In Memoriam

When my dear little Strawb died the following words of condolence arrived through the post from a very dear dog-loving friend.


They gave me great comfort.

I hope they may, also, help others in their time of bereavement. I.B.


I'm Only A Whisper Away

Come dry your tears and smile again,

I'm only a whisper away.

Near in the dusk of the evening,

just out of sight through the day,

watching your waking and sleeping,

hearing each prayer that you pray,

sending my love to surround you,

I'm only a whisper away.

Come dry your tears and smile again.

remember the good times we've known.

Cherish the joy we discovered

and the love that was planted and grown.

Your road may seem lonely ahead

and distant horizons look grey,


you won't be walking alone


I'm only a whisper away.



To the Memory of Harry and Barry.

It wasn't yesterday but my memory of them both is as clear as a bell despite the passing of two or three decades. I had my first Lowchen and she was entered in the Melbourne Royal. In preparation for the event I was one of the priveleged people invited to congregate at Pia's (Rosemarye's) Heidelberg salon to prepare our little lions for their showing - among us were two interstaters – Barry and his dog Harry. The chemistry between handler and dog was overtly evident. Barry's grooming regime was nothing short of an obedience exhibition. To his commands of “left front, right front, left back, right back” an obedient limb was offered to be groomed. To me such rapore was magic to behold. From that day I dreamed of having a Lowchen as lovely as Harry. I always remember their demo as a finely tuned empathy between a man and his dog. I still smile when I remember Barry's comment, “ He doesn't really know his left from his right but he only ever gives me each limb once to do”. It was a real privilege to witness that team work in action and to meet both the man and his dog.

Neither Barry nor Harry is still with us but my memory of that pair remains ever vivid.

Both significantly influenced Lowchen history in Australia.


Barry and dearest Harry

A most genial gentleman and his absolutely gorgeous Lowchen dog - Tilcha's Fashion Pride.

(I.B.© 4 June 2010).



In Memory of Ike's friend Roxy

(d. Wed 26 May 2010).

Earlier this week this sad text message arrived from Pamella Aldersea who is owned and adored by Ike .

" We have had a sad day as my dear little bestie Roxy died. We put her south melbourne Footy scarf on her and she has her fav little toys with her in a box in the garden. Then mum had a sprig of rosemary for each of us 2 plant. We all loved Foxey Roxey very much."

 I find it easy to relate to the sentiments expressed in the following poem dedicated to her

for Jenny, Ashleigh, Kieran, Pamella and Ike .


 My Dog Is Dead

There lies his ball. I wait to see him pounce

And shake it in mock fight that pleases him.

I thot I heard his quick light step again

In playful trot on stairway up and down.

The leash hangs on the wall. I'll shake it loud.

Then joyfully he'll bound into the room

Impatient for his romp. He does not come -

No wistful face peers thru half-open door.

The rugs lie smooth; the curtains are not torn.

I haven't missed a shoe or cloth today.

The house is dreadful still, until I wish

I heard four feet come pitpat down the hall.

The soft moist nose that pushed against my hand

The paw that touched me to demand its wish

The pleading lively eyes, the plaintive bark –

What sweet annoyances they would now seem.

The door is open and the gate ajar;

No need to close them – he will not run out.

That new ball throw away. I bought it for

His next birthday – but he will never know.

Captn Will Judy [1943]

[for "thot" read "thought" - not a typo. I.B.]

(entered I.B.©27 May 2010).


 What a guy!!  


MACH 3, NATCH3, VERSATILITY NATCH, ATCH-SP, TayWil's Aerien Pistil Pete, UD, RAE, AJP, AXP, XF, OFP; UCDX; ASCA UD; ECC 400, EJC 400, EAC 600, HP-N; PG3, PS3, PJ3, PD2; CL4-H, CL3

 23 August 2000 ~ 8 July 2010


In life, I loved you dearly, in death I love you still.

In my heart you hold a place no one can ever fill.

If tears could build a staircase, and heartache make a lane,

I'd walk the path to Heaven and bring you back again.


On May 19th, after emergency surgery to remove his spleen, Pistol was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. The cancer had metastasized from his spleen to his body wall. The vets gave him six weeks; Pistol made it eight. They were a good eight weeks, too. Pistol was still playing and enjoying life, and I was still praying for a miracle, up until Thursday, the day he died. Thursday night he wouldn't eat - the first meal he's ever missed - and then he started having trouble breathing. I held him close, and in a matter of minutes he was gone.

Pistol took me to incredible people I would never have met, far-away places I would never have gone, and lofty heights I would never have been able to attain without him.

 He was my life. He was my heart. I love you, Pistol.




Dear Barbara, I was so saddened by your news about Pistol. Heaven has gained the brightest of stars and you have lost the love of your llife. My thoughts are with you. I thank you and Pistol for being such a terrific team and a constant source of inspiration. We are very proud to belong to the same breed family as your little man. Love and prayers, irene and Nellie and Glory and Tiffin- my Lowchen family and our two Lowchen house guests Abbey and Lillee.

(entered  26 July 2010 © I.B.)


Thankyou Justin


Thursday 18 November 2010. On early radio today I was listening to an orchestra gently easing listeners into their new day. I was enjoying the strains of, “Oh my beloved Daddy” - when the phone abruptly interrupted the peace of the day's awakening. It was Pia Kirke delivering the sad tiding that today was to be our dear Justin's final day with us. He never made old bones – he was just eight. Instead he made a huge contribution to our Lowchen population and his legacy has a major impact on our breed for Australia – and far beyond our shores. I shall not boast of what Justin earned and gained in our Conformation community and Australia's Showrings. There are other people better informed to do that accurately. Suffice to say Justin always did himself and the Lowchen community proud and offered many reasons to rejoice for his breeders, his breed, his believers, and his beloved Pia. I just want everyone to be aware how enormously grateful we are for what Justin gave to our Australian bloodlines and Lowchen lives and lovers. Justin sired successful progeny who are now scattered throughout an extensive dogworld of NZ, USA, UK and of course Oz. That being so his lines will live long after his dear self and us.

In catalogues, shows and to the wider dogworld this lovely Lowchen lad was known as

Aust. Ch. Bigglesmere Just N Fashion (imp. UK).

I offer heartfelt condolences to the British breeders who exported Justin to the Land Downunder:

Peter Scarth and Mike Gaunt.

I can only guess at the gravity of loss to Pia Kirke with Justin's passing. Pia so expertly handled and showed Justin and always presented him groomed professionally to perfection - but above all Pia owned and dearly loved Justin - and shared him so generously with us.

I offer Pia my deepest sympathy.

Thank you so much Peter and Mike and Pia.

I am privileged to have known, enjoyed and loved Justin. To me Justin was always “our darling dad” - and for me he will ever remain so. Justin's input and impact will be sustained through his issue long after we have all joined this most beautiful boy in an afterlife. It is now early evening and my day which started with a lilting tune has ended with a related thought and an indisputable fact 

Justin can rightly be remembered  as

Our Beloved Lowchen Daddy.

Our best of thanks to a real Lowchen character who was always the very best a dog can offer:

our dearest Justin.

Now at rest

and sadly missed.

This obituary was written for National Dog the RingLeader Way. Irene Biney.  © 18-11-2010.



Bell's Gypsy U.D.

(whelped 22 -11-'94 - died 6 Jan 2011 )

Sincere thanks to "Sol" (Dr Alan Sultan) for a lifetime of expert and gentle care for Gypsy and her master: Doug.



Contact Details

Irene Bilney
Richmond 3121, VIC, Australia
Phone : 03 94281201
Email : [email protected]