My Mothers Friend and Omar Shariff

Today I drove to Bargo to meet one of my mother’s best Aussie Friends, Faye.  Her daughter Helen drove her.   Faye has never had a drivers licence, and she lives in the central coast.  She and my Mom worked together at Vinnies in Chatswood for many years.   I have not seen her since my Dad’s funeral in April 2009, and the reason for the trip was a special one.

By an amazing series of ‘co-incidences’  I found the most beautiful little doggie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who was being ‘retired’ from stud duty, and needed a new home.   I was very close to adopting him myself.   His name is Omar Shariff, and he has the huge sultry black eyes his namesake had, and every bit as much a romantic, having fathered who knows how many puppies in his harem.  White and deep russet, a patient and gentle dog.  But Gerald and I had just agreed to adopt a puppy, and after serious consideration, decided two would be one too many.

I happened to call Faye, living 300 kms away, to wish her a happy new year, and she asked when we would be getting our new puppy.  I told her and my dilemma about the dashing Omar.  I heard her breath catch.  She told me their doggy had died a few months ago, and only the previous evening, she and Helen had been trawling the internet, looking for – you guessed – a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.   My heart literally missed a beat.  This was THE perfect match!   Both of us cried.

When I called the breeder, I was gutted to hear that Omar had already been promised elsewhere.  Faye’s heart had already been given to Omar.     I rang the other party, and very shortly – Omar was promised to Faye.

So today, we met at Bargo, for Faye and Helen to meet their new family member.  It was a beautiful meeting, and a very emotional farewell to his owner Karen.   All of us cried.

We had coffee at the corner pie shop, a popular spot in the middle of nowhere.  Every single person who passed Omar stopped to pat him, and remark on what a gorgeous dog he was.  We even met Robert, another breeder, who was there with Parker, a King Charles Spaniel.   They were on their way to Kate, a good friend, with lunch!

This time with my Mum’s Bestie was The Best.   She gave me a gift ‘from me and your Mum’ – a hanging of butterflies and lilac glass, and I gave Omar a gift of liver treats and a card.   She brought a book to show me which my Mother had given her – “A Simple Path” by Mother Teresa, a book I have myself.   And the inscription inside, my mother’s unmistakable handwriting, made my heart sing.  My mother had given us both the same book.

“Year 2002.   To Our Darling Faye, (Faye underlined with Mom’s famous wiggly underlining she used to use on all cards and letters to emphasise a point – like ‘I love you’ – with the ‘love’ wiggly underlined)

One of the very best persons ever.  We love you, and so very happy we met.  I waited a long time to find you Faye, (Faye underlined once more) my wee Sister. (Sister underlined.) 

God Bless, Be Safe, all our love, Always

Tom & Vera”


I like to think that Omar Shariff is a gift to Faye and Bernie (and Helen and Matthew their children)- from my Mom.

As we got up to leave, I saw that Omar had wrapped his lead around the table and chair legs, and shortened his lead so much he could not walk.   I began unwrapping him, and said to Faye “You just got tied up by Omar Shariff”.    She responded with, “Oh yes! Just waiting for George Clooney to complete the dream.”

This is Faye, my Mothers funny and loving Friend, and I love her.

Omar won the lottery today.

Sandra GroomComment