The London Terrier Deficit

Apr 20, 2012 by

Silver terrier in London silversmith's shopToday, our last day in London, was earmarked as a shopping day for Andy. It’s not as if he hasn’t been shopping since our plane touched down in Edinburgh. But that was just as a sideline. Today, he would be upping his game to Olympic levels. Conversely, I hate shopping almost more than anything. So it was important, since I was being dragged along, to find something to occupy myself. Now, frequent visitors to this blog will know that I am a long-time chronicler of all things Terrier. And those same frequent readers will also be aware that I’m constantly bemoaning the shocking lack of Smooth Fox Terrier motifs in terrier-themed merchandise. Much more often, the decidedly inferior but inexplicably more popular Jack Russell Terrier is substituted. So here I am in London, capitol of the country that gave us the terrier and home of the Crufts Dog Show where the Smooth Fox Terrier has long been called “The Gentleman of the Terrier Group”. Surely, the higher end stores — where Andy will be concentrating his shopping — will be absolutely teeming with Smooth Fox Terrier merchandise. After all, as good Dr. Johnson pointed out several centuries ago, you can find anything in London:

No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

It seems Dr. Johnson was wrong. London has an unforgivable lack of Smooth Fox Terrier merchandise. Allow me to present the evidence.

We stopped at Farlows of Pall Mall where Prince Charles buys his sporting gear. You’d think this would be prime territory for Terrierific items.

terrier headed cane at Farlows of Pall Mall

I was excited to see a terrier-headed cane, although this terrier is looking too wiry to be a Smooth.

Then nothing! Surely, a sporting shop should offer a wider range of terrier gear. Perhaps if they did, Prince Charles wouldn’t own a Jack Russell and would have a Smooth — surely a more appropriate dog for a future king.

How can Farlows justify wasting shelf space on books like this and not stock Smooth Fox Terrier books?

We left in a huff for the famous Arcades off Jermyn Street and Savile Row. Surely, Ground Zero for Gentleman’s tailoring would have a plethora of motifs featuring the Gentleman of the Terrier World. We stopped into the bespoke shoe maker who supplies customers such as Rolling Stone Charlie Watt and Kenneth Branagh and saw this:

Terrier Shoe?

My initial excitement was quashed upon looking more closely and realizing this is probably a Lab.

 

shopping in the arcades, london

Things were looking up as we moved to a different arcade where stores were featuring large animal heads. Surely hunt themes will include terriers.

Score! A terrier sweater. A Westie, but still a terrier. Now to find the Smooth Fox Terrier gear.

But as I ran through clothing stores, book sellers, jewelry stores and antiquarian shops, not a Smooth Fox Terrier was to be found.

 

dog cufflinks

A window full of dog cufflinks and not a single Smooth Fox Terrier!

I almost put a brick through their window until I caught sight of this elegant silver Smooth Dachs Terrier. That somewhat redeemed the oversight.

Saddened that I’d accompanied Andy all over the shopping venues of London and not seen one Smooth Fox Terrier sartorial, sporting or decorative item, we headed back to the hotel.

Knightsbridge Hotel

The excellent Knightsbridge Hotel which decorates its commons room completely in terriers, although with a regrettable lack of Smooth Fox Terriers.

I was ready to despair of London. If the capital city in the country that gave the world terriers could not provide a decent standard of terrier motifs, where was a Smooth Fox Terrier fancier to turn?

Why, to the magical community of the Internet. Turns out a friend from Flickr, Twitter and the Fox Terrier Community on Facebook (their motto: “Wiry or Smooth, Fox Terriers Groove”) was in London from Michigan.

jigzy

That's how I ended up bonding over all things Terrier with the mother of Jigzy (who joins Oscar in the wonky ear club.)

Smooth Fox Terrier fans: we are few, but we are mighty. Distances can’t quell our solidarity. And we aim for world domination.

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  6. Nice set of London trip photos. I tried to get back in 365 photos again this year but haven’t been focused enought to take on the effort. Anyway my wife (urbanplnnrmom42) (real name “Nan”) and I experiencing a change in our live–”retirement”, getting things in order and doing some travelling.. Just got back to the Twin Cities from a trip to Seattle to see the grand-daughters (princessas) from there we flew over to Maui (our first trip to Hawaii) and then back to Seattle before heading back to MN. Anyway what made me think of you and the terriers is my son and his significant other (hate that term–they’ve beeen together for over 10 yrs.) have signed a purchase agreement on a house and vineyard outside of Mankato, MN. He’s a college professor (PhD in Molecular Biology) and is moving from Washington DC and his post-doc at the the National Institutes of Health). Here’s the link to the place http://idx.findhomesinmankato.com/idx/8038/photoGallery.php?idxID=425&listingID=130685 . What do you think. Is he nuts.

  7. SusanA

    That’s a lovely Smooth Dachs Terrier, and indeed, the exact same look Britta has on her face right before she murders something. Sigh. Beautiful cuff links.

  8. pam johnson

    Per Diana, HRH seems to prefer Rottweilers ;-)

    Last year, I found the west of Ireland to be more terrier-centric, and the Delphi Lodge in Connemara had a lovely photo gallery featuring the house Brittany and SFT with sticky-up ears. Alas, they have removed that gallery as the new owner has Labs, but not before I was able to save one wonderful shot as my screen saver. I could send it to you; what’s the best way? I’m not all that techy, but I can learn!

  9. Pam, found a treasure trove of dog related stuff in the Arcades — Burlington Arcade, Picadilly Arcade and Princes Arcade. I forgive the Queen for not having terriers. She does all that stomping about the moors in Scotland, so she doesn’t want a dog that scares the game. But Charles has no excuse. He and Camille go fox hunting, so they should know better.

  10. Pam

    I have that dachshund piece, as well as one “sitting pretty” up on its hind legs. Where did you see it? (I did get them in London!) safe travels home. Don’t forget the queen dies have some smooth Sachs terriers!

  11. Gah! The gall!!!

  12. King Dufus

    Funny.

  13. I did, but subsequently learned that the little Skye Terrier who supposedly lay down on his master’s grave was lured there by locals who fed it and frequently replaced with other dogs over the years to keep the tourists coming. Even in Victorian days, they had tourist traps.

  14. While in Edinburgh, were you able to visit Greyfriars Kirkyard? Sounds like your trip was a success even though the whole terrier thing fell short.

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  1. While He Was Shopping | Left Coast Cowboys - [...] I could always do a quick survey of London’s inventory of terrier-themed items. I’ve picked this bone with London …

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