The Joys And Pains Of Owning A Jack Russell By Richard Sanders
So…I arrive in Namibia to hunt leopard with the young, dashing PH, Jofie Lamprecht in 2009. Plush lodge. But, you have to know — the main reason I went to hunt with Jofie was Jofie’s gorgeous and gracious wife Monica. Monica picked me up at the airport and had Jofie’s head tracking dog, a longhaired female, Umbra, with her. Umbra sat in my lap during the entire 2-hour trip to the lodge. She stayed in my lap, in my bed or under my feet at the dinner table for the ensuing 18 days. We became fast friends. Prior to leaving for Africa I had lost my 11-1/2 year old Jack, Dallas-Jones, (purchased at a DSC auction by the way). DJ was a killer. Hundreds of raccoons, moles, voles, shrews, snakes, toads, squirrels, chipmunks, mice…even a couple coyotes passed because DJ was the real African deal. What a great little dog he was. I called him “Little Good Man” based on what I knew of these irascible little turds going in. I knew they were stinkers. DJ was a killer outside but inside the house he was as mellow as a cello. So Umbra’s constant presence and devotion during my stay in Namibia was welcomed. She helped ease the heartache of losing DJ.
Fast forward to January 2012. Monica contacted me to tell me they had puppies and I could buy one. Male or female? Male! Jofie and Monica brought five gorgeous Jack Russell puppies to the states prior to DSC’s Convention. I met Bindy on the first day of setup while I was setting up the Russell Moccasin show display. What a cutie! Only about 11 weeks old. I named him Bindi…proper name “Sibindi Bamba”…meaning “great courage” and “catch it kill it.”
When I left Dallas after the show I hand carried Bindy onto the plane back to Minneapolis in a sherpa bag. He was perfect. Went to sleep and didn’t make a sound. It was COLD here when we got home, well below zero. Snow. Bitter wind. Bindy wasn’t sure he liked snow and but sure as hell didn’t like the cold. I would put him out into my fenced back yard several times as day with my 96-lb. Golden, Simon Marley, to do his business. That went well. He learned from the older dog. He slept in my bed at night. Never made a sound. The boys played in my heated garage all winter and spring.
When spring arrived….and Bindy was about six months old…he began to assert himself because, well….he was becoming a man. Began
exhibiting aggressive dominant behavior with Simon. Not a smart thing to do when Simon outweighed him by 85 lbs. Bindy paid the price several times. Got
his face bloodied. We sorted that out. Then in April Bindy began marking territory…. in my house and garage AND began peeing in Simon’s meal pan after the two had had dinner. What to do? Neuter him? Give him away? Shoot him? I won’t tolerate that type of behavior. The options were not good. I decided to neuter him at 8 months (too late I knew, but I had to try as he had already wiggled his way into my heart). Neutering day I get a call from the vet. ”Blood white counts are high…. have to come get him and give him antibiotics for two weeks.” That little bit of news cost me $212.10!
Two weeks later we go in for the neuter job. Another $290.00! (Say nothing of his flight from Namibia and original purchase price!) Bring him home and he is still peeing in my house. So, no more free time in the house. It was getting nice here so I would allow the boys to be outside much of the day. Got some super “scent killer spray” and sprayed everything. That pretty much eliminated his peeing on my garbage can in the garage, my Avalanche tires, cocktail tables, furniture. Bindy now has chow in the garage. Simon inside. Bindy spends all of his inside time in his kennel. He’s gotten used to it.
Then…..THEN…the moles show up in my yard , as they do every year. Dig? Good Lord…I could hire him out to an excavating company! But
I don’t scold him for digging because he as killed at least 20 moles so far, a couple cottontail rabbits, a dozen voles, and God knows how many mice. So I just police the yard every evening carrying a rake and a pail of grass seed, covering, overseeding as I go. Late summer and early fall I am sure Bindy will graduate to Big Game….raccoons. Then the vet bills will ramp up again. It’s such a joy owning a little “terrorist” like Bindy! And I say that with all sincerity. Fun little dog. A lot of work….but a fun little dog. I call him “Zoom” because he is always on the run….into the garage, on his pillow…then gone…ZOOM! he’s back, makes another circle around the garage, messes with Simon and then ZOOM back out into the nighttime hunting fields to find another mouse or mole. It was once written about Jack Russell’s that they are “little thugs wearing clown suits.”