting up the table along with the humans and Granny gave her answer.

So, if it was roast beef and Yorkshire pudding then the dog had his own plate of the same.  If it was apple pie and custard for desert then that is also what the dog ate!

I have no idea whether or not the dog ended up obese or if it looked really healthy on this well-balanced diet.  I only know that he was given the full works at every meal and especially on Sundays, when it was roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes and vegetables.

My Granny was in service from the age of twelve.

One day her mother came in the horse drawn vehicle that they owned and collected her from school at Eastbourne, in Sussex and then they drove, without saying hardly a word, to a very large house at Dulwich, London, where another member of the family was, I do believe,  a butler.

When the vehicle stopped at the big house she was told to get off and was handed a small brown suitcase, by her mother.  The small brown suitcase contained one set of clothing.  My Granny was still wearing her school uniform.  Her mother then told her that this was now her place of work and her parents drove away.

She was twelve years of age.

Granny went in and she never saw her parents again after that.  She said she did not want to.

She would get up at about 5 a.m. and clean out all the fireplaces in the big house and set the fires.  She would also dust.  She told me that the man of the house would often run his finger over the banisters, when he had guests, and call her and tell her she had not done her work properly.  He would then also tell his guests that she had not cleaned his toilet properly either.

My Granny’s name was Dorothy but when she went to the big house the owner told her that from now on she would be known as Alice.

Granny had obviously learned well while working in this large house because all her life she dished out meals with each item in a large serving dish.  She would put the meat on your plate and then allow you to choose your own vegetables.  She used to sigh at me as I would eat all of one item on my plate before starting on the next one.  Granny said you should put a piece of each item on your fork each time.  She was a stickler for balanced diets!

Granny had a very old dining table that she scrubbed.  It was warped and if you put too much gravy on your plate then it all fell over the side and onto the table because the table went down in the middle and up at the sides.

I have no idea what she made her gravy out of but it tasted absolutely awful.  I would try and eat as much of the dinner as possible and gulp it down before she pored all this horrible stuff all over it.

My Great Grandfather was sent to work on a farm when he was eight.  He never knew who his father was and he was badly treated by his stepfather.  He either ran away from home or was kicked out, after a severe beating,  no-one knows the full or true story.  He arrived cold, hungry and bedraggled at the Blacksmith’s workshop one day, round about the age of eight.  They took him in, fed him, clothed him and gave him a job and he became my Great Granddad.

©Barbara Burgess 2014



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