Teddy the Terrier

IMG_3688What’s blue and tan and smart all over? Meet my nine-year-old Yorkie, Teddy.

Don’t assume what you read about Yorkshire terriers to be true, like making good lap dogs. For Teddy, this is 10%. He cuddles when he feels like it and if the conditions are right. (Is the crook of your knee available? Will you stroke him? Is there a soft blanket in the sun?)

The remaining 90% of Teddy’s time is spent working an independent agenda, true to his breed’s curiosity and roots as a ratter. Open doors intrigue him. No hole remains unexamined, no rocky crevice unexplored, no object unaudited.

A blur of Teddy checks out a hole.
A blur of Teddy checks out a hole.

From his post atop a Victorian wicker settee, he evaluates neighborhood intruders: people with dogs, motorcyclists, bicyclists, walkers who lag.

Although highly motivated by food, Teddy loves another kind of reward: sitting in a parked car. Harnessed into his car seat. In the garage. Teddy stares at me when he decides it’s time for this; if I’m busy and don’t notice, he barks.

 Zen and the art of carsitting-in-garage.
Zen and the art of carsitting-in-garage.

As an educator, I don’t compare children to dogs. But life with Teddy has reinforced why I never make assumptions about students. Assumptions can limit a teacher’s expectations and even form invisible barriers to growth. It’s our job to find out what’s unique about a child and to help each one thrive.


2 thoughts on “Teddy the Terrier

  1. Love the head shot. So much personality is stated simply in the angle of the lean of a dog’s head. I’m a big fan of little dogs. Our shoebox warrior, Banjo, is a furry black fluff ball. Just recently turned ten. She’s gone from a puppy bundle of energy tearing around our house to whacking the floor with her tail acknowledging us when we enter the room, too comfy in her sunspot to get up. I love little dogs. She is the youngest kid, although now the oldest member of the family if I switch over to dog years…..


    1. Thank you for the comment, Jeff. I agree with the “whacking” tails–just seeing a tail like that makes me happy. Teddy’s is more of a broad tick-tock and when he’s really happy, his butt wiggles along with it.


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