Rats and Jacks in the house, Pt 2

part 2 is about love and loss.

After Race died at the ripe of age of 15, we determined that we should get another dog sooner than later.  Abbott was definitely missing a companion and he sadly moped around the house.

I started checking all my local sources for a female pup to keep him company and brighten up the house. Russell Rescue didn’t have any little girls so I turned to Petfinder.com.  After a week or two a picture popped up on my computer.

Bridget was in Fredericksburg, TX. several hours away.  But it was Thanksgiving friday, a quiet drive for Abbott and I (my hubby had gone to visit his family).  When we got to the very nice Humane society I brought Abbott in and we were introduced to Bridget, a beautiful Jack Russell female.  We all went to the meet and greet room.  She totally ignored us, running around the room looking for a non-existent exit.  Meanwhile Abbot was having an unexpected meltdown.  He was either afraid of being left or worried about the other dog being taken away.  So I took him back to the car and left him in his crate.

When I went back in they had taken the little girl back to her kennel, thinking that I didn’t want such an unsocialized dog.  It seems that Bridget had been caught in a humane trap in a chicken coop two months earlier. The nice farmer had brought her to them instead of killing a chicken thief.  She’d been adopted to a single lady with a little daughter and they left Bridget loose in the apartment. When they returned, she had murdered all the Barbie dolls by ripping their heads off. Poor Bridget had been spanked and brought back.  No wonder she was so petrified. I knew if I didn’t take her, she’d never be adopted. I did take her, leaving a check that they said they would hold in case I changed my mind. I never did.

I can go on and on about Bridget and tell hundreds of stories about her. Way too many for this blog.  I’m sure I can come back and tell them properly in the future.  The moral of her story is  She was the best terrier I’ve ever owned.  A true Jack Russell.  Life was something to be lived in the fullest.  Never a bad day, always an adventure.  She loved walking out on leash, fighting other dogs (not her pack, others), killing critters in her yard, chasing squirrels and running running running running.

Her way too short life came to an end at age 8 was at a Terrier Trial.  She was running the flat race when she simply dropped dead.  She ran right out of her little body.   The vet on scene told me it could have been a heart attack or even a brain aneurism.  I could have found her in the yard or on my pillow.  I even talked to her and called her for several hours in my little hole of sorrow. But she’d gone on to other adventures chasing celestial possums and heavenly squirrels.

The nice people at the trial made me eat a little and then I drove her home to put her next to Race. Abbott helped of course, as he did with Race, watching my back and kissing my tears away.  We did have another female (a foster failure from San Antonio Pound) but this girl, Jessie, smelled death and hid in her box for days.  But, my little man did his duty, supporting me and mourning his partner as long as we did and I think we still do.

Life and death are part of owning (or being owned by pets. I’ve heard several homilies about why dogs don’t live longer. I believe they are with us to teach us things.  Like the joy of chasing squirrels, the patience to train a puppy who had no skills, kindness for another dog who was scared and hurt.  They are all good things but the next dog, and there should always be a next dog, will continue to teach you something else of value.

Yes, it hurts.  But would I give up 7 years of joy to prevent a time of tears.  No, I wouldn’t. There is too much value in those happy, laughing times. Times when a feral dog curled up in my lap, and licked me awake in the morning.  I know there is some other little one out there who needs a safe place.  Neither Race or Bridget would begrudge their kin or me another love.





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