A famous critic (and I can’t remember who) once said that Dickens SHOULD be a bad writer, except that he isn’t. This was based on his incredible coincidences that always seemed to move the plot along just when you thought all was lost. Kindly Mr. Brownlow discovers at the last minute that Oliver Twist is his long-lost nephew. Lady Dedham suddenly figures out that Eleanor is the illegitimate daughter she gave up years ago. All fine and dandy to bring a novel to a dramatic conclusion, but things like this don’t happen in real life.
Or do they? Our terriers are the products of some of the most prominent breeders in Fox Terrier circles. In fact, if you watch the Westminster Dog Show and check out the Fox Terriers, most of them are cousins of our dogs. This is even more amazing because, Fox Terriers not being a popular breed of dog any more, breeders tend to range far afield (even as far as Sweden) to breed their dogs. That means, you may buy your dog from a local breeder, but the sire could be a hemisphere away.
In the case of our first terrier, our Terrier Emeritus, Charlie, his father was Champion High Mountain Bright Idea from Colorado. And the mother was owned by a Monterey breeder. Our next terrier, Lucy, was from a litter had by Charlie’s mother’s sister. When Charlie died tragically young from cancer, we were lucky to get hold of one of Charlie’s nephews, Little Oscar. We’d always assumed that since the mother and grandmother of our dogs were owned by the Monterey breeder, the dogs came from there. But we were aware of Charlie’s mother’s name: Morgansonne DairyDell Kiki. While Lucy’s mother was Morgansonne DairyDell Emme.
Fastforward to yesterday. We’re toodling around on our way to the Sonoma County Fair and meandering through the back roads of the Valley of the Moon. Now besides good wineries, one of the the things we’re always on the lookout for are good dog boarding places. So we passed a sign that said DairyDell Dog Boarding. And, while we probably would have investigated it anyway, I told Andy we really had to check this one out since it had the same name as Charlie and Lucy’s mothers.
Long story short: we take the tour, see a picture of a champion Fox Terrier and find out the owner of the place bred Charlie and Lucy’s mother and Oscar’s grandmother. Cue Dickensian music. Where’s Mr. Brownlow? All is solved by a magical coincidence of relationship.
However, once the initial excitement wore off, we were left wondering how we could take poor Oscar to a place owned by a breeder when we’ve let his ears stick up in a way that would get him barred from 100 yards of a show ring. Not that he’s in anyway going to a show ring (that snip snip thing made him instantly ineligible). But he’s just proud to find out that he really is a Sonoma dog born and bred. Incidentally, with more ranching heritage than either of us.
Did Oscar come with a you-will-not-breed-him sort of covenant (which generally implies spay/neuter)?
Yup. Breeders who sell dogs to “pet homes” (said with a slight sneer) demand that you neuter them to keep from messing up the gene pool. Oscar has everything wrong with him that would keep him out of the show ring, from ears to tail to stance. We still think he’s cute anyway.
Fascinating…and we were thrilled to get Augie (smooth black & tan Dachshund) from his Champion-breeding home in Austin, TX thanks to an undescended “tentacle” (as my 6-year-old niece referred to it). It sounds like you and your Foxies and Sonoma were “bashert.”
Lisa, this is all so true and hits close to home here in Texas. After our first SFT (Smooth Fox Terrier for the uninitiated) died suddenly, we went on a nation-wide internet and phone search of breeders from which we might buy another female SFT. Since we had found our first one easily, I was not prepared for the intense background investigations that followed. I came to realize that since our first one, Abby, was a “reject” having fused discs in her tail that made it cant over to one side, the breeder was anxious to rid her stable of such an undesirable creature. However, Abby was the smartest, sweetest, most faithful buddy a guy with 16 acres could ever want.
So back to our search. We literally contacted breeders from a dozen states, coast to coast. Once I explained I wanted a SFT for PET (you could hear the gasps on the other end of the line), I was subjected to either a lecture about how valuable their dogs were, or enough information was gathered to initiate a Top Secret clearance with the CIA. Breeders are a tight-knit lot, and abhor (for good reason) back yard breeders that might corrupt the gene pool. These terriers are a handful of energy, and don’t adapt well to a small yard or apartment. They need lots of exercise and close supervision. We finally obtained our Sammie (aka Firecreek Queen of Everything RN) from a breeder in Overland Park, Kansas. Sammie excelled in training, mastering some 30 tricks and many obedience commands. I started her in Rally Obedience competitions, and got “in” with some other SFT breeders, and was able to add Flash (aka CH MYTFOX LIKET’S MY WAY RN) a retired show ring champ to our household. BUT in both cases, we had to show evidence (paperwork!!!!) of his visit to the vet for “tutoring” (as the Far Side referred to it.) Sammie and Flash are great for each other. They play together, groom each other, and “fight” with each other over pull-toys, not to mention the occasional attempt at love. They are our children. It was Oscar and Lucy that first brought us to Left Coast Cowboys from their visit to “our” SFT pool on Flickr… btw Lisa, you need to post more pics of your two kids on the SFT pool!