Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bartlett Update

See that little white badge on the back of her neck? I guess it gets her into all sorts of cool clubs. It's very special.
We didn't even know it was there when we adopted her; the Humane Society's temporary collar covered it up. So when the collar came off, we thought it was just one more degree of how cool this dog is.
What we never expected was that there would be any negatives to bringing this puppy home. She's pretty, smart, small, friendly. What's not to like?
Well, she's half Jack Russell. We knew that, but we had no idea exactly what "energetic" meant in describing this breed.
It means running around in a frenzy for so long that she plops into a coma on the grass (don't worry; we are correcting this). It means "I am UP and ready to play" first thing in the morning, when I'd just rather drink my tea and read the paper.
She happens to have grown to, oh, about Jack Russell size. But she is only six months old. So we will have a bigger dog than we expected.
Sometimes I get so frustrated in our training sessions that I lose it (and the dog wins). But Cranky gave me a soothing talk the other day. Do I want to return the dog to the pound? Am I willing to be the assertive human in the training? The next day I was a cool customer, and Bartlett was a most wonderful student.
Today was the best. Really good weather, so she got a lot of outdoors. We did "wait" and "sit" and "stay." We did leash walks. We did "leave it," and she leaves it! The hardest has been "come," but Cranky and I think we're darn close to nailing it.
Right now she is completely conked out in a wicker dog basket I inherited from my parents, from when we had my childhood doggie, Pepper. The basket is 50 years old, and has cradled five lucky animals. I believe there is still some of their dog hair, all of them, stuck in the wicker.


dancingmorganmouse said...

I'm so glad Bartlett is doing well and well done you for keeping your cool in training. I'm sure my temper would fray.
Lucky for them, cats don't need much in the way of training, else there would be grumpy girls all over the place.

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: This is the first dog (besides Pepper) I've ever had who might want to run away. Not to leave us, but because there's that world out there! Leash, leash, leash.
Cats. Box = trained. Sigh. Envy.

Kailyn said...

I once dogsat a Jack Russell. Very cute but too much energy for me. Best of luck with Bartlett.

J-in-Wales said...

JRs are such independent little souls. I always get the feeling that they are just humouring their owners when they do as they are told while, at the same time, plotting world domination.
I'm not sure that any amount of training could ever overcome the lure of a freshly-occupied rabbit hole. But at least you are unlikely to ever have rats in your compost heap. Or at least not for long!

The Spiteful Chef said...

She'll calm down a bit around 18 months, but I feel it's important to tell you that you're about to hit puppy adolescence (around 7 months until around 18 months) where they challenge authority and get a touch of the naughties. Older dogs are definitely easier, but if you stick with it and understand she's just going through a phase, you'll end up with a great grown up dog on the other side. Good luck!

SallyBR said...

Until I had my Lucifer... ooops, sorry, his name is Chief - I used to give speeches on how wrong it would be to use shock collars to prevent a dog from digging under a fence and running away. "If you cannot train a dog, you have no business having one"

You can imagine the end of the tale...

Greg said...

Jack's have soooo much energy! Smart and stubborn. My wife in dog form! ;)

Hungry Dog said...

That's one groovy looking dog. Did you name her after the pear?

Oh, the puppy days. My dog just turned 14 so it's been awhile but I still remember feeling exhausted for a few years and thinking, "What have I done?" But it's so worth it.

cookiecrumb said...

Kailyn: Good thing I don't have a job, because she's 24/7. I sometimes wonder how she manages to sleep through the night.

J-in-Wales: We are loving her personality, but the occasional defiance is maddening. But, hey! No rats in the compost? I hadn't thought about it. She has major jaws and serious teeth.

Spiteful: Thanks for that. I need to go into her adolescence prepared to have a hoodlum in my house for a year. I'm glad you warned me, because I thought the rambunctiousness was just untrained puppy. Sigh. Teen Jack Russell. :)

Sally: I actually found myself looking at the bottom of the fence all around the yard yesterday! She's showed no signs of escaping, and the fence is pretty secure.

Greg: Ha ha! You just gave me an idea. I think I'M smart and stubborn, so I'll win.

Hungry Dog: Yes! We named her after the pear tree in our yard.
Exhausted for a few years? Would you believe she's sleeping in my lap right now?

namastenancy said...

I've never had a puppy. When I was a kid and lived at home, we always had older, rescue dogs. I don't remember any of them being as lively as Bartlett but then, I was younger then as well. The saga of Bartlett as young whippersnapper is fascinating. Once she's old enough to give you some rest, you should put these into a book. Along with more photos, I'll bet you have a best seller on your hands.

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: I've only raised dogs from puppies, every time. One of my dogs was a nightmare to housebreak (months!) but he was never as, ahem, vivacious as Bartlett.
I'm afraid the only story arc that comes to mind is "Disobedient Dog in the Backyard; Eats; Sleeps."

GFDINER - Kathy said...

I HONOR you and your family for adopting Bartlett. I foster small dogs for a rescue group in northern colorado. There is a reason (good, bad, or ugly) she is in your life. I have a 10 yr old female jack russell/italian greyhound up for adoption. She is mellow. See you just have to wait another 9 yrs. Just kidding. Jack's will test you, and test, and test you. But the love you get back from them is really worth it. Good luck. If you need another dog let me know. Love the blog

cookiecrumb said...

GFDiner: No, I honor you! What good deeds you do. All I did was get a clean, healthy baby. Thanks for the words of encouragement. We see daily progress. (BTW, we're thinking her dad might have been a Manchester Terrier; she looks more like that than a Jack at this point. Pretty.)

Kitikata-san said...

That seems like a very nice mark on Bartlett's neck. It seems it is a good place to start petting Bartlett's neck.

cookiecrumb said...

Kitikata: You can't read the fine print in the photo, but it says "press here."
Isn't it cute?