It’s been hard for me to post in the months since I lost little Justin. I’ve never had a dog that bonded to me so immediately, so on one hand, I couldn’t imagine when I’d be ready to get another. But Sally went into a deep decline without her playmate, and in truth, we did too. So I started my search for a new pup.

Not that I expected that process to be easy. Smooth Fox Terriers seem to be a fairly rare breed. It’s even rarer to find a breeder who has one available for a pet home. When you add conditions on to that, it gets even harder. And I had conditions. I only wanted a little boy. I also wanted a dog with European bloodlines. After seeing how Sally and Justin behave, I’m so impressed with the calmer nature of the European stock. But if Smooth Fox Terriers are rare, European bred ones in America are rarer still. Not that I would let that be a barrier. Remember, I have a husband who flies so much for business, we have a million jillion air miles and no desire to take any additional flights once he’s home. So all those air miles, in past years, have been used to ferry me to and from cities where I can get a terrier. Sally came from Boston and Justin from Nashville. So, when kindly Smooth Fox Terrier friends from all points around the globe started giving me leads on pups, I decided distance was not a barrier. At one point, I was seriously considering a puppy in Rome. Since we have an Italian vacation planned in October, I thought, well how hard can it be? The only concern would be breaking up the journey so the pup isn’t stuffed in a softcrate in under the seat in front of me for too long. I thought, I’ll pick up the pup in Rome, fly to London and stay with my in-laws for a day, fly to New York for a one day layover, then fly back to California.

Then, out of the blue, someone told me, I know of a breeder who has just what you want, a litter about Justin’s age and with two boys in it. And, he’s in the exotic far-flung location of Bakersfield, a few hours drive down I-5 from San Jose. In fact, I wouldn’t even have to drive that far as the breeder agreed to meet me halfway in Kettleman City.

In fact, here is my very first live look at him. Thanks Wally Mendiola for trusting me with one of your lovely pups!

I called, we connected, we came to an agreement and the pup I was to get was called Stetson — a perfect name for a ranch dog where Country music is the prevailing soundtrack. But puppies develop quickly and one day I got the call that Stetson was developing so beautifully that it turns out he was the best show prospect. However, I could have his brother. I had to let go of the Stetson name, but after all, I was shopping for breeding and temperament and both dogs come from an incredible background with famous Russian, German and Belgian dogs in their bloodlines. And they have that calm European attitude instead of the more hyper American one. Beside, the breeder assured me, the pups don’t really know their names to come to yet.

Wally breeds beautiful dogs. In fact, he’s so proud of them, he set up a grooming table right there in the parking lot and the pup struck a show pose.

Yup! Right there in the In and Out Burger parking lot, this pup was showing his stuff like it was Westminster.

That set me to thinking about names. We’d always gone with English names before with Bonnie Prince Charlie, Lady Lucinda Davinia Doglington-Smythe, and Oscar, who was supposed to be named after Oscar Wilde but who I secretly thought of as Oscar de la Hoya, a handsome little brown faced scrapper. Then Sally was named for icon of the moment Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who tried to warn of Michael Flynn’s Russian ties and was fired by Trump for her troubles. Seems most of my Fox Terrier friends think I should continue the Liberal naming convention. Many good names were suggested. The best one, no doubt because the Kavanaugh hearings were going on, was Cory Booker. I was almost convinced that would be the name because I particularly liked the idea of “Booker” as the name. But Andy was unsure and was a fan of the pup’s call name that the breeder had given him. I liked that name as well, but I did like the idea of creating a tradition of naming for Liberal icons.

Then Cory Booker made his famous stand in the hearings and name-checked EXACTLY the name the breeder had given my little pup. So THAT must be his name, because:

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Spartacus the Terrier. #SpartacusTheTerrier


Here he is after barfing, pooing and weeing outside in his enclosure. All set to come into the RV.


And one last picture of his noble profile. SPARTACUS!!!!