Jack Russell Story

Courtesy of mitzi@frii.com

Story Name: Dudley...I still miss him
From: Mitzi Jones

My Jack Russell Story:

When I was 11 years old we 'adopted' a little dog from some friends of the family. Dudley was 10 months old and just too much for them to handle. They had an older shepard that lived outdoors and the pup just couldn't handle the lack of attention being outside with him. When Dudley came in the house he would just go crazy. When they mentioned they were taking him to the pound the next day I couldn't stand it. It was the best impulsive move I have ever made. He calmed right down when he was brought in and given attention, and except for a small incident involving a present in my father's shoe, was the most well behaved dog.

They had no idea what breed he was, and we had guessed at beagle/dachshund. Jack Russells were virtually unknown to the general public at the time, and I held firm to our original assessment for all of his life. His last vet and the 'Wishbone' show have since changed my opinion. I doubt he was 'pure', but he had a lot of the physical and personality characteristics. His legs were shorter, his ears slightly bigger, he was mostly light brown and he didn't have as strong of a digging or hunting urge. Although he would chase a rabbit or two, I used to have a pet rat that would sit on Dudley's head. They were the best of friends. Nope, not all JRT! I wish I had known his lineage along time ago, I would have loved to have been able to meet other JRT owners. I would have loved to have been able to breed him.

Dog-haters loved this dog. He was truly a cherished member of the family. A human in a dog suit. We had to spell words to keep secrets from him, and occasionally we had to change the word we spelled because he would figure it out. A true ball hound, he would chase a tennis ball until he dropped. At one count he had 23 of them he had found at various places. We never bought a toy, he found just found them. We drew the line at a croquet ball. Too hard on the teeth. Like a child with a toy, he would carry a ball around with him, and would remember where he had left it when it was time to go home. I never had to show him what I wanted him to do more than once, he picked it up every time. Too short to carry a frisbee, I showed him how to flip it over and carry it curve side up. I once taught him to sit up by running him and my sister's dog through their tricks, and he finally got jealous enough of the extra goody that Joey was getting for the extra trick, and up he went.

They say when you lose a beloved pet, to not get another of the same kind, so as not to compare the new dog to the old all the time. I say it doesn't work. The dog I have now is smart for her breed, but I can't help comparing her to Dudley. It is unfair to her, but what can I do? I wish my children would live up to Dudley, (mostly the telling once and remembering where toys are part :>) what chance does my dog have?

When I had to have him put to sleep, I called my mom and made sure she could come to say goodbye. It was about two weeks after my father died, and I swear I cried more when I had to make the big decision..too much, too soon. That was almost eight years now, and I still cry for him. It is like he was my first child. I miss him so much. I would mortgage my house for another dog just like him, but that is not to be. He is a cherished memory, perhaps slightly glorified in my mind's eye, but not by much. If there are no dogs in heaven, then it won't be much of an eternal life.

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