Canis Canalus

(or... Dogs That We Have Known)

A supplement to the

eBook and website by Cyril J Wood


This supplement documents the canine (and one feline) companions that have accompanied us or have met over the years on our canal cruising adventures.

It is dedicated to Maxi... our beautiful Springer Spaniel who fell asleep for the last time in 2002


Our Dogs

When I was a small child, well before we started canal cruising, we had a sandy coloured dog called Barney. I was told that he was a Boxer/Lurcher cross-breed and was a “barge dog” from Liverpool. Being told this was my first conscious awareness of the existence of canals and “barges”. With hindsight I can only assume that the dog came off one of the Leeds and Liverpool Short Boats or Bridgewater Barges ("Dukers") that regularly plied the canal into Liverpool Docks. As Father worked close to Pall Mall in Liverpool, near to the original terminus of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, he most probably picked him up as a stray. Throughout his life Barney could not be let off the lead as he would run off at the first opportunity. When he did make a bid for freedom he would go “walkabout” no doubt reliving his earlier life. This happened with such regularity that at Wallasey’s Manor Road Police Station they had a dog pen with “Barney” painted on it.

One of the few surviving photographs of Barney... this one was taken around 1954

(Photograph James M Wood)

Not many photographs of Barney survive and those that do are of poor quality. The dog was quite tolerant of having a young child in the family (me) but on one occasion I can remember trimming his whiskers for which I was rewarded by receiving a bite above my upper lip (I still have a small scar there to this day – over fifty years on) but, I suppose it served me right. One day Barney went on one of his rambles and didn’t return. I often wonder what happened to him but that is a question that I will never know the answer to.

Barney and a young Cyril Wood cradling a guinea pig about 1955

(Photograph James M Wood)

When we started canal cruising in 1960, we did not have a canine companion although we did have a Border Collie called Tim which Jim brought home from Manchester when he was working as a cinema projectionist at the Gaumont Burnage. Tim did not come canal cruising with us as we did not have him long enough. We didn’t have a canine canal cruising companion until 1964 when we hired "Maureen" from Deans of Christleton. One of the reasons for hiring the “Maureen” as against the "Kathleen" which was already booked was that it had wide gunwales (or walk-arounds) so that the dog we recently acquired could walk around the sides of the boat (or as my friend Norrie the Mad Irishman would say “run the gunwales”) as well as getting on and off easily. In fact the dog accompanied us when we went to book the boat and he had a trial run to ensure that he could "run the gunwales"! The dog in question was called Jack. He was across between a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and an Alsatian (so I was told), hence the brindle coat and the bad attitude that he had towards strangers. He was to accompany us on our last two years with Deans and also when we first had our own boat. In fact, he was again measured for width whilst “Phial” was being built to ensure that he could walk around the boat’s gunwales. Unfortunately he caught distemper, which the vet thought was from the urine of a diseased water rat whilst in Chester in 1966 and sadly, died in the autumn of that year.

Jack 1 in 1965

(Photograph - James M Wood)

Jack’s successor was Karl. He was a brindle Boxer and was a rescue dog from the RSPCA “Dogs’ Home” in Wallasey. We didn’t have Karl for very long. He did go to Beeston during the winter of 1966/67 when we went to check on the boat but didn’t actually go boating with us as, tragically, he had to be put to sleep early in 1967 due to his having behavioural problems caused by mistreatment from his previous owner. We do not have many photographs of Karl due to not having him for very long.

The next dog, in 1968, was another Jack, similar to the previous Jack not only in name but in appearance as well. My brother, Jim, once told me that he was a relation to the previous Jack and was the canine equivalent to his grandson. As Jim knew the family that he came from who lived in Pool Road not far from us this was not beyond the boundaries of possibility. I remember seeing him as a puppy with his mother and siblings when we decided to take him. He was not as cantankerous as his namesake (but still bad enough) and he was to accompany us on many voyages over the next fourteen years. The Merrals, who owned the land that “Phial” was moored on had a pony called Dolly. Jack 2 had befriended Dolly and they spent many happy hours together playing and running in the field where she was kept. When the pony was in foal, their activities had to be curtailed temporarily in case she miscarried but after the foal was born normal services were resumed and what's more, the foal joined in as well! The Merrals later had donkeys but they did not have the same affinity with Jack that the ponies did and tended to ignore him. After Father died in 1978, Jack 2 stayed with Mother and was her constant companion during the summers she spent on “Phial” until his death in 1982 aged fourteen years old.

Jack 2 in 1968

(Photograph - James M Wood)

I got my own dog in 1979… Misty (later to be partly the inspiration behind the name of our first boat... “Misty Waters”). She was a cross between a Golden Labrador and a Cocker Spaniel... her father being the Labrador and her mother being the Cocker Spaniel. Whilst going on an errand for milk from a local shop I noticed a puppy behind the counter of the shop. The shop's owner told me that their cocker spaniel bitch had puppies and this was one of them. She initially went to a lady who found the puppy tpp much for her to cope with and gave it back to the shop's owners. I was asked if I knew of anyone who might like the puppy. I said that we might be interested and after a quick family discussion I returned to the shop and came back with the puppy in my arms much to the delight of my children. She possessed the best temperament of any dog I have ever known equalled only by Maxi and Ruby (more of whom later). The golden coat and intelligence of the Labrador coupled with the size and good manners of the Spaniel was definitely a good gene mix. During her long life she never ever bit anyone and was loved by all who came in contact with her. One night she awoke us barking loudly. I went downstairs to investigate and was just in time to see a burglar fleeing. If Misty hadn't have alerted us then the burglar wouldn't have been detected and stolen more than he did.

Misty when she was a puppy in 1979

She got on well with Jack 2 and I only remember her falling in the canal once whilst the boat was moving. This was on “Misty Waters 1” shortly after we had bought the boat when we were cruising down the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal near Kinver in 1984. She decided to try and walk down the side of the boat but didn’t quite make it as the boat possessed quite narrow gunwales. One day, “Misty Waters II” was tied up near Moore on the Bridgewater Canal whilst I cleaned the hull. Misty was fast asleep inside. But after she went to sleep I had turned the boat around to clean the opposite side. When Misty woke up, she didn't realise this fact and got off as normal. It must have been a rude awakening for her when she realised that the towpath wasn’t where she had left it but the canal was and received an unscheduled bath.

Misty at the Audlem Mill Shop Dog Mooring - August 1985

Another funny memory that is nothing to do with boating but concerns a female kitten that my daughter Lisa brought home in 1984. The kitten was christened Tabitha or Tabby for short. When the kitten was brought into the house, Misty was curled up on a chair at home when the kitten jumped up beside her, curled up and went to sleep. When the kitten awoke it discovered Misty’s nipples and started to suckle on them. No milk came out but it must have comforted the kitten and it continued to do this until one day it must have given Misty a nip. Tabby was ejected from the chair in no uncertain fashion and didn’t attempt to suckle her again.

Misty being tormented by Tabby in 1984

Whilst on the subject of the Tabby, she used to come on the boat with us. I taught her to swim in a moored work boat at the top of Grindley Brook staircase lock that had some water in it but not deep enough for her to drown in. She quite often turned heads when people on passing boats saw this small kitten walking around the side of “Misty Waters”.

Tabby in a more placid mood

Whilst we were moored at Llangollen in the summer of 1985, Tabby jumped ashore and went onto the boat moored behind us. It was an Anglo-Welsh hire boat that had bridge guards fitted over the foredeck. Hanging from the bridge guards was washing hung out to dry, with which, the kitten was merrily playing. The occupants of the boat were so captivated that they offered to buy the kitten there and then (for £20 if my memory serves me correctly). Needless to say, she wasn’t for sale. Quite often, whilst at Beeston and it was time to go home she would refuse to get into the car with Misty and the rest of us. She would then run away and hide until we had left. This meant that she would have to spend the week with my Mother until our return the following weekend. Tabby didn’t impress my Mother very much when she started catching field mice and water voles, presenting her with them on “Phial”. Later that year whilst at home, Tabby went out for a walk and didn’t return. I quite often wonder what became of this pleasant young cat but I will never know. Perhaps someone started feeding her chicken (her favourite food) and she decided to stay with them.

When we moved to Preston Brook Marina in the autumn of 1985, our berth was on one side of the marina and our friends Alec and Dave’s boats' berths were on the other side. Misty could be quite often seen sprinting around the marina with her nose to the ground when she smelt the bacon being cooked on one of our friends’ boats. She was loved by all who came in contact with her and had a long and healthy life. When Maxi came to live with us she became his mentor and would often pass on to him the wisdom she possessed. In later life she survived a stroke and lived to the ripe old age of 18 when, in 1997 she sadly died due to liver failure. She is dearly missed and the memories we have of her hold a special place in our hearts.

In 1987 we agreed to take a friend’s Irish Setter when he had to move and could not take the dog to his new home. His name was Prince or, as he was most commonly referred to... Prinny. He was a beautiful dog but not the most intelligent that I have known. Misty used to boss him around and, to be honest, he needed her guidance. She used to “beat him up” (in a playful fashion) when he was naughty or did something stupid. Prinny had a red plastic squeaky peg and delighted in chewing it making it squeak quite loudly. Misty didn't like the squeaky peg and one day Prinny was upstairs chewing at it and Misty must have had enough of the noise he was making. She calmly jumped down off the chair she was sitting on, went upstairs and took the peg off him. She came back downstairs with the peg in her mouth and climbed back onto the chair with an expression of self-satisfaction that I will always remember. One example of Prinny’s lack of intelligence was demonstrated when I was at work and received a telephone call from Ange my next door neighbour (the lady destined to become my second wife) who told me that the dog had hung himself from the net curtains on my front windows. He must have been after a fly and entangled himself in the curtains. Thankfully, he was unharmed by the experience but we still laugh about the incident over twenty years later. Prinny was not best suited to canalling as he couldn’t swim due to having a slim build, small paws and not being very muscular. Being dozy didn’t help either! Consequently, he fell in the cut quite often. I remember having to dive into the River Weaver adjacent to the Anderton Boat Lift when he jumped onto a boat moored at the wharf below the boat lift and missed! If we were to have him today we would buy a canine life jacket for him and make sure that he wore it.

Prinny in 1989

When on the boat he used to sleep at the bottom of Michael, my eldest son’s, sleeping bag. One day, he decided to eat a whole pan of Spaghetti Bolognese that to himself. The Bolognese was in a pan on the cooker, waiting to be warmed-up for supper. Being quite a tall dog he could reach the pan from the adjacent bunk and the temptation must have been too great for him. That night, after he had been forgiven, he was asleep in his usual place with Michael and broke wind. When the smell of the flatulence reached Michael it woke him up and the poor dog was forcefully ejected from the sleeping bag accompanied by a volley of verbal abuse that ended in “smelly dog”. He slept on the rear deck for the rest of that night. It wasn’t funny at the time, but we can laugh about it now!

We did not have him from a puppy and the previous owner did not train him properly. Accordingly, he could not be trusted off the lead and usually had to be tied up when we moored in case he ran off and couldn’t find his way back. The solution to this problem was to provide Prinny with a long rope attached to his own personal mooring stake and even then he managed to tie himself up in knots. On the rare occasions he was off the lead, he usually found some mischief to get up to. Once, when we were cruising down the Middlewich branch of the “Shroppie”, he was trotting along the towpath close to Church Minshull with Misty and my daughter, Lisa, when he came upon a really fresh and smelly cowpat. He just couldn’t resist the temptation to roll in it. By the time Lisa had caught up with him his beautiful glossy red coat had turned green and he was standing there under the misconception that he smelt wonderful. It took three dunks in the cut accompanied by a good dowsing in Fairy Liquid and dog shampoo to return his coat to normal. Whilst he was receiving his multiple dunkings Misty barked at him, then looked on with an amused expression on her face and I am sure that she was laughing at him as he was receiving his repeated dunks in the canal to rinse out the detergent. Prinny's favourite pastime was licking his testicals and he would polish them with his tongue until they were very shiny much to the amusement of the children.

Unfortunately, a couple of years later, Prinny fell over backwards at home and damaged his spine paralysing him from the “waist” down. The vet could not suggest a treatment and said that the kindest thing would be to have him put to sleep. We have seen other dogs since that had a buggy consisting of a frame with little wheels on allowing full mobility and often wondered if this could have been done for Prinny. Had this solution been possible he would have most probably got it stuck somewhere or overturned the buggy. If it had happened these days I am sure that Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick would have been able to sort him out!

Another dog we had was for a short period of time in the early 1990s was Mindy. She came from the same source as Prinny but didn't go canal cruising with us. She was a cross between a cocker spaniel and a black Labrador... a similar mix to Misty. She had the most beautiful shiny black coat and the whitest teeth that I have ever seen on a dog. She was well mannered (as was Misty) but she did not stay with us very long and went back to her previous owner after about twelve months. We later looked after Mindy for a week in 1996 whilst her owner was in hospital.  We were sad (especially Maxi) when she had to return to her owner and we quite often talk about her, especially her beautiful white teeth, her glossy black coat and the effect that she had on Maxi who is discussed below.

Mindy in 1996

One of Ange’s brothers and his wife live in the Isle of Wight and the first time that I visited them was in 1994. At that time we were introduced to their Springer Spaniel who was called Max. I immediately made friends with Max and spent more time with him than the human members of the family. Later on, his owners’ circumstances changed and Max didn’t quite fit into the changes. We were asked if we would like to have him to which we answered yes without hesitation. At the time, Max wasn’t a very good traveller and had to be sedated for the journey from the Isle of Wight up to our home on the Wirral. Misty was still alive when we got him and, even though she was getting old, she still gave the guidance that she showed Prinny. At the end of the road where we live is a park that contains a large lake. When Max (usually referred to as “Maxi”) saw the lake for the first time he just had to jump into it for a swim, even though it was in January and there was ice on the water! Naturally, Misty told him off in her usual way, trotting along the lake's bank, barking at him as he swam. We captured this occurrence on video and it always brings a smile to our faces when we see that grand, wise old dog bossing a young and boisterous Springer Spaniel around. As the weeks passed, we got Maxi more used to going in the car and he eventually came to enjoy the experience, knowing that it usually meant an extra long walk for him.

Maxi cooling off in a cattle trough

Mention is made above of Mindy and the fact that we looked after her whilst her owner was in hospital. Maxi had "the hots" for her but Mindy would have nothing to do with him. She would be lying down on the other side of the room and would notice Maxi looking at her. She would then silently bare her brilliant white teeth at him to which Maxi would put his head down, look the other way and avoided eye contact at all costs. On one occasion Maxi was looking at her whilst he was standing in the middle of the room nowhere near her and was going through the motions of "humping". We put this down to him just "practicing". This occurrence was absolutely hilarious and it prompted us to ask the vet on his next visit about his sexual frustration and whether or not he should be neutered. The vet told us that what he never had he would never miss and as long as his temperament was okay we should leave well alone.

Whilst on a walk in the country on a hot summer's day in 2000 we came across a galvanised steel trough used by cattle to drink out of. The trough had not been used for a while and the water in it had turned stagnant. This didn't deter Maxi though and he jumped in to cool down much to our frustration. The photograph above shows the expression of joy on his face but what it does not convey is how he smelt when he got out. He had to be hosed down repeatedly before getting back into the car. Maxi had been by canals when he had accompanied us to Beeston Market (every Bank Holiday Monday) or come with us on one of our canal walks. He usually could not wait to sample the local water no matter how deep or cold it was. On one occasion we drove to Pontcysyllte and he was so scared of crossing the aqueduct that I had to carry him across both ways. His first introduction to boating was on “Cordelia”. At first, he was not too impressed by the vibration of the boat’s engine but as time passed, he became used to it and loved going to the boat, usually being the first in the car when we were preparing to go. Whenever I was doing a job on the boat I used to joke that Maxi helped me by handing me the tools or screws, and I’m sure that he would have so done had he been able to. Not long after taking over responsibility for “Cordelia” we attended a boat rally at Lymm Cruising Club. Due to a shortage of space we were moored in the arm outside Lymm Cruising Club’s headquarters with three boats behind us, boats moored on either side and five boats moored across our bows. Maxi wouldn’t jump across to the adjacent boats in order to reach dry land (due to being a bit of a coward) and so I had to lift up this five stone dog and carry him like a baby as I stepped across to the next boat’s foredeck and then onto the canal bank, avoiding mooring ropes as I went. The process had to be reversed when getting back on the boat.

Maxi on the front deck of nb Total Eclipse in 2001

Springer Spaniels are inherently intelligent and require constant mental stimulation. We used to play several games with him such as "Go Find" and "Which Cup". With "Go Find" Maxi would be sent out into the hall whilst a chew stick was hidden somewhere in the sitting room. Sometimes he would try and peep around the door to see where the treat was hidden. When we saw this he would be told to go by the foot of the stairs and the treat re-hidden. Maxi would be sitting patiently but making the occasional "huff" and stamping his feet. When we were ready we would call him into the room with a "Maxi... come and find it" to which he would run into the room and sniff frantically all the usual hiding places such as beneath the sofa cushions, by the side of the television or beneath a strategically placed magazine or newspaper. Needless to say he would quickly find the treat with a satisfied expression on his face and sat waiting for us . "Which Cup" required as the name suggests three cups turned the upside down whilst Maxi was out of the room with a treat hidden beneath one of them. He would come in and inspect each of the cups and always chose the one with the treat beneath by putting his paw on it. We would then mix the cups up and, as previously, always found the correct one.

Maxi - Loved by all who came in contact with him

Unfortunately, Maxi suffered (unbeknown to us) from a fatal liver and kidney problem and he went to sleep for the last time in the May of 2002. When we were going to the boat he was always the first in the car. He was overcoming his initial wariness of boats (like he did with the car when we first got him) and would have ensured wet paw marks and muddy carpets for many years to come. We were devastated when Maxi died and vowed not to have another dog as it is too painful emotionally when something like this happens to them. We were very fortunate to have known Maxi and blessed to have had him as part of our family. He was friendly, humorous, loyal and very good company. Over thirteen years on we still miss him greatly (and I suspect, always will) and will most certainly never forget him such was the impression that he made upon us.

My brother has always had a bog (or two or three) but eventually they all passed away for various reasons... usually old age. I remember well accompanying my brother to the vet when one of them had to be put down. Not long before my brother died they got another dog. He is called Max and is a cross-breed Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He has a lovely nature and is quite vocal. We quite often look after Max and he has been on the boat with us as well. He fretted quite a lot (as we all did) when my brother passed away and since then we have seen a lot more of Max. We know that we cannot replace Jim but hope that we have become occasional "surrogate" parents to Max and he seems to enjoy staying with us. We look forward to many more years of his company.

My nephew Andrew with Max

After our Maxi’s death we vowed not to have another dog as it would be far too painful if something happened to it. Also, as we are both out at work during the day it would be unfair to expect them to stay at home all alone during the day. When we had Maxi I would come home during my lunchtime to make sure that he was alright and let him into the back garden for bladder emptying, etc. With my being transferred to Wirral Metropolitan College’s Carlett Park Campus at Eastham... half way down the Wirral Peninsula, it would have been too great a distance to travel home during my lunchtime and so a canine companion will have to wait until we retire from working life. But that is not to say that we haven’t been tempted! In the meantime we had plenty of friends whose dogs were only too eager to give us a lick and a cuddle. But things do change and Ruby came into our lives.

Whilst I was off work ill in 2015 we were asked to look after grandaughter Shannon's dog Ruby due to their household not really being conducive to having a dog in it. Ruby is a ruby coloured (hence the name) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and was nine months old when she came to stay with us. Whilst being off work it was not a problem her being with us and she fitted into our family well. She is a friendly, playful young dog. With her coming to stay with us permanently she is enjoying being with us, we are enjoying her company and she is a wonderful addition to our family.

Ruby... the latest addition to our family

When we introduced her to the boat we were impressed by the way she fitted in... not being phased by the sound of the boat's engine and not trying to jump into the canal at the first opportunity (unlike our Springer Spaniel... Maxi did). She is just the right height to walk beneath the seating on the boat's rear deck... when the sun is shining she can sit down beneath it being shaded from the sun and when it is raining she can also shelter from the rain although she does have her own waterproof jacket! A couple of weeks later, because she had fitted into our way of life so well we were asked if we would like to keep her on a permanent basis. We said yes and made arrangements for her microchip details to be changed to us and purchased a dog buoyancy aid. When registering her with the vet and having her microchip details changed the vet informed me that we were already registered with them and that according to their records we had a twenty four year old Springer Spaniel. This statement from the receptionist tugged at my heart strings and brought a tear to my eyes as I remembered our beautiful Maxi who fell asleep for the last time in May 2002. Even though Ruby has been in the sea at Harrison Drive (just after New Brighton on the Wirral's coastline) we would feel happier if she had a buoyancy aid just in case she fell into a lock or somewhere that it was difficult for her to climb out of.

Ruby wearing her buoyancy aid on the rear deck of nb Squirrel

On her first canal holiday with us she initially barked at ducks but by the end of the two weeks she just looked at them with curiosity. She stands with her front paws on the rear deck gunwales taking in the sights, sounds and scents of the canal. With her having a buoyancy aid we decided to trust her whilst passing through locks and allow her to walk around provided that there wasn't a road or any other hazards around. This trust proved to be well founded and she is well behaved (as usual) when we are at locks. She also enjoys accompanying me when I am out taking photographs as can be seen in the photograph below when we went into a wheat field at Barbridge on the Shropshire Union Canal. We are now looking forward to sharing our lives and canal cruising adventures with this latest addition to our family/crew. Ruby now has her own page on the Canalscape Website which tells all of her story and adventures. It can be found by following this link... Ruby.

Ruby "on safari" in a wheat field at Barbridge

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Friends' Dogs

All the dogs mentioned up to now have been our dogs but there are some that belonged to fellow boaters that demand mentioning. Bobby belonged to Phil "Ladybird" who occasionally cruised with us during the 1980’s when we were moored on Preston Brook Marina. Bobby’s claim to fame was that he barked at his own reflection in the canal. It was humorous at first to see (and hear) this dog looking at his reflection and barking at it for quite long periods of time. In the end the novelty wore off and Phil (who has a broad St Helens accent) would shout “Bobber... shurrup Bobber!” Bobby is sadly no longer with us and Phil, along with his wife Cathy (who used to work for Dave Reed and used to crew for him), has sold their boat “Ladybird” and gone to live in Lanzarote but we will never forget them.

In 1986 the Gourdjis (Rakaia) bought a dog in the shape of “Trudy”... a Cairn Terrier. She was, as this breed is normally, a snappy little thing and when on board the boat “Rakaia” resided in a cupboard with a curtain on the front. When a stranger or someone that she didn’t like walked past she would dart out of her cupboard like a Conger Eel striking at its prey and attack their ankles. Her dislikes were not exclusively directed towards humans either... she didn’t like other dogs as well. She had what I refer to as “Small Dog Syndrome” which is something that a book I have on dog psychology puts down to small dogs having an inferiority complex. We were cruising around the Cheshire Ring in 1987 and were negotiating Bosley Locks on the Macclesfield Canal when Trudy decided to have a go at Prinny... our Irish Setter. My eldest son Michael waded in to separate the two dogs and ended up having to be taken to the local hospital for stitches. After that Michael gave the evil little bitch a sly kick at every opportunity. Over the years Trudy didn’t mellow with age and she was still as cantankerous and snappy when she died in 1991.

Unfortunately we don't have any photographs of Bobby or Trudy.

Alan Savage, the mooring officer at Lymm Cruising Club and his wife Lin had two dogs... Jake and Ozzy. Jake was a small mongrel and, from birth has only had three paws. The missing paw is his left hand front paw and if he was sitting on your knee he had a habit of sticking his “stump” into you which was quite painful. Even though he was small and disadvantaged, it did not prevent him from barking and “having a go” at other dogs... the bigger the better. Jake could run along the towpath as fast as any other dog I know but had to wear a life jacket as if he fell into the canal he could only swim in circles. Jake was not the only three-legged dog I have known. I can remember a dog that lived in the canal cottages next to the A56 road bridge at Preston Brook that also had three legs. As with Jake, the animal did not let the disability affect his mobility and could also run along the towpath as fast as any four legged dog.

Jake and Ozzy in 2007

Alan and Lin’s other dog... Ozzy was one of the most intelligent dogs that I have known. He would greet you with a smile (showing his teeth in a friendly manner), was an extremely friendly dog and had a perpetually wagging tail. He would quite often invite himself onto the boat just in case there were some spare biscuits or other tit bits around. He was one of the few dogs I have known that looked up at the sky and barked at birds. It was quite humorous to see Jake and Ozzy playing with each other, running along the towpath playing and biting at each other. There was the occasional yelp from one of them due to the odd "nip" but it was all in good fun. Ozzy passed away in November 2014 and Jake shortly afterwards early in 2015.

Woodsey the dog and the human Woodsey (me)

(Photograph - Oliver Savage)

Bailey with Lin Savage and Woodsey

Since Alan and Lin lost Ozzie and Jake they now have two new dogs. The first one is called Bailey and the second one was called Elwood. Shortly after getting Elwood Alan had telephoned me to ask if I had any objection to his calling the latest dog Woodsey. He is a Yorkshire Terrier and Alan said that he would feel a bit of a prat shouting "Elwood" but thought that Woodsey would be a good name for him. This is the nickname he has for me (amongst other names that cannot be repeated here) but I am not sure if he is naming the dog after me or my late brother... Jim who he also called Woodsey (as with me... amongst other names that cannot be repeated here). Either way I said that I didn't have any objection to the dog being named after Jim or myself. In fact, I was quite flattered by Alan asking if I had any objections.

Roadie at the 2008 Navigation Trials

Roadie was a wire-haired Lurcher and Lymm CC member Brian Warburton's (nb Ondine) dog and constant companion. Roadie was a pleasant creature who enjoyed being stroked and had an appetite for biscuits. I have memories of Brian and Roadie returning from the Bull's Head (a pub in Lymm Village) and both looking the worse for wear... swaying from side to side under the influence of alcohol. On another occasion Roadie went missing and was eventually spotted walking down the lane in the direction of the Bull's Head where he was eventually found sitting in his usual spot waiting for Brian to arrive and "get a round in". Roadie was one of the canine characters of Lymm CC and will be missed by all the animal lovers in the Club after his death in April 2009.

Rufus on board Seguido

One of Roadie's mates was Rufus. He looked very similar to Roadie but had shorter legs and a smaller body. He was the loyal companion of Lily and Stuart Williams and accompanied them on board their narrowboat Seguido for many years and absolutely loved sausages (gruvvely). Rufus also fell asleep in 2009.


Angie's son Michael's girlfriend Aimee has a Brussels Griffon called Yoda. Yoda has taken to Michael so much that he was made an honorary "parent". Yoda visits quite regularly and has even had a couple of "sleep-overs". Ruby, being her usual aloof self tolerates him and is quite possessive when he sits on Ange's knee, giving him the "death stare" in the process. He is a playful little dog and is full of character... much to Ruby's disdain!


Our dogs can be our salvation, bringing love and affection into a sometimes cold and emotionless world. My dear departed brother would rather have trusted a dog than a human and said that a dog has no ulterior motive for friendship other than being kept fed, exercised and receiving the aforementioned love and affection. Maybe he was right although many would disagree with him. We have enjoyed the company of our canine friends over the years. They have enriched our lives, given us love and affection, safeguarded our property, helped to teach our children a sense of value, made us laugh and asked for very little in return other than food, love and exercise.  We like to look upon them as friends and companions in the truest sense of the word.


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or select another book below...



Book 1 - 1959 to 1982


Book 2 - 1983 to 1999

Book 3 - 2000 to 2005

Book 4 - 2006 to 2007


Book 5 - 2008 to 2009


Book 6 - 2010


Book 7 - 2011

Book 8 - 2012

  Book 9 - 2013
  Book 10 - 2014
  Book 11 - 2015
  Book 12 - 2016
  Book 13 - 2017
  Book 14 - 2018
  Book 15 - 2019
  Book 15 - 2020
   Book 17 - 2021
  Our Boats
  So You Want To Go Canal Cruising?
  nb Squirrel
  Canals on Screen
  Canals Through the Ages
  Photography Introduction
  Photographic Experiences
  Canalscape Gallery
  Diarama Gallery
  Photography in One
  The History of Lymm Cruising Club
  The Duke's Cut - The Bridgewater Canal
  The Big Ditch - Manchester's Ship Canal
  Shroppie - The Shropshire Union Canal System
  The Manchester and Salford Junction Canal
  Mersey Connections
  Wonders of the Waterways
  2011 Gardner Engine Rally Report
  Foreign Forays - Canals of the World
  Worsley Canal Heritage Walk
  Castlefield Canal Heritage Walk
  The Liverpool Docks Link
  nb Total Eclipse
  Don't Call it a Barge
  Lymm Cruising Club Website
  Footnote and Acknowledgements
  Site Map
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Updated 14/05/2021