The London Terrier Deficit
Today, 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.
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.
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:
But as I ran through clothing stores, book sellers, jewelry stores and antiquarian shops, not a Smooth Fox Terrier was to be found.
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.
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.
Smooth Fox Terrier fans: we are few, but we are mighty. Distances can’t quell our solidarity. And we aim for world domination.