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Finsbury Park terrier’s foxy adventures inspire children’s stories

Avon Priestly, pictured with his furry friend, Bertie Avon Priestly, pictured with his furry friend, Bertie

Thursday, December 12, 2013
12:03 PM

Owner writers of feisty pooch’s bizarre exploits

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Bertie takes a well deserved rest from his adventures in the bookBertie takes a well deserved rest from his adventures in the book

In a tale that could have come straight from the Disney storybook, a fox and a hound 
became best friends after meeting in a park.

The unique fluffy friendship inspired the terrier’s owner, Avon Priestly, to write a children’s book about the adventurous pooch.

Mr Priestly, who lives near Tollington Park, discovered the bizarre friendship when five-year-old Bertie got lost in Finsbury Park and was escorted home by the friendly urban fox.

He said: “There’s never a dull moment owning a border terrier, especially one with his personality.

“He got lost after chasing a bitch on heat in [nearby] Wray Crescent. My wife later saw him following a fox, walking up Marriott Road towards the entrance to our flat at the top of the road.”


The daredevil terrier even has his own passport, travelling to Paris and Spain for his adventures which included being tossed in the air by a young bull in southern France.

“Thankfully, he was unscathed and lived to tell the tale,” said Mr Priestly.

The Amazing Adventures of Bertie the Border Terrier also gives advice to pet owners on how to travel with their beloved dogs, as well as tales of his expeditions and health tips.

Passport problems have plagued the pooch, with a wrongly-stamped passport forcing his owners to miss a boat back from Spain.

The “Essex boy” – Bertie was born in Basildon – even had a near-death experience, after 
being bitten by a tick in south west France, which Avon dubbed “tick fever” in a short story about the incident.

Avon, 65, said: “Border terriers are great characters, plucky dogs with a fighting spirit but fiercely loyal. Our Wimbledon hero, Andy Murray, loves his two borders – Rustie and Maggie – taking them everywhere with him, including to his training sessions in Florida.”

The Islington author and former BBC correspondent said: “This collection of short stories gives an insight into why border terriers are so popular and such fun to own.

“The comedian David Walliams is rarely photographed without his. Elton John owns one called Dennis and Will Young is mad about his border.”

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