Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lesson From Darby, The Yorkshire Terrier

by Ron Rutherford

It was over 14 years ago that I held my family’s Yorkshire Terrier within the palm of my ten-year-old hand.

From that point on, Darby was a member of our family.

Even though her contribution came from her seemingly petite five pound frame, her impact was undeniable. She passed away during the 2012 Idaho summer.

Dogs can provide emotional security and stability through the peaks and valleys of our everyday existence. 

Dogs are so faithful in their love that it becomes expected. It’s not every year that they impress. It’s not every month, nor each day. It’s every single hour, every minute.

This is the realization that hit me right in the sternum the day that Darby passed away this year. 

I think humans are inherently mesmerized by the simplicity with which dogs live by, and because of this, their importance and impact aren’t measured properly until they are gone.

The health and well-being of any pet is of utmost importance. 

With the Yorkshire Terriers, fitness and hygiene are incredibly crucial as their size makes them more susceptible to illness and injury. With Darby, we brushed her teeth every single night before bed to make sure her mouth was in good health. With her type, infections in the mouth can often be fatal as their body is too small to recover and cope properly.

We continually fed her carrots rather than traditional  treats, all in the hope of helping her push forward with a sparkling set of teeth.

We believe as a family that our efforts gave Darby the most quality journey she could have possibly had. 

I just wish in hindsight that I could have learned more from her, as I’m sure all widowed pet keepers do. Pets are a phenomenon that humans have generated through the domestication and breeding of other living beings.

Most people have good intentions and treat pets with the respect that they deserve, and this is relieving. 

Having said this, there should be no limit to the respect people pour outwardly onto their dogs. If you have a dog, walk it.  If you have a Yorkshire terrier, brush its teeth. Every single night.

They will thank you for doing so, even if it’s after they are gone.


Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for dogs and a soft spot for Thai food. He currently freelances for, which specializes in progressive and humane wireless dog fences.

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