Country mouse on tail docking

Too late, too late. Two weeks ago, my hollyhocks were promising a magnificent showing now, they’ve been flattened by the June winds. At the time, I thought about staking them, but on a warm, balmy day, it just didn’t seem necessary. The garden will now be without perspective. At a lower level, our new Jack Russell terrier, Molly, has been digging up the annuals as if it were her life’s calling.

The sooner she moves on to rats the better. Molly is distinguished by her undistinguished breeding. I’m probably on dodgy ground even describing her as a Jack Russell. She was bred by the editor of The Field, Jonathan Young, who skilfully ensured that her ancestors included a complete pot pourri of the terrier world. She’s also undocked, and it will be interesting to see if this proves to be a problem as she develops her hunting career.

I’ve witnessed spaniels suffering terrible damage to their tails flushing game in brambles, but that’s largely due to the breed’s habit of constantly wagging their sterns when working. Docking is controversial, but it’s clearly needed for some types of working dogs for their own good.