Such wonderful stories and comments have come from last week’s post! For those of you who get these installments without the comments section and for those who replied via email, Facebook or other format, I want to share some of the responses to my call for reader feedback. All of these will be anonymous, but if you want to lay claim to your story, feel free to do so!
From an experienced and dedicated Bedlington parent:
“...and so it begins. You have entered into a world of addiction for which there is no cure. I got my first Bedlington, Lambert, 9.5 years ago. From the first day, he entwined himself in my heart and my life. It is almost impossible to describe the bond I had with him. I rescued Lily when she was a year old. She has all of the same sweet traits as Lambert, but is a little more high strung. Lambert passed away unexpectedly in February, I am still grieving his loss. About 6 weeks ago though, a adopted a 12 year old named Rocky. He is a special needs Bedlington. He is deaf, has cataracts, has copper toxicosis, had a rectal tumor which was just removed on Tuesday, and he has some sort of spinal injury that makes his hind quarters weak. Even with all of these issues, his Bedlington ways shine through. I am not sure how long he will be with me, but what I do know is that no Bedlington deserves anything less than a wonderful life full of love.”
I am so moved by this degree of love and dedication. Bedlington parents are some of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever known. And Bedlingtons do inspire such love. I’m glad there’s no cure for the addiction!
Here’s a comment from the converted:
“Absolutely without doubt the greatest breed ever! My husband, who never wanted a dog, bought Miss Dog for me 10 years ago & wouldn't be without her now!”
John, too, thought he would be perfectly happy without ever having another dog. I think I’ve chronicled in this space how that has changed!
An enthusiastic endorsement:
“Love my Bedlington! He is a Therapy Dog, too! Whenever I talk about just how perfect he is, he does something bad, as if to say, ‘Look, nobody is perfect – see?’ I love him and wonder why more people don't have Bedlingtons: They are the perfect size, no shedding, great personalities and smart, smart, smart!”
I attribute the perverse behavior to the famous Bedlington sense of humor. When Cleo shows me up, there’s more than a little snickering behind her sparkling eyes. Keeps me humble!
A wonderful conversation developed on the “I love Bedlington Terriers” Facebook page. It began with a contributor asking if other Bedlingtons didn’t like being watched while they were eating. It turns out this isn’t an uncommon situation. Also not uncommon? Bedlingtons who don’t like to eat, period. I used to agonize over Cleo’s resistance to breakfast (I can hear John muttering to himself now: “Used to agonize?!”). She happily eats dinner whenever I feed it to her, but breakfast is a different story. Sometimes she’ll eat it at noon, sometimes at 4 PM, sometimes at 9 AM. But no matter when she eats it, she’s always ready for dinner as soon as we get home from school! It was such a relief to get a note from Cleo’s grandmother saying, “Don’t worry; Bedlingtons are not aggressive eaters.” My girl still has her Audrey Hepburn figure!
I am intrigued, though, by the contributor who said her Bedlington eats five raw chicken necks a day. I imagine his breath is pretty good… This comment sparked a delightful conversation among folks who feed their dogs chicken necks, raw wings and feet. They go to the butcher and pick up a variety pack along with “raw pet mince.” According to the chicken enthusiasts, the necks and feet are terrific for dogs’ teeth. I’m thrown back into my vegetarian’s dilemma, but I’m also really interested to see how Cleo would react to a chicken neck.
Another comment posted on the blog site made me really want to meet this writer:
“You and I are both in love with our Bedlingtons. I almost said dogs, but on reflection, I had to change the word to Bedlingtons. … I, for one, yearn to possess some of her finer qualities, and I don't mean going ape when she encounters squirrels….”
That Bedlophile sounds like a whole lot of fun to hang out with!! And, by the way, I’m trademarking the word “bedlophile.”
A faithful reader who has known Cleo since the instant of her birth writes:
“I have two Bedlingtons, mother and son. If Sterling gets into his dad’s lap first, Gracee will run to the doggy door and bark. Sterling goes to see what she sees, then she runs and gets in her dad’s lap. The trick worked!“
I love this! Cleo works this kind of trick on us all the time. If they only had opposable thumbs, Bedlingtons could be grand master chess players.
This reader also goes on to describe “the Bedlington bounce.” It’s such a wonderful trait. If you’ve never seen it, you can approximate it in your imagination: Picture the way an antelope springs across the prairie, launching from its rear legs and bouncing forward onto its forelegs. Such joy and exuberance! Now convert that to a lamb-sized dog and you’ve got the idea.
“Our life would be dull without a Bedlington. They are the smartest, most loving, and if you are anxious or stressed-out just lay down with them and snuggle. The soft, loving response will always make you feel better. I could go on and on.”
Finally, a reader summed it up well with this succinct contribution:
“You know you have a Bedlington when others bleat at her on her walks.”
Thanks to everyone who responded! We so enjoyed reading the thoughts and reflections on all the dogs we heard about. The bottom line: We are so lucky to have these remarkable companions, be they Bedlington, English Conformation Labradors, Cocker Spaniel or whatever.
But especially the Bedlingtons.