I absolutely love my Jack Russell dog. His name is Bodie, although I really should have named him Pogo. Yes, they do jump a lot and high.
One day I noticed that I was missing fish from one of my goldfish ponds. After standing still and observing….I saw it! A snake was happily swimming among the fish, eating them at it’s leisure! Now, I do not have expensive or rare fish. I get them from the local bait shop in town because the hawks, owls and raccoons eat them sometimes. I just don’t like snakes. Besides hawks, owls or raccoons do not come out of the water to sun themselves in the grass with the possibility of someone stepping on them! I did get the snake out of the pond. In the process I damaged the liner which cost extra money and caused a lot of unnecessary hard work to replace. That was the last straw! I had to have a solution. I needed a “hunter”. We had an older Maltese dog that no longer spent much time outside or explored any distance around the house and I needed a new dog to keep the “vermin” at distance.
The search was on! After checking the Internet sources for the characteristics of different breeds, I settled on a Jack Russell. Along the research path, I discovered there are actually two kinds of Russell’s. One is Jack and the other is Parson. I even bought a book about Jack Russell’s. The book was very informative and the author certainly had a “way with words”. She said a Jack Russell has his own agenda – I found they really have tunnel vision with an unbending determination to do or get what they are focused upon. Once they are older, this determination channeled in the right direction is good! I searched the local papers and found a kennel in a neighboring town. There I found Bodie. He is a slick hair Jack. (The others look scruffy to me and in need of grooming.) He has two brown ears and eyes and one brown spot at the base of his tail. This is a true Jack Russell color. The breeder told me Bodie would be one of the larger dogs, averaging 18 to 20 pounds at maturity. That is important here – remember the hawks and owls? A very small dog would be “bait”. Bodie was 10 weeks old and 7 pounds when we brought him home.
Introduction to the household
Upon introducing the puppy to the older dog, it did not take long to observe the aggressive nature of a Jack Russell, especially when it came to food. Housebreaking was fairly easy. As a suggestion from the book, I just hung a small bell on a string about the height of his nose on the doorknob and he quickly learned to ring the bell to get outside. This kept me from having to watch him all the time. Bodie would eat anything including sticks, rags, rocks, just trash in general if he could get to it. Twice I had him at the vet because he had eaten a piece of an aluminum can. It did pass. One other observation I found amazing. When he started losing baby teeth I found them everywhere for days, if not weeks! Of all the other dogs I have raised I have never had a puppy lose so many teeth that you could find them laying on the furniture, on the bed, all over the floor.
An adult dog today
Next month Bodie will be 6 years old. He weights 21 pounds (he is not fat, he is portly) and almost as active today as he was when he was young. He is the greatest hunter. He loves to hang around the goldfish ponds in hope of catching a pond frog in mid air jump. He then takes them away from the water and plays with it until it no longer moves. We have had only one snake in the ponds in the last 5 years and Bodie took care of that! He has taken care of many snakes on the property over his time here. The mole population diminished rapidly. I did not know that moles squealed. They do…..right up until they die. Bodie does not eat the moles. My friends have even asked is they could borrow him for the weekend to rid their yards of moles. Rabbits are a lot quicker and harder to catch, however, when caught they too squeal. They are eaten with nothing left as evidence. Mice are a favorite pass-time. He will persist until he has literally dug the dirt away from the roots of a tree if there is a mouse nest under the tree. (Remember the agenda!) He will bring the mice out one at a time, play with them until they die and then bury them. The squirrels are a continuing nuisance to him. To my knowledge he has never been able to catch one, however, they do not stay on the ground when he is around. He will spend hours in the grass in the pasture hunting moles or mice and he absolutely loves for me to be outside to work in the flower beds. He is just sure I will dig up something that he can play with and he usually does find something that will move, anything that will move will do. The book and the breeder said it was important for a Jack Russell to have a job to do. Well, he has one here.
Always by the evening he is ready to settle down beside me on the couch and doze until bedtime. My hunter, my companion, my hero!