Friday, September 18, 2015

Ellie, our Norwhat

Ever since she arrived, my little bundle of fire, has always had an attitude much larger than her small self. I attributed it to her roots in Texas. I had searched high and low among the Norwich breeder elites for a Norwich puppy. Only 800 Norwiches are born each year and the breeders are very picky  about who they will grant title of one to. They also charge what was the sale price of a small Asian car in the late 70's for the privilege of owning one.

I had my mind made up that I was (a) going to find one, and (b) was not going to pay a fortune for the puppy. Finally I found one in Texas. Since my daughter was living there at the time, she drove to the outskirts of Dallas, met the breeder, and chose my little "Ellie" from the 2 puppies still available in the litter. The following week, she and Ellie flew to South Carolina.

Ellie entered our lives, all 10 ounces of her, and we have not been the same since. Now, if you are familiar with the breed, a Norwich is a very small dog, weighing no more than 12-14 lbs as adults with a rather square build. They should be no more than 10 inches tall at the withers, with pin prick ears always at attention and a fox like face. 

Ellie had all the traits of a Norwich puppy with all the personality and temperament. The vet, at her first check up, pronounced her fit and a good example of the breed, although he confessed he had not seen one in years. Within  two years Ellie was no more than 10 inches tall and was built like a tank. However she weighed around 17 pounds. She was not overweight, according to the vet. She also did not exhibit the "square" confirmation of the Norwich breed standard.

I then read about unscrupulous breeders selling Cairn terriers as Norwichs (because as puppies they look almost exactly alike). However, Cairns are not nearly as hard to come by and not nearly as expensive. Looking at pictures of adult Cairns, Ellie did not look exactly like a Cairn either. Her face is that of a Norwich. Her rough coat could be that of a Cairn or a Norwich. Her temperament, brains, and spirit are definitely that of a Norwich. (My DH swears she can do calculus.) So I am not sure what I have.

It's not like I am going to send her back. And, the worse part is, we can never get another one like her. My DH has declared her a "Norwhat".  Most importantly, she is OUR Norwhat. 

Then last week, my daughter informed me that Ellie has her own Twitter feed @elliethenorwhat. So the world can now follow the life of Ellie.

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