Lancashire Dogs - Pip the Jack Russell, Ulverston
PUBLISHED: 14:08 14 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:30 20 February 2013
In the second of her features on remarkable dogs, Ulverston writer Emily Rothery recalls a thirsty terrier
The print version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Lancashire Life
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I have friends and relations who are proud owners of Jack Russell terriers and over the years they have told me about their antics and what characters they are. Now I understand why people have amusing stories to tell which they relate with great affection.
Some Jack Russell terriers are working dogs but many are simply much loved pets. Pip, a local Jack Russell, was one such pet. Sadly, he is no longer with us but he is remembered in our community for his independence and quirky little ways. Cath, his owner, fondly recalls how Pip, if left alone, would often sneak out of the house at night and find his way down the lane to the local inn.
Being a savvy little dog, Pip would feign innocence, wagging his tail and watching patiently as his owners left the house only to leave as soon as the sound of their departing tyres was out of earshot. Then off he would trot, using his learned skills and canine instinct.
Upon his arrival at the pub Pip would knock at the door to be let in and then be greeted affectionately by the landlord before happily consuming his usual of crisps and a drop of his favourite dark stout before returning home by the same route. Pips keen sense of timing meant that he could be back home and ready to meet his returning owners with a display of joy that showed how much he had missed them.
Of course, the bar staff had informed Cath of Pips forays but she only became aware of the frequency of his visits when more and more passers-by began to smile and wave enthusiastically as she drove her car through the country lanes. The penny dropped, with a resounding clang. Pip was the popular one and there was only one place where he could have made so many friends.
Cath learned from the bar staff that Pip even rolled up to join in the New Year celebrations. He had obviously objected to being left alone on such a special evening and, his owners safely out of the way, had set off for the familiar warmth and welcome of the pub. He arrived before midnight and celebrations were well on the way as Pip enjoyed his usual and much attention from the revellers.
On another occasion Pip arrived at the pub, knocking impatiently to be let in when it became evident to all that the tenacious terrier had been investigating something unspeakable and very smelly. Most dogs would probably have called it a day and returned home not Pip. With dogged determination he had carried on his journey with his mind on the sanctity of his local and some well earned refreshments. Unfazed, the affable pub manager hosed Pip down and, in unspoken agreement, served up his usual.
Pip lived to be 17-years-old and towards the end of his life he was unable to hear or see properly but on occasions sprung to life and showed flashes of his former feisty nature. Most of his time, however, was spent lying by the fire, perhaps dreaming of the dog that he used to be and the days when a drop of stout and a handful of salt and vinegar crisps were among his favourite things.