This week I interviewed a VERY happy, energetic Jack Russell Terrier, Lily Kramer, who’s an Only Dog, totally perky and feminine but also a fearless hunter (terrier genes, ya know).
When her Mom opened the door, Lily was right there, bouncing about. She was a real pretty poocheroo, short white hair, reddish brown trim, very neat and tidy.
“Welcome to my home,” she said. “This is my Mom, Alla, and my Dad, Jay.”
“Pleased to meet you,” I replied.
After the Wag-and-Sniff, we got settled, and Lily ran over to my assistant for a few friendly slurps. “I’m ackshully a People Pooch,” she said. “No offense. I do have a coupla dog pals, but I prefer my Peeps.”
“I totally understand,” I told her, “I’d love to hear your story.”
“As far as I can recall, I had a good puppyhood. Then, when I was about 2, I got lost. I was wandering around over on Miracle Mile, and finally this really nice Human named Anatoly found me. I had a collar and wasn’t skinny or anything. He looked all over for my owners but couldn’t find ’um. He even called the Humane Society, but nobody had reported a lost Jack Russell. So he called his daughter and told her she needed a dog. She said she didn’t have time cuz she’s real busy. Even though I’d just met him, I really, really liked him and he liked me back cuz well, cuz I’m ME. He made me feel safe. But where he lived was a No Dogs Allowed place. So he hadda take me to the Humane Society. He talked to his daughter again about how fabulous I was, so she called the Humane Society and made an appointment to see me. Well, Thank Lassie, she liked me and took a picture of me to show Dad. And he said ‘YEP!’”
“Awww,” I said.
“I KNOW. So, when my new human brother Anthony (he was about 7 then) got home from school and saw me, he thought they were dogsitting me for a friend. Boy was he excited when Mom said I was Their Dog! He kept asking, ‘Can we really keep her?’ And my sister, Jennifer, who was about 11, was happy, too, cuz she’d always wanted a dog.
“They were extra happy when they realized I was well-trained. I’m super polite, too, never chew anything I shouldn’t, or run away. I stay in my own yard or sun myself on the deck. And I love the pool. I jump right in, ’specially when my brother or sister have friends over. I run with the Big Dogs over at the Dog Park, and keep up with ’em, too. And going out in our boat is so-o fun. There’s just the one thing I had to teach Mom and Dad. See, they wanted me to sleep in my own Special Dog Bed. But I was used to sleeping with my Humans, so I kept jumping onto their bed and burrowing under the covers. I finally got ’em trained. When Mom and Dad get up, I go snooze with my brother or sister ’til everybody’s up.
“I’m almost 10 now, and I have the Best Family Ever! When Mom and Dad go on trips, Grandpa and Grandma take care of me, and we have the best time. PLUS, my Dad has this job where he sits at the middle of a big, long desk, with some other people, and gets to bang this sorta hammer-thingy (I don’t know exactly why) and they all talk about Important Stuff. As long as he gets to do that, I get to call myself First Dog. Cool Kibbles, right?”
“Totes! Do you get treats?” I inquired.
“Not too many. I have to watch my figure, you know. But I do get a treat when I come back in from Doing My Duty. And when Mom gets herself a cookie, she gives me a treat, too.”
“That’s only fair,” I observed. “I couldn’t help noticing your very nice tail. It looks sorta bobbed, but longer. Is it natural?”
“It is bobbed,” she replied. “See, us Jack Russells are hunters, small animals like rabbits or gophers or foxes. So our tails are bobbed just to the width of a Human’s hand, so they can reach into a burrow and pull us out when we’ve found a rabbit or something. I’m not a young pooch anymore, but I still hunt rabbits – catch ’em, too! They’re quick, but I’m quicker. One time I was chasing this rabbit and, just as it froze (that’s what they do), I pounced. Well, when it took off, I was going so fast that I just went tumbling, tail over teakettle. Dog! was that embarrassing!
“Only thing that scares me is thunder, and fireworks. I hide under the bed. Mom says she’s maybe gonna get me a Thunder Shirt.”
“Oh, I’ve heard of them” I said. “That’s, like, a snuggly shirt that’s just tight enough to feel like a comforting hug, right?”
“Yep. I hope she does, too. It takes me hours to stop shaking.”
“I gotta be going, Miss Lily,” I said. “It’s been fun yapping with you.”
“I can’t wait to see my story,” she replied.
“I’ll do my best,” I told her.
Till next time,