Are Your Dogs Related?

River Blythe

We’ve gone away. We’re sleeping, walking and I hope I get my swimming mojo back.

We haven’t gone far, we’re staying on a campsite right by the sea on the Dunwich cliffs.

Yesterday we went for a walk along the river from Blythburgh to the edges of Southwold. We stopped at a pub called the Harbour Inn on the edges of Southwold. It was awful.

When we go away we don’t want to talk to people – we really don’t. The pub seemed full of people who were unable to stop their dogs coming over and bothering my dogs. So the  people get dragged over to our table by their dogs, and simper about how the doggies seem to really like each other. I just wanted to be left alone.

Then a man asked me, what I think is a most ridiculously stupid question, one that I get asked all the time ….. but maybe you can tell me if I am being overly judgemental on this issue.

He asked me if my dogs were related.

Just to remind you, here are both the dogs sitting next to each other.


I get it, they are both black and white; they are both working sheepdogs.

But really??? All black labradors look the same to me … slightly overfed, not very bright, stodgy – miaow – I know, this is why I have gone on holiday. But, and this is crucial, just because they look the same doesn’t mean I assume they must all be related. I am sure they are thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of black labradors in the world that are not related to each other.

But let’s now return to my dogs. One is a smooth-coat with a dash of red that catches the light as his dad was a red and white collie. The other is a rough coat, tricolour with a pointy nose.

dogs and james

I told the man they weren’t related. He told me he thought they were as they looked alike wtf?

So this is what I said …..

“Well I guess they do look alike in that they are both black and white, but then so are most collies”

He stopped talking to me then which was probably a good thing. Because the next words out of mouth were going to be a question as to whether his labrador and pug-type dog were related.  Yes, I need a holiday.

We have no real internet so there might not be any posts for a while, we will see …..


N.B. The food in the pub was terrible. I had a crab thermidor. I stopped eating it as it tasted like it would make me ill, very ill. It didn’t, but really …. How hard can it be to mess up cheesy, creamy crab?

N.B. This photo is of my dogs in the Ship Inn – which is a wonderful place, serving the most excellent food – the tempura soft-shelled crab with sweetcorn relish was heavenly. If you have breakfast there, they give your dogs a sausage each – and they don’t ask if they are related.


9 responses to “Are Your Dogs Related?

  1. Well you got that off your chest! Hope you feel better now!
    Enjoy your break, if you want to drop round for a good pizza I believe there will be some in Shottisham tonight, hope it stops raining here soon. Xx

  2. Made me chuckle, we also have two black n white dogs, one large and one small and get asked the same question …NO they are not related !

    • Why do people ask this? Why would they be related? ahhhhh …. someone asked me it again yesterday – just after I had blogged about it! I love the fact that people ask you the same question even though your dogs are different sizes 🙂

  3. Claire just a bit of fun 🙂
    Health and safety warning first;
    Blood pressure and smile alert; please be seated before reading on.
    A man walks into a pub, not just any pub its the Harbour Inn in Southwold.
    He spots you secretly devouring a crab Thermidor.
    This guy is good he can see by your non-verbal communication that you want to chat, the eye contact and the warm inviting smile is a dead give away. He saunters over and says ………
    OMG that’s incredible are they related?
    Deep breaths Claire.
    Your dog looks just like my dog pointing to Zephaniah.
    My dog has white legs just like yours, oh and a white torch on his tail too, They must be related surely?
    This could be a sketch from Jeremy Kyle.
    You simply cant contain yourself, he gets both barrels, the full Labrador conversation !!!
    He takes a step back, but but but he stammers …..
    I know lots of collies are black and white madam but,
    you stop him mid flow.
    The red mist descends upon you.
    This has to be the most ridiculously stupid question, I get asked this all the time you growl at him.
    But but but,
    Look you say, my dog is a working dog not a pet dog!
    He comes from working stock!
    He was certainly not bred locally he’s from up north!
    The breeder doesn’t sell to just anybody you know!!
    You know you have him on the ropes now right?
    The guy quietly says mine too.
    You choose to humour him.
    Actually Zephaniah came from a very small litter, he has just one brother so our dogs are not related!!
    Now let me get back to my wonderful meal.
    That’s amazing the guy says mine too.
    He’s not going away Claire come on get rid of him.
    Ok Ok Ok how old is your dog you say,
    11months he replies.
    Mmmm ok where up north did he come from you say
    Worcestershire he says
    Er wow ok …… where precisely?
    Hmmmm the hairs on your neck lift; so where exactly?
    Oh he came from Kings Green,
    he has a sister called Mew.
    I tried to tell you his Mum is called Meg and his Dad is Ezra.
    WTF Claire exclaims !!!!
    At which point the juke box plays The Hollies track he ain’t heavy he’s MY BROTHER and the waitress brings over dessert,
    it’s a large bowl of humble pie!!!!
    Glad your sitting down now aren’t you.
    Claire on this occasion they are truly related 🙂
    Now that made you smile I bet.
    My Mist is the brother of Mew and Zephaniah.
    Wow now you wasn’t expecting that was you.
    A man walk into a pub and says
    Are they related? ha ha

    Kind regards


    • That is fantastic – I love it. I never doubt it when people ask me if their dogs and mine are related due to two very, very strange (but lovely) events that have occurred. I was going to write them out here, but might do it as a blog instead. Here I just want to say how excited I am to meet you and to hear about Mist. What kind of dog is he becoming? I hope I get to meet you both one day. Zephi is a handful – this is code, for omg difficult, but he has a sweet heart, is brilliant with children, has a great nose for tracking and air scenting, no reliable recall, is hugely independent and determined, is totally relaxed by most things but freaks out at hanging baskets. Eventually I think he will make an excellent working dog. When I register him so he can compete in Working Trials I am toying with the name Evil Mr Fluffy or Zephaniah Harbinger of Doom. Anyway, I would love to hear about Mist – take care Claire …… more later on bumping into relatives

  4. Pingback: Are Our Dogs Related? | smallholding dreams·

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