Coltrane was the first (and so far only) dog I bought myself, as an adult. I bought him with my then partner (TP) and he was our baby.
I took this photo of him the day we brought him home. We went to the breeder to look at the two standard poodle pups he had. One was bigger and more independent. The other smaller and seemed a bit needy. He went up to TP, nibbled his nose and licked his glasses. TP said to me "You can choose, but can we have this one?" And so, Coltrane came home with us.
We always said we'd never let him sleep on the bed (he was going to be a big dog), but then at six months he got really sick. That went out the window, and since then, always slept at the end of the bed, didn't move all night. In the mornings, he'd wake me when he wanted to go outside. He'd just hold his face close to mine, which would usually bring me out of my slumber. If that didn't work, he'd very gently rub my cheek with his wet nose.
He had an elastic fetish. He loved anything that stretched, and believed it was even better if it smelt of TP or myself. Being big, he'd reach up to the dresser and find TP's watch, a ski watch with an elastic band. He'd put it on his nose with the band through his month and wear it around for as long as we'd let him. He'd prance around as if to say, "Look at me, I look like dad", just like a kid dressing up in their parents' clothes.
We had to make sure the laundry door was closed properly, there were too many delights for him there. One night, TP and I were having a dinner party. We'd obviously not closed the laundry door properly. Coltrane came up to the dining room with one of my red, lacy bras. He had the cup in his mouth and was using the shoulder strap like an exercise band. Luckily it was a dinner with friends!
He was friendly, loving, obedient and ever so protective. I swear he was gay and used to pick up every boy of that persuasion on the street. He loved to play in puddles, but was scared of waves. He always wanted to be with his mum however, so if I'd go out in the surf, as much as he hated it, he'd come with me. He was super-fit and would run for six hours each Saturday and Sunday, up and down mountains beside TP as he went mountain bike riding.
When TP and I split, we made the very difficult decision that he would go to live with him. Both TP and I worked from home, but while I was actually out most of the day on photoshoots and in the darkroom, TP was physically at home so Coltrane would have company. He'd come back to my place for weekend stays.
He died before his time. The sickness he got at six months old, meant that he couldn't fight off illnesses. He got very sick and passed away while I was still in Japan, the Christmas before I was due to come back to Australia.
I still miss him dearly, but life is better for having had him in it.
AND, if you're still with me.... Tomorrow night is the night! I'm going to finally put up the giveaway and have some exciting (for me anyway) news... I had hoped to get it done last week, but it turned out to be an exhausting one at work. Sorry!