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Day 12: A Footnote About My Dogs and My Sanity…

My Dandie Dinmonts are a rare and endangered breed. Only 200, if that, are born world-wide each year.

That’s why I’m so passionate about this breed

Dandies have tiny and fragile litters. Usually only two or three puppies. One of Lucy’s litters was a singleton. The only litter Riley has ever sired was four puppies, but one of them died.

Dandies, with their distinctive white topknots, black button noses and penetrating black eyes, are so beautiful, they’re a natural people magnet. We’re often stopped in the street.

They are sweet-natured, loyal, fun-loving, mischievous and very sensitive little animals. They wag their tails in circles. It’s the most charming thing to watch. Often, Riley’s goes so fast I can barely see it. He’s won tail wagging contests.

When it’s thundering, Riley starts quivering

I love the way, through my two Dandies, I’ve made friends with all kinds of people in my neighbourhood. Strangers, fascinated by this rarely seen, old, Scottish breed, the only breed of dog named after a character in a novel ~ Sir Walter Scott’s Guy Mannering. In it, a fellow named Dandie Dinmont had six of these terriers. They were known Dandie Dinmont’s Terriers until the apostrophe “s” was dropped.

Dandie Dinmont Terriers

When I brought a second Dandie into my house for the first time to foster, a little female named Shasta, she and Riley started fighting loudly and wildly. I thought they’d kill each other until my breeder informed me that this is the way Dandie’s play.

So it is with Lucy, who is much smaller than Riley and yet, the Alpha male. He is very sweet to her and always lets her get her way with him.

The best thing about owning a Dandie in my neck of the woods is the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of Canada which is filled with other Dandie enthusiasts.

What a great new group of friends we’ve made through this club.

The DDTCC is another family for us

We do not breed our dogs, but rather participate in a breeding program to engender this darling breed.

This is the commitment we made when we were given the opportunity to welcome a Dandie into our lives back in 2004.

We all meet at our annual “Fun Day” or as it is otherwise known, The Dandie Olympics or “Embarrass the Owners Day,” and at the Annual General Meetings.

Owning a Dandie is a Dandy Way of Life

We meet at various grooming clinics throughout the year. We meet at our bi-annual Canadian Kennel Club Dandie Dinmont Specialties – our 20th is on Saturday, August 4th, 2012 at the Pawsway Events Centre in Toronto. We also meet every year at The Highlands of Durham Games in Uxbridge on July 28th and 29th. (That weekend, we’re all Scottish.)

Out DDTCC members are as extraordinary as their Dandies. At the Durham Games, we all show our dogs in a very casual Scottish Breeds Dog Show. There are no winners or losers. We just have such fun relaxing in the country just northeast of Toronto.

Now you can see why my dogs keep me sane and more than that, happy. They keep me grounded. They are therapeutically healing for me and we love them as unconditionally as they love us.

Pictures from Sandy’s iPhoto Collection: One of Lucy’s puppies at three days old in November 2011 and Lucy at her first show in 2006.




Day 12: A Footnote About My Dogs and My Sanity…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2012). Day 12: A Footnote About My Dogs and My Sanity…. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2019, from


Last updated: 22 Jun 2012
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