HAMISH THE WESTIE
Find out who was Hamish? (Pg 1/2)
Hamish The Westie (in my garden) - beloved first dog, who died in July 2022
IF you have been observant, you might have noticed that my brand is called 'Hamish Productions' with the logo of West Highland White Terrier... well 'Hamish' WAS my dog!
I say was, as sadly on 6th July 2022, he died in my arms. He was 13yrs and just 6 days old.
My pedigree Westie - often referred to as 'Hamish THE Westie', was born on 1st July 2009 at a lovely posh house deep in the countryside near Haywards Heath, West Sussex by a very experienced breeder. We collected Hamish on 1st September 2009. I had reserved a puppy and upon arrival we found that there were just two little pups left from the litter. I felt dreadful leaving one behind - but I simply could not afford an extra £400 for a second pup (let alone two lots of vet bills). From that day our lives changed for the better.
My FIRST picture of a very scruffy baby pup 'Hamish'
on 30th August 2009
My first dilemma was a name - being a Scottish breed, he had to have a Scottish name, so whilst watching the BBC TV police drama "Hamish Macbeth", the main character had a Westie called 'Jock' (or in a gruff Scots dialect 'Wee Jock') who quickly became a star of the show - I decided that the name for my Westie had to be 'Hamish'. With the police connection, it seemed fate! I gave him a middle name too - 'Spencer', in recognition of the fact that he was born on 1st July - and so shared a birthday with the late Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997).
Robert Carlyle as 'PC Hamish Macbeth' and 'Jock' (his Westie)
Hamish at home in September 2009
proving that he could 'sit' on command - and growing up fast
Like everyone with a new puppy, getting used to them and the puppy getting used to you - is often a challenging time and requires a great deal of patience, common-sense, love and lots more patience! Very quickly Hamish settled in and he soon became the centre of our life. I had never had a dog before, Hamish was my first and no matter how many dogs enter my life, there will always be a special part in my heart for him. I soon started a policy that wherever I went, he came along too... so he would come along to trips to garden centres, coffee shops, band rehearsals (I used to play and conduct a local wind band) and even concerts, he came to church, and often on night duty at Windsor Castle - he would come with me too. I will never forget walking him around the Castle and being asked by guests or the odd resident to enquire if he was the latest addition to HM's pack of dogs. Hamish did however get to drink out of HM's corgis' water bowls!!!
At this time I was employed by the Metropolitan Police - in SO14 Royalty Protection Department at Windsor Castle, In their usual shambles of poor admin, at short notice I was sent to Scotland to help look after the security of HM The Queen and members of the Royal Family whilst in residence at Balmoral Castle. So I had no option but to leave my new pup with my mother for several weeks.
After my tour of duty came to an end and upon returning home, my puppy had grown and my mother had trained Hamish to 'sit on command' and to raise a paw and was almost 'house trained'. She had done wonders with him - especially when in her heart of hearts, she had never really wanted a dog (as I was working long hours and a shift pattern that meant I was not home much).
Hamish in my garden in September 2009
but still needed to grow into his ears
Hamish in November 2009 in his first Winter coat - Royal Stewart Tartan of course!
Hamish trying to look innocent
in March 2011 - "it wasn't me!"
'Uncle Richard's nameplate'
(played by the actress
and 'Tricki Woo'
from the BBC TV drama
"All Creatures Great And Small"
To visit East Grinstead Vets
- click ABOVE logo
BELOW: One of my favourite
photos of Hamish taken
in the conservatory
of a friend
Now I am not going to say that Hamish was perfect - no dog ever is. We soon found that he loved finding socks (despite having loads of toys) and would love to play with them - even if they were a bit smelly! He never chewed them, but found playing with them a lot of fun. Then of course (like children) if there was silence, it would often mean that he was up to no-good... and I remember how we had found that Hamish had discovered a new 'toy' - a toilet roll. He had obviously managed to get one from the downstairs lavatory and like a happy pup would - he tore it to pieces and the 'toilet roll massacre of 2011' was the first of many of Hamish's minor indiscretions.
It was about this time that we realised that Hamish was often becoming ill, with sickness, toxic poo and not eating. It was soon discovered by 'Uncle Richard' (the Vet) that he had colitis and he was put on a strict hypo-sensitive diet to try and diminish his 'sickness episodes'. Whilst talking of 'Uncle Richard' - real name Richard Cunnington, a senior partner at the East Grinstead Veterinary Hospital, some people have asked why we called him 'Uncle Richard'. This was a joke with the help of James Herriot - pen name of Alf Wright (1916-1995) the author of the successful "All Creatures Great and Small" books about his life as a Yorkshire Vet from the 1930s-1953. In the BBC TV series starring Christopher Timothy (b.1940) in the lead role - Herriot had an eccentric client 'Mrs Pumphrey' - played by Margaretta Scott (1912-2005), a wealthy widow who had a very spoilt Pekingese dog called 'Tricki Woo'. Mrs Pumphrey would talk vicariously and call on 'Uncle Herriot' perhaps a little too frequently and he would be expected to 'talk' directly to the dog (even over the telephone!) and go to the dog's lavish birthday parties and perform trivial tasks to placate his wealthy client - and be rewarded with a hamper from Fortnum & Mason's!
'Uncle Richard's House' - East Grinstead Vets