Nellie and I where great mates from the start she would sit by my pram and keep guard, she saved my life by howling and howling to get my mother?s attention when my not so friendly brother pushed my pram into the open fire! Mum scooped me to safety and the burning pram was ejected through the window with wheels burning!
Nellie and I where like peas in the pod, always side by side when mischief was a foot except when she went hunting. Now this is where we started to find out that Nellie was not connected the same way as other terriers as her favourite prey turned out to be "Brushes", yard, scrubbing, hand, clothes any kind of brush.
She was known far and wide and if anyone lost a brush someone was dispatched to ask Mrs Delaney had Nellie found whatever brush! this literally went on for years but culminated in one very strange event.
My Mother was cleaning the windows of the house and saw Nellie emerging from a little alleyway with a large object in her mouth. The alleyway was used by factory workers to get to work at the then English Electric works via a large metal bridge.
Mum called Nellie and discovered what she had in her mouth was a large painters kettle with about 50 brushes in it, she took the tin away from Nellie and with Nellie on a lead and paint kettle in hand set off down the alley until she reached the bridge where a large number of bemused painters where looking for their brushes. They took it all in good fun and used to save the old brushes for Nellie!
Nellie loved adventure and as I grew up school called and I had to leave my pal behind but she always used to come with Mum and fetch me from school at the end of the day and once away from the roads I'd let her off her lead and we would race home.
One day mum came to the school and Nellie wasn't with and I asked where she was? I don't know she bolted from the garden this morning and has not come home yet.
I got home still no sign of her so I went in search and spotted a number of people gathered by the side of the road, "what?s going on" I said " sounds like someone?s dogs stuck down the drain" I listened and called Nellies name sure enough back came that distinctive Fox Terrier yap, I could do nothing but by this time the council had arrived, quickly followed by the Fire Brigade the Police and the RSPCA
The council where concerned what would happen if we had a sudden down pour the Fire Brigade where unsure if they needed breathing apparatus, the Police wanted to know who owned the dog and where was its license and the RSPCA in the interest of and the well being of the animal wanted to put her down.
Just as the consensus of opinion was swinging in favour of the RSPCA's suggestion my Dad pulled up in his van and asked what was going on, the RSPCA described what they planned on doing and I cannot print my Dad's actual reply but it was in the NEGATIVE.
He went to his van pulled out his sledge hammer and broke his way into Nellie and retrieved her unharmed from the drain, the council wanted to know who was going to pay for the damage and my Dad suggested they catch the Rat that Nellie had chased into the drain and ask it for some suggestions.
My Mum who was not as brave as my Dad answered the door a bit sheepishly for a few day's expecting a party from the local council to be on her door step, every time she answered a knock on the door.
A week later a knock did come to the door and two well dressed men stood before her, no they weren't from the council but were in fact reporters and wanted the story and some pictures for the 2 local newspapers The Stafford Newsletter & The Staffordshire Advertiser which both showed Nellie having another bath in a big metal enamelled tub on the kitchen table, all to Nellie's indignant at being bathed and photographed at the same time!
Here is a story of another Fox Terrier I owned called, Queenie she was a,
Smooth Haired Fox Terrier.
A lot of the readers of Delwires will have read stories about Nellie my first ever dog, Nellie was a WHFT and a real character as the stories depict. This is a story about Queenie a smooth fox terrier who I loved dearly, she was a great companion and a loyal friend, her full name was Royal Regal Rotherwood Queen and she was just that very elegant and regal she trotted everywhere, with her head and tail both held high.
Queenie was game for anything and would play ball with us lads and would tolerate being dressed up by the girls next door and paraded around in a pram with a dolls bonnet on her head for hours.
She was also a keen hunter with all the primeval instincts of a wolf just under the surface, she would catch rabbits, rats and mice as was her nature as a terrier but one day after she had been out rabbiting over the local fields she came home and went straight to her box in the shed and vanished again for about 10minutes and returned and vanished again, this was repeated five times and my mum said Stephen go and see what Queenie's upto, so I went to the shed where her bed was not that she ever used it that much only in the day as she was always smuggled upstairs when it was are bedtime, on approaching the bed I noticed movement and looked into she 4 live baby rabbits and as I stood in amazement Queenie arrived back with another alive in her mouth.
She had obviously either killed the mother and then found the young rabbits or had found them abandoned and brought them home to try and care for them, which apart from cuddling them like puppies she couldn't, so we where left to hand rear these wild rabbits and Queenie looked on them as her puppies and guarded them from any cat's or dogs as they grew to be adults we tried to release them back into the wild but they never left the garden or the green outside our house 49 Meadow Road and continued to enjoy Queenies protection for many years
As you will have realised Queenie had all the hunting instincts of a real Fox terrier, I remember working with my father during a school holiday doing some construction work at a dye factory near Leek in Staffordshire. The factory was in a fairly rural setting with open fields all around, the dye works had huge settling tanks for separating the waste water from the dye colours suspended in it. their where lots and lots of these settling tanks and when viewed from the top of one of the hills that surrounding the factory it resembled an artists pallet, with vivid Reds, Greens, Blues, Oranges and many many more colours. Anyway as was my Dads custom when I went with him to work Queenie was also taken to keep me out of mischief when I got bored of helping my Dad. Queenie was always looking for a bit of sport and at this site everyone joined in, let me explain the site had a very bad Rat problem which Queenie was more than happy to help and resolve and as always wanted to show one and all her good work's so began the what colour this morning sweep stakes which not only included the construction site workers but soon the entire factory work force was involved including senior management, who all placed bets on what colour Rat Queenie would arrive with in the site hut the next day! good old Queenie she didn't care what colour they where but the entire workforce did!