Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Buckley O'Weaver

As we lead up to St. Patrick's day, I felt it appropriate to do a tribute post to the Irishman in the house....our dog.

Here reads the description of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier from the AKC website (emphasis added): 

A truly Irish breed, the "Wheaten" has a special connection to St. Patrick's Day, having first appeared in the show ring at the Irish Kennel Club Championship on March 17, 1937. The name of this breed describes the characteristics of the coat–soft, silky, with a gentle wave, and of warm wheaten color. 

Underneath is a formidable dog that enjoys plenty of exercise every day. Most Wheatens are natural greeters towards people, and extremely alert in their surroundings. They are quick learners and love to travel with their owners. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was first recognized by the AKC in 1973. 

Known for more than 200 years in Ireland, the "Wheaten" shares common ancestry with the Kerry Blue and the Irish Terrier, but was not owned by the landed gentry. They were the poor man's dog, an all-purpose farm dog, given to patrolling the borders of small farms, ridding them of vermin, herding sheep and hunting with his master.

Wheatens tend to be less scrappy than other terriers but they are true terriers and will be more active than many other breeds, enjoying plenty of exercise every day. They relate well to children and can adapt to city, country, and suburban life. The Wheaten is single coated and sheds minimally, but needs regular grooming to keep its coat mat free.

Clearly we picked the right breed for our family since we are not, in fact, landed gentry (despite the fact that we currently own 2 properties. Ugh. More on that another time).   Buckley has been a fantastic dog for us, first as a newlyweds, then as parents of a baby, now toddler.  He is exceptional with our little girl, and she loves him.  In fact, every morning, when her fussing gets loud enough to rouse me from slumber, I go into her room, pull her out of her crib and the first thing she says is not "mama!" or "baba (bottle)", it's "woof woof." 

Descriptions are correct that this breed needs lots of activity.  Even from his youngest days he has been a great walking, jogging and hiking companion with seeming boundless energy.  The downside to that energy is that he has always been a leash puller, despite our best (well, sort of ) efforts at training.  And his energy is only limited by the temperature and length of his coat.  See, Wheatens, or at least our Wheaten, get uncomfortably hot pretty easily.  One sunny Saturday, we took young Buckley  to a hike up Blood Mountain.  Once we'd reached the top, poor pup was hot and thirsty, seeking water at any cost.  He found a small, stagnant mud puddle and proceeded to roll himself completely around in the gray soupy muck, much to the chagrin of passers-by.  We were frozen, wanting to pull his squirmy body out of the nastiness, yet entranced by the spectacle.  Gosh he was dirty after that. That's our Buckley, sad eyes, playful heart.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to our little Irishman.  Maybe we'll give him a sip of beer tomorrow....just to watch him sneeze.  Works every time.

Will you be celebrating your Irish Heritage on the 17th...or just wearing green so you don't get hassled by co-workers and store clerks?


Matt said...

Ha! I remember the Buckley mud puddle incident... good times. Happy St. Paddy's day Buckley!

Alison said...

This makes me laugh every time I think about it. Buckley O'Weaver...I love it.