A small canine very popular in the southern areas of Santharia, the Rimrunner (short "Rimmer", also "Ratter") is an attractive, playful animal. It is primarily used as either a household pet or vermin-killer. As the name suggests, this dog originates from the Rimmerins Ring area in northern Manthria, though it has become more widely known in recent times.
Image description. A Rimrunner Terrier waiting for food in a nobleman's home. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.
Appearance. The Rimrunner is a very compact little dog, about three to four palmspans tall. It is usually pale gray, white or cream coloured, although the occasional dark gray or even black individual may be found. The head is large, nearly a palmspan between the ears, with wide-set bright, normally brown eyes, although rarely, they may be dark blue. The Rimmer’s head somewhat resembles the shir fox’s in shape, with a slender pointed muzzle, neat, small triangular ears and broad skull. The short neck broadens into sturdy though narrow shoulders, which are only a little wider than the beast’s head. Rimmers have small, neat little paws, with short blunt claws. This dog has a thick shaggy pelt, with fur about three to four nailsbreadths long on the coat, but shorter and finer on the head. The average adult weighs approximately a heb and two to four ods, depending on how well fed the animal is. Males are slightly larger than females, both in height and weight.
The Rimmer has the ability to dig very effectively and has been known to burrow
into the ground in pursuit of a rat,
tarep, or even snake. It is remarkably fast at this. It also has a peculiar
deep bark which is only heard when the dog senses danger or is wary; otherwise
it yips or growls like any other canine. This last trait makes the Rimmer a good
watch dog as well, for it will sound this low, threatening bark at anything it
Territory. As this animal is solely a domestic beast, it may be found in various locations. However, Rimmers originated in the Rimmerins Ring area, in the small human settlements. Highly successful both as household pets and vermin exterminators, the breed eventually spread to outlying areas and may be found over most of the southern areas of Santharia today. In colder or wetter areas, Rimmers have a tendency to be more susceptible to lung troubles, so they are not as well-known in northern parts.
Habitat/Behaviour. A tough and usually healthy little animal, the Rimrunner is a very active dog and needs plenty of exercise. They love to run and play, but if overfed and under-exercised will become lazy and lethargic, losing much of their zest for life and eventually becoming very irritable and bad-tempered. For this reason, Rimmers obviously do not make good lap-dogs. Under normal circumstances, however, they are friendly, lively and playful. They have also succeeded as trick dogs in carnival acts, being quite intelligent, easily trained and eager to please, not to mention considerably cheaper to feed than a bigger dog would be.
Diet. Like all canines, these dogs are primarily carnivores and eat meat. Those that are kept as working dogs tend to hunt and catch many of their meals, with the occasional supplement of table scraps. Thus their diet will include rats and mice, tarepi, snakes, kuatu, the occasional bird, surica and so on.
Mating. As the Rimmer is a domestic animal, breeding usually occurs in a controlled environment, where a male and a female in heat are put together by the owners so that mating may occur. The female tends to be rather aggressive when in heat and will fend off an overly eager suitor with sharp nips and snarls. Approached cautiously and in a conciliatory fashion, she becomes more receptive and playfully allows the male’s advances.
When the female conceives, her pregnancy usually lasts about 60-65 days, after which she will bear between 3 to 6 puppies. It is highly unusual for there to be more than six or less than three in a litter. The pups wean within four moons and then may be taken from the mother. They reach adult size by a year of age and are mature by age three, capable of mating and producing offspring of their own.
Myth/Lore. The people of Onved, a larger town inside the Rimmerins Ring mountains, have a saying referencing this dog, generally used to describe a gossip, that someone “has a nose like a Rimrunner”. This refers to the tenacious little dog’s determination when it goes after rats or other prey. It is hard to dissuade a Rimmer from pursuit.
Most of the little mountain towns have a tale or two about some legendary Rimmer or other, who accomplished great feats of cunning or skill, but most of these are unverified and some definitely exaggerated, as tales tend to grow with age.