Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Dog Days of My Life: #5 - Biddy

Whisky's unlooked-for canine companion was six or seven months old when she came to live with us. She was a long-legged tan and white Jack Russell (the type now known as Parson Jack Russell) and had already been out cubbing. Throughout her life she remained magnetically drawn to fox and rabbit holes and spent a lot of time underground emerging many hours later with her coat uniformly brown. On many occasions just as Barry had decided she was gone forever – she always disappeared when he was running - she would appear, a tiny white dot in the distance, balancing on her stubby tail.

Her breeders described her as 'a frothy bitch' and she was certainly a very lively little dog. There was not an ounce of malice in her and she was a delight for our children, always ready to join in their games even if they didn't want her to. Gillian and Susannah loved her but Gareth in particular relished her energy and willingness to rush about with him. She loved balls and was an expert dribbler though beach balls were quite a challenge. She enjoyed fetching sticks and would leap and climb up into rhododendron bushes in the forest to retrieve them.

When we first moved into our house there were a number of cats that treated our garden as their own. One day Busy Biddy took exception to this and chased one of them, yipping excitedly all the while. The cat was able to keep out of reach but suddenly decided it had had enough of the game and calmly sat down and faced Biddy as she was closing with it. Non-plussed, Biddy skidded to a halt and trotted back to us. If her tail had been long enough she would have carried it between her legs. Later in her life she would share her living space with many cats.

When she was not playing or eating or tunnelling Biddy spent much time 'submitting'. Without a word from any of us she would move in front of the selected human and roll over on her back, legs in the air. It was an interesting manoeuvre; one shoulder would go down slowly, her eyes on the human face, and the rest of her body would follow the shoulder to contact the floor, turn over and expose her furry tummy. Her tail, meanwhile, wagged constantly.

She worshipped Whisky but had good puppy manners and was very respectful and finally Whisky came, rather grudgingly, to accept her friendly overtures and to appreciate her company. When Whisky died Biddy mourned her and became very depressed. We decided the only solution was to acquire a companion for her as quickly as possible and that's how the next dog joined our tribe.


  1. I was never allowed a dog when I was growing up (made up for it now!) but Biddy would have been just what I'd have wanted.

  2. Yes, she was a fabulous little dog - full of character!


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