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written by Klaus Hickman and Peter Freitag

Second delivery - My family
Third delivery - Christmas
Fourth delivery - My great love!
Fifth delivery - My friend, the human being
Sixth delivery - winter joys
Seventh delivery – At the Vet’s
Eighth delivery - on travelling


my name is Jimmy aus der Bauernhöhle (i.e. Jimmy from the old farm hovel). Members of the pack either related to me or feeling friendly are allowed to call me Benno. At the moment the hunting grounds of my pack are in and around Garbsen, a small suburb of Hannover in Northern Germany.
From here I greet all the Welshies in the whole wide world thus hoping to establish closer links with members of my kind provided that they are as friendly and communicative as I.
Speaking of my hunting grounds I must point out first of all that there is something rather peculiar about them. For a reason I have not quite worked out yet, I need not (or must not) take part in my pack`s hunting activities for I always find my share of the kill in beautifull filleted, albeit small, portions in my feeding bowl. Do not get me wrong; I am not being ungrateful. My ancestors were not born in the lap of luxury. It is not turtle soup and venison, with a gold spoon, to be set up with a coach and six, I am after. All I want to do is fend for

 myself. I do not know why but the leader of my pack does not seem to relish the idea of my taking part in the hunt. How else could I explain the following phenomenon:When I go out with my leader I am restricted in my mobility by a long, rope-like device which almost strangles me to death whenever I want to dash off to catch a juicy piece of meat. This really gets on my nerves because, in all modesty, I am very fit and in excellent shape, ideally suited for hunting all sorts of prey. Furthermore I daresay that I am no coward and perfectly able to support myself. If I were allowed to hunt my own quarry, being an expert dietitian, I could even alleviate the constant food crisis in our pack. It is a crying shame that someone like me is so cruelly restricted in his freedom of movement whereas cats are allowed to do what the hell they like.
Unfortunately it is impossible to knock any sense into the leader of my pack and convince him of the necessity to let me sniff my way around Garbsen whenever and wherever I want to. But, dear Welshies, I fear, I fear he will not listen. Day in, day out I will have to be satisfied with a sad bowl of food dished out for me in an unfuriatingly condescending manner. Oh, how I would love to bite a chunk out of my leader`s backside and enjoy the bliss of freshly hunted meat.
Weakened after writing this letter but in joyful anticipation of your answers, I can only pray that I haven`t barked up the wrong tree. More than I have said, loving friends of Welsh terriers, the leisure and enforcement of the time forbids to dwell upon. Yet remember this: From now on, about once a week, I will comment on what is going on in this world from the point of view of an experienced and not altogether dumb Welsh terrier.

Woof, woof !



Second delivery - My family

As I am putting pen to paper in the seclusion of my comfortable doghouse in order to keep my promise to write a weekly Welsh column anxiety is creeping over me. Will I rise to the occasion? Only time will tell but I am of good cheer because all my reports are based on thorough personal sniffing. Besides, strength of character, purity of instinct and a good upbringing are more essential prerequisites for the success of this enterprise than long hours of training in a dog school which my family cannot afford anyway.
Whenever I talk of family life a feeling of deep sorrow comes over me and I am on the verge of crying. I am not ashamed to admit that I have sighed on my midnight pillow many a time because I have not heard from the other members of my original pack since those carefree days of my early puppyhood. This does not mean  to say that I am unhappy in my new pack because I am showered with love and affection. I have plenty of everything. And yet from time to time the wounds of the far too early loss of my first family open up their congealed mouths and bleed afresh. Although the memories of the happy days of my puppyhood are slowly receding in the constant 
ebb and flow of time, I can can still distinctly hear the happy barking of my three siblings remembering clearly how the four of us sucked on the taut teats of our darling mother, Aconda aus der Bauernhöhle. Now the secret of my birth is out and the informed Welshie expert will immediately know that I come from the kennel community Eggerking. My father, by the way, was no less than the British Champion Craftsman of Gwenog.
Were I permitted to utter a wish at the end of this letter, it would have to be the following: If anybody in the large community of Welshie friends knows anything concerning the whereabouts of my brother and my sisters will you please get in touch with me? I am also very much interested in the whereabouts of aunts, uncles and cousins, once or twice removed. In this context I would like to mention my grandparents on my mother`s and my father`s side as well. In the British line, on my father`s side, they are the proud Groveview Welsh Knight and his wife Felstead Fix It and on my mother`s side they are the unforgotten Abbo aus der Bauernhöhle and his wife Debbie.

Woof, woof! 


Third delivery - Christmas

Loving friends of Welsh terriers, I think I will express your innermost thoughts when at the beginning of this third letter which is about to start its journey around the world, I quote the famous sentence from the chorus in Sophocles` Antigone: “Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man.” This is particulary true of Christmas when human members of my pack go hunting as if their wits are out. This always reminds me of good old Dogberry who so cleverly remarked: “When the age is in, the wits are out!” Every day they come along dragging big pieces of quarry. They hide them in great secrecy in places hard to get at but not without having covered them first in bright, colourful paper.
The height of lunacy is reached, my dear Welshies, when they excitedly remove the paper from all those beautifully wrapped-up pieces of quarry on the day they call Christmas making such a tremendous racket that you do not know whether they are coming or going. They are all over one another, rubbing their mouths, roaring and howling strange songs which I intuitively join in, being endowed with a sonorous voice by Mother Nature.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in`t”, you might say because there must be something special about the tree they extol so much. Once every year the leader of my pack leaves home armed with an axe. A little bit later he returns with a big tree swaying to and fro 
like a sailor smelling  of mulled wine. The tree is then put up with a good deal of ballyhoo in the middle of the house. I must admit I do not mind at all and following the age-old instinct of our species I immediately leave my mark on it. I do this for no other reason than to assert our right to ownership. For the life of me I cannot figure out why the other members of my pack are not duly impressed.
When one jolly festivity is over, the other one is about to start, i.e. New Year`s Eve. Well, there is not much more to report than the fact that the human members of my pack club together with their kind, gobbling up large quantities of quarry, drinking loads of alcoholic beverages, with all of them barking at the same time. In the middle of the night the most interesting part of the festivity starts as far as I am concerned. All of a sudden they rush out of the house as if driven by a secret command. Then there are loud explosions and there is such roaring that my hunting instincts are activated right down to the last fibre of my trembling body. Alas, once again I am denied the right to hunt my own quarry.
Dear friends of Welshies, what else can I do now but to wish you a gentle fading-out of the old year hoping that in the New Year all of your wishes will come true. You will hear from me again. So Benno says, take good care and stay as you are.

Woof, woof!



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Thank you!

Fourth delivery - My great love!
My dear friends of Welshies, long have I kept silent, but now is the time to make myself heard again. Since the days of the incomparable Rod Stuart we know that „The first cut is the deepest“ and Shakespeare adds just as rightly in Romeo and Juliet, „He jests at scars, that never felt a wound.“  My wounds were inflicted upon me by Mystery Sally-Ann from Alsterthal, the most charming Sheltie-Lady with the sweetest smell that ever rose to my nose.
What joy in the mornings when I catch sight of my little darling on the adjacent property. Squealing and whimpering with delight, we both dash to the dividing fence starting our wild chase with the fence being the axis alongside which we rush up and down like mirror images. Now and then we stop all of a sudden to rub noses through the holes in the fence - O, what heavenly bliss!
Several times in the course of a year a very special scent wafts across which produces a mighty longing and yearning in me. As though directed by a magic hand an uncontrollable desire draws me towards my beloved. No delicacy can please me, no little game can divert me; howling and whimpering I prowl up and down the fence. Yet man`s uncomprehending and brutal whim keeps my Sally hidden on precisely those days when I am almost beside myself with the ecstasy of love.
But what a feeling of happiness goes through me when we meet on one of our evening walks. Of course I can pick up my beloved`s scent from very far away; a scent so sweet, so much more attractive than even the loveliest hedgehog droppings, rises to my nose making me immediately as stiff as a poker with my left foreleg and my right hind leg up in the air. I remain in this position for a few seconds but then, quite overpowered by the toxins of my own lust and with all the strenght I have got, I drag the leader of my pack behind me towards the object of my desire.

When we finally meet, I at once start a bizarre greeting ritual because, quite honestly, my hormones go berserk. Wagging my tail so violently that my body is flung rhythmically from side to side I dance around my sweetheart, capering around her, pounding the ground with my paws, and turning around my own axis more or less at the same time. What makes this dance so special and adds an individual touch to it is the fact that I interrupt it on and off, standing rooted to the spot for a few seconds only to resume my dance in an even wilder fashion after these short interludes.
Whether or not I succeed in impressing my Sally with this dance I am unable to say because whenever I have her sweet hindquarters right in front of me and when I am about to proceed from foreplay to the real thing, the nasty leash of my leader mercilessly pulls me back. Enough, lament no more:
„Honour the females, for they bind and weave,
Heavenly roses into our worldly leave.“

Dear friends of Welshies, I do not know what your love life is like but maybe you can derive some comfort from the relentlessly candid description of mine. A truly frustrated Benno says

Woof, woof!

Fifth delivery - My friend, the human being
My dear Welshies,
I have received a lot of requests to deal with the subject „Man - dog`s best friend“. 
Let us start off with a few general, commonly accepted findings. Man can be called the ideal companion of our species because over 
thousands of years he has been in contact with us and I daresay that during this long period of time he has been properly acculterated. I believe that all those of you who are familar with human nature will wholeheartedly agree when I say that among two-legged creatures the hominids are particularly qualified to live with us in harmonious manner. There is no doubt that
the human animal is equipped with a readiness to learn and a degree of intelligence as well as means of communication which are not much different from our own. Hence human beings although they have never been trained in a pack of wolves or dogs are perfectly suited for a life with us four-legged creatures.
Apart from that there are obviously a number of additional advantages resulting from the coexistence between dogs and human beings. When it comes to food the conditions under which we exist can be called paradisiacal because we do not have to hunt our own quarry which at times, especially as one gets on a bit, becomes quite a nuisance. Sufficiently large portions of tasty food are regularly dished out in our feeding-bowls without us having to do anything.
Furthermore the human being is endowed with  a strong play instinct which forever makes him throw little sticks through the air which we retrieve for him not so much out of interest but more out of pity.
As to our emotional equilibrium we are well, sometimes even too well looked after. Just recently experts go so far as to say that human beings have the unpleasant habit of combining their interests with ours in an often intolerable manner. In reality the master`s or the mistress`s own need for tenderness makes them shower us with their love which has led to growing 
uneasiness among cynological psychatrists.
Whoever wants to lead a life full of happiness and dignity and toys with the idea of achieving this by living together with human beings should first of all answer the following questions in all honesty:
Can I and am I willing to spend the next fifteen years of my life with a mistress who fanatically tries to keep her house spick and span and throws a fit each time she comes across my footprints?
Am I prepared to sacrifice the best years of my life with a master who insists on going jogging or cycling with me and who is convinced that he is doing me a favour whereas in reality I`d rather carry on dreaming of love?
Did  I really want to swap the peace and quiet of a secluded life in the woods with the noise and clamour of ill-bred children who are always trying to please me with their daft little games thus preventing me from dealing with the really important issues in life?
Only if you can gladly say „Yes“ to all these questions with a clear conscience , may you, dear Welshies, establish an intimate relationship with human beings well aware of the fact that this will forever be a risky enterprise. However, once you have decided to do this, you must take responsibility for the human creature right to the end. It is against dog`s honour to get rid of it when it is old and useless, e.g., by tying it to a motorway sign.
- Woof, woof!


Sixth delivery - winter joys
Man, Sigmund Freud, the grand master of psychology, once lamented is born to be plagued by misfortune. The entire cosmic of things seems to counteract his eternal quest for happiness. One could even go so far as to say that the mere idea of him achieving happiness seems to have been omitted in the plan of creation. Thank goodness, as we Welshies know, this does not apply to dog who in this respect may safely be called a mollycoddled favourite of the gods.
Indeed a slight glance at man suffices to reveal him as a pitiful creature in terms of luck. To a large extent this is simply due to the fact that man in all essential spheres has forsaken a natural life and turned to an artificial and unwholesome conduct. Therefore man before consumption brainlessly boils the most juicy, tender and tempting piece of meat until it is tough and dry like a leather sole. 
Furthermore this featherless biped most definitely  seeks satisfaction in spiritual rather than carnal desires which bliss- experienced Welshies can easily discard as a fruitless enterprise. Whereas we on these beautiful, cold winter days are irresistably drawn to the snow-covered countryside, our noses close to the ground following the transitory scent of a 

hare, man squats by the open fire-place abandoning himself to the dull experience of reading a book.

The leader of my pack owes me a debt of gratitude when I after capering and fawning on him for minutes manage to make him accompany me to the virgin and fresh wonderland of snow. Even when my master has the blues somthing shocking, he is quickly cured of it when he watches me gallopping at breakneck speed, jumping up and down and doubling back so sharply that the powdery snow shoots up into the air. Thus I succeed in imparting a little bit of the joy to my master which is very simple and primitive on the one hand but contains such a massively explosive power on the other hand. It is at times like these when man may devine the true meaning of happiness although he will never fully experience it for a moment. That`s all for the time being, loving friends of Welshies.

Woof, woof! 

Seventh delivery – At the Vet’s
Dear friends of Welshies,
next to philosophical contemplation it is above all leading a virtuous life which promises Aristotle and me a maximum of bliss. Thus being of the same opinion as one of the most outstanding representatives of  the guild of profound thinkers I will now, my friends, familiarize you in this letter with one of the most contradictory chapters of our existence which is simultaneously (paradoxically?) so very dark and so very bright.

There are very few borderline situations where on the one hand we can cultivate and display the whole range of our virtues from bravery through prudence to justice while on the other hand we fall victims of deepest humiliations. Apart from the eternally vain attempts to hunt down cats I can only think of checkups at the vet’s where we experience situations in our life that force us to show what stuff we are really made of. 

As we all know, great events cast their shadows before them and so thanks to my infallible instinct, aroused by a long series of  preparatory activities and confirmed by the sight of the accompanying picture, I know that that particular day has once again come.
Already at the entrance my wide-awake senses signal, whoever does not resist now but strides across the threshold voluntarily must suffer from the high spirits of youth.

Level-headed caution coupled with my own particular sense of humour makes me immediately assume a pose of stubborn impassivity  which I won’t snap out of for love or money no matter how hard the leader of my pack tries...
Then a white-coated beauty carries me to the examination table gently touching my family jewels which is by far the most pleasant aspect of the entire procedure that is to follow.
What ensues now, my esteemed friends of Welshies, can hardly be put into words. Only moderate deliberation and an unshakeable belief in one’s own worth let me survive without grievous emotional harm the undignified and hereby documented treatment carried out by the whitecoat with the aseptic smell. In this respect auscultation is the most harmless variant especially since it amplifies the undaunted heartbeat of the old fighting spirit 

Totally humiliating, however, is the display and appraisal of my teeth because it reminds one of oriental slave markets.
Thank goodness the now following examination of my ears proves to be painless.
Once it is over I leap off the table but not without having shouted at my tormentor those memorable words from Schiller’s ‘Kabale und Liebe’: “Hark, man, thou wast schooled by the hangman. Thou pliest a sad trade which will never bring thee salvation.”

Thank heavens at the end there is still enough time to smooch with whitecoat’s lady dog from the tribe of the Labrador retrievers. 

Woof, woof. 

Eighth delivery - on travelling

the sniffing paradise of Italian markets


More than a month I let slip by, my dear friends of Welshies, but now at long last I have the time and the energy to put pen to paper to convey to you the impressions of my last journey. So manifold were the olfactory sensations, also so vivid the images of the wonderful Italian lady-dogs, just called "bella donna" in Italy that I was unable to write them down immediately and undigested. 
For as long as I can think back, my dears, as far as travelling is concerned, I have been captivated by the sensitive descriptions of a Laurence Sterne as well as the French itinerary of the 18th century, well, even the influence of a Moritz August von Thümmel (Journey to the sunny Provence from 1881) cannot be denied. With these specialists for manic depression I share the view of travelling as a psychological healing process, a therapeutical enterprise for the grief-ridden and tormented soul. And like all great minds I also suffer from the malady of our time, the lingering illness of the modern age, which is quite simply hypochondria. Only while travelling can I escape from the self-tormenting blues and the civilizational misgivings for a short time and completely abandon myself to the serene sedateness which falls in more with my true nature as I quite obviously belong to the "gente di mare" (sailors). 
a contemplative repose

Only while travelling can I escape from the self-tormenting blues and the civilizational misgivings for a short time and completely abandon myself to the serene sedateness which falls in more with my true nature as I quite obviously belong to the "gente di mare" (sailors). 

Only at the fashionable beaches of the Italian Riviera does the Mediterranean sun succeed in melting away the outer layers of that gloomy-brooding Nordic dullness to unearth the merry essence of my race. Actually the aim of travelling - if I may digress from the subject for a moment - is neither the departure nor the arrival but the unnamed yet genuine aim of travelling is change. 
a place for true connoisseurs

As the incomparable Günther Kunert puts it, distant and foreign regions make the traveller become estranged from himself, make him get away from himself and his everyday life and in the end make him discover himself to be a different, a new person. "The quickest route to oneself", as Herman Count Keyserling once so excellently put it in his "Itinerary of a philosopher", which I can only warmly recommend to all friends of Welshies, "takes one round the world." Who of my more sensitive dog-lovers has not at least once ex-perienced under a southern sky this eager readiness for liveliness, gesticulation, and open-heartedness? When fantasy and imagination are part and parcel of this process, then the inten-sity of life increases - then we embark on a permanent journey and fall into a state of never-ending ecstasy.