Stars and Their Best Friend Part 1 - Rick Stein & Chalky
In this 6-part series, we look at the relationship between celebrities and their faithful canine friends who are there for them through thick and thin. Every week we also feature a breed-specific rescue or shelter and highlight just a fraction of the work they do to help dogs in need. Today's star is no other than the late, great Chalky - who was chef Rick Stein's companion, occasional co-star and loyal friend for 17 years. This week's featured charity is Terrier Rescue!
Any keen cooks or foodies among you are sure to have watched a Rick Stien programme. Usually they involve the chef travelling around a country or continent, sampling and learning about the food whilst showing us a few recipes to make at home. And if you've ever watched one, you'll almost definately recognise little Chalky, the rough coated Jack Russell Terrier who often accompanied Rick on his travels.
In 1989, Chalky was born on a farm near Padstow, Cornwall and was chosen by the Stein family as a pet when he was still a puppy. Named by the family's middle son Jack (who had an imaginary dog called Chalky when he was 4 years old), the JRT's fearless and feisty demeanor frequently added a touch of humour to Stein's television series. Check out this compilation of Chalky's best moments:
When Stein began filming 'Rick Stein's French Odyssey' in 2005 Chalky was too old to travel with him. So he dedicated parts of the program to Chalky - sending excerpts of his adventures back home to the Jack Russell, who would usually become bored and wander off on viewing them.
Despite passing away over 8 years ago, Chalky's legacy lives on in the form of plushes, tea towels, art prints and even two beers. He was worshipped by Rick and treasured by the rest of the family - some of Stein's film crew even suggested that Chalky was more famous than he was.
A dog is truly the centre of a family as well as man's very best friend, and little Chalky was certainly no exception.
Rick Stein paid this tribute to Chalky following his death in January 2007:
"Let’s look on the bright side, Chalky, my family’s dog lived to seventeen, he was healthy and fit right up to the last six months and he had a wonderful life. He travelled all over the British Isles and Ireland and nearly went to France. He got up to some mighty capers, leaping to bite a microphone, snarling at our cameraman so fiercely that we thought twice about using the film and fearing his shocking fangs which would frighten children. He dispatched rats and caused consternation by doing the same with a rabbit or two. He was loved by my children. He swam and jumped on boats, he attacked crabs, ran rings round Alsatians and Border Collies being much fiercer and never backing down, ever. He scampered over a Duke’s lawns and petrified me that he might bite the Prince of Wales, but he didn’t. Most of all though we knew him at home as rather an unassuming, diffident dog. He was never greedy; he pestered you a bit for walks but not too much and kept reasonably quiet. But, my God he hated postmen and I don’t know why. If he couldn’t get at them, he’d rip the letters to shreds.
In truth, I’m very sad, he was loved by everyone. So many people, it’s a source of puzzlement to me that he never knew how famous he was."
Adopt a Dog From Terrier Rescue!
Chalky's feisty attitude and instinct to chase are typical terrier traits - and these special little dogs need a family who understand this. Terrier Rescue are a specialist rescue helping Lakeland, 'Working Type' & other terriers find their caring forever homes. They help hundreds of dogs every year, including unclaimed strays who have been put on death row in dog pounds throughout the UK. Many of the dogs in their care are there through no fault of their own and would make outstanding family pets. If you would like to give a Jack Russell like Chalky, or any other terrier type a home please contant Terrier Rescue via their website or Facebook page.
Toby, Barley and Bailey are all Jack Russell Terriers like Chalky, and all waiting for a loving home
Stay tuned for next week's installment of 'Stars and Their Best Friend', in the meantime why not head to your local shelter and give a dog in need a happy home?