Hello, there! Barry Powling here. I’m the grand-dog (as opposed to grand-son). My mummy and daddy have gone to Bath today on the train and I was told that I couldn’t go. I’m not too sad about that because although I’ve only heard about trains, I don’t really know what they are but as I can’t chase them I’m not really interested. Imagine having to sit on something you can’t chase. How boring!
I am a Patterdale Terrier, originally a working dog bred in the Lakeland area of England. I have no idea where that is, but I expect there are lots of lakes (obviously!) and perhaps plenty of rabbits to chase! I was born in Barry in Wales, hence my name. Sad to say, my name always causes some amusement. The joke is wearing a bit thin now. “Ho Ho, Barry, what a funny name for a dog!” People say when I’m being introduced. How would they like it if I laughed at their names?
Granny looked up Patterdale Terriers in her book The Observer’s Book of Dogs. This was a present on her 10th birthday from her Granddad, so she treasures it. She says, “The photo in the book looks nothing like Barry!” Maybe we Patterdales have changed a bit since this book was published 72 years ago? The photo looks more like a little Fox Terrier, with its wiry coat. My coat is smooth and shines like glossy paint.
Indeed, Granny has been Googling Patterdale Terriers and has found out that we are a “type” of dog rather than a “breed”. Type? I don’t much care for the sound of that! But Granny says we are a culmination – whatever that means – of working terrier breeds indigenous to the United Kingdom. “Indigenous”? Doesn’t she mean simply “Genius”?
I enjoy being with Granny and Granddad as they talk to me! Well, Granny does. Granny uses the same tone of voice when talking to me as she does to anyone who is male, whether it’s Granddad, her two sons, her little grandson, or me. So sometimes Granddad can’t tell whether she’s addressing him or me! She says that all males are much the same regardless of age or breed. They just need simple, clear instructions and rewards for good behaviour!
Of course, when I’m here, I am very well-behaved. Well, unless a cat has the temerity to stroll through the garden. I can’t abide cats, pesky things. I can’t understand why Granny likes cats, she even talks to them! Imagine a grown woman of reasonable intellect bending down and saying “Hello pussy cat, what a dear little cat you are!” I heard that once she had a couple of them living here! Ugh!
My purpose in life is to guard people or property. I wasn’t trained to do this, it’s a natural instinct that we dogs have, handed down through generations of dogs. But barking – which is compulsory – can be exhausting, and after a barking session which Granny and Granddad don’t seem to appreciate, I need a lie down to recover.
I love it when I help Granny in the kitchen. Today she’s been making fish pies. I can’t say that’s my favourite meal as there’s no meat in it, but she sometimes gives me a little piece of cheese when she’s been grating it for the sauce.
Later on …
I’m up and about again. I’ve had forty winks, but that is all I need and I’m up and raring to go again. I had a good barking session, too, because some men arrived to bring Granny’s new tumble dryer. I have absolutely no idea that that is, but she was angry and said if I wasn’t a good boy and stopped barking she would put me in it and switch it on! And then she said she was sorry, she didn’t mean it, and she was going to toast some hot cross buns! And after I put my head to one side in an attempt to look appealing, she gave me a tiny piece.
I’m tired again now. I’m no longer a teenage dog and I need to rest more often, a bit like Granny and Granddad. And Granny’s chair in the study is so comfy. I am now going into the sitting room with Granny and she’s said if I’m good I can sit with her on the sofa and watch a film on Netflix, providing, she says, she can find something suitable. I hope it will be 101 Dalmations, that’s my favourite film!
I have enjoyed chatting to you all,
Happy Easter everyone,