Weatherford Democrat

Lifestyles

February 15, 2008

A family's first dog

Denise Cook, Democrat Columnist

I was watching the Westminster Dog Show this week, the Terrier group to be specific, and was reminded for the first time in many years of my first dog, Sandy. She was a smooth-hair Fox Terrier, a breed you don’t see very often these days, was lovely and, well… a little bit mentally challenged. You could say she wasn’t the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree but she was patient and kind with my sister and me and a good first dog. My parents got her when I was just a toddler so I have no actual memory of when she first came to our household. She was an integral part of my childhood until she died at age 12 or 13 — I can’t quite remember. I do remember her as a sweet and long-suffering dog confirmed by hours of dressing her up in our clothes like she was one of our dolls.

I wonder if my penchant for loving terriers stems from having a terrier around from the time I was barely crawling. My family owned many other breeds over the years from Irish Setters, to Dachshunds, but as an adult I was instinctively drawn to terriers. They are spunky dogs with intelligence (Sandy aside) and wit. I love their tenacity and playfulness, and particularly the look of a wired-haired terrier. My favorite would have to be the Border Terrier which originates in, and takes its name from, the area near the border between England and Scotland. Their original purpose was to kill foxes and rodents, but they have been used to hunt otters and even badgers. We got our Border Terrier, Rosie, from a farm in Cambridge when we were living in England, and she is absolutely one of the best dogs we’ve ever had.

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