Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Wisdom of Yorkies

I really like Yorkshire Terriers. The first I met and came to love was my Aunt's - Ozzie.

He looked very ratty compared to our Jack Russell, but was a total charmer to live with: complete terrier mischief and fun but with an 'off-switch', unlike the Jack Russells who just never stop. And also Yorkies do have a sense of their own safety, unlike the Jacks.

His coat used to get filthy every time we went outside, so bathing him became an almost daily event. I trained him to like the blow drier - he thought it was a wonderful game.

Ozzie was named for the rock star and was a pedigree bought at Harrod's. My aunt went in one Chistmas to buy a sewing machine and came out with a dog, of course much to my cousins' delight.

I once gave Oz his evening constitutional along the sea front in Hastings. There was a massive storm that night - the waves reared up out of the darkness and hit the sea wall with awesome force, shaking the walkway and sending foam 20-30 ft into he air. It was a fantastic sight, and being outside and so close to it was exhilarating.

Suddenly I looked down and there was no dog on the leash. He had slipped it. I freaked. I just knew the animal was in the water, and spent minutes tryng to spot the unfortunate creature out there in the savage inky blackness before another monster wave could crush him against the wall.

Nothing. Other late-night dog walkers hadn't seen him either. I ran up and down, calling his name; dreading having to go back to my aunt empty-handed.

And then above the roar of the sea I heard the howling. Behind me and above. I ran up the steps to see Oz cowered in the middle of the road, head between paws, howling his heart out. He barked at me reproachfully when I put his leash back on. As if to say: "You flipping idiot. What are you thinking??!"

And then he dragged me back home as fast his legs would carry him.

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