Dram’s bed was near the back door so that it was nearby when he returned from a walk. The bed had a removable cover, plus a spare, and these were washed at regular intervals and he was always excited to be given a freshly washed bed cover.
The location of his bed also helped him to guard the door. On one occasion when I was away from home for a couple of days our neighbour called. On getting no response to her knocks she let herself in, closed the door behind her and called for my wife who was at the other end of the house. Although our neighbour visited quite often and was known to Dram, he didn’t let her get any further, in my wife’s absence from the room. He was not at all threatening. He didn’t even bark. Instead, he leaned against her knees and held her against the door until my wife arrived.
Mind you, if anyone approached the house that he didn’t know, or didn’t like, the growl would start somewhere near his tail, a low resonant note gradually building in tone and volume as it worked its way forward, finally bursting forth as thunderous barking accompanied by a most intimidating display of large teeth. We knew that he probably wouldn’t harm anyone, other than to lick them to death but strangers didn’t know that.
Like any sensible dog Dram loved to be the centre of attention and of course I spoiled him. Who wouldn’t? When he was very small I would sit him on my knee as I sat on the sofa. A bit later he found that he could jump up on to my knee – so long as I caught him so that he didn’t fall down again. This became part of the routine and it never really stopped – even when he had grown to around 80 lb in weight! Otherwise he never jumped on to furniture but eventually we allowed him one exception to this rule – he was allowed, for a short time each day, to occupy the righthand end of the sofa as you can see in the picture above. It was a great place for a nap! It was also a great vantage point from which to see whether anything interesting was happening in the kitchen.