A couple of weeks ago our house was taken over by a tiny fluffy bundle called Bunce; our Jack Russell puppy. For the first few days he lulled us into a false sense of security with his cute puppy eyes and soft licks of affection. But we soon realised that our lives were now controlled by someone I am beginning to suspect is the doggy version of Chucky. We have nicknamed him Bunce Bin Laden, as I am convinced Osama has been reincarnated in the form of our Jack Russell Terrorist.
Oh sure, he can be cute and cuddly; especially when he wants something. He makes the cutest purr sound and burrows into the side of my neck, and then bites my ear. He loves to curl up with us on the couch if he is worn out from ripping my rugs and full from all the shoes he has eaten. When people come over he is cute and playful and they all think we are making a big fuss about nothing. But then, when they leave and we are all on our own with our defences down, he mutates into something else altogether. He growls and snarls, with the whites of his eyes showing and attacks whatever is in front of him: body parts, computer cables, furniture, my new jeans, burying his teeth into them and swinging his head back and forwards like a thing possessed. I am certain I saw his head turn a full circle on his neck the other day; exorcist style. Where is that dog whisperer bloke when you need him? Or maybe we need a ghost whisperer?
In case you are laughing at our ignorance, we did do some internet research before deciding on a Jack Russell (JR) puppy. We chose to ignore the numerous warnings about house destruction and out of countrol dogs, which we assumed were mainly written by people trying to sell their books on dog training. I even watched a very funny video on Youtube of a JR chasing and trying to devour a vacuum cleaner, which I thought was so cute, not realizing that Bunce would do the same thing with my bare feet. Not to mention my ears, nose and top lip and just about every other body part he can get his tiny little jaw fixed onto. What on earth were we thinking? I am beginning to have nightmares about him blowing something up or attacking me in my sleep: his fangs the size of knives and forks. There is something about the way he smiles at me as he does his business on the rug in the kitchen, rather than outside where he knows he is supposed to do it, that just makes me nervous.
So new we are desperately seeking help. We have bought books on Jack Russells and signed up for Puppy Classes. The first class was not much help. Apparently, the old days when it was ok to give your dog a "good kick up the arse" as my father used to say, (and he often did) have definitely long gone. Hitting them with rolled up newspapers and shoving their noses in their own doggy doo seems to be also out of fashion. Now its all rewards and reasoning and getting down on their level and explaining nicely why biting mummy's hand off and burying it in the garden is not acceptable behaviour for a good wee puppy. I am searching the internet for any Jack Russell owner's support groups in our area: My name is Fay Foster and I am a Jack Russell survivor.... so far. Sometimes knowing you are not alone can be very therapeutic. I know they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but at this stage I am worried that if we do get out of this alive, there may definitely be some bits and pieces missing....