The View from the Attic : The Dog Blog

The Dog Blog

David’s dogs, Bilbo & Layla, are very much a part of life at Rowden. In fact, Bilbo was actually born here on March 13th 2003. Although he is now an elderly gentleman, he still enjoys a trundle around the workshops, especially at tea and biscuit times! Layla bounces around, and likes to “help” by picking up bits of wood.

But the canine count increased recently, with the arrival of Brendan O’Gorman and his dog, Street, who joined us for three months. Both Brendan and Street are very well travelled, and first met in Fuerteventura, where Brendan was working as a chef.

He was surfing with some friends, who wanted to catch just one more wave, but Brendan decided to sit that one out.  Brendan was watching them when a thin, flea-ridden puppy came and sat next to him. He made a fuss of the dog, but then as he was feeling cold, went to his van to get a jacket. When he came back, the dog had gone.

So, the last wave ridden, the guys put their boards away and got in the van, only to find the puppy sitting in the passenger seat! That was in 2004. Since then Brendan and Street  have moved to France, and then to Sweden where they currently live. They passed through 14 European counties en route, and four principalities. And yes, of course Street has his own passport!

Working Like A Dog

Both Brendan and Street took to the Rowden lifestyle with enthusiasm. Street loves lying outside the workshop in the sun. And going for walks around the wood with Bilbo and Layla, and the occasional swim in the lake (not always intentional!) He has had a lovely holiday in the Devon countryside, and Brendan feels he will miss it when he is back to being a “city dog” in Stockholm.

But for Brendan this was no holiday. He came with the intention of working as hard as he could. And his output in less than three months has been really impressive! Apart from the standard projects, (the cross halving, the mallet, the octagonal board, bookends etc) he has made a mighty fine bench, two beautiful boxes (with liners) and a chessboard, plus managed to prepare some wood ready for making guitars when he gets home.

“It was Rowden’s policy of 24/7 workshop access that made this possible,” says Brendan. “I would never have managed to achieve so much without it.”

So, next week he will be heading back to Sweden with some new skills, a van full of stuff, and of course Street, who will be missed by everyone. Except perhaps George, the workshop cat………!


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