We had often heard about the bi-annual Fox Terrier walk in Brighton but had only recently been able to track it down. The walks are both a celebration and to raise awareness of FoxTerrier Rescue and Terrier SOS.
So off we went, proudly escorting our groomed and plumed wire Fox Terrier Dylan. The meeting point was Brighton Marina and we could hear the chorus of barks as we parked. We made our way down to the pavement and joined the group.
Dylan was very reticent and seemed quite alarmed at the sight and sound of so many of his breed in one small space. He tried to turn around and head back to the car, but we persisted. We hadn't waited this long and come this far for nothing. Dylan sat firmly on the pavement and would not even walk through the group, so we had to make a circular tour around them all to find a relatively quiet area.
It's difficult to describe the sight of so many of these mischievous, characterful dogs. They are intelligent, lively, sociable and difficult to ignore. If you have a 'wire' as they are affectionately called, you will never have another breed of dog. Always attracting attention, people will stop and say 'my aunt had one of those' or 'they look like those dogs on wheels'.
So now we were all gathered. About 40 dogs and owners. And it was time to head off on the beach path to Ovingdean and a chance to let dogs off leads so that they could run, bark, play and generally interact. Well, that was the idea. But even off the lead Dylan wasn't quite getting it. He trotted closely to us and decided to ignore the others. Still, we thought, he'll get the hang of it.
We arrived at the beach café where some people bought sandwiches and the dogs scattered along the shoreline. And yes, you've guessed, all except Dylan. He chased stones thrown by us into the sea and occasionally brushed past another 'wire' but always came back to his own space.
We were beginning to wonder who was having more fun, us or him, but I guess we knew the answer to that one.
We had time to exchange 'wire' stories and experiences. Now sadly on the 'disappearing breed list', they are not lap dogs, nor home alone types. They need human interaction and stimulation. But they give back so much affection and unstinting loyalty. It's impossible to be cross with them as they look you in the eye and wag their tails feverishly.
We were back on the move again after about an hour of sandwiches, chats and doggy fun. The walk continued to Rottingdean to a dog-friendly pub, perfectly timed as the rain then came down.
People travel from far and wide for these walks, one couple from Brussels. They were catching the last ferry back to Calais.
It is a great day out and we will definitely be there for the next one in April. We really believe that Dylan will be as excited as we are next time and will join in all the fun. Well, maybe ...