Jumping Jacks Flash

Four Jack Russell terriers arrived this week, along their very own “Terrorist Handbook.”  In addition to some general information about feeding and schedules, their handbook described the basic personalities of the different dogs — who is bossy, who is a mush, who will pout, who has opinions and isn’t shy about declaring them, who might rumble if provoked, and who will be just as happy in a snow bank as on the couch. This kind of information is quite helpful. Most importantly, I can consider myself forewarned, and therefore forearmed, when they are mingling with the other dogs.

Outside in the yard it’s non-stop action. Waiting (a ridiculously inaccurate description) by the door to go in or out, these pint-sized pistons of solid muscle leap and jump, easily as high as my waist.  It’s like they are on pogo sticks.  Once out the door they are off in a flash – running, playing, exploring, searching for – and possibly even willing to dispatch, if the need arose – all manner of real or imagined invaders.  They are noisy.  And – oh – they are fun!

Inside the house, they are just as likely as the Cavaliers to transform themselves into couch potatoes and/or lap dogs, or to find the perfect patch of sunlight to nap in.  Joe is the only “hairy” one, and he smiles (and looks, according to his owner, like a monkey) showing all his teeth.  I’m sorry I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of that cute smile.  Shortly after their arrival, Kona, the older male, attempted to stake out the dog room as his own.  But I told him that room is MINE, and I make all the rules here.  He was quite the gentleman after I thwarted that plan, and opted for my lap instead of continuing to guard the counter where the food is stored.  Mind you, I did dredge up my old boss bitch routine in order to impress him.  My boss bitch is a little rusty because it hasn’t been used much in recent years.  But that’s a story for (and of) another time.

There is nothing soft about these tough little terrier bodies, except for the melty, love-filled expression in their eyes when they’re snuggled on your lap.  Did I mention they ALL wanted to be on my lap at the same time – including the Cavaliers?  There was some requisite pushing and shoving.  Bika claimed front and center.  The only spot Sumatra could find was on my shoulders, draped around my neck.  And all of them had to work around certain Cavalier expectations of entitlement.  It was silly of me to even consider reading a book.  There’s simply no room for a book in this scenario.  Actually, there’s barely room for me in this scenario.

Luna was in heaven with the little terrorists.  She was born with a sign around her neck – it’s the one that says: “Please boss me around.”  So for a couple days she had four bossy terriers delighted to tell her what to do and how to do it.  She thought it was fabulous fun because she does like the attention, even that kind of attention.  She followed them around, happily surrendering toys when asked (told) and begging for any suggestions (orders) they might have.  She is very sweet and wants to be friends.  And she’s willing to do whatever it takes. The older spaniels preferred to watch from their vantage point on the couch.  You could see by the look in their eyes that they couldn’t imagine why on earth Luna thought it was fun to be at the bottom of the pecking order.  Ah – such selective memory.  Luna is on the bottom of THEIR pecking order too.  Did they forget that’s probably why she wears the sign in the first place?

The Jumping Jacks have gone home.  It was a gas.  Everyone took a long nap after they left.

Family Portraits

In July 2009, Fling gave birth to six puppies.  Five were black and tan and one was a ruby.  Both parents were black and tan, so a ruby puppy, although not entirely out of the question, was certainly a delightful surprise.  Most of the puppies weren’t named until they were ready for their new homes; but because she was the only ruby, I called her “Token” from the beginning.  It was difficult to determine whether Token really was as precocious as she seemed, or whether she just stood out more because of her different color.  In any case, she always seemed a day or two ahead of her siblings in each developmental achievement.  She was the largest of the female pups, and had an outstanding, outgoing personality.  Everyone loved Token.  Here she is standing out — and falling asleep while crawling out:

When the time came for the pups to go to their new homes, Token went to live with a couple who had two large German shepherds.  I wasn’t worried about the issues this presented or about Token’s safety in their household.  First of all, these people were very experienced dog owners, and I trusted their knowledge and skill.  I had Kuvaszok and Scottish deerhounds when I got my first Cavalier – both breeds weighing in around 80 to100 lbs – and dogs have a way of figuring out how to play with each other in spite of the difference in size.  Secondly, Token had plenty of attitude.  These folks wanted a female pup, and of the three females in the litter, Token was the best equipped for their home.  She had a big dog personality in a little body, and I knew she could handle it.

The pups were born on Bastille Day, so each was registered with a French name.  Token’s registered name is Halfling Symbolique, but her call name is Bisou which means “kiss.”

So, here are some current photos of Bisou with her families:

Homecoming

Last weekend, Whitney and Toby came to visit with three Cavalier spaniels in tow (two of theirs and one belonging to Brook and Dan).  That brought the number of Cavaliers in the house to 9, as there was also a tricolor boy from New Jersey visiting.  In addition, Ginger and Daphne were here.  There was much excitement when anyone returned home from an errand.  Here are all the dogs waiting  – some more patiently than others – to greet Whitney and Toby coming back from a quick run to Sissy’s Kitchen: