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Living the Dandie life ~ Part Two…

Two weeks later, Murphy stopped eating. The next day, his gums started to bleed. I rushed him to the vet. She said he was suffering and it was time. That was Murphy’s last day.

The following morning, I woke up aching for another dog. I called Mike Macbeth. Again she listened as I cried more than I talked. “You’re not ready for another dog. You have to grieve for Murphy.” She explained how vital the grieving process is to the future of any dog who may come into my life. If you don’t grieve your recently departed dog, your next dog will sense it. Bonding will be more difficult. “You need time,” she stressed.

Four months later, we met our Dandie Dinmont puppy…

Riley was 13-weeks old when we brought him home. It was mid-February. He loved running around in the snow and proved to be playful and mischievous. A true terrier. He’s also the sweetest, most attentive little dog I’ve ever known.

Pictures of Murphy are all over our house. I always feel a tinge of tenderness looking at them. He was my first dog and he will always be special to me, always with me.

Riley is entirely different from Murphy, though equally adorable…

All dogs, especially puppies, are unique, no matter what breed, even within the breed. Riley is our first dog. Marty’s and mine. He’s very much my dog, though. We’ve deeply bonded. He never leaves my side.

A few months ago, I confessed to Mike Macbeth, “I’ll never be able live without a Dandie.”

Not only am I besotted with Riley, I’m mad about the breed. In 2005, Riley earned his Canadian Championship. Since joining the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of Canada, we’ve met a whole community of Dandie enthusiasts ~ all equally passionate about this breed. We’re in a league of our own. A family. If one of our members is in need, we’re there. In a myriad of ways. We meet at least three or four times a year for special events and grooming clinics. Always happy to see each other and coo over each other’s Dandies.

Marty and I fostered other Dandies for Mike, including Riley’s two daughters ~ he was bred in 2005 and sired three beautiful puppies. His son, Charlie, became a Canadian and British Champion ~ no easy feat ~ as well as a Champion Dandie Sire in 2009.

Then, the dazzling little Lucy, came into our lives…

In July 2005, we acquired Lucy, at nine weeks of age. She clearly became Marty’s dog.

So, now we have two. Though they are first cousins on Riley’s father’s side and Lucy’s mother’s side, these two Dandies are as different as night and day and we’re both equally mad about them.

Though I must tell you, living with two Dandies is a whole new experience. They play with each other and seem to fight with each other, but all their growling and banging about is typical Dandie behaviour.

Lucy is clearly the alpha male of the two.

Mike warned me about this when she gave me Lucy ~ though she’s tiny and fearless and forever getting herself into trouble.

We’ve nicknamed innocent-looking little Lucy “Miss Chiff”…

Riley tends to be a little slower and cautious. Sensitive and methodical. He hates going out in the rain, while she’s a real outdoor girl. Except when it comes to food. He can be ferociously territorial when it comes to food.

We call Riley “Galumph, Galumph” around the house. He took his time learning to negotiate stairs, while Lucy learned in a wink. As sweet as he is, though, he and she are still terriers, bred to hunt small animals. They have strong chase instincts ~ as many breeds of dogs do, which makes walking them a real adventure.

Last week, Riley had a bit of a run-in with a stray cat. He walked away unscathed, as did the cat, but Lucy emerged from the scuffle with a lacerated eye and she’s now on ophthalmic drops and antibiotics for her injury.

You’ll hear more “Tales of our Terriers,” as time goes by…

It’s always exciting living with two intact Dandie Dinmont show dogs. They’re also championship cuddlers, but they have their moments, too. You never know what will happen living the Dandie life. We have already bred Lucy once, but not to Riley. They’re too closely related. That’s a whole other story for another time. We have so many.

Today, however, I wanted to tell you how we came to be a two-dog family ~ and most importantly ~ a two Dandie family.

Thanks for listening. For indulging me. What a great escape writing these posts was for me from all the hassles and stresses and chaos of packing up my life and arranging our move. More therapeutic than you can imagine. I am very grateful to you for your support. For understanding…



Living the Dandie life ~ Part Two…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2010). Living the Dandie life ~ Part Two…. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Jun 2010
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