Not another Irish Twerphound...
the alarm clock had gone off at 6.30am, it was a lovely day for an agility show. The sun was
peeping above the horizon to light an azure sky, the birds were twittering ready to start
feasting on all the ripe berries and fruit on the trees. A gentle breeze was rustling the
leaves and Richard and Sheila Partridge were off to Paws in the Park, usually a very nice,
relaxed show at the Hop Farm which is part of a large open-to-the-public Show. It had all the
makings of a perfect day, but little did they know...
Our first run went well. It was a nice
course. I remembered where I was supposed to go and Murph did the biz but, as usual, just a tad
too slowly to make a significant impression in the trophies. I was probably musing on our run
and the realisation that my poor old Twerphound who is eight years old poor old, is getting a
bit long in the tooth to expect to get any more wins.
As I passed the Secretary's tent, I
noticed a poster put there by Val Phillips of Valgray. She had a pretty little collie pup, 4 Ĺ
months old looking for a home. Looked cute. As fate would have it, one of the next people I
saw was said Val had said pup, Alfie, in tow.
I know now that I should have nodded a
greeting to Val and walked on, but no... I had to go over to her and say hello. By then, Alfie had
decided to do the big sell on me. He jumped up, wagged his tail and laid on the doleful look in
his eyes, you know, the ones you cannot resist.
I carried for a while, half expecting
that the pup would soon be offered a new home but secretly hoping he would not. He was
something special. Half an hour later, I saw him again, still with Val. This time I had my
long-suffering mem-sahib with me. Alfie once again did his magic and succeeded in making us
decide to take him home to join our pack.
the six weeks we've had him, Alfie has been a real joy. He has settled in, is house trained,
mingles with the others well and is impressively well-behaved. We understand that he started
life on a farm as a potential sheep dog but failed to make the grade. From his actions we guess
his farmer owner did some initial training with him. He seems ready to listen and learn.
We have now received Alfieís paperwork including his KC
registration. We are amused and delighted to see that Val took up our suggestion so his
'Sunday' name is Wats It All About of Valgary.
I have taken him to Club where he gets
excited seeing all the activity, so hopefully we have a potential keen competitor on our hands,
if only I can learn to do my bit and train him to do it, but that is in phase 2.
The only downside is that we have found
out he was bred in Ireland! Horror of horrors, we have lumbered ourselves with another Infamous
Irish Twerphound. And I thought the breed was extinct and I was safe.
If there is a moral to this story, it is that there is
nothing worse than one Twerphound than two Twerphounds. Or maybe,
If you are feeling a bit soft and see Val Philips, run quick in the opposite direction!
A Little Bit about Twerphounds
Irish Twerphounds are deservedly extremely rare and
it would seem that they are always males. This phenomenon comes about because they are
not bred in the conventional sense, but created. Legend has it that on certain days of
the year among the Peat bogs of Ireland, the mist rising above the bogs contains a
critical amount of a special ozone. If a bolt of lightning strikes a particular ancient
dead tree, another Twerphound emerges from the earth.
The breed was first recognized in the UK in 2005 at
All About Dogs in Brentwood. One of the arena events was a Frisbee competition. Murphy,
the original Twerphound, simply loves his Frisbee so entry was essential. As we walked
into the ring for the heat, the commentator - none other than Peter Purves - announced
that the next competitor was Murphy. Looking at me, he enquired if he was a WSD. In a
flash, I responded that he was in fact an Irish Twerphound. This was duly broadcast over
the PA and the myth was born.
It is rumoured that the original Twerphounds were
brought from their native Ireland by the Navvies building the railways and canals. They
were prized for their unique ability to be able to enter a completely strange town and
locate by uncanny instinct the hostelries stocking Guinness and Caffrey's, a gift highly
prized by their Irish owners.
seeing them that day, I
knew that Richard and Sheila were softies so I decided to put a re-homing device on Alfie. I
sprinkled them with dog nip so that every time they
passed, Alfie would put on his
waggie tail act... and who could resist those dewy eyes?
was a crazy day. Things were not going to plan. I had to be taken to first aid, not for being
hit over the head by people who did not want a 'nice pup, looking for a home but due to an
accident running my dog SKy. I had just got to jump no. 2 when I heard something snap in my
knee. I had ruptured my RCL. The operationis on 18 November. Scarey.
when I got back to the show I found
out that the Partridge Family wanted to take Alfie home... and the rest is history.
thanks to them both. He is a smashing pup.
we are dealing with so many Irish dogs now because they do not stand a chance in hell in
Ireland. Four days and that's it. If they are not claimed or found a rescue space, sadly they
are PTS. I am happy that we were able to save Alfie's life and I am sure we will see him jet
propelled around the agility rings, miles ahead of Richard. I am happy that I was able to
find such a lovely home for him. (17/11/10)
Overheard at a
Itís interesting that you have a
Twerphound. We have got a BogDog.
Oi, Iíve got a bone to pick with
you! I got halfway through reading your article about Twerphounds, finding it very
interesting, before I realised it was a spoof!
About the author...
Richard Partridge has been enjoying (or enduring) agility for about eight years.
Starting with a Papillon, he progressed to running the only confirmed Irish Twerphound in
He is a keen supporter of the International Mixed Breed
Agility (IMCA) and Paragility World Cup (PAWC) and is UK contact for this event. He and his wife, Sheila,
attended their first international tournament in 2006 in Holland with the Twerphound and another Papillon,
followed by a second competition in Italy in 2008 and a third this year in Switzerland.
In his spare time, Richard sits at his computer and composes
complete garbage such as this for Agilitynet.