MY mate Daisy is causing a bit of a ripple in the newspaper community. Last week’s episode of The Local Eye saw Daisy having a break at The Twelve Hotel in Barna, County Galway and visiting Bubbles and Barks Doggy Day Spa.
Most people don’t know Daisy’s story and why she is Ireland’s only canine columnist and Clare Champion mascot.
This little white terrier is an ancient Scottish breed and is part of a breed type ‘trio’, West Highland white or Westie for short; the Cairn terrier, the red coloured cousin, and the black cousin, the Scottish terrier or Scottie.
The Scottie and the Westie dogs are familiar mascots of Black & White Scotch Whisky. The West Highland White terrier originated in Scotland and was used for hunting fox, badger, otter and for killing vermin such as rats. There’s not much evidence to determine the exact history of the Westie but many believe the breed can be traced back to the 17th century and a small breed of earth dogs that James I of Argyllshire gave to the king of France.
According to breed lore, the Westie’s coat colour resulted from a tragic 19th century accident that occurred while Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch was hunting foxes. The colonel accidentally shot and killed one of his red coated Cairn terriers. He was devastated, and determined to prevent such accidents in the future, he decided to breed only white dogs that couldn’t be confused with foxes.
The best way to describe this wee terrier is simply to say that she’s so full of confidence that she knows she’s the best thing around. Always on the lookout for a good time, she’ll make you laugh while she entertains herself. Westies in general are friendly and happy, with a lively nature but this wasn’t always the case for Daisy. She came from a highly recommended breeder but unfortunately she was ill prepared to be a pet dog, as the breeder wanted her to be a breeding dog. Thank goodness, she had a change of heart when John and Shelly approached her for a dog.
Daisy was a little over six months when she was taken home to be part of the Galvin family but there was concerns about her behaviour. As a qualified pet behaviourist, I met her and made a few suggestions as to how we could help Daisy settle to her new life. One of my suggestions was to take her to work, which thankfully was an option that we all agreed on and could facilitate with the support of the staff.
Daisy has blossomed into a confident and sociable little dog, who can enjoy time at The Champion and her own fan club, who come to say hi to her in the office. Now she’s a happy wee dog and not one who is nervous and afraid of people. Because she has never known a rough hand or any averse training she is a pleasure to take to dog friendly hotels like The Twelve in Barna.