Jessie; aka Jessica Jane, Jessica Pain or Jess-Jess is the last of our Jack Russell's and no matter how old she turns with each passing year, she's 4 1/2 now - she will forever be my baby girl. This is how she came to be ours.
This photo pretty much sums up her character!
Jessie is the third and last Jack Russell to join our pack. We weren't officially looking for a third dog but after seeing an advert on Gumtree describing a litter of Jack Russell's that were looking for a home - I decided to go have a look - we had Max and Cleo for about six months by then. There was something about the ad that had alarm bells ringing; the main thing that concerned me was the age of the litter, it seemed the dog breeder (well, we can debate whether they were dog breeders or farmers....) was trying to sell off the litter well before they were ready to leave their pack. My intuition was right - I arrived at this suburban home, that had makeshift cages with various breeds of dogs separated from each other. The hair on the back of my neck started to stand up. As the woman took me to see where this Jack Russell litter was; at all of 4 1/2 weeks old - Jessie was the only puppy left. In my opinion that was still a good two weeks before any of the puppies should've been taken away from their mother. I saw this lonesome pup and knew we had to rescue the little mite. It was late on a Friday afternoon, the seller wanted more than I was happy to pay but after leaving and calling Chris to fill him in on the situation - we decided to buy (perhaps rescue is a better word to use) her - he met up with me shortly afterwards so we could go together to collect our Jessie.
As mentioned, it was late on a Friday afternoon so I phoned our family vet and booked her in for a check-up that following Monday but after having spent most of that evening taking countless ticks off her - yes, it sounds gross but it needed to be done - I rescheduled the appointment to that Saturday morning. She desperately needed a check-up and tick dip; how small and helpless she was. I recall how I used to carry her around in a bag; she went shopping with me, she ran errands with me - I forget now how many times people stopped to say hello to my newest baby; not that she minded though, she's always loved being the centre of attention.
As is with Cleo, she is fiercely independent - only showing up when the familiar sounds of breakfast or dinner being prepared emanates from the scullery. Jessie's one 'party trick' is to stand on her hind legs when waiting for a treat, she does it so well that who could resist giving her a doggy biscuit in return? We tease and call her Sid, as in the sloth from the Ice Age movie franchise.
Is it Sid the sloth? No! It's Jessie!
Just as with Max and Cleo before her, Jessie went through the same training; trips in the car to get her used to the sensation of driving - apart from the odd vomit here and there - we managed to get through that ordeal. Whilst I walked Cleo (later adding Justin too); Chris walked Max and Jess-Jess - she has ended up being quite the enthusiastic walker - always ready to traipse as far as we will allow.
We also said goodbye to living in a gated community with her arrival and moved into our first freestanding home, which was a blessing in itself as we desperately needed the space and we haven't looked back since. I suppose, in a way, we are good parents to our animals in that sense. I always hear stories of people who need to re-home their pets because they plan to move into homes that can't accommodate them - which seems a bit selfish in my opinion - why invest your money, time and love into your pets if you're not prepared to take their every need into consideration when looking at places to live or when you're 'following your dreams'? Who would wilfully choose to cast their pet(s) aside when one's situation changes? I'm of the opinion that having a pet is not a right, it is a privilege and with any privilege comes it's accompanying responsibilities.
But back to Jessie.
We were so good with Max and Cleo with regards to having them fixed; both were sorted around their respective 12 week's mark. When it came to Jessie, we were like, 'we really need to take her to the vet' but being third in the pack, we thought we had this all under control. Until I arrived home from work to discover that she was on heat. Ah, the joy! So we did what any parents to dogs would do and bundled her into the car and off to our vet we went. It was only the next day - when we collected her - that he informed us that she had given him quite the scare on the operating table, as he had battled to stop the bleeding but fortunately she pulled through and has been a relatively fit little Jack Russell ever since - bar the odd bee sting, for which we have doggy antihistamines.
According to one of my books on Jack Russell Terrier's; there are certain breed standards that need to be confirmed before they can be legally registered as a Jack Russell Terrier (which is important if you're planning on breeding). We weren't interested in registering them - as they are our pets - not a source of income. Temperament wise they are meant to be bold, fearless, friendly and confident - Max, Cleo and Jessie all conform to this standard but physically all three of them would be disqualified on the following three points: Max is less than 50% white, a Jack Russell's coat must always be more white than tan and /or black (this harks back to their hunting background with the breed needing to be visible and not confused for foxes); Cleo has a major underbite - an automatic disqualification owing to a genetic fault; last but not least, Jessie would be disqualified because of her almost albino-like skin pigment, as can be seen with her pink nose. Saying that we wouldn't swop these three Jack Russell's for the world, they truly are an amazing breed and I can't imagine what life would be like without these three little characters running around.
So now you've officially met Justin, Max, Cleo and Jessie - almost done introducing all of our hounds.
Until next time,