Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Saturday, 4 July 2015


Today our little Border terrier, Holly, has achieved the venerable age of SEVENTEEN.
Born on the Fourth of July 1998, Holly was not the most prepossessing of puppies: small, underweight, and apparently far from robust, she arrived, sight-unseen, from a breeder in Guildford: her only outstanding characteristic was her stubbornness.
Stubbornness is a traditional terrier trait, but other attributes were noticeibly absent. 
She displayed no interest whatsoever in hunting or chasing and steadfastly ignored any rabbit or cat that chose to cross her path. 
She was and is, however, intensely loyal and loving and receives much adoration in return.
Few would have predicted such longevity, but here she is, bless her, seventeen today. 
I wrote this poem a few years ago, inspired by the daily experience of walking Hols in our lane at Bordeaux and the similarity between the words, cord, accord, and a chord.  

Jane and Hols at Chouet beach, Guernsey.


On the lane we walk together
in some small semblance of order:
not regimented, hardly that.
She’s spontaneous, this small Border,
stubborn, freethinking, like a cat
fleet-footed, floats like a feather.

Between us, a retracting lead
adapts to our differing pace:
she walks to heel then stops to sniff.
The lead holds us in its embrace,
one moment close and then as if
estranged again. So we proceed.

How similar to love, this cord
in its extending to and fro.
Though distant, we are not apart
like tides, emotions come and go
One heart linked to another heart
in perfect harmony: a chord.


  1. Holly is a glowing testimonial to your love, care and compassion Richard. Countless dog owners will identify with this lovely poem. Gosh, yes! 'd never stopped to think just how symbolic that dog lead is: the 'love cord' which connects you to each other. The perfect metaphor! Happy Birthday Holly darling.

  2. Richard Fleming11 July 2015 at 13:47

    Thanks so much for your comments, Fairplay. You're obviously a dog-lover yourself. They do hold a special place in all our hearts, don't they.