Document 646

Dipper: 34 - Jeannie

Author(s): Dr James A Begg

Copyright holder(s): Dr James A Begg


Ye're failin fast, my wee auld freen,
An that's no ill tae see;
For twa-three weeks ye haenae been
The dug ye uised tae be.

A wee bit dauner maks ye thrang,
An tho ye hae the will,
Thae span-lang shanks, ance skeich an strang,
Hae sclimmt their hinmaist hill.
Yon jet-black een that ance burnt bricht
'Neath wheaten-theikit pow,
Nou glazed wi grey o dimmin sicht,
Hae lost their spark an lowe.

Ye'll toddle tae the gairden-fuit,
An toddle back again,
An stop, an staun, an pech, an sit,
As yer auld hert taks the strain.
- A hert, syne strang as ony bull's,
That ance lowpt ower the taps
O Gallowa's grey granite hills,
An Jura's quartzite Paps.

Thae years we trampt the lang, sweet miles
Ower muir an hill an glen,
Ye've ne'er forgot, an aiblins whiles
Ye still come hirplin ben,
Tae sit lugs cockit, heid asklent,
Nearhaun my buits an pack,
Sniffin awa at the muirland scent:
- Gin I cuid only tak ye back!

Och, talk like this'll mak me greit,
- Eneuch o grief an tears,
Let's think on aa the memories sweet
We've shared thae saxteen years.
Yer airs an graces sair us tried,
We've danced aye tae yer tune:
- Auld Duchess, for it's weel ye're cried,
Ye lack nocht but the croun!

I widnae say ye're ill tae please,
But ye'd fain get yokit in
Tae chicken, mince, smoked saumon, cheese,
Than tae dug-meat oot a tin!

A lap-dug's life-style weel I ken
Ye've scorned wi condescension,
But a wat neb nudgin nou an then
Commands oor hale attention,
Impident yalps whan wantin fed,
Let oot, let in, let oot again,
A cup o tea afore yer bed,
Or 'Scart my back an snoot again!'
Bum up, heid doun, a bark an wag,
A luik saying: 'Gin ye daur!'
White teeth grup ticht an auld torn rag,
Aa set for tug-o-war!

The day ye whalpt yer pups, my Jean,
'Twas mair nor you gat thinner,
Gin I gied ye a howdie's haun, auld freen,
An missed my Ne'erday dinner!
We went a dauner - efter five,
Ye thrawn, contrair wee dug,
An then did ye no a saxth contrive
Tae whalp on the hearth-side rug!

An nou for ower eleiven year,
Sharin chicken, drinkin tea,
Yer dochter Biddie's aye been near
Tae keep ye companie.
The douce wee sowl aye kens whit's richt,
An does whate'er she's askit,
Tho there's whiles a row at deid o nicht,
Gif she's slept in Mither's basket!

Tho neebors' cats, a-tap the waa,
Did aye luik lichtly doun,
Oor gairden nane daurd cross at aa,
But tuik the lang wey roun.
I dout gin ony cat is feart
Frae yours, or Biddie's bark,
Mair like as no, they'd aa be sweirt
Tae miss this daily lark!

O hou ye loued tae walk the beach,
An tryst wi big black dugs,
An heich on hin-legs staun, fou-streitch,
Tae sniff an lick their lugs,
In the watter whaur ye loued tae splash,
Baith you an Bid were beavers,
Fetchin sticks wi aa the dash
O spaniels or retreivers!

Guid-naituredly ye've tholed oor weans,
Wi dignity an grace,
Wi growl or nip juist nou'n again
Tae haud them in their place.

An nou, wi dignity an grace,
Auld dug, it's time tae go;
Ye're lyin by the fire-place
An souchin, saft an slow:
Anent the Rowan by the dyke,
The morn we baith sal kneel,
An lay tae rest oor tousy tyke:
- Guid nicht, Auld Jean - sleep weel!

Jeannie, oor Cairn Terrier, wee hill dug, constant companion, an Mistress o the Hous, de'ed on the 3rd April 1985, juist a few weeks short o her saxteenth birthday.

This work is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Dipper: 34 - Jeannie. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 12 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 34 - Jeannie." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 12 July 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 34 - Jeannie," accessed 12 July 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 646

Dipper: 34 - Jeannie


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1985
Word count 672
General description Anthology of prizewinning and other Scots poems, and short stories in Ayrshire Scots.

Text medium

Other Audiocassette

Text publication details

Publisher Luath Press
Publication year 1991
Place of publication Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils: Tales and Poems in Ayrshire Scots
Editor Authors: Dr. J. A. Begg and J. Reid
Page numbers 86-88

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 623
Title Dr
Forenames James
Initials A
Surname Begg
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Medical Practitioner
Place of birth New Cumnock
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Ayr
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Clerical Officer, NCB
Father's place of birth Sandbank
Father's region of birth Argyll
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth New Cumnock
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Danish No No No No A little
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Holidaying in France
Norwegian No No No No A little
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work