It’s a terrier’s world, we just live in it

Charles Dickens’s terriers

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The description of Dickens’s welcome by his dogs on his return from America – how they lifted their heads to have their ears pulled, an attention received from him alone; how Linda [a mastiff], weeping profusely, threw herself on her back that she might caress his foot with her large forepaws; and how the terrier, Mrs Bouncer, barking furiously, “tore around him like the dog in the Faust outlines” – will show at once the tender relations that existed between the great novelist and his canine friends but we must not omit little Snittle Timbery, a present from Mitchell, the comedian, during Dickens’s first visit to America. Timber Doodle was the original name of the small shaggy white terrier, but Snittle Timbery was deemed by his new owner to be more sonorous and expressive.

May 8, 1881 New York Times

 Picture by Dan Burn-Forti, for the Independent on Sunday Review.

Today, in the main arena at Crufts, 21 dogs will take a musical lap of the ring to “Land of Hope and Glory”. They will be accompanied by handlers dressed as British historical characters associated with the breeds: “The Duke of Newcastle” with a clumber spaniel; “Beatrix Potter” with a Lakeland terrier; and “Bill Sikes” from Oliver Twist (“historical” is interpreted loosely here) with his miniature bull terrier, Bullseye.

Hermione Eyre. Independent. Sunday, 9 March 2008


Written by aterrier

July 30, 2008 at 2:03 am

Posted in terrier

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