Reuben my first and only. Not a good photo of me but this was taken back in January when I had just learned that one of my cats had been ran over. I was deeply sad and Reuben jumped up on the sofa to lick away my tears!!!!
Our first setter was Katie. I finally persuaded my husband we needed a family dog and I loved the look of Irish Setters. I had been brought up with Scotties but wanted a bigger dog. I checked with a local vet if this was a good breed to trust with our young children and she said something to the effect that an IS would be great with kids, but they weren’t too bright. All of us on this site know she was right about the first bit but oh so wrong about the second. This was around 1973 and Katie came from an ad in the local paper as a tiny pup. Her sire was Wendover (maybe they all were then) and her mama had been a working setter – a mountain rescue dog. Bill was a PE teacher at Morgan Academy in Dundee and Katie went to school with him every day. She spent most days with the groundsman at the playing fields when Bill was inside and helped the boys master their rugby skills by “charging the kicks” during practices. Even now when we meet pupils from that era, they mention Katie. Even kids who were scared of dogs would feel safe with her. We were young, fed her all the wrong stuff, let her rule our house, train our cats, sleep on the best chairs or in the kids beds etc. etc. and broke our hearts when we had to part with her at fifteen and a half. Katie ensured there could never be another breed for the Findlays. We subsequently had Mickie, our bold boy, gentle Tara and now our lovely girls Maeve and Bridget. All individuals, great characters, and oh so loved. This photograph is me and Katie probably in the summer of 1974. (just tried to upload and looks a bit iffy - hope its okay)
Contributing, because I find this is an intresting post. My first one called Rex was half a century ago. His mischief made my life. Seeing pictures of show-winning Irish setters here, he must have been from another breed.... And never sick. Reading posts here I often think: what has gone wrong? Why are Irish setters for vets now predisposed to such a lot of diseases? And why do I think it is a cocker spaniel seeing ears here or a curly coated retriever winning a show?
A pleasure seeing those old pics here! Sorry forgot to put a pic of my first Irish setter. He is on the blog http://irishsetters.ning.com/profiles/blogs/celebrating-a-setter It is Rex, bought in 1959. So here is my second (sixties). She was on pedigree named Astrid, we called her Lady. The girl sitting on her owned a litterbrother, Marco. She used both Lady and Marco as "horses".