The first time I went away for a weekend with my now-husband, he brought along his Yorkshire terrier, Frankie. He took me to the Catskills in his friend’s classic Volkswagen van. We drove up on a Friday in July; the traffic was terrible, it was 95 degrees in the shade, and the air conditioning was broken. But the worst part was that for the entirety of the 5-hour drive, Frankie sat on Caleb’s shoulder, and barked at me. “I don’t know if me and this guy are going to make it,” I group texted my friends. “His dog hates my guts.”
Of course, we did make it, and now Frankie is my best friend and fiercest protector. All it took was feeding her treats until she looked like a sausage and bringing her with me wherever I go. The truth about Yorkies is that they are loyal to the death—you just have to work like your life depends on it to get them to love you. And sometimes your life does depend on it—Frankie still attacks our friends every time they walk in our front door, even if she’s met them hundreds of times before.
As much as I love Frankie (and all Yorkshire terriers), I’m still sort of embarrassed to have one. There are some people— mostly children—who cannot believe how cute she is, even as she tries to take off one of their toes. But most people look at me like, “Why are you holding a long-haired rat on a leash?”
Below are the top five reasons why I’m embarrassed to own a Yorkshire terrier.
It’s Impossible Not to Put Them in Costumes
I mean, I get that a dog in a costume looks ridiculous, but a Yorkshire terrier in a costume is freaking beyond. Like, my heart cannot take it. For the first year of of being Frankie’s mom, I literally could not leave the house without buying her a bow. There was nothing I enjoyed more than dressing her in a sweater, or a tutu, or a piece of bread, and then posting a photograph of it on Instagram.
And I know I’m not alone in this. The Real Housewives themselves are as guilty as anyone of dressing their Yorkshire terriers in costumes and then sharing them. To wit: This post of Bella, the Yorkie of The Real Housewives of Melbourne’s Janet Roach.
Yorkshire Terriers Are the Opposite of Macho
I’ll admit, when I met my husband, I was like, “What does it say about this man that he sleeps every night with a six-pound terrier?” The truth is, I should have known that it revealed confidence and security. He doesn’t care what other people think. He thinks Frankie is adorable. Not to mention that his ability to take care of a biting, barking ball of trouble was a great harbinger for how he would be as a father—patient and loving.
C’mon. Just look at my husband and Frankie!
Yorkshire Terriers Pee Everywhere
I have yet to meet a Yorkshire terrier who is housetrained. Oh, you have? I wonder if you also know a unicorn. It may have something to do with their tiny bladders, but Frankie pees everywhere, and on everything. One of my biggest fears is that I have a mom friend over to the house for a play date, and she accidentally steps in a Frankie puddle before I can clean it up—or even worse, that her baby crawls in it.
Here’s Frankie waiting for me to leave so she can pee on this rug.
They. Bark. At. Everything.
In my neighborhood in Brooklyn, people know I’m coming before they can even see me because they can hear Frankie barking. She barks at everything. She barks at old people. She barks at young people. She barks at big dogs. She barks at small dogs. She barks when my phone rings. She barks when I walk to the bathroom. If barking were singing, I would live with a choir of angels, but as it is, I almost constantly have a headache from all the barking. And so do my downstairs and upstairs neighbors, I’m sure.
They Go for Blood
My husband says that Frankie is always attacking other dogs because her breed was trained to catch rats in the olden days. I wonder if back in the olden days, rats were the size of Great Danes? ‘Cause if Frankie sees a dog that size, she gets blood lust. Every time I bring her to the dog park, I end up profusely apologizing that my miniature terrier has repeatedly tried to annihilate a 150-pound dog.
Lest you think we are irresponsible pet owners, please know that Frankie can’t really do harm. Not only is she six pounds, she is also 13 years old, and missing 15 of her teeth. But it’s embarrassing to always have to apologize for her propensity for attacking before thinking.
Frankie looking her fiercest:
Despite the fact that I am embarrassed to have a Yorkie, I also love her to death. So please forgive these gratuitous pics of my pygmy dragon:
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