For new and prospective Terrier Owners.

Dear people who want a terrier. I see a lot of lost terriers on facebook. I know many of them get out of yards and go a hunting on their own. But bad things can happen to the babies in the big bad world. Here are a few suggestions from me and maybe some other terrier moms can pitch in their words too.

1. Lock the gate. If someone comes in, chances are the Jacks will get out. They are fast little stinkers. No one can successfully grab a terrorist on the fly.
2. Be sure your fence has good footing. A new fence with soft dirt is nothing to a digging dog. Pour concrete, lay big rocks or attach something as simple as chicken wire at the base of your fence an cover it with grass or gravel.
3. Don’t leave your dog outside alone for long periods of time. People will steal them, hawks and owls can take them and coyotes will kill them. Just don’t. ESPECIALLY in a storm. They will panic and if that fence goes so will the dog.
4. The underground electric fences are a joke. These little guys laugh at electricity. They see a cat or a squirrel and they go right through the zap. Also, other animals can come and go as they please. That chain link is a whole lot better.
5. If you have a wooden fence, be sure to check it regularly. If they can force their heads through an opening one day, the next day they will be gone. Be sure to check your fences after a bad storm. Lots of pets get run over when they get out.
6. Don’t leave them alone in a yard with an underground pool. As smart as they are, they may not swim or know how to climb out of the pool.
7. Keep them on a leash. Forests, parks, wilderness areas, lakes and oceans are also dangerous. Things live in them that can bite, poison or eat a little dog. Alligators, boa constrictors, (yeah, you read that right), sharks, bears, lions and the ubiquitous coyotes. Your little warrior will see prey and head for the wild open spaces. There, he will be the prey.
8. Be sure their leash, harness or haltee fits properly before you leave the yard or house. A terrier who can get loose WILL get loose.
I never put ID tags on a leash thing. I like a separate plain collar to carry their ID with my phone number and address. I use a martingale collar for the leash so the tag stays With the dog if he slips away. This is important. If you do lose a dog, a nice neighbor can call you if they find your dog or even a police officer may do it. If all you have is a city or vet office tags no one can help as the offices are all closed after 5 PM or weekends.
9. Carry a stick, a cane, golf club, etc in case you are attacked by loose or wild animals.
10. Microchip your pets. They work to help return or Identify your pets. Even if the worst happens it’s better to know.
11. Get your dog a job! Obedience, agility, flyball, hiking or just walking together. A Tired Terrier is a happy dog. And you’ll be in better shape too.

If someone has other suggestions, please feel free to add on. This is important enough for a village.

A friend wrote in and advised she has her Driver’s License Number tattooed on her dogs. She said it helped her to get her dogs back from a ‘neighbor’ who wanted to keep them.


Rats and Jacks in the house pt 5

Previously: I have lost my Bridget, but found little Katie.  She had been imprisoned in ‘the pound from hell’ with a little identical male, possibly a litter mate. I has now been discovered that she is pregnant.

The vet assured me that she was indeed pregnant, possible 3 or 4 weeks.  We should have a Christmas Gift.  No, she doesn’t do abortions at this late date.

My husband was out of town, so I called him and told him of the good(?) news.  As I expected, he was underwhelmed.  Telling him about the more than likely father, he seemed better.  At least they were going to be Rat Terriers, at least we could hope so.

But she was so skinny! So, I started feeding her like a French king, or Henry VIII. Every morning she got scrambled eggs with cottage cheese.  Though, that doesn’t sound good to us.  She quite thought she was in heaven and always asked politely for more.  Then I made sure she had a good quality kibble and raw meat once in a while.  She finally quit looking like a starving pup herself and began to look maternal, though she never got big. A woman I knew (nameless) overheard me talking to my friends about the food I was preparing for Katie.  She commented that she wouldn’t spend so much money on mutt puppies from a dog I got from a pound. I was taken aback.  I took a deep breath and replied that maybe so, but they were my mutt puppies and they were going to get the best start I could give them.

Well, it was the middle of Dec, a cold and rainy night.  I got off late, the kids on my school bus were in high spirits with Christmas Vacation due in two days.  My husband said to meet him at our favorite Mexican Restaurant. So during our lovely dinner, I asked if the dogs when out before he came.  He said, yes, all but Katie.  That seemed odd to me but I was in the middle of some great cheese enchiladas.

So when we got home, Abbott and Jessie met us at the door. No Katie. I found her in the middle of our king-sized bed on the comforter.  She had one baby already, and was delivering a second one.  For a ten month old pup, she was doing beautifully.  Then after about fifteen minutes, something else appeared, a dark lump.  Honestly , I couldn’t tell if it was afterbirth, a piece of poop, or another pup.  I poked at it with my finger and it squeeked.  So, it was indeed a puppy, a tiny little brown puppy, perfect in every way.

David came in and looked, seeing the two little spotted pups, asked “only two? Well, they are spotted after all.”

I had to laugh and point at little brownie. “Well, most of them.”

“Where did he come from?”

I pointed at Katie, who was dutifully cleaning her three sons.  “There’s the culprit. When in jail, a girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.”  She looked at me suspiciously. Yes, I had saved her, but she’d only known us for a month and a half.

“Why are they all brown?”

And that was a good question.  For a black and white mama, and ostensibly a black and white papa, the spotted pups were white with brown spots and browny was, well, totally brown.  But I had no answers.

We moved the little family into the small bedroom where her bed was set up.  I set up a little heater for them setting it at 80 degrees.  Little Katie looked up at me, and smiled.

 

 

 

 

 


Jacks and Rats in the house Pt 4

I’m back, trying to catch up with writing.  So here’s another chapter in the series so far.

So, what’s with the Rats?  Are they victims or characters. This is the story of my Rat Terriers.  I love Ratties.  They are the sweetest little dogs.  Same size as Jack Russells but a bit more delicate, and less carousing in their nature. My grandparents raised them so I knew more what I was getting with them.

After Bridget passed so unexpectedly, I was flummoxed.  She was my darling and to lose her so unexpectedly was soul breaking. She had been a true Warrior Princess  There was a hole in my heart and next to me in my bed.  For me to heal, it had to be filled.

Now, I’m not a person who sits and moans for months.  As a rescuer I knew there was little darling who needed saved…maybe today.  So a week after losing Bridget, I was deep in Pet Finder.  As I scrolled through the pictures, one in particular stopped me.  She was a black and white terrier mix, her photo was a profile and strongly resembled Bridget.  As I examined the picture, the video activated, and she turned to look at me. She was crying out to me for help. I showed her to my husband but the vid wouldn’t work again.  He gently pointed out ‘it wasn’t a video, just a picture’.

I called the number listed for the pound and through the machinations of Russell Rescue of Texas and a credit card, I was able to secure her freedom.  I purchased her on line, a wonderful lady went and picked her up from the pound, another drove her from Garland TX to New Braunfels TX where I met them.  We got her on Friday.  Saturday, she had been scheduled for euthanasia.  The RR ladies had also secured 3 other terrier mixes at the pound saving them as well.

The little black and white girl crawled into my arms and tucked up under my hair.  She was very thin, about 7 pounds for her 9 inches of height. Her age was judged to be about 7 months old. I named her Katie, after the character in my book.

But this was no happy puppy.  This was a very needy, sad, broken little dog.  Abbott and Jessie accepted her with no qualms, and she was house broken so we just let her follow us around and crawl in out laps whenever she wanted.

When looking at her paperwork, it showed she and another dog were picked up off the streets of Garland on the 16 of Oct, We took her on the 3 of Nov. Due to her poor condition, I wanted to wait a month for the spay so she would be stronger.  So she was scheduled for a well dog visit on 1 Dec, and to get her appointment for neutering.

To make a long story shorter, my vet informed me my baby dog of 9 months was pregnant.  Merry Christmas.  No spay for her.  Mother hood loomed large, even though she was still very thin.  (I thought her belly bump was worms.) and she a mere pup herself.

So on 17 Dec, we returned home from dinner to find her in the middle of our king-sized bed having her babies.  3 males, 2 brown spotted, one solid brown.  Poor Katie looked  embarrassed and afraid.  But we welcomed everyone, put them in the nest she was supposed to have had them in, and closed the door.

My husband looked at me and said. ‘No, we can’t keep them all.’

I, of course, agreed.

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 


Jack and Rats in the House Pt 3

This will be a happier one, I promise.

I was at home when I got the call.    Robyn from Russell Rescue was on the phone and was asking for a doggy favor.

While I do mostly transport of dogs from one place to another, this was a little bit special.  I had the two dogs, Abbott and Bridget, at this point.  We had discussed adding another dog, but these two were perfectly balanced for each other.  Having Jacks can be a challenging thing if they don’t get along and these two did beautifully.  The only fights were when they were defending each other against other critters.  But every once in a while, we’d keep a dog for a weekend or several days. This was one of those special times.

There had been a little mama dog picked up by San Antonio ACO.  RR had waited the period of time hoping she’d be adopted but no one had stepped forward and she was in her last hours.  So, one of ‘our’ rescued dogs was being adopted and it was decided to go and get her.  I live close so I was asked to go and pick her up.

Jessie,as she was dubbed, was about 6 years old. This is not old for JRT as they normally live 15 years or more.  But this little girl was in sad shape.  The theory was she had been used as a breeder dog, one whose lot in life is to produce puppies year after year.  I was told she’d been picked up off the street in the south side of San Antonio.  There were no puppies, but she was lactating.  SA ACO will only adopt a dog after its been neutered, so I knew she would still have stitches.

I got there to pick her up at 6 PM.  The lady was nice enough but obviously very busy.  I had a crate with a pillow in the back of the car all ready for her.  Then they carry her out and she’s still unconscious, stitches in her tummy and milk running out of her nipples.

Since no one had seen her, I was supposed to report on her size, her build and if she had a long tail. As an aside, a true good Jack Russell should be between 10 to 15 inches tall, have tipped ears and a docked tail of about 4 inches long. As I took her and put her in the crate, I realized that she did not fit this description.

If you remember my Abbott dog, Jessie looked like a pup of his.  They are both only 8 inch shorty jacks aka puddin Jacks, with Queen Anne legs (bowed like the furniture) with long tails, and in her case, one prick ear and one tipped.  So, I had to tell Robyn that she was not the beauty we were hoping for.  She also didn’t eat or drink for a day or two.  I was very concerned that the vet had over sedated her as sometimes happened with small dogs but in true terrier fashion she came out of it in a few days.

I had put her in a vacant bedroom and pulled the door closed when I went to work the next day.  But evidently Abbott and Bridgett wanted to see the new dog and had pushed the door open.  My husband had also been curious and had been in there talking to her and trying to get her to eat and drink. So after a few days she was released and began to perk up.

Jessie went from depressed, to scared, to even a little aggressive.  But this wasn’t surprising because her hormones were, to say the least, all fouled up.  From a mama, to a throw away, to captured, to frightened, to hurt(spayed), to given over to us she barely had a chance to know what was happening to her.

We’d kept her for two weeks, longer than expected. Then I got the word to bring her to her foster home.  But hubby had fallen for the new girl in the house and we happily failed fostering 101.  She and Abbott are two peas in a pod.

Taking a dog in that has had no socialization is not always easy.  She had to be house broken, she didn’t know how to walk on a leash, she was fearful of everything.  But the pack helped a lot.  She was the sweet little sister and the two dominants just took her along with them.  She loves her Papa, she loves her sibs and she is nice to me.  That’s okay, the others are ‘my’ dogs, and hubby needed his own darling.

We’ve had her for 4 years now.  She’s a bit fat, a little lazy, actually had to learn to run after being a breeding female most of her life and accompanies hubby on his walks.  She’s perfect for her position in our little pack.  And she is the HAPPIEST dog I’ve ever known. It’s fun just to watch her hop around the backyard.  She just wiggles around and asks for her rubs and scratches.  After an hour or so, she’ll go and find her box or corner of the bed and go back to sleep.

Adopting is a wonderful thing. Jacks are so smart and loving if you accept them for what they are.  They are active, bouncy and a handful.  They also need a job and to be shown what it is.  Don’t put them in the house, or the yard and ignore them.  Make them part of your family.  All they want is to love you. Let them.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rats and Jacks in the house.

I write a great deal about dogs.  They usually hanging around in both my fan fiction and in my novels.  I have even been known to write poems and articles about dogs.  They color my view of the world and society. So when you find one in my writing, don’t be surprised.

I determined that for you to understand where my characters come from, you should know a little about me and my dogs.  You can skip this and catch up later, but if you hear barking in the background, look for a wagging tail to show up.

A few days ago, I wrote about my Pits.  They were precious dogs, rare and irreplaceable, but I know wherein my heart lives.

The picture here is myself in childhood with our Rat Terriers.  The two in my arms are Sissy (prick eared) and Spotty (tip-eared). The one next to us is Tiger, these are all offspring from Mitsey, the one in the back from different litters.  These were dogs of my childhood, my companions in exploration and my guardians in my follys.  Tiger was mortally injured by a car, Spot died of a heart attack, but Mitsey lived for about 18 years and Sissy well into her 20s.

When my husband took work as a fishing guide on Falcon Lake after his retirement from the USAF, I determined I needed a dog. We had previously decided that we wanted a long-lived breed, either a terrier or a dachshund. Well he was not there and I was so when I found a Jack Russell Terrier at a flea market I immediately brought her home.  Her great and enthusiastic speed earned her the name Racer or Race.  She was my darling and protector while hubby was gone.  When I suffered a broken ankle she protected me from Pizza delivery men, postmen, my mother and mice.

Race also took on an orphan Pit Bull puppy to raise as her own.  She loved that baby beyond all expectation.  As a humorous none, one of the neighbors complained that my ‘vicious’ Pit Bull would kill my cute little white dog.  Later, she apologized when she evidently saw Race ‘savagely attacking’ my other dog.  Of course, no blood was ever spilt so when i explained their relationship the lady was more comfortable when she heard the play. In fact, the only blood let on the ground was that of possums, snakes, squirrels, some feral cats and unfortunately a 5 foot king snake.

When Bonny died unexpectedly, Race had a nervous breakdown and a possible stroke.  We tried to get another terrier puppy but I swear I couldn’t find one.  Finally, I heard of a wonderful organization called Russell Rescue.  http://www.russellrescue.com/   Two very nice ladies, sisters Sandra and Robyn, are the heart and soul of this organization.  I was advised to get a male and an adult who wouldn’t bother Race too much but would be company to her.  So we got Abbott.

Little Abbott is an interesting dog.  He was very respectful of the aging lady Race.  She was only 13 but she had never recovered from the loss of Bonny.  Mostly blind now, she didn’t really like him, but she accepted him and he was more or less her seeing eye dog.  But they were very different. She’d been raised by us from a puppy. Abbott was 2 or 3 years old already and had suffered abuse at the hands of a man. It took he and my husband a while to declare a truce, but they did, and finally became fast friends.

The best way I can describe the two dogs relationship came about from the final squirrel hunt.I was lucky enough to witness it from the kitchen window so I assure you it is true.  Since Race had gone blind, she didn’t hunt the squirrels any more.  Abbott didn’t really know how.  He could handle mice but not squirrels who were almost as big as him.  Well, one day a huge male squirrel came to earth and was generally ignoring my two terriers who were asleep on the porch. Abbott saw him took a run at him and somehow actually managed to grab the squirrel by the tail.  The squirrel, outraged, turned on him and bit Abbott on the foot, causing him to squeal.  Before I could get to the door, Race leaped up from her chaise lounge and ran towards the combatants.  She couldn’t see the squirrel, but I guess she could see the white form of Abbott.  By the time I got outside, Race had shown Abbott how it is done.  The huge squirrel was at least a foot and a half long with tail and was fighting so never saw her coming.  Race grabbed it and slung it in true terrier style. Then she carried it around the yard, proud of her success and basking in her glory. I took Abbott inside to give him first aide for the bitten paw.  Then I took a hot dog out to trade Race for the squirrel.

Race made it to 15 years.  A decent enough age, but far short of what we had hoped for her. I know the difficulty she had with Bonny’s loss cost her several years.  She suffered a grand mal seizure and we let her go while holding her in our arms. I brought her home and buried her in the back, with Abbott in attendance. When I put the stone down on her grave, he lifted his leg on it.  No one would bother her sleep, by his signature and pledge.

end of part 1.  to be continued.

 

 

 


pitbulls and other dogs.

I love dogs.  I basically love all kinds of dogs, though I admit I do have my favorites that I gravitate too. My childhood was filled with dogs of all kinds.  Rat Terriers, spaniels, collies, a German Shepherd and a passel of mongrels.  One of our neighbors had a Pit Bull chained to a dog house.  He was the sweetest dog (to me a five year old child).  I would go over and visit him, hiding in the house.  One day my Grandfather showed up and just about had a heart attack.  Evidently, my pal was a champion fighting dog.  I was not allowed to go there again, and finally, the dog disappeared.  I was told he was sold.  I dearly hope so.

Many dogs later, as a married adult, my husband and I got an American Staffordshire Terrier. They are the AKC version of a Pit Bull. Tiger, so named because she was a beautiful Red Brindle.  A lovelier, sweeter animal never existed, well until our little mouse, Bonnie showed up.  But I’m ahead of myself.  We did discover the drawback to these lovely dogs, they don’t usually live very long.  Tiger left us after a hard, short bout of intestinal cancer.  It was heartbreaking.

We were without a dog for years (7? I think) when our life changed.  My husband retired from the military and took a job away from home.  So I was actually alone 4 or 5 days a week, so I needed a dog.  I decided I wanted a Rat Terrier and was called by a friend about some puppies at a flea market.  Not Ratties, but Jack Russells.  So for $25.00 my first pup in over 10 years came home with me.  This was great. She was great.  Smart, quick, loving, and a homicidal maniac.  Yes, a hunter. No squirrel, lizard, mouse or snake survived her.

Then came Bonny.  A friend showed up at our front door with a tiny little golden pup.  She was the last of the litter to survive and needed special care. Hubby was smitten, though I was concerned that Racer would think she was rodent not canine.  But the six year old maiden dog took the mite and raised her as her own pup.  Bonny out grew her ‘mom’  but never challenged or even reacted to her little mama’s temper. She just rolled over and took her play and and her fiery temper. Yes, the Jack was much tougher than the Pit.

But it took that darling daughter to break her mother’s stalwart heart.  Bonny left us at only six years due to kidney failure. Race was devastated. Bonny passed at the vets and we didn’t bring the body home, something I regret bitterly.  Race looked and looked for her daughter, she tore up doors, pulled up carpets, and cried for her. I believe she actually had a stroke she was so upset.  I finally told hubby in no uncertain terms we needed a new dog.  He agreed but, to my surprise, he wanted another terrier. No more Pit Bulls.  They didn’t live long enough and we were getting to the point where a 60 pound dog could be a handful. So we agreed on another Jack Russell and got our Lil Abbott, a shorty Jack.

One thing about Jacks, they are tough little stinkers. For the fishermen out there, they are the black bass of the dog world.  I’ll explain that in yet another blog.

But here’s my final word on Pit Bulls.

Pit Bulls are athletes. They are tough, honest, loyal, loving, faithful and wonderful dogs. If there’s a but to them, it is they are too good for mankind.  A Pit Bull will do whatever you, their boss, will want them to do.  In our case, we wanted them to be loving lap dogs and they were. Some people want them to be their sport dogs, chasing frisbees, tennis balls and become agility dogs, some want them to be Search And Rescue dogs, drug dogs, what ever.  But the dark side of this is if you want them guard your stash of drugs, fight other dogs, be attack dogs or just be mean dogs they will excel in those things also.

Pit Bulls love their owners, even the evil ones, and ultimately those dogs are betrayed by human kind, specifically their masters. They are punished for being the very best at what they are asked to be, a mean dog.

I wish I had a cute quip to end this but I don’t.  I can only pity these dogs, dogs that give their all for human kind and are ultimately betrayed.  Now, all dogs are different.  There are dogs with issues certainly, poorly bred dogs are always around and aren’t the best representatives of their breed whatever it may be.

I love Pit Bulls.  They are probably the truest of the true and in some cases, the sadest of the sad.

Later, we’ll talk about Jack Russells and Rat Terriers.  But for now, I’ve said my piece.

Oh  and yeah  there are lots of dogs in my book too.  All kinds.

And if you want a dog, check with your local shelter, your vet, and of course Rescues.

Hug your dog tonight.

 

 

 

 

 


A month of highs and lows.

I didn’t mean to disappear from the world but my life has been complicated this month.

My dear Mother passed from us to peace and pain free on the 31 of Aug.  It was expected but we had hoped for a miracle.  I guess the Great Spirit needed her to help him.  She was 83.  The funeral was the eighth with family coming in some distance to attend.  It was a good gathering.  More a celebration than an sad day.  The following week was a bit hard, wanting to pick up a phone and call her.  Seeing her gifts around us.  But I realize that she is not here but has gone through the light.  She is no doubt surrounded by our relatives and her beloved pets.

Then came some good news.  My Novel is now live on Amazon.com, Its finally here!

The Homestead by Debi Cole

DOGS, HORSES AND COWS OH MY!
The unexpected inheritance of the old family farm takes Katie Brieten, a disabled woman Marine, and her little Jack Russell Terrier to a place of healing and discovery.. Her renovation of her Grandparent’s ramshackle home and property give her a new reason for living after the loss of her fiance and crippling injuries from Iraq. Then the discovery of a fifty year old murder mystery takes her into the dark side of a small south Texas town and puts at risk what she loves dearest and all that she’s accomplished.
The book is available from Amazon.com
, Apple Bookstore, Barnes&Nobles, Google Play and Kobo in ebook (Kindle and Nook) form for $2.99
It is also coming out in paperback through CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com for $14.99.

That same day, I went to the doctor and discovered that I have two broken toes.  This results in my wearing a ‘boot’ on the affected foot or 3 wks.  Somehow it just ruined my rush.

Luckily, most of the work I need to do on the book deals is from the house and I really have no hard need to be running around.  So, I’ll try to take the good with the sad and the depressing.  It will all work out, just not the way I was expecting.

See you soon.  May you have just enough rain for the flower to grow, and just enough sun to enjoy them.