Two Jack Russells need a home. Take them? Pretty please? With sugar on top?

Hidden Fawn

When my wife and I stumbled across a fawn yesterday evening, I felt a familiar pang. Oh, Christ. This thing is still going to be sitting here tomorrow. And we’re going to have to take it in and bottle feed it and find a home for it. How do you house a fawn? How much is this going to cost me? And so on. All the while the fawn lay there, perfectly still, perhaps five feet from me. Instinct told it not to bat an eyelash so long as we were nearby.

The fawn was fine, of course. That’s what fawns do during the day — they lie perfectly still, surrounded by brush, waiting for their mothers to return in the evening. Or so Google assured us when we got home.

That thought process was repeated twenty four hours later when, today, I came across a pair of Jack Russells while hurtling down our driveway in our Volvo. The filthy collarless girls approached me warily, squatting to urinate in fealty as they belly-crawled along the gravel driveway. Recognizing that I was out of my league, I hollered for Amber, who dashed down the hill in her flip-flops. The playful pups, stinking of skunk and crawling with ticks, cheerfully followed her back to the house while I dashed off to help my brother move a couch.

Jack Russell PuppyI returned home an hour later to the sight of a freshly-laundered pup. The younger of the two, whose age is measured in months rather than years, had been totally cooperative while getting a bath, even playful. She excitedly squirmed around on a towel in the yard while the older one — apparently the puppy’s mother — looked on approvingly.

Amber told me that they’d lapped up water desperately when presented with a bowl, and all but inhaled the shredded chicken they were provided. Each was entirely trusting of me within no more than five minutes, jumping up on my lap and licking my face. (The skunk-sprayed mother not having had a bath just yet, this was both cute and horrifying.)

Mama Jack RussellI don’t know how we acquire these critters. It just happens. We found a kitten last year, finding it a home only after we all but threatened to stir-fry it. Before that we had Emma and Wendy, who were ultimately adopted by my sister-in-law. (Wendy now loves having water run over her in the sink; you’ll have to see the picture to appreciate how funny that is.) Then there was the three-ounce newborn kitten we found in 2001. He didn’t make it. There were another dozen or so in there somewhere. And I don’t even like cats.

Dogs, of course, are a different beast entirely. I daresay I’d rather care for a fawn than a puppy.

I can’t believe I just wrote that. Give me the puppy over the fawn. What the hell would I do with a fawn?

Mother and DaughterSo we’ve got these two pups now. They’re sleeping outside, in a little shelter we constructed, since Ado Annie rules the house. We’re going to put up signs, in case they have some people somewhere, but I don’t expect anybody will claim them. For the next week or so we’ll try to find them a home — preferably together — and then I guess we’ll have to take them to the SPCA, though we’d much rather not do that.

They’re awesome little dogs. If you’re looking for a dog, or you know somebody who’s looking for a dog (or two), we’d sure like to hear about it. We deliver. And it’s easier than caring for a fawn. Probably.

June 27 Update: Good news — the puppies are being reunited with their people. Sad news for any of us who’d hoped we’d be getting a new dog, though. It also turns out that they are mother and daughter.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

29 replies on “Two Jack Russells need a home. Take them? Pretty please? With sugar on top?”

  1. That’s what happens when you live in the country. You just kind of accumulate living things.

    Before the SPCA, you could also trying our shiny new Craigslist, or failing that, the no-kill shelter in Fluvanna.

  2. Hey Waldo–

    Cute doggies!

    I used to feel badly about the SPCA until I went there (CASPCA on Berkmar) to find a new cat. They are well funded (I assume that’s due to the great rummage sales), well staffed, and take really good care of the animals there. They screen prospective adopters very carefully. They even called my vet for a reference. I’m sure they would do right by your foundlings if it comes to that.

    Or you could always rent them out for pest control. We had groundhogs living under our storage shed last summer. Several people suggested borrowing a Jack Russell to solve the problem. :)

  3. If I didn’t already have 3 dogs I’d take them. A pair of Jack Russells would really be the perfect Keswick accessory.

  4. >>I don’t know how we acquire these critters. It just happens.

    The reason you keep picking up strays is that you’re a magnet for creatures in need. Like Kris and me trying to blog.

    Sounds like Amber is an enabler.

    I’ll contact some gullible Cville friends to see if there might be any takers.

  5. I’ll contact some gullible Cville friends to see if there might be any takers.

    That would be wonderful. Heck, they can be gullible Northern Virginia friends — have dogs, will travel. :)

    I went out to see them first thing this morning, and they loove me. :) They were hopping up on me (when I crouched down), giving kisses, just as cheerful as could be. They haven’t barked, howled or complained. They’re remarkably calm, friendly, patient little critters. I feel bad having them live under a tarp on an old blanket — I’ll have to arrange something a little more comfortable for them.

  6. The Republitarian had mentioned something about wanting a Jack Russell a while back.

  7. I have a co-worker that I know is looking for a small “NOVA Condo-land” appropriate dog… I’ll let her know to check out your site.

    This post makes me yearn to get out or Northern Virginia and into the country…

  8. Being a magnet for random animals, usually former pets… well It’s part of living in the county. People still think it’s okay to go for long rides down winding country roads and, when they find a suitably rural area, to dump their unwanted pets.

    The name of the Fluvanna NO KILL shelter is: Caring For Creatures. And anyone who feels so motivated they can always use donations, more info is on their web page, and they accept paypal.

    I could never bring myself to drop of an animal at an SPCA if there’s a chance it will be Euthanized for lack of willing people to adopt the animal.

    As it is I rent, and my landlord only grudgingly allows me my two indoor cats (and is blissfully unaware of the several ferals I regularly feed). So a dog is out of the question.

    Good luck finding them a home. Failing that- use the “no kill shelter” listed above.

  9. These are about the most cooperative two dogs I’ve ever encountered.

    I just spent a half hour or so removing ticks from both of them. I took at least two dozen off each of them, and there’s more to go. As I took ticks off the mama, she was totally cooperative, even when they were clearly quite painful to remove. She rolled and adjusted her position to suit me, without my having to nudge or even ask, ending up lying on her back with her chin all the up so I could pull one out under her mouth. When I was done with her she stood up on her hind legs and licked my face, apparently thinking it was her turn to groom me.

    The puppy took a bit to realize that this wasn’t a game. While I was de-ticking her belly she lay on her back on my thighs, head pointed towards my knees. In no more than two minutes she was asleep as I yanked off ticks with tufts of hair and chunks of skin attached.

    I just noticed, out the window, that they pee together — the mother squats down, the puppy watches the mother, and then the pup follows suit (though lifting her leg a little). That’s pretty cute. :)

    Also, the little one has about the cutest, tiniest pair of ears a puppy ever did have. The tips flop up and down as she trots along.

  10. O.k Waldo. You’ve convinced me. Now if only the Republitarian will say yes.

  11. Dammit, Waldo. I really did not need a cute bomb going off in my life today. Please take them, R and RW. My resistance is rapidly weakening.

  12. They’ll be with us for at least the next few days, while we put up fliers on stop signs and the like. So everybody will have lots of time to be subjected to unbelievably cute photographs, like this one.

    Happy Puppy

    See? She loves you!

  13. Several people have now contacted me expressing interest in adopting them, which is really great. But I now feel altogether ill-equipped to handle the process of adoption, particularly given that their medical states are a total unknown. I’m increasingly worried that the mother is pregnant. She urinates frequently, is extraordinarily calm for a Jack Russell, heavier than one would expect, and has curiously enlarged nipples. In which case…puppies for everyone!

    So I’ve talked to the local SPCA as Molly suggested and we’re going to take the pups in tomorrow morning for their initial checkup (worming, shots, etc.), arrange for a full examination on Monday, and set things up so that they’re property of the SPCA and we’re just the foster parents. That way things will be handled properly and the dogs will get decent care.

    Maybe on Monday we’ll start taking reservations for the little Jack Russell/??? puppies. ;)

  14. We fell into the Jack Russell terrorist trap once. Anyone considering adopting such a critter should first find the local lawyer who wound up with ELEVEN Jack Russell (a mistake was made in the spaying schedule) and ask him about picking up a chain of the beasts with their jaws locked to each other’s appendages.

    Good move, Waldo, going through the SPCA once you have a list of adopters — guarantees they’ll be fixed. Steve & I do a lot of rescue work; I’m halfway across the country at the moment but you may want to e-mail him; I can give you his address if you don’t have it.


  15. The CASPCA is a “No Kill” operation, so have no fear. As long as they are behaviorly sound and medically sound, they will be adopted out and not euthanized. They will be well taken care of. I happen to know that one of the employees who works in the kennels loves Jack Russells and will give them lots of love. I hope she is still there, her name is Ann, ask for her. You are doing the right thing by giving the CASPCA custody because they will spay and neuter all the pups as well as the present two you have now. Good luck! If you need any help let me know, I love Jack’s myself, I’ve had three at one time, what a ride that was! Now I’m down to one Jack and Pit Bull! They are both great dogs.

  16. :( I wish I could take them, but being that we’re re-finishing the floor, animals in the house are not a wise choice at the moment.

    However, any time you want to come up to Northern Virginia and play, “Rid Melissa’s neighborhood of feral, yet highly photogenic cats and/or kittens” since you seem to be good at persuading people to adopt them…

    Good luck getting someone to take them!

  17. By way of an update:

    My wife and I went to the SPCA at 8am this morning. The dogs are now the property of the SPCA, but we are fostering them. So they came right back home after receiving their shots and various medical tests, none the worse for wear. In Virginia, collarless dogs can be claimed after seven days, so we’ll hold onto them until next weekend, when the SPCA will be able to adopt them out.

    The surprising news is that they are not, in fact, mother and daughter. They’re both the same age — between 3 and 5. One of them is simply a tiny, playful, friendly little girl, while the other is a calm, larger, more Corgi-shaped one. Given that they’re the same age, it seems to me that they look different enough that they’re probably not even related.

    Oh, and we named them! We had to for the SPCA. The little one is Olive. The big one is Dixie. They’ve learned their names already. :)

  18. The filthy collarless girls approached me warily, squatting to urinate in fealty as they belly-crawled along the gravel driveway.

    awesome sentence.


  20. Is the little one adopted yet? I know a lady who would love to get a little dog. Her dog died last month.
    Would make a fabulous home for some little dog that wants to be a real princess and given the royal treatment. Is she on the SPCA website?

  21. As I’d mentioned in the update (which you could easily have missed — see the last paragraph) they’ve both been reunited with their owner so, happily, no adoption is needed.

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