Colby

This is Colby Shergold, Staffordshire Bull Terrier of some renown.

I’d like to introduce a friend of mine:

Lady Magpie has a boyfriend who owns a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, That’s him up there ( the Stafford I mean not the Boyfriend).

Well, every so often, usually a Wednesday afternoon, Lady Magpie and the boyfriend go out together and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is left with me. I suppose they see it as a sort of compensation.

Like all Staffords, Colby is a friendly chap. He is capable of smiling like a complete idiot and is equally capable of looking so down cast that everyone’s heart goes out to him. Before he came to live with the boyfriend Colby was in need of a lot of TLC. He had been badly abused and even today is still a bit nervous. However, he knows he is loved and is very loving in return.

Recently Staffords have had a bad press due to fact that there are people who use them for dog fighting and badger baiting. They are crossed with different breeds to increas their size and then can be trained to be agressive, not just towards other dogs but towards people too. The so  called Irish Stafford is a result of this breeding.

Staffords are all dog. Solidly built and muscled like no other dog. Their musculature is such that at the first sign of aggression from another dog  the muscles on their bodies tense to become almost impenetrable. This is a result of their development in the Black Country as family utility dogs. They were ratters and guard dogs and fighters and bull baiters.

The soppy, silly and friendly side of their nature comes from the years of development as a breed within the homes of their owners. This trait is what makes them desirable as pets for families. They love peole and adore children. On top of this they are very easily trained.  My father bred a few back in the 1950s and would only ever use a dog that had been bred in Staffordshire and the Black Country and when Jill, who had sat by my pram when I was a baby and not let anyone near, unless told to, died in 1956 he  gave up some of his holiday to go up to the Midlands to purchase her replacement, Chutney, who was my dog. That is funny as, like most dogs, Staffords only recognise one leader of the pack to whom they give ultimate loyalty and in our house that was my mother. Still, it was me that had to go to dog training classes with her.

To this day I cannot abide seeing an ill disciplined dog. Perhaps that is unfair as it is  rarely, if ever, the dog’s fault. The owners need to be trained. Bring back the dog license I say. And charge at least £100 per annum per dog.

Back to Colby. It’s always a pleasure to act as his host. he bounds into the house and stops dead if he catches sight of either of the cats. He’s scared of them!! Just as scared as they are of him. After sorting out the confrontation, usually by removing the cat(s) up stairs, not a comfortable experience. Have you ever tried picking up a cat that has everything extended that it is possible to extend? After all Hellos and I love yous  have been said by everyone, including Colby, then he goes in search of his toy.

Colby's toy...that's right a cricket ball...sitting in its usual place.

What is amazing is that this toy, much loved as you can see, is always kept in the same place at the top of the stairs and Colby can never find it first time around. There follows the ritual game of “Give it to me! I want it!”

” Grr! Noo !” the latter from Colby and always accompanied by that wonderful Stafford Smile and tail wagging. Later, after Lady Magpie and the Boyfriend have gone out the two of us sneak out for a walk. Yesterday I took him down the line on the train, where he made new human friends, to Chingford and introduced him to friends there. Even B… who obviously finds dogs difficult took to him and told him he could come back but please to leave The Dirty Dog at home next time. I think that was a reference to me….

A couple of times I noticed good looking young women approaching with broad smiles. Mmm!  They ignored me and made a fuss of Colby. I hesitated to translate what he was saying as “Love me, love the man I’ve got in tow.”

A good friend is Colby…

Oh by the way, I trust the boyfriend with Lady Magpie.. they only go off to a class together. No, not Dog Training.

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5 Responses to “Colby”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    Hide that toy NOW before Ramana calls! Cricket is Holier than cows in India. 😉 I am not a great animal person, but Colby sounds easy to be around.

  2. Maria Says:

    Colby is a beautiful example of what a Bull-terrier should be.

    Unfortunately here in the States and particularly here in California, illegal dog fights are carried out. The wonderful Pit-bull that was once a great family dog has become a dog to dread and fear. This is so sad and makes me very angry.

    I enjoyed reading about Colby and I can see how his personality would attract a lot of loving people.

  3. Magpie11 Says:

    One needs something to do with Cricket balls when they are worn out! And dogs, like Staffords, that have such strong jaws need strong toys!

    If any breed is going to win people over it has to be Staffordshire Bull Terriers as long as they have been properly treated.

    We have a problem with dogfighting and with dogs being the Urban weapon of choice these days…

    It seems that there are two strains of Pit Bull (which do have Staff in their genetics) As their name suggests they were bred for fighting pits and some strains were developed to be naturally aggressive. They are on our dangerous dogs list in this country simply because of the vicious use of them. I worry that Staffords will end up there as well. There is a strong breed society here in the UK.

    I read a book several years ago that I am sure was entitled The Reet Un by Sir Compton Mackenzie (of Whiskey galore Fame) but I cannot find reference to it anywhere on line. It was about a Stafford that was “a reet’un”…

  4. Rummuser Says:

    I grew up with dogs at home and had them till it became difficult to give them the care that they need. This is a true story given below.

    Before we moved to Pune, we were in Bangalore where our neighbours were a group of college students messing together. They had this adorable cross bred pup that they were willing to give to Ranjan (or son) on one condition. The condition was that the name would not be changed. Ranjan asked me and I said, sure why not. The dog landed up at our place, thankfully a large compound with lots of room for him to play around in. The name however was Subramaniam. The boys were all Christians from Kerala and wanted to make a statement. All pet dogs are normally given Christian names and these kids decided to do the other way. Unfortunately, the names, of my paternal uncle, my boss and a few other dignitaries in our life then were all Subramaniam. This is a very common South Indian name and it was quite embarrassing to use that. Subsequently, my late wife persuaded the boys to allow us to change the name to a neutral Dojji.

  5. Ursula Says:

    Magpie, I know those dogs get bad press: People are likened to them. Tell me about it. That’s “bull” for you.

    I so relate to a lot of what you say. I grew up with a professionally trained BLACK Alsatian. He was beautiful, he was loyal, he was everything you look for in anyone you love. I was two/three/four years of age and that dog accompanying me wherever I went gave me all the freedom anyone can dream of: My grandparents knew there was no need for me to chaperoned around the village. Pongo was my guardian angel.

    Magpie, so very endearing that you let Lady Magpie loose. My sentiment entirely: Couples don’t come in packages. And each single component of a match made in heaven or hell should still be able to choose their OWN friends.

    Since I do not wish to lower the tone I shan’t mention the need for pooper scoopers when taking Colby for his ‘constitutional”.

    U

    PS I am not partial to people kissing dogs. If you do let Colby slobber all over you, please do NOT let me know.

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