THE staffordshire terrier was originally bred in the United Kingdom in the mid-1700s as a small, fast fighting dog, But its role has changed radically since then. Staffies now make excellent family dogs and are sweet natured and playful.
House sitting staffies
We’ve had the good fortune to care for two staffies as house sitters – Bella, a six-year-old in Brill, England, and Toby, a 12-month-old in Brisbane, Australia. Both dogs were friendly and good-natured. When we were out on walks, they were popular with kids, adults and other dogs. People just found it impossible to resist the smiling eyes and wagging tail when they met them.
Both Bella and Toby loved to spend time with us. The UK is very dog friendly so Bella was welcome in many pubs, cafes and other public places. While we had coffee and a meal Bella would sit quietly, wagging her tail when other people passed our table and attract numerous pats and compliments.
Bella awaits her hamburger at the The Pheasant, Brill.
Bella came to live in the UK early in 2019 with our hosts Mark and Virginia. Previously she lived with Mark and Virginia’s daughter in Spain. The Spanish love noisy celebrations and fireworks. This was just too much for the lovely Bella, who found her noisy environment extremely distressing.
Bella joined us for car trips around the countryside and to Oxford, Thame and Aylesbury and walked happily on the lead. She was really in her element at nearby Wotton, where we walked on a magnificent property complete with a lake and a great variety of birds. Chasing ducks, swans and squirrels and rolling around in the grass are Bella’s idea of heaven. We can only hope she maintains her zero success rate at catching other animals and birds. Birds slide slowly into the water while keeping an eye on her and squirrels scuttle up trees leaving her looking up hopefully.
Bella gazes wishfully out after those elusive ducks.
Toby also loved being with us in the backyard catching a ball or our daily walks along the waterside of Moreton Bay. Like Bella, Toby was irresistible to dog-loving passers-by when we were out on our walks. He had no problems walking on the lead and was just happy to be with his humans.
We were sad to say goodbye to Bella and Toby, but hopefully we will get another chance to visit.