Don’t be fooled by the look. Tarn the Patterdale Terrier on top of Castle Crag in Borrowdale in the north of the English Lake District.
We had strolled up from Grange village and as usual,herself had run on ahead.She was already near the summit as I laboured up the extremely steep quarry slope. I reached the first viewpoint only to be confronted by a lady asking me…“Is this your dog?”
“No missus” says I, “I have never seen it before.”
“It’s been harrassing me” says she…as Tarn starts on her world famous kangaroo impression,trying to capture a sausage butty from the hand of the woman,by now held well above her head.
“It’s terrible” says I “how some people just seem to have no control over their dogs” and I walked on by praying that the dog would follow after a respectable time.
Anyway,follow she did,but far enough from me not to give the lie to my disowning her.
As we got to the summit,there were some folks there with well behaved dogs of their own.One was a boy terrier who came to introduce himself to Tarn and was seen off in no uncertain terms..I was keeping my fingers crossed he wouldn’t drop over the adjacent cliff face in his hurry to escape her ire.
She then went and introduced herself nicely to said terrier’s people and mugged them for a currant bun.
She then moved on to the other folks with a spaniel and a retriever,cornered the dogs against a rock and then came over all simpering sweet to the owners who promptly rewarded her with a doggy treat and a chorus of “awww,ain’t she sweet”.
No No No No!!! Tarn the Patterdale Terrier is the spawn of Beelzebub (who has the Devil for a sideboard)
Then I momentarily lost sight of her as I took a shot and turning back,she had disappeared.I was so worried as there were sheer drops all around and so I called,getting a bit more frantic each time.I resorted to the Whistle Of Last Resort,a special whistle I carry on string around my neck and which never fails….no response.The other doggy owners were getting nervous too.
I saw a couple sitting on a rock taking in the views with there backs to me..I realised that they were having a picnic…..(Yes,you are ahead of me on this one) Right in front of them and previously out of line of sight,a small hungry looking terrier was sat in her best “poor me,I’m never fed” position, looking at them adoringly.
“That’s it” says I to the poor tourists “you feed her,you keep her” and taking my leave,I headed back down the track.5 seconds later and still licking her lips,Satan’s little helper was dogging my heels…“hullo Dad” she said,“where have you been?”
Sony Alpha 350 DSLR 18-70 lens,single RAW tonemapped with Photomatix Pro4
Featured in APBT Lovers Mar 2011