Articles Index/In Memoriam, Pets
She was named for the red-haired princess who had recently married into the royal family. She was ever the alpha terrier bitch ruling the roost over all our dogs. She was sired by Bee Ege's dog Ch. Chidley Dandelion out of my foundation bitch Chidley Lark. Her sire's dam was a full sister to Lark ... line breeding taken to an extreme, I'd say. I should have had my head examined when I planned that breeding. But Fergie was one of four healthy puppies, the largest litter Lark ever produced! From day one, she was an energetic, robust bitch who was always into mischief. She must have torn the dishtowel off its rung in the kitchen a hundred times before she was a year old.
One of the main reasons we moved to the Virginia countryside from the Washington suburbs was in order to keep Fergie. She made "one too many" dogs according to suburbia rules and we decided to move. Our next door neighbors offered to purchase her before we moved because their toddler with Down's Syndrome had developed an intense friendship with the little Norfolk bitch next door. They would play together for long periods, each on their own side of the fence. I told the neighbor there wasn't money enough to tempt me to part with that puppy. They obviously were unaware of her noble heritage!
Fergie generally liked people, although other dogs were often the bane of her existence. In fact, the only other Norfolks she would tolerate were her mates and her puppies. Once after she was spayed (she had 5 litters of puppies for us), I decided it was time to place her in a "pet" home. We arrived together at her prospective owners' palatial country estate and were greeted by a 3-year old neutered male Norfolk who was to be her roommate. She answered his hyperactive friendly display by decking him three times before we left. And she was on a leash! She kept looking at me as if to say, "If you leave me here, I'll kill him." So back we strolled to the car and returned to the only "pet" home she ever knew.
She finished her championship quite easily under the tutelage of Beth Sweigart who, knowing my fondness for this dog, would only keep her a few weeks at time and then send her home to "grow coat." She is survived here by her daughter Junie Moon, the only one of Fergie's puppies I kept. Quite a few of her children became champions and foundation stock for Zebedee in North Carolina, Glenelg here in Virginia, and Strathcona in California. Her Glenelg grandchildren bear an uncanny resemblance.
We will miss old "Ferg," "Fergie," "Fergalots", "Ferguson" ... she never came to any of her names without some food tidbit to coax her along. She definitely danced to her own tune, and this trait is actually what attracted me to her as a young puppy. All my dogs heretofore had been painfully devoted to me and this seemed a refreshing change. Little did I know how much change she would bring to our lives!
ANTIC, December 2001
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