Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Noble Irish Terrier

Image result for irish terrier
The over-all appearance of the Irish Terrier is important. In conformation he must be more than a sum of his parts. He must be all-of-a piece, a balanced vital picture of symmetry, proportion and harmony. Furthermore, he must convey character. This terrier must be active, lithe and wiry in movement, with great animation; sturdy and strong in substance and bone structure, but at the same time free from clumsiness, for speed, power and endurance are most essential. The Irish Terrier must be neither "cobby" nor "cloddy," but should be built on lines of speed with a graceful, racing outline. -The Irish Terrier

This morning on the way to services at St. John Fisher Catholic Church, I ran into Rocky - an eight year old Irish Terrier puppy.  These dogs stay pups until they go to heaven.  Rocky was all business yanking the leash of the young lady taking him out for his matin mouvement de l'intestin et de la miction des arbres , des souches , des poteaux et bouches.  That's French for his refreshemnt compl├Ęte.

Rocky turned his attentions to me - a natural patsy for play.  He was all a shudder and whiskers.

Rocky reminded me of Leroy Hickey my dog from 1965 - 1977.  Leroy was an Irish terrier that my Dad bought off of one of my Grandfather's pals - Pete Bradley - from Scartaglen, Co. Kerry.  Pete had a bitch that pupped nine red beauties and my Dad picked the feistiest  one in the litter.  About two weeks later the Old Man took Leroy back to Pete to have his ears and tail properly clipped.

Pete had had a few.

The result. Leroy's tail was about three inches shorter than it was supposed to be and his ears were lopsided.  This is the downside of getting products, pets and promises from any 'guy I know.'

Leroy needed to shake, not only his tail and the attached money maker, but his entire being to signal delight. Other dogs took his tail-less greetings with wary approach.

The Irish Terrier breed is about 2,000 years old and was bred for protection of the home, children and to do constant warfare on rats and other vermin.  With snooty Progressive patrician WASP bigotry, the Irish Terrier was not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 1885.  The Irish themselves much later.

Like most of the aboriginal Irish of the two-legged variety, these bastards can dig.!  Leroy would have made a great Streets and San guy. They are superb ratters.  There was not a rat within six blocks of our house and Leroy would bound over the backyard fence or front gate to get after a rat or feral cat on the B & O tracks embankment at 75th Place.  They'd go to ground and Leroy would dig them out.

They are very loyal, protective, stubborn and fearless.

Leroy had a reputation as the only dog in Little Flower Parish to have gotten the best of Bowser Lanigan - mixed mutt Rottweiller.

Irish Terriers are great with children, but very tolerant of others.

Leroy remembered Pete Bradley and would foam at the mouth whenever Pete's car pulled away from Grandpa Hickey's house at 7535 S. Marshfield and totally ape-scat if his blue Pontiac ventured west on 75th Place anywhere near our house.

I hope to see more of Rocky on my way to church. 

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