It’s no secret that I am a dog lover. I have given my heart to several Dachshunds, to several German Shepherd Dogs, a Doberman Pincher, an Old English Sheepdog, even a Chihuahua. One or two were second hand blessings, the others took a bite out of our wallets. Our lives today are enriched by a slightly overweight Jack Russell Terrier with a grand sense of adventure.

charlie (4)
He’s not allowed on this chair

Charlie first became an entity by way of daily e-mail photos from our late son-in-law who claimed this puppy, brother to his pup, was “cute as hell” and we would do well to come to Southern California and see him. We named his picture “Charlie” after a brief naming process, and at seven weeks we were his.

Slow moving tender-hearted Sheepdogs sleep where they are pointed, eat when you get around to it, come when they are called, seldom bark, and generally simply want to please. Nothing is a hardship for them and they plod along with or without restraint for miles at a time, casually checking out the occasional squirrel or rabbit on the trail. Another astonishing and marvelous attribute, at least in the case of Panda—in spite of dense, curly fur; she did not shed. Leaves and dirt clods came in contact with her feet, but she left no hair. Not so with a JRT as those who own one will attest. It’s a credit to tight follicles that they have any hair left. We lasted two months without a dog when Panda left us, and it is difficult not to have something on the end of a leash.

Playpen from thrift store

My father was a no nonsense dog lover who came from the age when most dogs ate table scraps and slept outside. He would not have understood our anthropomorphizing a tiny seven week addition to our family, but things are different today. Dog food comes in many varieties, even for different breeds and sizes. Pets feel their natural place is on our beds, even believing it their right to push their owners to the edge.

There were six puppies in Charlie’ family, and our daughter found homes for all of them. Soon afterward, she hired a trainer and gave a puppy party for the pups and their owners. It’s a Southern California kind of thing. The puppies didn’t learn much and neither did the owners, but presents were exchanged and food consumed and it was fun.

Puppy Party (2)
The Puppy Party

Charlie is now eight, and his description as a seeker of adventure is well known to neighbors who now and then raise the alarm “Charlie’s out!” He has never seen an open door which has not called to him. Ours is the only house I know of in which a kennel sits by the front door where Charlie is funneled when the doorbell rings.

In the privacy of our house and rather large garden, Charlie responds to the slightest summons in jig time, but once out, the world is his oyster, and it’s a game of “catch-me-if-you-can.”

Charlie isn’t perfect, but neither are we. He has given us eight years of his life, filled with amusement at his antics, interspersed with keeping a close watch on all the doors opening into the neighborhood. He has the rare quality that some of us lack, the ability to make friends immediately.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

10 thoughts on “HOT DIGGETY DOG”

  1. He, Charley has mastered the art of manipulation to a fine art. I can see he has won the battle for the best chair. No doubt he claims the same respect when visiting your neighbours. Our Milo is now the Johny Depp of The Southern Highlands here and gets praise weherver he goes. People shout from across the road ‘Milo…Milo. He might look up if it suits him but often just keeps pulling the lead to wherever his nose directs him. We love him and if we are a bit stuck for conversation it is the subject of dear Milo that will pull us through yet again .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s amazing how much conversation our dogs provide. The subject of Charlie has either bored or entertained many. If a positive vibe opens up we tend to think they have good taste. If not, we are suspicious of people who don’t like dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlie is the man! I do love a good terrier as you well know. When we camp with our brother and sister-in-law, we bring our dogs – theirs a Jack Russell. It’s nice to see a breed which makes Max looks sedate by comparison. He loves her, but she wants nothing to do with him. Hmmmph! I agree, it’s hard to imagine life without something on the end of a leash. We’re flying up to a big Westie rescue benefit in northern VA on Sunday. Imagine Maxie’s joy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Contrary to my bad report of him, Charlie really is a sweet pussycat who spends most of his days asleep. Usually on the back of a sofa so he can watch the action in the garden. How exciting for Max. Does he fly along>


      1. He will this time, Kayti, although I don’t like him to fly too often with us. Ear protection is an issue but this flight will only last less than an hour so no big deal. Do I sound over-protective? I am totally! This is the rescue organization we occasionally foster for so it will be good to see everybody again. I know Charlie is a sweetpea!! How could he not be?


  3. No you aren’t being over protective. Their ears are pretty sensitive. My wildlife biologist grandson has a 16 yr. old JRT who has accompanied the large hunting dogs so often he has gone deaf from the guns.

    I looked up the Westie Rescue site and I see that on many of the states there are numbers. Does that mean the number of Westies available for adoption in that state? California has 10. Have a safe journey.


  4. I know that someone in the family once had a Jack Russell. I never met the dog myself, and I can’t remember if it was my mother’s grandfather, or my dad. I think probably Mom’s grandfather, since I never heard Dad talk about a dog. What I do know is that I like Jack Russells, although their enthusiasm can elicit just a bit of my childhood caution/fear. But with the Jack Russells, it’s clearly not malevolent, Besides, they’re cute.

    That playpen is a great idea. I’ve never seen someone do that before, but it makes sense. It’s much nicer than a carrier, no matter how large.


    1. It’s funny that the breed is often featured in advertising. They are so smart. There was a movie a couple of years ago which won the academy award French I believe and the star was a Jack Russell.

      I have always had some sort of playpen for puppies. It keeps them out of trouble and out of our way. This one just got scrubbed up and returned to the thrift store after he got through with it. Little did the new owners know who had been in it.


  5. Hi Aunt Kayti and Uncle Sam,

    Loved the story about Charlie. I now have Lily and she is a doll…but my life has changed for now – at least until she get her final vaccinations in about 6 weeks. She is a handful and when combined with the grand daughters…oh my what a circus.

    Life is full and never a dull moment which is, I suppose, a blessing.

    Hugs and Kisses, Linda

    On Thu, May 14, 2015 at 2:55 PM, Pachofa-Unfinished wrote:

    > kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 posted: “It’s no secret that I am a dog > lover. I have given my heart to several Dachshunds, to several German > Shepherd Dogs, a Doberman Pincher, an Old English Sheepdog, even a > Chihuahua. One or two were second hand blessings, the others took a bite > out of our w”


    1. Lily’s picture is adorable. Small puppies make for a busy life. I remember making sure to keep my eyes on Charlie. He moves quickly! I find that we learn by our mistakes and dogs learn by not allowing them to make the mistake. I look forward to meeting my newest grand “niece”. xxx


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