Zak the Collie Dog / Ade Harmer Art
Zak the Collie Dog was born on a smallholding in Glen Shee, and brought to Cumbria as a pup, to live with Jean and Ade. When Zak was two years old, his humans opened a shop, and Zak graduated into the new role of ‘Shop Dog’!
Zak excelled in every way, greeting the public with his unparalleled charm, and generally brightening the shop with his outstanding beauty.
Ade came up with the idea of using Zak as a mascot, to raise money for charities working with dogs. He designed a logo based on Zak’s striking yin-yang markings.
At the time of writing, the Zak range has raised over £13,000 for the Lake District Search Dogs and the Border Collie Trust.
We know that Zak was very dear to so many folk.
When Zak passed over, in April 2021, we asked ourselves what was next, for his brand. It quickly became clear that people didn’t want to forget Zak, and that they wanted to continue celebrating his life and all it meant, to so many people (and dogs!).
Taking into account all the beautiful messages we received at that time, Ade designed the ‘Zak’s Lakeland Legacy’ range, which represents qualities and values that our customers mention again and again, when they talk or write to us, about Zak.
Zak also lives on in his daughter and son, Jesse Dog and Jack the Lad! Jesse and Jack follow in Zak’s footsteps, enchanting customers, watching the shop, and enjoying the fells on their days off.
Poet, Musician, Juggler, Fire Breather and frontman of obscure folk pop band ‘Unosdabs’, Ade has always painted funny-odd little pictures. As a young man he dropped out of Art College when his then indie pop band ‘Emily’ got signed onto Creation Records. Fortunately for his ego, international superstardom, as befell label mates Oasis, Primal Scream and Ivor Cutler, never materialised. Neither did a cultish marginal role in musical history such as Teenage Fanclub or the House of Love or Felt now enjoy.
Someday, perhaps after his death, his brilliant songs will get some sort of recognition, in a Nick Drake way…or maybe not. In the meantime, while we wait for him to become posthumous, as a celebration of his own mortality, he’s creating cheap little musings in watercolour and old books, and taking fascinating photographs.
His work always seems to portray the everyday as extraordinary, the mundane as brilliant, the beauty in a puddle. Never just look at his art and then walk on. Look again, and again. Inspect it and think about it… then walk away, think about it some more, go back, buy it, put it in a bag, get it out of the bag every half hour or so, look at it again, smile, put it back in the bag, take it home and cherish it.
Maybe buy more than one, then when he pegs it they’ll be worth something. Ade wishes to point out that it doesn’t work if he dies an unnatural death, so don’t go killing him to make a killing, as it were.