more pearls than whine

Sunday, February 27, 2005

I LOVE my Jack Russell

Living in the Moment: Kizzie
We've had our five-year old Jack Russell for four years now. We inherited her when my daughter moved to Boston. At first we were reluctant caretakers, but it didn't take long before she wrapped everyone around her paws. She's not 100% Jack Russell (the rest terrier), but close. (Her ears usually stay up, which is not typical JR. She has the shorter legs and a smooth coat and brown and black markings. She's smart and loving and totally wonderul. We're all besotted.

I never "got" having a dog as a family member. I used to think they were groveling things ... 'stop begging me ... it's shameful.' I didn't get that it was a simple outpouring of love. I never got it until Kizzie.

Her presence has put more love into our home than I would have thought possible ... a natural therapy dog. Her official name is Kismet (my daughter named her), but we call her Kizzie, Kiz, Kizzie-May, May Girl, Baby Girl, and so on. My husband, who is very practical and not given to flights of fancy, said to me one day as an aside, " Do you know why she's called Kis-May? ... Because she's French." I totally did a double take.

Changing the Past: Gypsy and Andy
Gypsy was a beagle who was kept outside and I never developed a dog-person relationship with her. I was probably 11 when we had her. I cared about her, but from afar. One day she nipped my little sister, who was probably about aggravating her. Well, my mother had her "put to sleep," because she couldn't take a chance on the biting anyone else. I cried and cried. If I went back, knowing what I know, I think would have given the dog a lot more attention and really gotten to know her. I think she was a really nice dog.

Andy was a silver miniature French poodle, my mother's dog. He lived with the family for about 17 years. When he came to live with us, I must have been in my early teens. He used to jump up and jump up and get way too excited to see you ... well, I thought that at the time. I remember walking him on a cold winter night and looking up at the stars, but I don't remember giving him credit for who he was. He was my mother's dog, after all. If I went back knowing what I know, I would have bonded with Andy, given him plenty of love and attention, and appreciated him for who he was. He was a great dog. Very smart and full of love.


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