Fox Terribles

G’Day Mob,

Once upon a time in the Land of the All Black (New Zealand) there was a lady from Kuripapango who owned a team of miniature fox terriers and chihuahuas. Every day a dozen small canines would follow her and her horse into the hills hunting rabbits. She had such control over them that even at dinner time all would have to sit before any could start eating. Brian had great respect for this lady and her dogs and so when the time came for us to get a dog of our own he suggested a miniature fox terrier.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Pep was our first. He came along in 1993 when we were living in Karratha in Western Australia.

Desert Pup

Our constant companion for 16 years, he was never far from trouble, whether falling down a mineshaft, burrowing for goannas,

126 Bungarra 4

running off with dingoes, scrapping with pit bulls or romancing at the Menzies Pub.

Pep was with us when we travelled the north of Australia with a ute and a couple of swags, and when we went abalone diving on the south coast of New South Wales. When we moved to Braeside, near Tenterfield, he gained a second zest for life and turned to goat chasing and peacock harassing and at the grand old age of 13 he became a sanctioned father.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Roxy was a foxy who lived down the road and she thought Pep was a bit of all right until the pups came along, and then she wanted nothing to do with him.

126 Roxy & Pups2

In a moment of madness we kept two pups from that litter.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

The two pups became Bonnie and Clyde, and as per their namesakes they grew into miniature outlaws. If we thought one fox terrible was trouble then we were certainly in for an education with an extra two.

126 Hot Foxies

In their eight and a half years Bonnie and Clyde have chased everything – cattle, goats, big dogs,

126 Eat The Big Pup

kangaroos, pigs, mice (I still live in hope they will catch one), rabbits, lizards

126 Mighty Hunters

and anything else that chooses to draw breath and move. And they are merciless. And it is pointless for me to yell at them because they just think “Oh, great Mum is joining in” and then double their efforts.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I had Bonnie and Clyde with me in the paddock the other day and they took off after a kangaroo. The roo was injured and the fox terribles cornered it up a gully. The roo would pin one dog down and start biting it (they have very sharp front teeth). This caused the second dog to jump into the fray, so the roo let the first one go and started chewing on the second.

At one point the roo managed to throw off both dogs and then it jumped into a waterhole; followed by two fox terribles. The dogs would then take it in turns to swim out to the roo, bite it, get bitten and swim back to shore. That was until the swimming roo grabbed Clyde and held him under water to drown him. I had heard about roos killing dogs this way and here it was happening before my eyes.

It seemed like minutes but was probably only seconds until Clyde wriggled free. Thankfully the roo had held him under long enough to almost exhaust him and he staggered onto the bank at my feet where I was able to grab him. Bonnie, never as brave on her own, also came within striking distance and I grabbed her as well.

And there I sat on the creek bank, holding two manic fox terribles as the poor roo made its escape. Ten minutes later the blood-lust had subsided enough for me to release the dogs and, cursing that we ever thought this was a good idea, I took them home.

I wonder if I could send them to that lady from Kuripapango to teach them some manners?

126 Jul12





6 responses to “Fox Terribles

  1. Those pups of yours would make a wonderful book, Mandy!

  2. Sounds like many a farm dog I’ve known. The old adage ‘one dog is a pet, two are a pack’ might be true. I wonder why foxies think they are ten feet tall? 🙂

  3. Despite the great story and protesting bad behaviour, I’m guessing these aren’t the last ones you own. Am I wrong?

  4. Lyle, at the moment Bonnie and Clyde are the last fox terriers we have, but if we want some more aggravation we have plenty of other dogs. How many can I send over to you?

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