Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Remembering Alec

Alex, a self employed painter and decorator to trade, first became known to me about 14 years ago when I loaned my old Buzz (Northlyte Adonis Blue) to his daughter, Caroline, for Junior Handling. Their first papillon was not too keen on the show ring. They enjoyed a fair bit of success and even took him down to Richmond for the finals.
He was very well known to us champ. show coach travellers for his mischievous pranks on the journey...a poke in the shoulder to enquire if you were sleeping, the offer of sweets which you discovered once they were in your mouth were "soor plooms", creeping down the gangway in the coach to tickle some poor unsuspecting soul ..etc. However he was always ready to help unload and carry belongings into the various venues and was one of the kindest people you could meet. He could chat incessantly in his broad Angus accent.
Alex's appetite was well known. Whenever the engine of the coach started up in the carpark at the Forth Road bridge he opened up his packets of sandwiches. At one champ. show, where there were no other pap. people on the coach, he set off in search of food after showing his dog. He entered the restaurant tent and told us how lovely it was with white linen tablecloths and flowers on the table and it was only after he had collected a tray full of food and went to pay he noticed everyone in front of him were offering tokens, not money, and he realised he was in the judges tent. However he brazened it out, ate the food hastily and bluffed his way through the conversation with his fellow diners!
The other memorable story that sticks in my mind was when he drove his work van down to our house in Edinburgh, parked it there, and went to a Northern and Eastern Champ. show with Carole Paul and me. As we drew up to the house on the return from the show, very late, he said, "I've left the van keys in my jacket pocket and I've left the jacket in the hall (in a village near Selby in Yorkshire)! I have a spare set but they are back home and I have to work tomorrow." We drove him to Arbroath then back to Edinburgh for his van so I don't think he would have had much time left for sleep before work. Jimmy Simpson kindly sent up his jacket and keys.
It was a great shock to all of us when we learned how ill he was but all of his family would see at his funeral today just how popular Alex Doig was, with the funeral parlour packed to the door for the service and the huge crowd who gathered at the graveside for the interment.

The photographs show Alex in mischievous mode and in more sober mood in his kilt with his dog, Hazel at Crufts in 2009.

Anne Macgregor.