Friday, 19 March 2010

Short pup?

Ten years ago, I proudly showed a photograph of Hamish to Doris, my much loved and more than slightly opinionated godmother in Switzerland. I can still hear her reply.

"Well Gail, he seems very nice. A pity that his legs are so short".

To be fair to Doris, she was not the only person to raise an eyebrow or two at my choice of dog.

The general thinking is that dogs and their humans should resemble each other. Hamish, like all Westies, was self-evidently cute, fluffy and cuddly. Three adjectives never, to my knowledge, applied to his owner.

Several friends suggested that, given my love of the outdoors, hill-walking, cycling etc, a collie, a springer spaniel or a retriever might have been a more obvious choice.

Well Hamish, my first ever dog, was of course just perfect, even if I did later come to realise that his legs were a tad shorter than even the average for a Westie. In character, we were in so many ways compatible, both being stubborn, independent minded and reluctant to obey orders to no apparent purpose!

Now I am thinking about a new dog, and leg length will again not be the main criterion, although in Scotland, if you like walking in the hills, an ability to bound through the heather is admittedly an advantage. I tell myself I am open-minded about the breed, but still find myself drawn to the terrier family. Something about that wilful personality. I don't think I will have another Westie, it would be hard to avoid making comparisons to Hamish all the time.

So tomorrow I am off to look at some wire haired fox terrier puppies......


The Rocky Creek Scotties said...


When I read this, chills went over my body. I'm so happy to hear you are looking for a puppy. There is nothing like a puppy to help ease the grief of loosing an old dog.

I can't wait to see the pictures.

Good Luck

MAX said...

I immediately thought "Wire Haired Fox Terrier" whilst I was reading your post. Oh Gail...I can't wait! I know its a serious decision, but Im sooooo excited for you!
Good luck for a superb choice!...remember...give the doggie an opportunity to choose you too!

scotsmad said...

We know you'll find a perfect companion (even if it's not a westie). Can't wait for photo's.

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

Stella said...

Hooray for you! As a long time terrier lover, I understand your feelings about these dogs. We had a Mini-Schnauzer who moved in with us because she didn't like her parents, and we had her for 13 years! (We tried to stay on her good side.) So a Wirehair Fox will be perfect for you I bet!

As far as stubborness goes though, Stella (half border collie and half lab) is just as determined as any terrier I've ever had to HAVE HER WAY! And she often does!

Jo and Stella

Martha and Bailey said...

Well of course I am thinking of all our WFT friends like Eric, Jake and Fergi.
They look to me like great wee dogs with character in abundance.
I know what you mean about possibly comparing a Westie to Hamish.
It was for that reason I decided not to have another basset!!!!
I have to say I saw Bailey on a rescue site - Dumfries and Galloway - read her story and thought - that's my dog!
Actually it had nothing to do with her being a basset, it was the description of stubborn and wilful.
Had I been a dog there is no doubt I would have been a basset.....or a westie.....or even a WFT!
Like yourself it is more to do with character than physical build as I am not short at all!!!!
I can't believe I am saying this having just 'argued' with Martha about getting up after she plonked herself down and refused to move 30 minutes ago whilst out on her walk - but I do like character!
I am so excited for you. Now remember there is no need to limit yourself to one!
Good luck
Vanessa x

Martha and Bailey said...

What a great pic of you and Hamish on the beach too!

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

AHEM...Now may it be know that I live with a wire foxy brother AND an airedale brother...

BUT...have ya ever considered a flirty impossible self-centered opinionated LAKELAND TERRIER...that would be ME...

Now Mumsie has had foxy wires all her life...she is rather partial to them...I'm just sayin'...

But, I am a breed to consider for those Dales...just because Stanley is perfect, gentle, sweet, bootiful and much less EXCITABLE than Scruffy and me...I dunno...I mean he only barks when necessary...I'm of the opionion NECESSARY IS MOST OF THE TIME!

So gladdest you are lookin' at a new puppers...

You will never forget dear Hamish, but a new little baby bundle will bring you joy...good luck in your search...

And check out us Lakelands!! Total Attitude...

Lacie and her stoopid brothers Scruffy and Stanley

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The wonderful thing about a terrier... they always have a puppy's spirit, no matter how old they get!

houndstooth said...

Oooooh puppies! There's no better therapist, even if you don't choose one of the ones you go to look at tomorrow, something about seeing them just does wonders for your spirit! I hope you take some pictures and have fun! Good luck finding the right one!

Madi and Mom said...

What a tribute to Hamish to look for another dog. You had 200% positive experiences with Hamish and you both learned so much from one another. The next puppy will be a very lucky puppy to follow in the pawprints Hamish left in your heart.
Madi and Mom

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I'm sure Hamish will approve of which evFUR breeds kharries on his LEGacy!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

TwoSpecialWires said...

Oh my dogness! Oh my dogness! Oh my dogness! We can we say! (We're NOT supposed to be blogging. Promised Moma we'd help our Girl stay focused on "more important stuff") but it's our stubborn, willful, independent nature to sneak on to say: "Wahooo!"

We're so happy to hear you are considering a pup! Let alone a WFT! Moma says we are the best things that ever happened to her (well ... okay ... maybe AMONG the best) - getting us after she lost her Molly.

And we're pretty doggoned sure, Hamish is wagging his tail at the idea. He KNOWS how much you have to offer!

Keep us posted! With pictures!
Jake and Fergi xxoo

TwoSpecialWires said...

Oh! And just like Martha and Bailey said, "GREAT picture of you and Hamish on the beach!" We are really really tail wagging happy to put a lovely face to a Hamish and perhaps someday-soon-new-puppy owner!

Best of luck, Gail. Though it's not about luck. It's about love!

Mango said...

That is a most happy making photo. How exciting to be visiting little puppies.


Eric said...

Gail. Firstly apologies. I read your other posts but had to rush off and you've posted since. But now I'm here and commenting!

First of all I'm so thrilled for you.A new companion,how lovely and the very best therapy. Never to replace your Hamish (who's legs looked perfect to me)but then to read you're considering WFT's! I think Hamish would approve as a dog with a strong and individual character very much like his own!

Of course I'm totally biased but they really are fabulous dogs, character in spades,masses of that wonderful terrier stubborness(takes one to know another) natural clowns but very loyal and loving. If you're interested Your Dog magazine did a lengthy feature on the WFT breed last month. I would willingly scan and email it to you if you're interested. I have a copy as Eric and Jackson both featured! My email contact is on Eric's blog by his C Box if you would like me to. If you're interested in serious WFT reading material look for the WFT "bible" by Diana Chads.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow with a more than a slight tinge of envy as the puppies do their best to entice you. Wishing you the very best with your search though Eric and I will have paws and fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Good luck! B and Eric x

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Yuu-Chan and Bibi-Chan said...

Well of course, I personally would like to put in a good word for English Springer Spaniels, but we all know that this is very much a matter of the heart, YOUR heart!

Tommy (The ESS)

Asta said...

Auntie I too late? I wanna vote fow a tewiew..any tewwiew,any doggie fow that mattew that steals youw heawt. Hamish would want you to choose based on love like you chose him..and he was pawfect in my opinion!!!!

as faw as walking and hiking..I cewtainly can tell you I have stamina to spawe..Mommi's fiwst foxy boy Nikki, walked all ovew the Swiss alpses and then some and was ezually at home outdoows ow in a civilized apawtment..just saying, heheheh

We'we so happy to heaw fwom you and know that you awe willing to wisk youw heawt again
oh JOY!!!
smoochie kisses
ASTA and Mommi
pee ess I love that pictoowe!!!!!

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

Yes, once a terrier person, always a terrier person! So happy you are carrying on the tradition.
AireKisses & WelshieHugs,
BRD & Hootie

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Ms. Gail,
With pups, as with people, physical appearance and attributes are not always the best indicator of who will be your best friend.