F is for FOX TERRIER | #AtoZChallenge

47 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
F is for Fox Terrier, #AtoZChallenge
Day 6, April 7


Fox Terriers are two different breeds of the terrier dog type: the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier. Both of these breeds originated in the 19th century from a handful of dogs who are descended from earlier varieties of British terriers, and are related to other modern white terrier breeds. In addition, a number of breeds have diverged from these two main types of fox terrier and have been recognized separately, including the Jack Russell Terrier, Miniature Fox Terrier and Rat Terrier. The Wire and Smooth Fox Terriers share similar characteristics, the main differences being in the coat and markings. Not much is known of early 19th-century breeding practices that came to create the modern Fox Terrier. However it is thought that the Beagle, Old English Bulldog, English Toy Terrier, Pointer and even Dalmatian were all used. WIKIPEDIA

When I was eight, my mother brought home a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier puppy (pictured below, 1963). I named him “Peppy” and was in dog heaven, having begged for one since bonding with my grandparents’ dog four years prior.

#AtoZChallenge 2016: F is for Fox TerrierPeppy was a cute little guy who lived up to his name, but he had a few problems. My father built a pen for him, similar to a baby playpen, ie. four mesh walls and open at the top (this was before dog crates became popular). Puppies need to be confined until they are properly trained, otherwise, your house will be in shambles. Peppy didn’t mind being put into the pen, but anyone who dared try to reach down and take him out was likely to get bitten, myself included. It’s known that dogs can feel threatened with hands above them, but this usually applies to strangers, not the dogs’ families! Peppy also hated to be left alone and would bark non-stop until somebody came home. We didn’t realize this until a neighbour called the fire department one day when we were out. Imagine our surprise at finding a broken front door and no dog! The rationale was, they thought the dog was in distress, which apparently he was. Fortunately, my mother didn’t have an outside job, so we were able to cope with the situation for awhile. When we went on holidays, Peppy was put into a kennel and we hoped he would be okay as there were people and other dogs around. Unfortunately, he barked so much, his vocal chords became damaged. At that point, my mother decided to find him another home (or so she said – remember I was still a child). When I came home from school one day, Peppy was gone.

#AToZChallenge Day 6: F is for Fox Terrier
Peppy, 1964


Attention BOTB participants: Find the Battle results HERE.

Like humans, dogs can suffer from mental illness. As you read in the “B” post, there are tranquilizers and other meds available, but they weren’t in common use back then and such dogs were often euthanized. (My mother insisted Peppy went to a farm, but he likely “bought the farm”. Sad, isn’t it?)

Have you ever dealt with a problem dog? What was your solution?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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47 thoughts on “F is for FOX TERRIER | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Sorry for being away….visits, my mom, my ADHD hubby have all put a wrench i. My commenting. I’m trying to catch up. I think Peppy did meet his maker. It’s what was done a lot back then. We have Wallace Who is special needs as I say. He has a phobic fear of the outside. Even after having him for 6 1/2 years he is still terrified and shakes and hides. I can’t walk him because he pulls so much when we are on our way back that he has pulled my shoulder out(I have Ehlers-Danlos). We have tried everything including 3 different behaviourists but to no avail. He is just our nutty dog. I have worked with him and so has my hubby so he is better in meeting people but still so scared. We be
    I’ve he was shot at before w got him(he is from Louisiana).

    1. Hi, Birgit; No need to apologize; life before blogging. 🙂 In hindsight I agree about Peppy’s fate, but thankfully, at the time, I was naive enough to believe my mother. That’s sad about Wallace; he’s a lucky boy to have such wonderful people who don’t give up on him.

  2. Oh poor Peppy! A neighbor of mine had a dog (not sure of the breed) who had distemper. He recovered, but became quite manageable and even bit the lady of the house (among other visitors). After a lot of struggle, they ‘gave’ him away.

  3. Oh! this one is so close to home, reminded me of my penny, I don’t even have a picture of her. She was a mix of a pomeranian with something but good, fluffy dog and well trained but she got sick and my mom sent her away. We could not cope I was 10 maybe. We all miss her till today. Dogs! I tell you….

  4. Haven’t had a dog since my childhood one was put to sleep. He was hit by a car during my absence – I was staying with my grandmother while mom was sick in the hospital – I was about 10 yrs. old. He had internal injuries and eventually had to be put to sleep as he was going blind. I was devastated but my mom took him to the vets while I was at school. I’ve never had another dog, but lots of cats since then. It’s easier to have an indoor cat. . .

    1. What a traumatic experience that must have been! You have my sympathies. Cats are definitely easier to take care of than dogs, but you’re missing out on the unconditional love and empathy that dogs provide. The age-old argument, yes? Who’s better; cats or dogs? They’re all good, but different. 🙂

  5. These I have known had two things in common. They were great jumpers. They were so stubborn. Still, they were fun to hang out with.

    1. Terriers are stubborn by nature. 🙂 Peppy had his good moments, but the biting and separation anxiety combined made for a bad situation.

  6. They need attention, no doubt. I had one when I was about twelve and took him through obedience training. Guess who got trained? Anyway, I loved him a lot, but he was always supercharged and eventually that was his end. He ran into the street and a was hit by a car. Still remember that. Always will.

    1. Another sad story. 🙁 You must have been devastated to lose your dog that way. Unfortunately, Peppy was prone to biting as well as barking, so I suppose his fate was inevitable.

  7. That’s so so sad Debbie! I hope that your mom really did take Peppy to a farm. Poor baby. That’s too bad that he was so distressed when left alone. Barked so much he damaged his vocal cords? I didn’t know that was possible!

    Terriers are so precious. I just had a Jack Russell Terrier staying here with us for three visits in the last two weeks. He’s an old guy at 16 but he’s still very spry. He’s such a cutie. He walks with a pitter-patter like he’s so light on his feet. It reminded me of a little piglet walking. Such a cutie. I can’t wait to have him back again.

    Thanks for sharing your story about Peppy. Poor Peppy…
    Your mom is beautiful too…

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. It’s a sad story, all the way around. 🙁 I think my mother could have handled it differently, but at the time, I was only nine. Trust me, it’s possible to damage vocal chords from barking, or, in my case, coughing. They do recover, but it takes some time. My voice is still a bit hoarse after all that hacking when I was sick. For a time, I could hardly talk at all.

      Jack Russells are one of my favourite breeds! Check out the upcoming “J” post. 🙂 My mother was a great beauty in her day, but also incredibly narcissistic. Thanks for the compliment, though. She would have enjoyed it.

  8. OH, you must have been heart-broken.
    It’s difficult when you have a dearly loved pet, and then it is gone.
    I’ve never owned a pet, but I know friends and family who have and when the pet is gone, I’ll likely be sad too. Happened recently when my sister had to put her cat down.

    1. It was a sad day, no question, but by that time I was a little frightened of Peppy, due to the biting. Sorry about your sister’s cat. Losing a four-legged family member, for any reason, is difficult.

  9. I love foxies. I’ve never had a dog of my own, but a friend had two, and I thought they were smashing dogs. So sorry Peppy’s barking got him into trouble.

    1. The barking was only part of it. He also bit me and my parents, on several occasions. It was sad to see him go, nonetheless.

  10. Poor Peppy, so sorry, must have been awful not knowing for sure what happened. When I was a youngster of 7 we lived on a farm, but soon moved to the city, Dad did the same with three of the sweetest dogs ever, and I thought he loved them.. A beagle named Blue, a boxer named Lady, and an Irish setter named Sally.

    1. Three dogs? That’s really sad! 🙁 You must have been devastated, Yolanda. I did believe my mother at the time but started to question it as I got older and more cynical.

  11. Aw that is sad. But he must have been a very sensitive dog. I am always surprised at the almost human, sometimes more that human, feelings that animals can feel and express.

    1. He was cute, but the barking and especially the biting were severe issues. I think Pepper was just the wrong type of dog for you. Dalmatians and other high energy breeds need to be able to run, full out, every single day. Walks won’t do it. They also need someone who is the clearly defined “Alpha dog”, as they are strong-willed.

  12. I’ve known a few Jack Russell’s in my time. They certainly do have different personalities. I had a puppy growing up, I don’t even recall what breed he was (I was very young) but I do remember going on a trip and he not being there when I returned. The story we were told was that he had run off while we were gone. I suspect otherwise. Parents. Hmmph!

    1. I love Jack Russells, as you’ll see in the “J” post. 🙂 Yes, parents lie a lot, I suspect, to spare their kids from hurt. At the time, I did believe my mother, but I was only nine.

    1. I’ll never know what really happened to Peppy and didn’t want to ask. It was sad to come home and find him gone, but by then I was also a bit frightened of him, because of the biting.

  13. Interesting reading about fox terriers as I never knew much about them. I’m enjoying your doggie posts. So interesting and touching with your anecdotes. Poor Peppy with all those issues. That must have been so hard for the family but the worst part was you coming home and your mother telling you he’d found another home. That would be hard for a kid to accept not knowing if it was true or not.

    We had a St. Bernard with emotional issues due to being neglected by her previous owner who was an alcoholic. Tina was hard going and challenging. I am a real animal lover but must admit I don’t miss her too much. We gave her a good home but she was a handful from the start. She would bite and was so neurotic. The poor beast was a wreck. She did have some nice traits and was lovable sometimes though. She had a big crush on Loup which was funny. I try to remember the good stuff.

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying these stories, Cathy, although this one wasn’t the most upbeat. At the time, I believed my mother about the new home but started to question it as I got older and more cynical. Your St, Bernard sounds similar to Peppy, although we got him as a puppy. He bit all of us at one time or another. You were so good to give Tina a home, despite her problems.

  14. oh dear – poor Peppy – and your poor neighbours listening to him barking every time you went out! I hope he’s happy on the big farm in dog heaven 🙂

    1. I don’t know for sure what happened to him, but I did believe the farm story at the time. As I got older and more cynical, not so much.

  15. Never had a problem dog, thank heavens. Poor Peppy. It’s funny what parents sometimes tell their children isn’t it.
    Tasha’s Thinkings (70) | Wittegen Press (72) | FB3X (AC) (73)

  16. Ohh aren’t they cute. Touched, reading your story about dear Peppy. I’ve never seen one, but thanks to you I am sure I can recognize one if I do see it.

  17. Aww. That’s heartbreaking, Debbie. It’s so hard explaining to kids and even harder for them to cope. You must have been devastated. Hugs!

    1. Yes and no. Peppy had bitten me as well, so I was a little afraid of him. Still sad to find him gone, though. I was only nine years old at the time and believed my mother’s farm story, so it wasn’t too traumatic.

    1. Beagles have that distinctive bark. 🙂 I love Great Pyrenees and used to have two of them as walking clients. Beautiful, gentle giants!

  18. That must have been very hard for you Debbie. I’m imagining my 10 year old granddaughter, and how she would take it. She is a big dog lover too. On the other hand, a non-stop barking dog can grate on ones nerves big time.

    1. He had also bitten me, so I was a little afraid of him, Angelika. It was sad to find him suddenly gone, nonetheless. I was nine years old at the time and believed my mother’s farm story, so it wasn’t too traumatic, in that sense.

  19. It’s sad to put down animals or give them away but in the long run a better option than having your neighbour’s sue you for creating a public nuisance

    1. Yes, my mother didn’t have much choice. Peppy had bitten me as well. At the time, I believed her story about the farm, so I wasn’t too traumatized

  20. Hi Debbie the Doglady!

    Thank you for reporting on the Fox Terrier, its history and characteristics. I feel very badly for you after reading about Peppy. The only thing worse than begging for a dog and never being allowed to have one (my true story) is getting a dog and having major problems with it. One never knows for sure how any animal will react to confinement, separation, isolation or even our efforts to handle it. Chronic barking along with biting the caring hand of the owner are serious problems. If they can’t be brought under control the family is forced to make a tough decision. It seems likely that your mother saw the handwriting on the wall and it told her she needed to have Peppy put down. I know you have had many other positive experiences with dogs in the years since, but it pains me that you suffered such a bitter disappointment with Peppy.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Debbie!

    1. Hi, Shady; Yes, I remember your story with the vicious parrot. 🙂 Peppy definitely had some mental problems and he bit me pretty hard, once. I did believe my mother’s farm explanation at the time, but I was only nine years old.

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