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Thanks Jack

Stubborn, fearless, intelligent, energetic, athletic, vocal. Yep and wiggly, poopy and naughty. So the definition of a Jack Russell means that potentially for 16 years the last shreds of sanity between 7 cats, 5 geese, 2 ducks and 20 chickens has popped! That bubble of a perfectly quiet Sunday afternoon reading a book on the sofa. That bubble of being able to walk accross a room with a tray and not end up arse over tip. That bubble sandwich that I would leave on the table to eat after making my cuppa. All burst this week when Bella and Sake arrived.

I always wanted Jack Russells. My best friend had one. I named Bella after her mad terrier. Bella would instinctively know when the postman would arrive. She would leap up on the window sill and growl. Her wet nose pressed hard to the glass and her tail wagging like windscreen wiper. In fact anyone remotely passing the house would set her off. I loved her enthusiasm. It didnt matter that she was snoozing, wrestling her blanket, hiding an important dog biscuit behind a cusion for later, that sense of a visitor moved Bella into action.

Later when I worked as a tax advisor, and visited clients in their home offices, I met another live wire. There is something very disconcerting trying to discuss asset taxation with an excitable Jack Russell leaning on your shoulder and licking your ear!

Over the years I have gazed wistfully at dog owners Jack Russells and mooned about how my family could be complete with a dog. I never had children. I had cats and then I divorced and left them behind. Our French dream…husband number two wholeheartedly agreeing, needed dogs, cats, the whole shabang. After seven years we finally have our family, our wee puddles, our squeeky toys and that accumulating assortment of dog and cat paraphenalia.

Known to be good at fox hunting and rooting out badgers and rabbits, it was to some an odd decision to keep poultry and have Jack Russell’s. They will eat the chickens. They will attack your ducks. Uncontrollable. Too feisty.

Bred around 1790’s they are an old English breed mainly white to differentiate them easily from the prey they used to hunt. Reverend John Russell perfected the colouring and breed and thus they take his name. Sake (My husband used to live in Japan, hence the name) is traditional white with a few dark patches and an especially cute one on his eye like Bullseye had in Oliver Twist. Bella is Tri-coloured in tan, white and a little darker brown which manifest in just a dot on her tail..her on/off switch as I call it and nose. She also has freckles or naughty spots.

We looked at Labradors. Too complacent and big. Never going to fit them into my bike basket! Setters or Collies? I just had no experience of these dogs and couldn’t relate. I love Bull Terriors but they need some firm controlling and make people nervous and French Bull Dogs are cute overload but there are the health issues of eye and breathing problems. And those guys just couldn’t take the rough and tumble of country life.

We move alot between properties and there are times when we can’t walk the dogs. They need to have the energy to run with our bikes and the enthusiasm to play together when we work. Small enough to take in our campa-van and easy to carry. I don’t want to have to dish up a cow’s worth of meat everyday either. Jack Russell’s just fit. I also love a bit of naughty attitude and rogue behaviour. Bit like us. Not perfect but we are enthusiastic.

So welcome guys. A dream come true. And who did that puddle on the floor?