Friday, June 10, 2011

k 2

K dog (curbee) turned 2 yesterday. I wrote this in late February, a year after adopting him.

Sunday marked the first anniversary of the arrival of K.
A year since we drove up through drought-weary Victoria and met him in a pound in the middle of paddocks next to an abattoir. He had spent the night there next to a storm-spooked ridgeback who barked all night. When the cell door opened he greeted us warily, a ball of nerves gradually uncurling. He was smaller than his photos. He looked like a mini-Jack Russell. But his wariness made him seem a fraction of the size of Bronte, the recently deceased JRT whose personality would fill a room.

Perhaps looking for an out, I said to the Ranger - "Oh dear - I don't think he likes me"
"It takes a little time" he said, and presented his closed palm to K's nose, a gesture of experience that quelled the fear-aggression; the hand was duly sniffed.

And we duly took him, with silent reluctance and trepidation. The weight of commitment.

I held him all the the way home, as he watched his territory disappear.

We don't know the mix. I missed the opportunity to get a discount-rate DNA-swab (at the Melbourne Show) to determine whether he's JRT + chihuahua, fox terrier or cat. We lean to the chihuahua theory, the Jack-ahua-hua or Jack-a-chi, because there are the moments of small frenzy we call the chi. Some things set him off, like shuffling feet, golf putting practice sets, and birds. Birds, in particular, make him squeak. It is very unpleasant, you would hate it, and it would probably take a herd of dog whisperers to arrest. We need to beam up cesar to zap the yap. He gets away with this obnoxious habit in general because the noise is lost on ovals near freeways...


Defending his behaviour to friends, my leniency, I would often say: he's still learning to trust us. Still? they'd ask.
Yes, even 16 months down the track that still holds.
It's a gradual thing and gradually in a little time it kicks in.


genevieve said...

What a lovely dog! you're clearly giving him the space he needs.

R.H. said...

A dog never forgets. They're just like us: bad treatment makes them distrustful. Some turn savage, others become nervy. It can take a very long time to reclaim them.

boynton said...

Thanks, G -and that is a good description of what is needed: space.

True, RH, although I know nothing of his background to be able to concur in his case. His highly strung character takes a bit of 'listening to' I think.

NB: I realise now that this post might seem a tad negative. In fact, after that last paragraph from Feb. I had written a few sentences full of praise: it seemed too corny and sentimental. Suffice to say that, through the gaps in this post, he is a delightful little dog.

R.H. said...

My daughter brought a Jack Russell (lively mutt) here about five years ago. The story was that a couple she knew were breaking up and neither wanted to take him. I don't believe the part about them breaking up, I think he was just too much for them. He cowers especially when I pick up a newspaper. You can see he had a rough time at his previous address.

boynton said...

Sad to see cowering, especially given the small size of JRTs.

Helen said...

Our sweet Maggie used to cower and scuttle away when we picked up a broom or mop. What did "they" do to her before she wound up at the Lost Dogs'?
She's still a kook, but if I pick up a broom or mop she's cool with it now, and if I lift a foot near her she knows it's to scratch the bits of her back she finds hard to reach.

boynton said...

So sad to see, isn't it.
K the same.(But who knows why exactly)

Lucky they both landed safely, ay.