It has been over two years since I lost my crazy but beloved Jack Russell terrier, Duncan. Those in the animal world consider JRTs to be somewhat like Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh, "entertaining, but thank god I don't have to live with that!" All the same, making room in my heart and then finding a replacement dog has been a difficult task... I would think I wanted to, but not make any headway. Every now and then, I would come across someone elses' dog that would be a perfect choice; I even tried to convince Margene's Moxie to sneak home with me in my suitcase last fall.
Periodically, I would peruse Petfinder, a large animal rescue index online, but without success. DH and I had at least agreed that we would try and find a pair, so that they would have companionship when we were away, and that we would introduce new critters during the time of year when he is home working, for better bonding and supervision. The right dogs just weren't coming up... at least not until a few weeks ago, when I spotted two brothers on the Pawsitively Purrfest Animal Rescue site.
Jake, on the left, and Elwood, on the right, are here for a two-week trial visit, but it is doubtful that they will ever leave... we passed the rescue screening process and got lots of extra points because nobody wanted to take both together. These boys have been in a rescue for six months, after spending their entire 2 1/2 year lives prior to that living outside with very little attention. Denise, the rescue worker who has been caring for them, has done a good job socializing them and they are friendly and eager to please, but what is most touching about them is how bonded to each other they are... they need to keep track of where the other one is, and like to sleep with their heads on each others backs for pillows. They appear to be a Norfolk terrier - Daschund mix, but who knows for sure, and around here, who really cares?
With a face like that, Jake deserves more love out of life than he got in the early part of his life. Stepson Rex fell for him right away, snapping this photo after several tries at close-ups.
I hear people bad-mouthing taking on rescue animals, that you are just asking for problems. I agree it is not for everybody. I have had several rescue animals over the years, and most turn out to be every bit as good as any other pet, but they do take extra work and extra love to figure out what they missed along the way growing up, and to help them fix it. The way I look at it, it isn't Jake and Elwood's fault that the owner that selected them as cute puppies didn't bother to learn how to train them or to weigh out how well dogs would fit into their lifestyle. These are the two biggest reasons why people and animals end up not fitting each other.
JRTs became really popular a decade ago, after getting a lot of TV and movie exposure, but none of it addressed their very strong need for companionship and a pack connection... and many ended up killed from running away or abandoned and later destroyed at animal control sites around the country. The kind of jobs they need to fill their days don't exist in city apartments, and that leads to trying to tunnel out from under the door (ruined carpets), or jump through the window (shredded screens, broken glass, vet bills). My little Duncan would have been better off at a huge horse or cattle ranch, and one of my large animal vets said she would never be able to leave her's at home because of this tendency to get destructive when fearful or frustrated, and so had trained him to travel everywhere with her and wait quietly while she took care of the animals. It was a sight to see, when a "difficult" species has been given the right niche in life.
Jake and Elwood don't appear to fall into the difficult category, and it looks like we will be able to provide them with "forever" homes.