Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted February 27, 2014
I'd always wanted a dog, but my parents never got one for me as a kid. (I know, sad, right?) When I became an adult, bought my own house, and landed my first job, I decided to pay a visit to the local pet shelter. I only went to look, but of course, I left with a puppy. We became fast friends! As soon as we arrived home, he began to follow me everywhere. At first, he was afraid to go up the stairs -- he was so small -- but after just one day, he braved them because he couldn't stand it if I was not in the same room with him. So cute.
While we became close quickly, I will say that it was quite an adjustment for me. First of all, my dog -- a Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix -- had the coloring and the ears of a Chihuahua, but the body and smarts of a Jack Russell. He could escape any barrier -- one time I thought I had him confined to the family room, but he just ran underneath the sofa to escape -- and had more energy than I could have ever imagined. I naively thought that since he was so quiet at the pound that that was his true temperament. No sir. That little dude loved to play all day long, and at first, I just really wanted a lap dog. But, we worked it out and got used to each other and I started taking him on long walks and to his favorite place -- the dog park -- to help him expend all that energy.
Since he was so smart, he was also very easy to train, and I had never trained a dog before this time. His potty training was crate training and he was housebroken within three weeks of owning him. That was great!
As he got older though, and had a traumatic experience of being penned down unexpectedly by one of my friend's much larger dogs, he developed a fear of dogs. He would act like he wanted to play, and then get on the defense when a dog got near him, so I had to re-enroll him in training with a behavioral focus this time. He got better, but didn't completely overcome his fears. For some reason, he also didn't like men -- except for my brother. Anytime I'd have a date, he would go ballistic and bark non-stop. I had to put him outside or in his crate whenever a male would come by.
He was a wonderful watch/guard dog, though. He was only 25 pounds, but he sounded like he was 55. And anytime the doorbell would ring, watch out, he ran to it, threw his body against it, and barked loudly.
After 5 or 6 years of ownership, I sadly had to give him away. I'd gotten a new job and had to move and had no one to care for him while I worked 12 hours a day, a good 90-minute commute each way from home. I was devastated. He was a great dog. Jack-Chis, as they are called, are wonderful pets as long as you train them early and are ready for all the energy they bring. They love fiercely and fiercely protect what they love.