WHAT IS TERRIER TYPE?
Barbara (BJ) Andrews, Publisher - TheDogPlace.org
Terriers are never at a loss for words, a mouse, or a funny story. Mighty Mouth was a typical Bull Terrier…
But first, a funny story from an old friend, a terrier person tried and true. I’ve
changed the names to protect them from the uninformed but there isn’t a
real terrier person out there who won’t read this and laugh. Joan
Ronalder has working Smooth Fox Terrier puppies on her horse farm.
“My pups had a great Easter. We took them into the lower pasture while we
were working. Put them into the old goat pen, now all in knee deep
grass. I heard some barking but let them play, they were loving being
next to the bull. Would have made a cute picture with the little female
licking the bull’s huge black head.
“When we were again close to the pen I noticed that little Petunia had a
dead body hanging from her mouth. She and Huck were playing "keep away"
with a little creature. We went to investigate. Sure enough they had
found a nest of bunnies and had their own Easter bunny - lunch. Sort of
disgusting but the bunnies died quickly and the pups had a super
It could have been a rat’s nest or gopher hole the young terriers were
working. Any keeper of hoof-stock would praise those pups for doing what
they were bred to do! Bunnies are cute but to young terriers, a pest is
a pest and to anyone that keeps a garden, bunnies are pests of the first
My first Bull Terrier, a lovely white bitch from Winkie Mackay-Smith, came
bouncing in to the living room one evening. Performing like Lassie with a
case of the mumps, she did the “hurry up, c’mere, quick, now, hurry,
Laughing, I got up to see what she wanted. She scrambled ahead of me,
rounded the corner into the kitchen on two legs and then, tail quivering, muscles
taunt, she “pointed” the counter top. “What?” I said, looking at
some crumbs which from her short perspective, she couldn’t see.
"Yes, yes, right there, can’t you see it?” she barked, bouncing her front
up and down in frustration. I looked again. Nothing on fire, the toaster
was just sitting there next to a cold coffee pot. Cutting board. Loaf of
bread. A tea cup that should have been in the sink.
“What is it?” I asked. Mighty Mouth (yes, that was her name) rapped a
short, emphatic bark that translated to “Damn!” As I turned back to have
a last look at nothing, I heard a rustle. Hmmm. I glanced down at my
Bull Terrier. Head cocked, nose and ears blushing with excitement, eyes
flashing – she wasn't kidding.
Come in here” I called.
She glanced back over her shoulder. Knew exactly
what I’d said. Her ears twitched backwards when he, sighing, got up from
the sofa. I heard her think “Hurry Bill!”
He couldn’t see anything either. Me and the dog insisted we’d heard a
noise and grinning, he admitted her nose was probably keener than our
hearing. I hoisted her up so she could see as Bill reached over to move
the coffee pot, cup, and toaster to one side. Wait! There was that
scurrying, rustling sound again!
Mighty Mouth whining, quivering, staring intently at empty space. (Bull
Terriers tend to do that) Bill jiggled the pot. Nothing. Tapped the
toaster. There! Just a glimpse but I nearly dropped her as she struggled
to get at whatever it was!
I set her on the floor as Bill unplugged the toaster. He set it
down on the floor and for a moment there was dead silence. Then,
whiskers twitching, there appeared in the toast slot, a mouse’s nose.
The Bull Terrier was enraptured. Frozen. I cast a furtive glance at
Bill. He rolled his eyes. Ever so cautiously, the tiny mouse poked its
head higher to have a look around. Seeing no movement, (the three of us
were mesmerized) it eased a teeeeny bit higher.
Whhoosh! It happened so fast that had I not seen her swallow, we
would’ve thought it got away. She gulped a second time and the “lump”
midway down her throat went on down. She gave a double whirly-spin and
tail wagging furiously, looked hopefully up at the counter.
Let me see. Was that Easter or Christmas???
Memory fails me. But Ch. Banbury Mighty Mouth O’BJ is forever preserved
in my heart. She was the white “tumor” that seemed attached to my Akita
bitch’s neck for the first few months. She was the garbage disposal that
regularly regurgitated screws, nuts, cigarette tin foil, pebbles, coins,
and on special occasions, presented us with things like the missing car
key. She entertained neighborhood children and our staff. She was a
laugh a minute when she got tipsy on the beer the plumbers gave her
during an office party.
She was my constant companion. My lap dog, back before female Bull
Terriers became 70 pound wonders. She once stayed next to me in bed,
fasting, utterly still for over 48 hours when I was too sick to get up.
She taught me what a real terrier can be and should be. Oh, how we miss
Re-print Courtesy of Terrah-Te-rah the Terrier Magazine 4/2000
artwork by Joan Ronalder
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