Posts Tagged ‘Jack Russell Terriers’

Scanning the perimeter for seagulls.

So I got Sparky a little over a month ago, and since that time we’ve been together constantly. We travelled down to Oak Island, up the coast to the Outer Banks, and back home in a little 10-day excursion. When we’ve been home he pretty much goes with me everywhere, except when it’s going to be too hot and he can’t stay in the car. And you know, when you spend a lot of time with somebody you learn a lot about them. Here are a few things I’ve learned about Sparky so far.

Sparky hates things that fly. As a matter of fact if you were to believe his accusers he hates anything with wings, as he may or may not have been involved in a chicken massacre back in his hometown. But that’s neither here nor there. Details are unclear and nothing was proven. Still, I do know with certainty that in a little over a month since I’ve had him, Sparky has gone after seagulls, sandpipers, sparrows, gnats, flies, crows, moths,  mosquitoes, my mom’s parakeet, an entire cage of assorted birds at PetCo, and a kid on the beach pretending to be an airplane. What’s interesting is that he can take or leave a cat, he doesn’t really give a damn. If it has wings, though, he’s going after it with murderous intent.

Sparky will chase anything that runs. O.K., remember what I just said about cats? That’s true . . . unless they run. Same for rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, or rhinoceroses. Size is of no consequence. If you run you will be pursued. Seriously, if an animal just sits there he’ll pay it no mind. If it runs? All hell breaks loose. The chase is on, and something must die. Now.

Note to self: Don’t take Sparky to track meets.

On Hobo Watch.

Sparky hates hobos. Regular people he has no problem with. But you know those guys who stand by the road out at WalMart with the signs begging for money? Sparky has no tolerance for those dudes. I had the window down as I cruised by one of them and thank God I had his leash on because Sparky went for it. And when I say “it” I mean the jugular. He lunged right out the window at the guy, and I thought for a second he was going for the sign, but then to my horror I realized he was going for the throat. Luckily I pulled him back in before blood was spilled. Either Sparky hates hobos or the guy smelled like chicken.

Sparky would rather jump than walk, always. I have a couch and a chair that are about 5-feet apart. If Sparky is on the couch and I am on the chair he invariably attempts the leap to get to me rather than simply hop down and trot over. Walk around a 4-foot wall? No way. Spark’s going over the top, and more often that not he makes it. In addition, if he wants something he’ll do a series of vertical pogo jumps straight up and down, practically looking me in the eye at his apex. Dude has a helluva set of hops.

Sparky has the reflexes of a mongoose. Well, at least when I throw cheese balls at him. You know, the little cheese puff balls you get in those industrial size plastic jars. I tell him to get on a chair, say “stay”, back away about 20-feet, and fire away. I’m telling you I can’t get a cheese ball by him. For fun I’ll lob some pop-ups for awhile, then just zip a line-drive at him for a change of pace.  He never misses. I’d say he has a 99.2% field percentage. Amazing.

And oh, you may want to avoid rushing towards me. Sparky gets a little tense when I’m approached in a hasty way. He perceives it as a threat to his best friend. Rush at him? No problem. Rush at me? Problem. He gets j-u-s-t a little protective. You’ll see a lot of growling and showing of teeth and whatnot. So, fair warning, approach respectfully and you’ll be treated thusly. You may even want to bow or even go to one knee first. Just a suggestion. And you know, it’s about time somebody understood the respect with which I should be treated.

Thanks Sparky.

The Spark.

OK, so I already introduced you all to Sparky, the Jack Russell who recently joined my household. I’ve had Sparky for less than 2-weeks, and all I knew about him was that he was a good dog who may or may not have been involved in a chicken massacre.

It wasn’t long before I realized Sparky is not a normal dog. Among other things he can learn tricks almost immediately and recognizes commands after being told just once. He knew the difference between a “ride” and a “walk” right away. When we walk he automatically knows how to maneuver around trees and poles so we don’t get tangled up. He’s also athletic as hell and can catch treats from a distance of 15-feet. I swear I can’t throw one by him. He can also jump like a kangaroo and I’ve been told he jumped on the backs of horses at his former home. You know, before the incident.

And I know what you’re thinking. Shoe’s all excited about his little dog, he thinks it’s a special dog, how cute. But really? It’s just a dog. Well, you just might be right. But I don’t think so.

He did something yesterday that made me look at him with a cocked head and a gaze of wonder. Somehow he got all twisted up in his retractable leash as we were walking out the backdoor. I mean, it was wrapped around one of his back legs and his torso a 2-3 times each. As I was about to lean down and try to untangle this mess, he backed up and looked at me like “Easy, I got this.” He then leaped straight up into the air, did some sort of a mid-air spin move combined with a flip and landed on his feet, completely untangled.  Then he just stood there, smiling. Like I said, I sort of backed up a step, cocked my head, and said, “Who ARE you?”

But he just trotted on to the car.

I’ve always been a dog guy, but this one might be special. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

PS- I wrote this 6 1/2 years ago, and I was wrong. Sparky is much more than special. He’s incredibly loving, loyal, and by far the most intelligent dog I’ve ever known.

PPS- Since I wrote this I rarely use a leash on Spark unless we’re somewhere it’s required, like the vet or something. He never runs away.