My parents, who I am not sure are aware what they are getting themselves into, have passed the grieving phase since the loss of Russell, and have now made the rational decision to get a Jack Russell puppy while they are in their late 60’s.
Scratch that. The nutters are getting two of them, they are completely out of their damned minds, and every child has told them so. Here are the potential culprits:
They are getting two of the above litter. Christmas will be… interesting.
The only one I know we are getting for sure is hidden in the back in the top photo, but down on the far left with a completely black face in the second photo.
Apparently I was wrong. The puppy we are getting for sure is front and center with the black face and a white stripe running down his nose. He also has the fullest coat, which means he will be a long hair for sure (YAY!).
oh noes … how to choose. i say they take all four; and make the holidays really memorable.
Wow, in their "late 60’s", boy are they old. Way too old to have puppies that could upset their walkers. Hope you didn’t expect presents from your old parents. They will probably forget Christmas anyway.
Well, for one, your presents will become their presents, with lots of extra teeth marks and urine on them.
Juan del Llano
Good Lord, are they invalids?
Wait until your 60s. It doesn’t feel a damn bit different from any earlier age, except you look like hell.
Wow. Not just any dogs, but Jack Russells. Terriers. Those are demanding dogs. Hope they are up to snuff on dog training or they will be in for a world of hurt. My mom impulse adopted a Jack Russell this summer and let me tell you that dog is NUTS. Let’s just say that people who have no trouble owning and training a black lab don’t necessarily have what it takes to own and train Jack Russell.
It is not that my parents are too old for anything, they are both really active and in good shape.
It is that they are JACK RUSSELL TERRIER puppies. One, alone, could wear a person out. Two? Terrifying.
They’re beautiful! I wouldn’t want one, much less two. My two adult German Shepherds & one cat are more than enough. Rule for Christmas: Shoes on & nothing on the floor.
They will keep your parents young! I call my Jack my "work out program" because there is no scrimping on their exercise. Getting two is actually a good thing because they will have each other to entertain…three would be crazy though ;)
In addition to the black faced one on the left I vote for the one on the right in the bottom picture, the brown head with the white stipe. That one looks like my first Jack…her name was Muggsy and she was a fabulous friend, sneaky, but fabulous!
betcha didn’t see this one coming.
I some strange way, two is better than one. Having done it both ways (with Labs) it does give them a release to burn off all of that puppy energy on each other rather than the house, clothes, furniture, people… although training is a bit more difficult as they want to pay attention to each other rather than you.
I could guess what your Christmas present will be. Looks like some puppies to spare.
All I can recommend for them is the sign my parents’ neighbors used to have on their door: "Chien mechant et perspicace." (Apologies if I misspelled — French is not my language.) The people with this sign had a dachshund that failed obedience school, more than once I believe, but was smart enough to break into almost anything in the pantry.
As a practicing veterinarian, let me offer one word of advice:
Take the calmest puppies.
And good luck to them!
(Have you ever seen Lilo and Stitch? I was always convinced that a JRT was the model for Stitch!)
That’s just crack cuteness. Far more powerful and addictive than the powder version. No known antidote. Good luck.
At least they’re small. My spouse and kid are suckers for Great Pyrenees. 125 lbs. of rambunctious teenage dog is a whole other thing.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
At our house, we now have "James’ dog". James is our son, a junior in college, a spectacularly great kid whose one big mistake was to decide, back in August, that as a college student living in a tiny apartment, what he really needed was a dog.
It lasted 2 weeks.
Dr. Dre is a medium sized dog, and jet black. We suspect Lab and …..? I’m now thinking terrier. I’m 6’5" and Dre can spring straight up and look me in the eye. Also: the sumbitch is just relentless. He destroys everything in sight. He’s so happy to see you that he flings himself at you, resulting in muddy footprints on your clothes. And so far, no punishment, no reward, no attempt at training has had even the slightest effect.
Awww, they look so cute!
I’m sure your parents know what they’re doing. It sounds as if JRT’s are quite hyper. So, getting two of them would be less of a drain on them because the puppies could entertain each other.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
My wife and I are big dog people. Our dog is a Lab/Pyrenees or Lab/Newfy mix.
We have friends with a Neapolitan Mastiff. It’s a magnificent beast, probably close to 200 lbs, gentle as a lamb. I want one.
All that matters is the part I have bolded. The rest can be worked around.
Yes, the advantage of two is that they can keep each other occupied to a certain extent. I think the one with the black and white face would make a nice matched set. I wonder if they are boys or are girls? A boy and a girl are perfect together, tempermentally, as long as they get fixed before hanky-panky ensues.
I’m in my late sixties, thank you very much. It seems to me that some meddlesome adult children are a bigger problem than the dogs.
@Dinah: I actually think them getting puppies is a great idea, I just like teasing them.
@Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon): My friend when I was a teen had a bull mastiff named Sadie, and she was the sweetest dog I have EVER known. The only problem was she liked to sleep with you, and would get in between me and the wall, stretch, and knock me off the bed. After that happened several times, you would just grab the blanket and sleep on the floor.
I am betting you can guess what happens next? Sadie would get down off the bed, lie next to you, and slowly push you until you were wedged partially underneath the bed. At which point, you would get up, get back in bed, and the process would start over.
Still. Sweetest dog on the planet. I loved her.
Pyrenees owner here, too. You couldn’t find a more different personality than that of a JRT and a pyr, once the pyr’s brain engages, that is (at about 2 yrs).
Ohhh, me wants one.
I’m suffering dog withdrawal. I walk/baby sit the boxer next door because her people are gone all day and she’s in the crate. But they’ve asked me to stop taking her out because now, even when they’re home, she whines at the door to go over to my house. We had so much fun playing — I miss her big goofy hideous (but cute) face. :(
My border collie used to be so excited to see me that he’d pee a little bit.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
True. I’m just used to the temperament of our Lab/Newfy mix; she is truly the World’s Greatest Dog, following the Obama campaign’s philosophy of "No Drama". She’s quite regal, and seems a bit embarrassed by the puppy.
It was amazing at a recent party to see our friends’ mastiff gently inspecting an 8 month old infant, and no one was the least bit concerned.
Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse
I adore that movie, not just for Stitch (who reminds me of my Burmese more than anything else), but for the atypical Disney characters and style, with so many characters having these awesome, thick legs, less than pert noses, etc., but still looking utterly graceful and gorgeous.
(Oh, God. I just did an image search to show you all and did NOT want to see a naked Lilo at some erotica site. People are evil. Here, this is innocuous, although not a great example. Lots of focus on the art in the DVD.)
The Other Steve
Nice thing about a small dog, like our dachshund or a terrier. Is they can actually burn a lot of energy inside the house. Which is good in winter, because they don’t do well walking outside when it’s below freezing. Little legs start to freeze up and you end up carrying them. Muttluks help, but they’re harder to fit on a small dog.
So for an older couple who may not have the time to really take a dog out and excercise them, a small dog is pretty good.
And two JRT’s should keep each other busy running around the house. As long as they don’t start knocking lamps and such off the tables. :-)
The Other Steve
Bastards, they should take their dog outside for a walk. See now a boxer is too big of a dog to get enough excercise inside the house.
Just got a St. Bernard puppy (12 weeks old) and she is wonderful – well socialized, gentile, and very, very, very, active. Got her from a local breeder – I would never go to a pet shop!
Nights can be hell (we are using the ‘crate method’ which is really a small room in the house and when she needs to go @11:00PM, and 2:00 AM and 3:30 AM it is fun getting up and going out into the cold); however, the idea of being potty trained during the day is still abstract calculus to the little critter.
At least she fully understands boundaries and does seem to catch on to the idea of ‘no’. With her oversized paws, and ultra-cute looks, she is a killer when she gives the "Who me?" look after she get’s someone’s available shoe and is caught puppy-handed.
(Aside: I live in the rural country-side so space is not an issue for such a soon to be massive dog.)
My parents–one in her late 60s, the other in his early 70s–lost their old Old English Sheepdog last year and decided they wanted another, so they’ve now got a three-month old Old English Sheepdog. This is like raising kids again… without the diapers and car wrecks and college tuition. I say, "Why not?" Pup keeps them very much on their toes and they’ve made gobs of friends, usually much younger people, at the local dog park and at the sheep farm that caters to shepherding dogs (and, yes, that’s an interesting place).
The big problem is the grandkids are pretty jealous of the dog.
OMG Cute overload! On the other hand, it makes stocking stuffers (if your family is the stuffed-stocking type- mine never was until there were grandchildren) easy. LOTS and LOTS of chew/squeaky toys. Not that they are going to be used (I understand that shoes and edges of carpets are much more interesting) but since we live in an era of HOPE ™ you have an obligation to at least try.
We’ll convert you to a dog person yet, Cole.
Quaker in a Basement
My next door neighbors once had two JRTs. They’d let the little bastards out into their backyard in the morning and go back to bed. The dogs would sit at the gate–about 30 feet from my bedroom window–and yap for the next two hours. I couldn’t manage to sleep past daybreak for just about all of the first summer.
Luckily, they gave one away and then moved away themselves.
Your parents are replacing you! This is dangerous because it is impossible for a grown man to win an adorable competition with a puppy. Nothing trumps puppy. You are doomed.
Unless…you befriend the interlopers.
Me and the ladyfriend are learning the hard way how hard it is to train the "newbie" when there’s another around. The newbie makes mistakes, so we correct her, but the First One cant figure out why she’s being corrected (she’s not). Plus, we’ve learned that the newbie doesnt really respond to "come!", she just watches what the other one does when you say the word and follows her wherever.
However, the upside is that, as greyhounds, they chase the living shit out of each other at near 40mph in the backyard and quickly tire each other out. Naptime!
Mazel tov. It will keep them young. . .
South of I-10
@Shygetz: My border collie used to do that when she was a puppy. She is getting up there now, but she loves to lay in wait for the little one to get out of bed in the morning, then assault her with kisses. Very entertaining.
My parents got a black lab puppy when they were both 67 – 90 lbs of love. She has inadvertently laid out little South of I-10 more than once.
I love the jack russell sitting in the front with the mask. So cute!
Get the one in the front that, between the two pictures, barely moved one paw, even though a bunch of crazy puppies were running around him/her. That dog looks mellow*
I agree that two dogs is not much more work than one, and they can wear each other out. Something like the small town that was too small to support 1 lawyer, but was perfect for 2 lawyers.
In my experience, each even number dog doesn’t seem like alot more dog, but the odd number dogs do seem like alot more dog. I’m currently at 4, and sometimes watch 1 additional. That’s a bit much.
*ala Dr. Frist on Schiavo
@The Other Steve:
It’s sad. They are really nice people and they really love the dog, but they have no clue. When I first started walking her, she was a complete dimwit, acting all strange — finally realized she had NEVER been for a walk, so didn’t know about sniffing all the good smells, etc. Now she sniffs and widdles with the best of them. Ditto playing. I got her some toys and started throwing stuff — she just ran around and barked cuz it seemed exciting but she didn’t know what to do. Now she knows how much fun it is to get the toy and try to keep it away from me.
I’ll give it a week or so, then promise to crate her after her walk, so the poor thing at least gets out once or twice a day. Hope they’ll agree.
How to decide? Such cute little demons!
We just adopted a 3 year old german shepherd/border collie mix. She is so adorable, so smart, and so very bad!
She is fascinated with our cat. He has become her own personal moving chew toy. Kitty’s hair is always a mess.
Worst advice ever. :)
When we got our dog, she was the one sitting sleepily in the corner while the rest of the litter was rolling around in a big furry ball of pure energy. "Oh, she’s so calm!" we said.
That lasted until about two minutes after we got her home, and suddenly the devious little shit had energy to burn. And burn. And burn. For the next 7 or 8 years.
She’s slowed down some now, but she still has her moments.
Yeah, that’s puppy crack. Poster pups for "The Quintessential Puppy". I can’t wait for geneticists to engineer a way to make puppies stay puppies.
Monica Lewinsky considered for a job in the Obama administration??!?
I had to check and make sure I wasn’t reading The Onion. I don’t believe this is a true story.
@Svensker: This breaks my heart. I’m a tried and true cat person (3 cats currently) and for whatever reason, we decided to adopt a dog a few months ago.
Wow, what a difference!
I live in Minnesota, and have been able to keep up with our twice-daily walks despite the temps. I can’t even imagine what his behavior would devolve into if he didn’t get those walks. Wonder who will be first to veto a walk in the -20’s that will be coming in January, me or the dog?
John Cole said: It is that they are JACK RUSSELL TERRIER puppies. One, alone, could wear a person out. Two? Terrifying.
Just a thought. When getting two puppies at the same time (especially littermates) there can be a tendency for the pups to bond more with each other than with their new people. I worked at a kennel for 7 years and the breeder rarely allowed anyone to get two at a time for this reason. It can work out ok, but the pups will be more interested in spending time with each other and can be a bit less responsive to their people. The downside of waiting a few months between pups is having potty training to do all over again. Just something to think about.
No offense to any dog lovers, but less-than-perfectly-trained Jack Russells make me wish for the swift recovery of the bald eagle.
It’s called neoteny, and it isn’t that hard a problem genetically. Technically we are primate puppies.
Three words: doggy day care.
Two puppies will tire each other out, to some extent, and they will certainly keep your parents motivated to get healthful outdoor exercise, etc. However, two adolescent puppies (read: between 6 months & 2 years of age) can achieve levels of hyper that will exhaust a classroom full of middle schoolers. If your parents don’t have access to a classroom full of middle schoolers, finding a ‘dog sitting service’ that both they & the puppies trust before the inevitable emergency comes up will make things much easier for all parties. Finding their own Svensker or three would be ideal, if they live in that kind of neighborhood, but even so there will be times when your parents won’t be able to take the dogs with them. All those stupid jokes about the people who won’t consider even an overnight trip, or in extreme cases a meal out, "because we can’t leave Poochie behind" are a lot less funny when it’s people dear to you who’ve essentially shackled themselves to their home.
And the new puppies need to be socialized with other dogs — you don’t want them to decide that it’s "their pack" against the rest of the canine world. One drawback to little dogs, even terriers: without a formal "doggie kindergarten" it can be hard to expose them to strange dogs safely/conveniently. And if they’re not used to other dogs, they can be snappy & defensive (or just too insanely hyper & pushy), which leads to their people keeping them away from other dogs, which makes them crazier when they *do* see another dog… perfect negative feedback loop! If your parents haven’t made their own arrangements, a gift certificate for a doggy-kindergarten class would make an excellent Xmas gift, even though the little guys won’t be able to use it for a few months yet.
The Grand Panjandrum
As long as they are willing to spend the time training and exercising them it should be a hoot. JRT’s are so bright and energetic they need to be challenged mentally and physically. If you have a local dog agility group I would recommend finding out if an obstacle course is available for weekly or bi-weekly workouts. Those little guys are a blast but need a lot of direction.
BTW keep the JRT’s away from any cats. It might not end well.
We’ve got 2 Newfs, 2 Border Collies, and a Corgi so we are definitely dog people. (Although our two cats may not agree with me!)
Who’s a cute puppy? Do your parents have any rats that need taking out?
Never mind. If things get tough, just give Victoria Stillwell a call. I guess she’s in the States for a year or so.
The Grand Panjandrum
Shipping the owners to Singapore for a good caining (20-30 lashes) would be in order as well. Taking the dog off their hands that easily could create a moral hazard if the lazy ass owners didn’t pay a price.
I have no sympathy for lazy owners. None.
Wow, Tim. I wasn’t gonna go there but, I should’ve expected that someone on Balloon Juice would know the term neoteny: the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood.
The late, great Stephen Jay Gould wrote a book called
The Panda’s Thumb, a fascinating read for anyone, in which he hold’s forth on this topic in one of the chapters.
Not only in physical characteristics, the word also applies to emotional and mental development too.
P.S. Bonus tip, if your parents have trouble bending: a disposable diaper on a Swiffer handle can soak up the entire contents of a 10lb dog’s bladder. And if you have a box of Swiffer wet pads near the door, it’s a lot easier to take care of dirty pawprints, tracked-in mud, and overexcited-puppy-schpritzes.
(We adopted an abused teenage Papillon who’d been rejected as "unhousebreakable" because he’d spent so much time sitting in his own messes that he’d lost the normal dog unwillingness to do so. We had him wearing a disposable diaper as a "belly band" in the house, but we’d take the diaper off, send him into the yard with our other (housetrained) dogs, and 10 minutes later he’d come back in & immediately let go all over the floor. The Swiffer/diaper combination let me clean up the worst of it fast enough to prevent further… contamination… until everybody could be settled down & the heavy equipment brought out.)
Awww….what sweet puppies! I’m envious. I really miss having a doggie around.
The best part of my job…besides getting to spend a lot of time on my hands and knees playing with dogs who know and love me…is the stories I get to hear.
You have to know your limits and not feel shame about them. We briefly considered adopting two JRT brothers (named Pilot and Runway, which is either hilarious or heinous, depending on the moment) from a shelter this spring. We’re lifelong dog people, patient and consistent trainers, blah blah blah, and we thought we could handle it.
But when, after a minor difference of opinion over a Wubba, both guys rushed to opposite (interior) walls and peed furiously, then continued to do this around the perimeter of the room for 10 minutes (they appeared to have gallon-size bladders), we backed off in highly amused horror. Not so easy to break them of that when they’re already two years old.
Glad we went with the beagle-Doberman teenager. Fifty percent beagle is about perfect.
I have a rescue story about a Jack. She was part of a transport of 11 dogs that were being moved out of a kill shelter down south to recue groups in the Chicago-Milwaukee area that I ended up fostering because a blizzard cancelled the northern leg of the trip. I already had 3 dogs at the time, so for a week I had 9 lab mix older pups, 2 chow mixes (my dogs), a german shep mix (also mine) and a Jack Russell mix named Sadie in a 3 bedroom house in Chicago.
Sadie ruled the roost, the other dogs were intimidated by her. She stole all the toys, and all the dog cookies before the others ever knew what hit them.
I’ve declined other Jack mixes as fosters ever since.