About Toni

Insatiable student of life, horses and dogs.

Border Terriers & Coyotes

A silent communion

Coyote on mountain ridge

Not the Coyote we saw yesterday, but a Coyote from Yellowstone. Photo credit: Jim Peaco

My Borders, Bossy and Bark, normally sound off when an off-leash dog approaches us. But not yesterday.

Yesterday at Hilton Falls we met one of our resident Coyotes as we crested a hilltop. It’s the second time in the last six months we’ve been lucky like this. Last time we were coming around a corner on a forest path and I thought I was seeing the hind end of a young deer.

This time, the Coyote was out in the open.  At first I thought I was seeing an off-leash German Sheppard running towards us. Expecting a vocal explosion from my terriers I stopped and looked around, preparing to ask the owner to recall his dog.

But when we stopped, the ‘dog’ stopped.  And for a few seconds of suspended time we all gazed at each other, the ‘dog’ looking straight at us without a hint of confrontation in his body or attitude. No owner in sight. Certainly not a Sheppard. A handsome Coyote instead.

Far too quickly he turned and vanished into the hillside woods behind him, running through a carpet of fall leaves without making a sound.  Bossy and Bark didn’t make a peep either. Just like when we met the Deer-Coyote in the woods in the summertime.  A silent communion. Some amazing grace.

Terrier Logic Nominated for Liebster Award

Border Terrier Gets Ahold of A Liebster Award

I think that nomination is for me, Mom.

A young woman with her eye on the skies, Tin Liu, author of http://astronomybythecosmos.com is also grounded enough to discover Terrier Logic.  It’s literally been months since she did and nominated Terrier Logic for a Liebster Award. Life got crazy. But I haven’t forgotten.

For those unfamiliar with The Liebster Award, it carries some obligations:

  • When you are tagged/nominated, you have to post 11 facts about yourself.
  • Then you answer the 11 questions the Tagger has given you and make 11 questions for the people you are going to tag.
  • You tag 11 more Bloggers and tell the people you tagged that you appreciate their work.
  •  No tagging back.

11 Facts About Myself (Toni Terrier):

  1. A puppy changed me.  Two changed me even more.
  2. I love having both of my terriers curled up on my lap–although they don’t fit.
  3. I love learning new tricks. Like blogging.
  4. I’m a proud Canadian.
  5. My dogs helped me become a better horsewoman.
  6. I bellylaugh when the dogs rough-house.
  7. I prefer tall trees over tall buildings.
  8. Lyme Disease nearly took me out early.  (Protect yourself from tick bites).
  9. This blog is a Learning Lab as well as a reason to write and share one of my passions.
  10. I was a Girl Guide and Girl Guide Leader. Among what I learned: try to leave the world better than you found it.
  11. I’m a lot like my terriers.

11 Answers to the Questions Posed By My Nominator, Tina Liu http://www.astronomybythecosmos.com

1.  Which of the eight planets is your favorite? Why?  Earth. I’ve lived here for years and I quite like it.  None of the other planets have the really good stuff like compassion, surf and wildlife.

2.  How many countries have you been to? Which ones? Coincidentally 11: Many parts of Canada, United States (continental and Hawaii), Mexico, Dominican Republic, England, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Thailand, China (Mainland, Hong Kong and Macau), and Japan. All wonderful and not nearly enough of each. Only a fraction of where I want to go, before I go.

3. Name one person who has inspired you.  There are many but I’ll pick Richard Branson. Years ago he faced true uncertainty up in a super-high altitude hot air balloon when a fuel tank was accidentally jettisoned.  Of course he kept going and I was riveted to his courageous video chronicle of the event. Glad he made it back safely.  

4. What was your first memory?  Jack rabbits in the Arizona desert.

5. What do you imagine the world to be like in a thousand years?  Different but (still) determined to survive.

6. If you could, what superpower would you choose? Invisibility, super strength, clairvoyance, or super speed?  FLIGHT would the superpower I’d really want. The closest to that is probably “super speed.”

7.  Which of the twelve Olympians in Greek mythology is your favorite? Why?  The modest and apolitical, Goddess of the Hearth, Hestia. She inspired entire towns to keep a perpetual flame in honour of children and families.

8. What is your favorite genre of books?  Oh sure, ask a really hard question. Science-or literary-fiction, if I had to choose.  But, please, don’t make me.

9. If you had an unlimited supply of money, how would you spend it?  On making money irrelevant for the survival, health and happiness of all life on earth.  Somewhere in there, I’d build a links-style golf club for my husband. That would definitely make him happy.

11. How many languages do you speak? Which ones? Only one well: English. And on some days I’m not even sure about that.  Un peu Francais. Un poquito Espaniol. Learning more Canine and Equine every day. Just starting to pick up HTML.

11. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? With those I love. After that, somewhere in a mountain range with water nearby.

My 11 Questions To Those I’ve Tagged (Inspired by Terriers and Other Dogs):

  1. What will you hang onto in life—no matter what?
  2. What’s your great life obsession?
  3. What are you most curious about and like to dig into the most?
  4. About which human value are you most tenacious? Honesty, integrity, etc.
  5. What are you driven to rid from the world?
  6. What do you enjoy doing most with a/your dog?
  7. Why do you enjoy it? (See Q6)
  8. Who was the most memorable dog character you’ve ever read about in a book?
  9. Where’s the craziest place you’ve seen a dog sleep?
  10. What would you protect if you had to?
  11. With which breed of dog do you feel the most kinship?

My 11 Liebster Award Nominees:  

  1. Reading Interrupted 
  2. Donnell & Day Architecture Journal
  3. Long Life Cats And Dogs
  4. Daily Doodle + More
  5. 1 Year, 365 Moments
  6. Barbara’s World
  7. Dreamcatcher Farm
  8. Dirt Road Journal
  9. MariAnne MacGregor Photography
  10. The everyday collides-susan reilly
  11. Airquoted

Reading Service Terriers

Bark Border Enjoys Reading Game of Thrones With Sister/Cousin

Border Terriers Love To Read (with their favourite people)

Yesterday I said “Winter’s Coming!”. That reminded me of the Game of Thrones family motto and this moment between Bark and “Sister/Cousin” and a laid back afternoon they spent reading one of the books.  Bark prefers the book form of Game of Thrones to the TV version. WAY less gratuitous smut.

People who know terriers think that they aren’t well suited to Guide Dog Service functions (What car? Get that squirrel instead!), but Border Terriers make awesome  Reading Service dogs. Patient. Encouraging. Happy just to hang out with you for hours.  Keep on reading, Sister/Cousin.

“Lost and Found Dog” doesn’t mean “Finder’s Keepers”

Twice in the last month I’ve heard of people who found a dog and just kept it. So kudos to this kind soul who’s working to reunite a terrier with his human companion.  And kudos to this fine blogger for helping out.  Do unto others. And remember Terrier Logic # 9: Persistence usually pays off.  “Lost and Found Dog” doesn’t mean “Finder’s Keepers”.

South Leeds Life

I spotted this poster at Beeston Co-op this afternoon. Have you lost a terrier near Elland Road?

Dog Found. Saturday afternoon (11th Aug). Small terrier found near LUFC football ground. Not microchipped. Call 07527 114302

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Service dogs are often trained to alert others if their person gets into trouble. Sometimes they run circles around a wheelchair and other times they bark until help comes.  A good job for a vocal breed group.

Terriers are good working dogs. For many, ‘service work’ is great casting for their skills, sensitivities and loyal natures.

Read more about Bingo, the Jack Russell Terrier, who has lived his life according to Terrier Logic:

3. Love your human companion with all your heart.

9.  Remember persistence pays off.

11. Tune into every thought and feeling your human companion has.

13. Bark until your (good) work is acknowledged.

About Bingo, reblogged from: BUCKET LIST FOR DYING SERVICE DOG « Booksforever1blog. BarkUpToday!.

Terrier Play. Terrier Joy. Don’t stop me now.

The Parkour Terrier video reminded me of this rocking, old classic YouTube video of two Border Terriers having such a good time playing to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now“.  You’ll feel happy just watching them.

Nothing makes me belly laugh as much as watching my Bossy and Bark (both Borders)tear through the woods, run around and jump over the bushes, ducking, diving and rolling. Stopping long enough to lap some water.  Two dogs, one bowl.  Ear to ear. Two sets of tags raining on the side of the dish.  Then off again they go for more laps around the yard before they finally flop down, sides-heaving, with the most satisfied grins on their sweet faces. Now that’s all-out Terrier Play.

Terrier Joy. Terrier Play.
Bossy and Bark Border Having Such a Good Time. Copyright, Terrier Logic 2012

Watch it now: Don’t stop me now… – YouTube.  And laugh with me.

This video also might answer a question just asked online:





Why does my Border Terrier bark and pull me when he sees other dogs on his walk?”  Wouldn’t you, if you had so much fun with your friends?  Too bad people don’t work so hard to get more joy into their lives. Another reminder from our precious canine friends to Live with passion. That’s Terrier Logic # 12.

Parkour Terrier

Parkour dog.  This astonishing Staffordshire Terrier makes most terriers look comatose. Watch this RIVETING video (follows a short commercial not of my doing–sorry–it’s worth the wait).

This boy understands Terrier Logic # 12: Live with Passion.  You’ll never look at a standard agility course the same way. And you’ll probably join me in never whining about your high-energy terrier ever again.

We should all Live With the Spirit of Parkour.

Credits: Found on http://bitemecharlie.wordpress.com/

My Border Terrier acts like a cat

Bark Border Terrier on High

Some might say Bark, my second Border Terrier, acts like a cat. 

Others would say he has visions of grandeur. That he’s a dominant dog who thinks he’s the King of the Castle.  But Bark isn’t dominant and the longer I live with dogs the more I think the Dominance Model is…irrelevant. And sometimes dangerous–especially when there are terriers involved.  Coming to this realization has helped me solve a host of issues with my pups, too.  [The more we can change, the more our dogs can change.]

Bark is just happier up high. As are many cats.

When Bark goes to Grammy’s house to visit, he climbs the tall staircase and sleeps on the sunny patch of carpet atop the landing. There he can hang off the edge and can gaze out the little port window at the neighbouring roof-tops.  At home, he favours the back of the sofa even though windowed doors come right to the ground. A boy up high can see the rabbits and birds and other critters that a ground floor dog never can.  And he can stay out of the way of a bossy sister. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Where does your Terrier like to hang out? 

My next post will be other behaviours shared between Border Terriers and cats.

The real purpose of a terrier

Hunting is a terrier’s real purpose. “Hunt until you drop.”  That’s Terrier Logic # 2Before we ‘own’ a terrier we read all about these cute, non-shedding dogs and how independent, persistent and plucky they are.  How endearing, we think.  So feisty.  We think we ‘get it’.  But I don’t think we really do. Then some of us struggle mightily against these personality traits.

I read it–but didn’t really get it–until I got involved in Earthdog work and saw what comes naturally to these breeds. Only after this did I truly understand my Bossy Border Terrier and her intensity. The hunt for small and not-so-small furries defines her, along with other terriers.

Dughall, the Cairn Terrier, parades his stuffed rat reward after succeeding at an Intro to Quarry Earthdog Test. (Photo courtesy of C. Mair.)

Terriers have hunted for us for centuries, protecting food stores from destruction by vermin and reducing disease by keeping rodent populations in check.  A local, Ontario mill owner I know still prefers a good working terrier to a cat to keep the mice down around his feeds and seeds. We really need to remember this working history of our terriers and find ways to channel their instincts. When we can’t do what we’re meant to do part of us becomes unstable and unhealthy.  Same, too, for our dogs.  When we stick them in a leisurely, quiet life and never let them follow their noses and hunting instincts, they become neurotic. Like rebels without a cause.
If you have a terrier in your life and haven’t heard about Earthdog trials, been to one as an observer or participated in one with your dog, you’re missing out on a controlled opportunity to let your terrier do his life’s work–without harm coming to the quarry Earthdog work (and practice) helps our dogs exercise their real purpose and helps us bond with them on a deeper level.  Check it out..