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A FORCE TO BE RECONCILED


charlie lr

You can’t ignore him, he won’t allow it. If three o’clock comes around, it’s time for a walk, and dinner had better be waiting when he bursts into the house after the walk. Not much different from most dogs. He has an uncanny ability to know when the evening dishes are done and the kitchen is clean. Not until Dr. A has done his job will Charlie allow him to leave the kitchen. If you think a 20# dog doesn’t have the ability to do this, you are mistaken. One of the outstanding traits of a JRT is a loud demanding annoying voice.

We have had a great variety of dog companions throughout our combined lifetime, most of whom performed their dog duties in acceptable form; waiting quietly at our feet until we make the decision to get up and minister to them. If guests arrive who are offended or in fear of their clothes or safety, the canine residents took their place quietly in a corner until called upon to perform.

However, this particular Jack Russell Terrier has never been just “any dog”. A good student in puppy class, he quickly learned his way around this family. He was adept at learning tricks, bringing in the mail, tapping a bell to get out, and where the good toys are in his toy box. But his penchant for meeting and greeting was stronger than most of our other dogs.

He is a hunter who has never to my knowledge caught anything. Instead of mastering the whole sneaky point of hunting, he prefers to maintain a steady and noisy barrage of barking. I have witnessed squirrels sitting on top of a fence actually laughing at his tortured attempt to rid them from the yard.

One of our grandsons recently lost his beloved 17 year old JRT, who went over the Rainbow Bridge. He assured us to be patient; Charlie would shape up and be a changed dog after about seven years. It took his dog Trooper, that long. Five, six and seven came and went, and eight followed close at their heels. Still barking, still jumping, still ignoring us when called.

We began wondering where this one came from. I had heard stories of his father early on. The breeder decided after Charlie’s group arrived, to give the sire to some other deserving family. When dogs were separated from their families in the old days, they told the kids they went to a farm. Charlie’s dad actually DID go to a farm, killed two chickens and a cat and ran away. Frightening to consider the bloodline. Did we have “like father like son”?

When Charlie was a mere pup I tried to teach him to come by saying “Charlie, come.” Not “Come Charlie”. For some reason through the nine years of his life I have simply yelled, “Get in here you little bastard”! to no avail. A few months ago I quietly called “Charlie, come” and the dear little soul trotted right into the house and waited patiently for his treat. That treat has made all the difference and they surprisingly are called “Charlie Bears”. I have taken back all the nasty things I ever said about him. He is a perfect and well mannered dog finally.

It has been very warm for a number of days and Charlie has deserted his very nice bed for somewhere else in the house during the night, but I didn’t know where. He has never been allowed on certain furniture, especially in our living room; Grandma Nellie’s chair, Mother-in-law Leita’s couch are cases in point.

This morning I scouted him out about five a.m. only to find him comfortably settled on a velvet chair, and with pillow thrown on the floor from everything else. I take back all the nice things I said about him. If anyone has any better treats, please let me know.

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8 comments on “A FORCE TO BE RECONCILED

  1. You can tell Charley is a bit guilty. His ears are down and he looks as if to say ‘ sorry’, but I am not moving. JRT have a will of their own. Our Milo still barks like mad at black crows and motor bikes. He gets totally demented and we have to explain to other pedestrians how we have failed in his upbringing. He is now 13 years old but still mightily strong, and could kill a Harley Davidson very easily.

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  2. I wrote this for you Gerard, knowing you would understand. They really ARE a different breed, but we wouldn’t have it any other way would we?

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  3. I’ve never had a dog, but I’ve observed plenty — and I laughed my way through this. I have a friend whose clutch of four little dogs includes one Jack Russell, and believe me, that dog’s personality is memorable. Of course, his three friends are fluffy little sorts that tend toward pink hair ribbons and rhinestone collars, so there’s that. But he’d probably still be in charge if he was living with two bulldogs and a German shepherd.

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  4. Yeas, JRTs have big personalities. My wildlife grandson’s Trooper absolutely ran his pack of large hunting dogs by simply giving a look and a few bared teeth. Charlie is really pushing it. We have kept him off our bed since my surgery, but last night he deliberately arranged himself on our bed with the intention of staying the night, and was annoyed when I made him get off. I closed all doors in the house and he had no choice but to sleep in his own bed or on the floor of our bedroom.

    Did you see that I bought the Seventy book? Haven’t started it yet, I’m still involved with Robert Louis Stevenson and Fannie Osbourne.

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  5. I love this post!
    You have aptly characterized this dog and illustrated his fetishes with hilarious example, especially the one in which you observe that he has never caught anything.
    Velvet chair in this heat?
    What a saucy little man he is!

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  6. Saucy and determined! No sense of decorum. Jan has his brother, who is his exact opposite, apparently took after the mother. Rather like differences in human siblings. It amuses us to put human characteristics on our animals! (Sam loves Charlie’s “smile”.)

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  7. It sounds to me that you are a good match! Sometimes we get just what we deserve 😉 (said with love x)

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