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.

Not only are our dogs native Sonomans. Theyve got ranching in their blood. Doggie Dude Ranching.

Not only are our dogs native Sonomans. They’ve got ranching in their blood. Doggie Dude Ranching.

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.