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Bichon Frise draws cat calls

Updated: January 29, 2013 9:58AM

Q. In two separate incidents, people have mocked my dog, a bichon frise named Brunhilde. My dog is small, white and adorable. She doesn’t deserve to be ridiculed, although admittedly she doesn’t know it’s happening, but I get offended for both of us.

The first instance happened while walking here. Two guys called out: “Is that a real dog or a stuffed animal?” Another time, I was walking Brunhilde when a Sheriff’s Department van pulled into the crosswalk and stopped for the light. I motioned to the driver to back out of the crosswalk and he did. We crossed in front of them and the guy in the passenger seat rolls down his window and says: “We wouldn’t mind backing up for a real dog.”

Is this an insecure male problem? How should I respond to these annoying remarks?

A. My quick guess is these men were not harassing Brunhilde, they were toying with you. They were playfully teasing and having some fun because just maybe they think you’re as cute as your pet.

Sure, it’s a confident guy who steps out proudly with a fluffy little dog. But let’s save the issue of guys and small dogs for another time. The men who razzed Brunhilde were whistling at you. And the sheriffs were probably embarrassed because you chided them for hogging the crosswalk. They sassed back by trifling with you through your dog.

Seems innocent enough and enjoy — especially if you’re a woman of a certain age.

Q. My West Highland terrier Jackand I’d love to learn more about the history of the breed. Any suggestions?

A. Yes, there is a marvelous book, simply titled “West Highland White Terrier” by Martin Weil (T.F.H Publications). The small tome is an excellent resource, crammed with photographs and filled with West Highland white terrier history, breed characteristics and standards as well as grooming, feeding and training recommendations. If you want fanciful terrier tales to treasure, you also must get your hands on any books in the delightful McDuff series by Rosemary Wells, with illustrations by Susan Jeffers (Hyperion). Wells has created an episodic children’s story about McDuff, a spunky Westie, who falls off the dogcatcher’s truck and is adopted by inscrutable yuppies, Lucy and Fred. To wit, his favorite foods are rice pudding and sausages.

Illustrator Jeffers’ captures the unique Westie facial tics and bodily expressions beautifully. Her drawings of McDuff and his quirky world are works of art. Savor any edition in the series, from the first “McDuff Moves In” to the most recently published, “McDuff Goes To School.” You don’t have to be a kid, or a Westie lover, to be tickled by them.

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