|THEO, Talented Terrier
During the summer of 2008, we received a distress call from Theo’s owner. By the time I returned the call next morning, the man had just surrendered his beloved dog to a local shelter. It turned out that Theo had suddenly become irritable and prone to snapping at the children in the family. Not knowing what to do, where to turn, and fearing for his young children, this man had taken the hard route of letting Theo go.Please do not get the impression that this was an easy thing, rather it was the only thing the owner had thought he could do. Somewhere he had heard of me and left the message on my machine.
A call was made and Theo was released to me at the owner’s request. Theo was sweet, playful, and very intelligent, but on the ride home he came “unhinged” as we drove in the driveway–completely without provocation.
Shaken, I carried Theo to the house and proceeded to give him a bath and a grooming. It was then that I discovered the source of Theo’s problem. He had a sizeable growth at the back of his jaw that was hidden by his “lion’s mane” fur. This no doubt is what caused him intermittent pain and triggered the snapping.
I knew he was telling the truth from all the tricks Theo knew how to do and the dance he would perform upon command. I knew because the owner came to visit Theo several times and paid the vet bills. He loved his dog, yet Theo did not get to go home.
Despite everyone’s efforts, Theo got no better. His owner took him to another vet for a second opinion at the same time I returned to my vet for a recheck.
This time more drastic measures were taken. The lump was biopsied and sent to Cornell. The news was not good. Theo had an aggressive form of cancer.
Theo was well behaved, lively, and entertaining–but eventually that was only while on pain meds. Shortly after these photos were taken, this talented terrier crossed the rainbow bridge. Have no doubt, Theo knew he was a well loved character.
Word got out through fox terrier rescue that Gabi was sitting in a shelter near me.I had to buy her in order to get her out of there.
In short order, the breeder was contacted and the hunt began for a new home. It took a little while, but Gabi’s breeder found her a a great family and she now resides in a wonderful home in Kentucky.
JAKE, the JACK RUSSELL
Three or four months before Shadow died we acquired a purebred Jack Russell as a companion for him. As stated elsewhere, Shadow was very tolerant of other animals. He was very secure and never exhibited a need to dominate or control in an excessively aggressive way. He KNEW he was top dog and was not easily threatened.
As is common with terriers and human ignorance, a Jack Russell puppy was purchased from a Pet Depot for a 6-year-old boy. As it further turned out, the family was in crisis about the same time the dog arrived. Violence may have been an issue, the family fell apart, and a high strung terrier was not a good fit for a family going through divorce.
After being placed with a teacher, who worked with ADHD children, found that she hadn’t the energy or patience for an ADHD pup after a long day, I was contacted. Despite being a puppy mill pup, Jake was an intelligent and beautiful creature though “over-the-top” energy charged. All the same he became a part of the family.
Shadow let Jake know who was boss and after an initial scuffle or two these dogs got along well, despite the fact that they were both male.
Jake had some people issues. He was very protective of “his” family. We tend to have lots of guests, but learned the little Jack Russell was not a party animal. More than 8 or 9 people and he would get stressed out. He’s look around as if to say “How am I to maintain order and protect you from ALL these intruders.” When someone would leave he’d growl and bark as folks hugged each other goodbye. It was as if he believed someone was being attacked.
We coped with Jake’s idiosyncrasies for over 4 years. After Shadow’s death, he and Sweetie adjusted to each other to some degree. They both tended to be high strung and were more likely to scuffle than Shadow, but for the most part got along. That was UNTIL the puppies came.
Jake could neither understand what puppies were nor adjust to so many animals on his turf. IT was just more than his tightly wound nervous system could cope with. Though very attached to him, I had to find Jake a new home, one where he would be the “only dog.”
ROSIE THE WIRE FOX TERRIER
In November of 2003, I received an e-mail sent out by Winnie Stout. Terrier lovers were put on alert. 32 wire fox terriers had been seized in Virginia. All were in need of homes “asap” since their numbers were putting a huge drain on the county budget.
What a trip. We encountered about an hour and a half of rain and heavy fog closely followed by an accident that brought traffic to a near stand still for another hour and a half. All the same we found a great hotel and had a wonderful meal. Next morning, I met Deputy Johnson and several other potential rescue home folks at the kennel.
Wow, what a sight and the noise level was off the charts. These dogs were shaggy, dirty, and extremely thin. Many were dog aggressive as a result of horrible living conditions. After repeated attempts to find a pair of compatible wires, I settled on one desperately frightened girl.
Rosie crawled along the ground. Barely lifted her head and shied away from all contact. She even had scars on her chest, from fights with other dogs I believe.
Over the course of a few weeks, Rosie revealed herself to be a wild, fun loving, people-person terrier. She easily walked on her back legs across my large kitchen. The living room became an obstacles course as she would leap from floor to chair, to couch, to table as she assumed a fully airborne posture. Her greatest fear, however, remained other dogs.
Rosie feared any and every dog that crossed her path. Nothing I could do altered the insecurity that drove her aggression towards others. Eventually I had to face the fact that she would never do well in our multi-dog home. This terrier girl needed a home all her own.
Oddly enough a retired couple that originally thought they wanted a calm beagle, came to take Rosie home for a trial stay. The husband stayed in the car saying this was his wife’s dog; he wasn’t getting involved. Ha! Within a week Rosie had him wrapped around her paw. For all her antics and eccentricities, Rosie was an endearing and entertaining creature. Soon she ruled the roost when Dad was home and was attending obedience classes with her new Mom.
Though never fully recovering from her fears, Rosie gained confidence being in a single dog home. She wasn’t vigilantly and continuously on guard from the presence of other animals, so when she came to obedience class she had some emotional reserve built up. Initially Rosie was muzzled during class and just watched the others; over time, however, she ceased to crawl along the floor (a behavior relapse during the first few classes) or strike out at others. In the end she actually behaved and walked on a lead. No, she will never be the animal she might have been had she not been both neglected and abused, but Rosie has come a long way. She adds spark to the life of an older couple and they in turn have given her a measure of security and love her first couple years sorely lacked.
THE OREGON IMPORTS
After the untimely death of Sally Ann Healy of Salcrest Kennels Linda Sallee-Hill contacted me. The kennel was being dispersed. A lot of dogs were in need of homes. “Was I interested?”, she asked.
The long and short of it is, I shipped 4 dogs east. They included : CH Foxmoor I See Red, CH Salcrest Gypsy Rose, Salcrest Rambling Rose, and Foxwell Amberwood Odyssey, a Foxwell Well to Do son.
CH SALCREST GYPSY ROSE
The net result of this adventure is that Buddy, CH Foxmoor I See Red, was re-homed with a close friend, Bonnie Geisenhoff. She adored the boy and he needed to be the top dog on his own turf. This gave him a home with children that he adores, his own room, and lots of attention. Unfortunately this dog died of renal failure, a pre-existing condition we discovered in November of 2004.
Next, I realized that I had overextended myself with regard to any ability to get Dillon, Foxwell Amberwood Odyssey, shown in the ring and notified Linda. She understood and at the same time expressed a desire to have Salcrest Rambling Rose, Dillon’s daughter. It made sense. The girl was a legacy of many years of friendship and collaboration between Sally Ann and Linda. Both went to Connecticut.