Digby, the biggest dog in the world

Monday, February 20, 2017 Permalink

It may not surprise you to know that my love of books and television started in childhood. And although I don’t tend to watch many now, I was also a lover of movies. We weren’t avid movie-goers but – until the local cinema closed in my final year of high school – I went as often as possible. Back then it seemed there was something comforting about the fantasy world and unlimited potential movies offered via their outlandish plots… 

So, although I remember absolutely nothing about the movie, when we got a boxer dog it seemed apt to name him after a movie I’d seen sometime before… Digby the biggest dog in the world.

According to IMDb, the movie – released in 1973 – featured a complex plot and lofty themes #not:

Digby consumes a bowl of Project X, a liquid growth formula. Soon, he becomes a sheepdog of gigantic size!

And it achieved a rating of 5.2. Out of 10. So it didn’t exactly set the world on fire.

But Digby wasn’t my family’s first dog, as it happens.

My parents had a boxer dog they had to give away when my brother was a baby. King was too big and rough for a toddler it seems. And just before Digby, there was Dino. (And yes I again had the pleasure of naming him… you may sense a bit of a theme re the starting initial!)

Sadly Dino (who was briefly called Dominic before I changed my mind!) had some sort of inherited illness. We returned home from a trip and he remained at the kennels where I was told he was recovering.

Of course it wasn’t the case and he died, or perhaps was euthanised. And I still recall (eventually) learning the truth of his passing amidst the Wonderful World of Disney and Young Talent Time one Sunday night and sobbing to my neighbour and childhood bestie.

So along came Digby. He was an excitable dog but placid at the same time. Equally manic and apathetic. And like all boxers he slobbered A LOT.


He died in 1985 in my first year of Uni. My parents wouldn’t have thought about getting a replacement once he’d gone. And interestingly I’ve never had a pet of my own since then.

And, given my recent cat-sitting experience where I stressed non-stopped about their survival, had to vacuum copious amounts of fur and clean up a lot of vomit, I’m pretty happy to remain pet-free.

I’m linking up with the lovely Denyse Whelan for ‘Life this week’, and obviously we’re talking pets.

Did you have childhood pets? Are you still a cat / dog / pig / bird kinda person?

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    February 21, 2017

    I had no idea that having cats for pets was that much more stressful than having dogs.

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      February 21, 2017

      I’m not sure it is…. probably either (as inside pets) would be difficult. I can’t imagine having a dog now either. I think it’s probably also worse when the pet isn’t your own – you worry more about them!

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    February 21, 2017

    I grew up with a few dogs. Tiger was older than me and was a corgi x kelpie; then we had Mishka, a german shepherd x kelpie (who was put down after years of psychotic behaviour culminating in mauling the dog next door) and then we had Gus, a red cattle x kelpie (seeing a theme here?) who was the gentlest and most loving animal. I now have my two pugs, Evie and Mandie, who keep me company in the day and snuggle on my lap at night. They can be a lot of work at times but they entertain me and are awesome personalities in their own right!

    • Debbish
      February 22, 2017

      I’m not sure I’d ever get a dog now and suspect if I got a cat I’d become enamoured, but the part of me who hates dirt and mess would struggle with kitty litter and the like! Plus I’d become too attached.

  • Denyse Whelan
    February 21, 2017

    I think I am in agreement with you Deb. I am not really a pet person either. I tolerated our pets because…kids and all that. In the end, who was doing poo patrol and buying food and taking the dog to the vet? Me. Wow to remember that movie.

    • Debbish
      February 22, 2017

      I suspect that’s why my parents didn’t ever get another pet after Digby. It was mostly about us.

  • Jo
    February 22, 2017

    I think you are a pet person or you aren’t…& either is fine. I am. My Kali isn’t a dog though – not really…just ask her.

    • Debbish
      February 22, 2017

      Ah yes… perhaps if I’d morphed from childhood into a house I might have just assumed I’d get a dog, but the time at Uni, flatting, travelling etc meant I became very unaccustomed to having pets around. A fish even seems like a hassle now (having to clean out the tank etc).

  • Kooky Chic
    February 24, 2017

    We had a bat shit crazy poodle called Lupo. He would lie in wait for people to walk past our gate then he would somehow miraculously escape to make love with their legs. It was quite disturbing to watch. If they didn’t comply he would bark ferociously. Everyone hated him except for us but we were very young.

    One day he disappeared. We were told he had run away and for years after, my siblings and I were convinced that every time we saw a poodle it was Lupo. In my mid twenties my parents eventually came clean and we discovered Lupo had, had a quick visit to the vet with no return. We also discovered the reason his previous owner, an elderly woman gave him away because he kept burying her false teeth in the garden. He was one crazy dog.

    • Debbish
      February 24, 2017

      Oh that’s funny! It’s funny the impact our childhood pets can have on our lives….

I'd love to hear your thoughts