Charlie is king of the world

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Rules the roost: Charlie the miniature fox terrier with his owner Jenny Miller. Photo by Megan Fisher

Charlie is an eight-year-old father to many. The working miniature fox terrier lives on Jenny Miller’s Barmah farm with fellow mini foxy Zoe. Together they have one litter a year and keep the home vermin-free.

What got you into the breed?

We always had them. I grew up with them and when I got married a friend’s mother was breeding them. Kids were taught if the foxy is barking you come inside because it could be a snake. It used to be ‘that’s our farm, go wherever you want on it, but always have a dog with you’.

What’s Charlie like as a pet?

He’s a friendly companion and fun to have around. He thinks he is king of the world, which is typical terrier. He’s had a great winter with all the mice around. He’s terrified of storms, he’ll be wanting to get inside and under the bed before you even hear the thunder.

My patch: The legs may be short but they’ve got a real kick to them. Charlie stirs up clouds of dust as he marks his turf. Photo by Megan Fisher

What do you like about Charlie?

I like the stocky foxies. Nowadays the breed is becoming fine-boned and it is pretty hard to get a pure black-and-white foxy because people like the tan so much. Charlie is stout and he’s mostly black and white. He has a bit of tan on his face. Back in the day my uncle would have knocked him back for being non-type. He would have said he had Jack Russell in him.

Did you raise your own children with foxies?

My kids got their own dogs when they were two. Brodie was 16 when she died and Tish died at 19-and-a-half. The kids were practically adults. Foxies are really healthy, easy-care dogs. They were bred to be ratters and hunters so they had to be really sound and tough.

The nose that knows: On the prowl for mice and snakes. Photo by Megan Fisher

Are the puppies hard work?

It’s only one litter a year. It’s not a business or for money, it’s just for fun.

Words: Daneka Hill

Pictures: Megan Fisher