A TOOTHLESS geriatric Jack Russell, whose bark is definitely worse than his bite, chased off two terrified burglars by snapping and snarling at their heels as they fled from his home.
But then Baz – affectionately known to his owners as ‘the murderer’ – went one step further than the normal guard dog. Instead of stopping at the garden gate, he forgot his age and size and angrily leapt into the getaway car with the robbers and continued to attack them.
A furious Baz, a 14-year-old black and white rescue cross Jack Russell with only one canine fang left in his mouth, was finally offloaded in a heap a mile away after the thieves had their ankles – and ears – well and truly chewed.
Some days later, as he nursed bumps and bruises, Baz – full name Basil – was hailed a hero by his owner Janet Terras and police who are trying to hunt down the criminals.
"He’s very elderly and a bit of a wreck really," said 66-year-old divorcee Janet, who lives in Mottram St Andrew Macclesfield. "But he’s terribly loyal and territorial. If he likes you he will roll on his back with his legs in the air, but if he doesn’t he will try and kill you!"
Certainly Baz took a dislike to a pair of opportunist thieves who found Janet’s back door unlocked as she slipped out for just 20 minutes to go and buy some dog food for Baz and her other rescue dog, Gus, a gold coloured seven-year-old Corgi cross.
"They couldn’t have even got over the threshold before they were attacked," said Janet gratefully. "I found my beautiful Georgian breakfast table badly scratched which must have been Gus struggling to hide underneath it. And Baz, my brave boy, had gone."
She added: "He would have gone bonkers. There was no way the intruders could have escaped unscathed. He would have nipped at their heels with the few teeth he has left and then fearlessly hurled himself into their getaway car as they ran to escape."
When the desperate duo got to Mottram Hall they had clearly had enough of Baz’s bad temper and gingerly kicked him out. A farmer found him limping nearby, battered, bruised and bewildered.
"Baz is so ancient, he only has half his teeth," said Janet, a retired nursery school teacher. "And he only has one canine fang. But his nip can be quite painful and he can give you a nasty suck. His bark is far, far worse than his bite.
"Baz has recovered from his ordeal. He was full of muck and sweat and he was shaking and quivering all over. He is a star. He was on painkillers and I had to wrap up his tablets in apricot-flavoured Stilton blue cheese to make him take them. He was a very sad dog for 48 hours afterwards."
"I telephoned the police for help with great trepidation it has to be said after reading all I have about poor response," she said. "But a very nice policeman came to see me almost immediately.
"He had to be called away to deal with an incident but he came back to reassure me, and he has even returned to make sure I am all right."
The officer in charge PC Andy Barron said: "Baz is a hero. Opportunists found the door insecure and walked in. But Baz, being the fighting terrier he is, went after them.
"It looks like they gave up after all the hassle he inflicted on them and they chucked him out of their car."
Currently the scene of crimes team are trying to trace evidence, but most of it would seem to be on Baz.