Petra is a working cocker spaniel (although she doesn’t actually work), from Berkshire but I drew her recently in the Lake District, where she was taking a break with friends, as her owners were moving house. She’s a dog who doesn’t like being on her own but she’ll happily set off in the company of other people.

We were at Sykes Farm Tearooms, Buttermere, where the resident border collie was keeping watchful eye on comings and goings, sitting on the grassy knoll opposite the farm gate, checking out a passing 4×4 with gimlet gaze.

Frank as a puppy.

In the interests of balance, I should explain that other spaniels are available, including my brother’s English springer, Frank.

A Spaniel in the Wood


“HAVE YOU noticed that whenever Frank’s around, we disappear?” says my brother Bill, as I focus on drawing Frank, the springer spaniel, who he’s holding on his lap.

Bill has already bowed to the inevitable and replaced his own photo with Frank’s on his Facebook page.

“At first I had a picture of Frank and me there but as all the comments were about him, I realised that people weren’t really bothered about me.”

I didn’t have time to draw Frank when I first met him before Christmas but I couldn’t resist taking quick photograph – cropping out my brother, of course!

At that time Frank has the rounded proportions of a younger puppy but three or four weeks later he’s grown considerably and changed in his proportions. He’s still got big feet – he is a spaniel after all – but his body has lengthened so that his head is no longer in the proportion to his body. At that time his proportions were closer to those of a cut cartoon dog character.

By the way, as my little before and after sketch suggests, Frank can do a quick change act; from one side, he’s liver and white, like a typical springer, from the other he’s plain white.