To the most passionate and tender terriers devoted.
How it all began
As many others, I became interested with Irish terriers after I have read books by Jack London, devoted to this breed. Both of novels, «Jerry of the Islands» and «Michael, brother of Jerry», written in a simple manner and thus sinking into heart, told about fearless, amazingly clever and proud dogs, which at once rouse my curiosity. Could such dogs really exist? There was only one way to check it – buy an “Irish”. Besides I liked those reds not only because of their character. Middle size and no need of everyday fur grooming also played a great part. Generally speaking, it was an ideal variant for me.
But after calling to a club, I faced with a problem: no puppies were expected. «Out of despair» we took another representative of terrier’s tribe – fox-terrier. However, a dream about an Irish terrier was not forgotten. After a year a great-grandmother of current generation was brought from Petersburg. She became a mother of my second dog - Breezy, and in turn Breezy gave a birth to the third dog – Cleo, who now also already is a mother.
At first I didn’t have any intention of breeding, of course. I just wanted to have only that and no other dog. But little by little I started to feel hurt, that my breed (so beloved) is so little known. That’s why I was forced to start breeding. It couldn’t go without problems and fun. For instance, in the first newspaper advertisement about selling puppies, the name of their breed was accurately corrected. A changed text ran as follows: “Irish setter puppies for sale…” Once I heard some contemptuous words to our address: “Just look what we have here! Such undersized Airedales” In other words, this is how it all began...
Myths and more
As it turned out, Jack London, being an owner of an Irish terrier by himself, has described them very precisely. Their tender love to their owner, ability to win his heart forever and sink in his soul (lines from his book became one of the strongest quotations about the breed: “You're nothing but a bunch of high-strung sensitiveness, with a golden heart in the middle and a golden coat wrapped all around. You’re gold, pure gold, and no dog was ever minted like you in all the world”. Self-control, pride, intellect, cat’s grace, the speed of actions…everything coincided with his description. Everything except one: my dogs didn’t have absolute fearlessness and defiance of danger, which he had so vividly described. They all were and (continue to be) first of all intelligent and clever beings, regarding things in a sober light. I should admit, I haven’t ever felt sorry for that. Besides, this tells about one more trait of an “Irish” – ability to adapt not only to his owner, but to the current time and circumstances. I doubt if somebody would be satisfied with a ranting and raving animal, which can be stopped only in two ways – by a hail of the owner or by a shot. We became more communicable and civilized, and the traits of this breed, described above, are left in the past. To my and many other breed fans great happiness.
Moreover, the origins of an “Irish” go in the depth of ages. There is an opinion that their kin comes to huge Irish wolfhounds, which feared roman legionaries. Notwithstanding that Irish terrier is quite old breed, its’ purposeful breeding started only in the middle of 19th century.
We won’t go deeply into the history, let’s speak about things, which are urgent in our times. Let’s speak about the dogs, which surround us nowadays. Many legends exist about them. One of them tells about extraordinary pugnacity of those reds. What can you say here, except “as you sow, you shall mow”? Almost all dogs fight, but the extension to which they do it depends on their training. For example, my dogs become aggressive only when they are being attacked, but I doubt that one will blame them for this. In all other cases they never pick a quarrel first. They have their own “pack”, that’s why they are fully indifferent to other dogs. And they adore their tribe-fellows, with whom they often communicate. So my pets divide all dogs the same as I divide all people: close friends, just acquaintances and enemies. This is one of numerous evidences of our character’s likeness!
What can I say - any breeding is impossible without dog shows. If with my first Irish terrier I mostly trained, then with Breezy I have travelled through all Latvia in order to receive a champion title, and with Cleo we were in Lithuania, Estonia, Byelorussia, and Poland. Now Cleo has finished her career, passing on the baton to her puppies.
Of course in order to take part in a dog show (and not only for this!) the owner should make some efforts. His terrier should be in a good condition, should be obedient and needs a special grooming.
When I had my first dog, I started to learn stropping by myself. I watched how professionals do it, asked, and experimented. The more I knew, the more I realised how complicated and laborious process it was. I don’t mean ordinary “home trimming” – this is rather simple and takes less than couple of hours. But a good preparation for a show can take three-four hours, taking in consideration, that body remains almost untouched, a fur is trimmed only on the head, shoulders, tail and feets. Such work can be compared with jeweller’s art, sometimes you need to trim a hair by hair. The result – no unnecessary stand of coat, an Irish terrier should look maximum integral and elegant.
But when grooming is finished, you can enjoy a beautiful dog and absence of a specific smell and fur in the house. For me it’s more than convenient.
About the inner world
I have never regret about my wish to have an Irish terrier. And when I start to turn over in my mind the breeds, which Icould also have, I always find and admit some little disadvantages, and once again I come to a conclusion, that I made almost the only one right choice for me.
I like almost everything in my reds – their outlook and their character. I like that they combine a nature and harmony, so there is no problems with health. I like that they always lie beside me, when I’m home, preferring bare floor beside my feet to their own warm place and wait by he door, when I go out. Their presence is not a burden to me, but it fills my room and my soul so that I never feel lonely. I like that they listen to me and understand me. I like that notwithstanding their irrepressible temperament they stop if they feel they are doing something wrong. I like that they are true optimists: once I watched a peculiar contest on a TV. First task was – which dog will wag his tail longer and faster, second – whose “kiss” with the owner will be longer. It’s a pity that we don’t have such contests! We would win both of them with Breezy and Cleo! I like that all my Irish are different from each other, each dog is individual, with its’ own individual character...
I like everything about these dogs! But not everyone, who decided to buy an Irish without any knowledge about them, will be happy. I would never advise this breed to any person, who just would like to have a dog: this dog is not for everyone. Firstly, this dog won’t suit people, who will devote minimum time to their pet. Irish terrier demands quite big physical and moral load, especially during first years of dog’s life. Everyday 15 minutes walk won’t be enough. But if you like wide forests and fields, swimming, travelling and other active kinds of pastime, than it’s more likely that this dog will suit you. Those reds are not the dogs for lazy or boring people. These traits are not peculiar for Irish terriers.
Everyone say that my dogs conform to me. And I just can’t imagine myself without them – quick-moving and keen. This is not because I am red too. I think that a gamy “redness” of soul is more important here. This is what we call similarity of characters - when you can’t be apart from each other; when another living being is a part of yourself.
"Once you get to know an Irish Terrier well enough to get acquainted with his personality, to recognize the depth of his love, to behold his proud almost swaggering carriage, his catlike grace of movement and blinding speed and coordination of muscle, and his magnificent courage and heart, and to see his unnerving intelligence displayed again and again, you will be convinced that the Irish Terrier is one of the most magnificent of God's creations in the dog family" (Byron N. Martin). I have nothing more to add to these words…