Dogtired Profile #2: Jenny Brown & Maisy
Jenny Brown is the buyer and curator of local goods and souvenirs store Melbournalia on Bourke Street in Melbourne. She and her partner Andrew and their 11-year-old wire-haired fox terrier Maisy live nearby in West Melbourne. We sat down with Jenny and Maisy at local cafe Roller Door and learnt about some famous fox terriers and Maisy’s own starring role in a dog calendar dream.
How did you come to meet Maisy?
“Maisy is named for my mother’s dear friend Maisy Mills, a lovely old lady. Maisy the dog is of course the Rolls Royce of dogs. Partly because she’s our dog and we love her, but the wire-haired fox terrier breed has also won more best in shows at New York’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
“Maisy is a very well researched dog. My partner, Andrew, is in procurement and is very serious about researching his purchases. The wire-haired fox terrier was a perfect fit for our family and lifestyle and the size of our house. We bought her from a breeder near Ballarat. She’s from a show dog family. She was for sale because she was the runt of the litter. Of course we thought she was the cutest too. And kooky!”
Tell us a little about Maisy and her breed.
“Wire-haired fox terriers are an English breed - a working dog, bred to work as ratters. Their heritage is quite prestigious. Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather, King Edward VII had one called Ceasar. There is even a Wikipedia page about Ceasar that traces his lineage and many portraits, including the famous photo of him walking in Edward II’s funeral procession.
“The reason wire-haired fox terrier’s have the long snout hair is so that rats can’t bite their faces while they’re ratting down a hole. There are heaps of famous wire-haired fox terriers - Tin Tin’s dog Snowy and of course Asta, star of the 1930s Thin Man films.
“But Maisy. She has a great sense of drama, and she’s a bit clumsy, which makes us all laugh. She loves to star jump, which she’s done ever since she was a puppy. Even just the other day she was sitting on the couch and it was time for her to move so I threw her rug on to her Dogtired dog bed and she star jumped from the couch to her bed. This time she stuck her jump - cute and talented! She’s also a real dreamer - sometimes she just sits staring at the sky.”
She’s adorable. You mentioned she’s from a show dog family. She’d probably make a great character actor. Do you ever dress her up?
“She did have a Christmas outfit once, but generally not, no. But we do talk about it a lot. She’d be a great subject for a dog calendar. My partner Andrew has designed it in his mind. She’d look great in period costume, with tiny eyeglasses and a waistcoat, maybe a pipe. I can also see her flying a plane, and wearing sailor stripes and a French beret.”
The three of you live in the former industrial suburb of West Melbourne. What are your favourite places to walk and hang out in the area.
“Maisy loves - and I mean loves - to visit the pedestrian bridge over North Melbourne train station. Sometimes she even refuses to leave until we’ve lifted her up to see the trains!
“We’ve also got a great dog park here in North Melbourne where we can let her loose for a good run. It’s fully fenced, too - the only place we know of in the inner city.
“Recently we took her to the Dogtired Melbourne Fashion Festival event Walking the Dog with Style. I wore a tan coat to match hers.
Do you allow dogs in store at Melbournalia
Yes, we’re very European like that! They just need to be well behaved. We can even put some water out. Bourke Hill is a great neighbourhood for dog walking and watching. There’s lots of space for al fresco drinking and dining, beautiful heritage buildings to admire and laneways to explore.http://melbournalia.com.au/