Dr. Americ Edwin Flaxman, Natural Science Scholar, Christ Church, adopted medicine as a profession and experimental breeding as an amusement upon the advice of his old tutor and revered master, Professor Thomas Huxley. Settling in Fife in the early eighties, he trained and bred a few good trotters, notably "Miss Flaxman," which he drove, himself weighing 12 stone, in an old-fashioned sulky on an indifferent track to a record of 2.52, winning the 1 1/2-mile International Stakes at Alexandra Park, London. He was for some time President of the Trotting Union of Scotland.
Poultry he also bred with considerable success; but his chief delight lay in breeding dogs, of which he has kept many kinds and sizes, ranging from Pyrenean Wolf-hounds and Dalmatians to Yorkshire Terriers.
DR. A. E. FLAXMAN.
From photo by J. S. Ireland, Anstruther.
Chancing, however, to possess an old dark Scottish Terrier bitch that threw one or more white puppies in every litter to no matter what coloured dog, the Doctor, after drowning a score or more of the little whites and wondering oft and again whence that colour could spring, conceived the idea that it must have sprung and been derived from the original colour of the primitive Scottish Terrier stock. If the ancient dogs were white, and this persistent meeting with the colour from dark parents strongly suggested it, the Doctor determined to try and effect its restoration in colour and form equal to the modern dark specimens of the breed. How far he has succeeded in doing so, after ten or more years of experiments, let the dogs speak by their portraits.
LITTER OF DR. FLAXMAN'S WHITE SCOTTISH TERRIER PUPPIES.
DR. FLAXMAN'S WHITE SCOTTISH TERRIERS PILLENWEEM.REGINA PILLENWEEM BILLY.
These dogs have dark eyes, black noses, lips, and pads, and are of pure Scottish Terrier blood, with hard coats and true Terrier expression. The Doctor believes them to be a reversion in colour to the original national dogs of Scotland - white or almost pure white, although their immediate ancestry were more or less impregnated with colours of every hue; and as the type is now fixed and capable of reproducing itself, he is in no fear of hearing his white dogs again referred to as "sports" which are mere individual casualties, incapable of reproduction.
The Doctor trusts that his results may prove an incentive to other scientific breeders, who have still many fields open to them to work upon - notably the elimination of the unsightly Fox-terrier tail - and he promises them that in an animal so bred to points that they will possess a reward equally satisfactory and satisfying.
Probably no man living has devoted more time and trouble in carrying out the production of a variety of a popular breed than Dr. Flaxman, and it is with much pleasure I include him amongst the Doggy People, many of whom, like the writer, greatly admire the White Scottish Terriers, which are now often provided with classes of their own at some of the larger shows.
I am glad to be able to give my readers a good portrait of Dr. Flaxman and of some of his dogs.