Thursday, August 12, 2010

Drew Meets a Bedlington Terrier

Two men in my neighborhood own Bedlington Terriers. I know this because I have for months been seeing them walking their dogs near my house. And I noticed this because I’m fascinated by Bedlington Terriers, for while these dogs are fully canine they look remarkably like lambs.


All this time living at my current address, I’ve been nonchalantly watching these dogs, plotting my opportunity to unobtrusively approach an owner, strike up a conversation and, while doing so, pet a Bedlington Terrier. Today, walking home from errands, I noticed one of the Bedlington Men waiting for traffic at a street corner — the very street corner at which I had planned to cross. Patience had paid off! I walked up to the curb and casually glanced down at the seeming dog-sheep hybrid.

“Is that a Belington Terrier?” I asked.

“Yes,” the owner replied. Nothing more.

After a few moments, I had to say something or I’d lose him forever. “Well, it’s a nice-looking dog.”

He sorta-smiled. The traffic continued. God bless rush hour.

“What’s its name?” I asked, already at a loss as to how else I could trick this man into talking to me.

“Mary,” he said.

“Oh, like “Oh, like ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’?”

He looked at me like I actually said “Oh, like Mary, Queen of Scots?” or “Are you fattening her to eat her?” or “Do aliens sometimes talk to you through your freakish sheep-dog, you sex pervert?” His eventual response: “No, like the name.” As if it’s typical for people to give their pets plain people names like Mary or John or Susan or James. At this point, we were now both crossing the street. The window opportunity was about to slam shut and break all my fingers.

“I just thought because she kind of looks like a little sheep…” I began.

We hit the corner and he went straight when I would have to go left. “No, it’s a dog,” he said, correcting a mistake I hadn’t actually made. And the little Bedlington Terrier — who I know would have loved me so much — trotted out of my life forever on little lamb legs.

Of course, I’m crushed. Not only does the owner think I’m crazy, but I actually also think he’s crazy to the point that I don’t think I will ever want to talk to him again, even if he and I and Mary the Bedlington Terrier (not a sheep) were all to duck into the same bomb shelter during a nuclear war and ended up the three last humans-and-one-canine (not a sheep) in the world.

But just to illustrate that he is crazy and I am not, please allow me to use a visual aid.

This is a Bedlington Terrier:

This is a lamb:

This is another Bedlington Terrier:

This is another lamb:

Here’s a side-by-side:

(image sources: 1, 2)

Why must all Bedlington Terrier owners be mentally ill? (Yes, this is what I have taken away from this incident.)


  1. Those might be the ugliest dogs I've ever seen. Get a lamb instead. At least that way you can make yourself a sweater if money gets tight.

  2. Well, I didn't say I wanted to ge a Bedlington Terrier. I'm just fascinated by them because they're so weird. Having spent a significant amount of time around lambs and sheep in general, I'll at least say that the Bedlingtons would have to be much smarter than their wooly lookalikes. Because just about anything would be.

  3. I have two myself and they are the sweetest, kid friendly dogs and their fur is just like cotton. In defense of the owner, I can't go out of the house without everyone asking me a question. So maybe they were in a bad mood and didn't want to deal with it. Normally, I welcome it because that comes with the territory - everyone wants to know what they are, where they're from and what were they bred for (ratters, not herding).

  4. Anonymous5:23 AM

    I also have a Bedlington Terrier named Toby. He is the friendliest dog with a wonderful temperament. Always looking to bark at the neighbors cat or dig a hole. His fur is so soft and everyone in our village who sees him thinks he is a lamb. I welcome the questions from them.

  5. Anonymous5:41 AM

    I have a bedlington too. I don't deny he looks a bit daft, but he has the best nature - apart from an obsession with hunting rabbits. Fast, funny and full of character...unlike some owners it seems

  6. Anonymous11:05 AM

    I just loved your Bedlington-story (Mary Had A Little Lamb...mdr!)and was laughing my head off by the time I arrived to your "visual aid"... :)))
    I'm going to get my Bedlington puppy next weekend and am so happy to add this weird-AND beautiful looking creature to our family.
    I guess this Bedlington-owner was just a another bitter, humour-free person. Which doesn't per se go well with the fact that he owns a Bedlington of all breeds!

  7. Anonymous11:53 AM

    Having found this page I am quite delighted to tell a story of how I come to find this page.

    Basically As I walked home from work I got a call, a call from my girlfriend who had just been to the vet. While she was there a gentleman brought in a Beddlington Terrier for a general check up. Upon producing said doggy, the Vet promptley checked it over and gave a clean bill of health. However before the man left with his prize dog the Vet did have to announce that the dog, was actually a lamb. From what I have been told there was a bit of protest from the gentleman but the Vet was able to sort this out with aid of a pre-school early learning book. Needless to say the man was not happy with the news he had to inform his family.

    After this I could not imagine how someone could honestly mistake a dog for a sheep. So I googled the question I had burning in my mind "Can a man mistake a Beddlington for a Lamb". After reading the article and looking at the pics, I am now a firm believer that there is a man who will never eat another lamb chop living round the corner.

  8. Anonymous3:12 PM

    I own one of these dogs and yes people think they look strange and a couple of times I've been chewed out for "why did you give your poodle such a dumb haircut?" or "why did you give your dog a mohawk?" but thats okay because they don't shed, so no dog hair in my house.
    +1 on the great family dog. Great personality without being hyper. Laugh all you want but she's a keeper!

  9. Oh my God. I have to admit I stumbled upon this blog entry when looking for pictures of beddlington terriers! my new co-worker/cube mate has one (we're allowed to bring dogs to work) and i'm obbsessed with it! she caught me asking the pooch if he was a wittle wamb? and now she doesn't leave the cutie alone with me.

  10. Anonymous4:15 PM

    Two of my neighbors have one of these dogs. The dogs are nice but only of the neighbors is nice, go figure it out! The nicest neighbor has the sweetest dog. He knows me from walking by the house and wants me to stop and scratch her and will bark quietly if I don't. One day I will get one. I am sure.

  11. My Blue Bedlington's name is Starbucks and he is loved by all. He is well natured and wonderful with children. His coat is soft and like all Bedlington's, have a lamb like apperance! We love him and he is a member of our family!

  12. Anonymous12:42 AM

    Bedlingtons are the BEST!!! I LOVE me sheepy doggy, Daphne!

  13. Wow, they were a little rude! Sorry you didn't get to get some bedlington terrier love. I've never met one in person, I think they're fascinating too. Hilarious story!

  14. Anonymous3:31 PM

    Remy the Bedlington lives in TW12 feel free to say hello when you see us