My name is Tom McSherry. If you've had a look around the site, you've probably figured out by now that I'm fond of Jack Russells. (Okay, so maybe that's an understatement.) I used to work at a wildlife reserve in New Zealand, and I'm generally an all-round animal lover. The story of how I became a Jack Russell owner is very emotional for me.
When I was 17 I lost a very close friend of mine to suicide. It remains the most shocking and heartbreaking event of my life to this day. I was distraught and I could barely sleep or eat for three days after her death. I was, well and truly, on rock bottom.
A few weeks later my first Jack Russell, Bella (aka Pup), came into my family. Suddenly there was a distraction from the heartbreak as this new little bundle of energy stumbled around my life. I had to wake up, pull myself out of my funk and pay attention. Bella taught me a very important lesson about life when she was only eight weeks old. It's that energy and fire for life, that constant excitement about every moment, that makes me love Jack Russells. They are a constant reminder that I should never take another day or moment for granted.
This is why I describe Jack Russells as "life-enriching animals." They're more than just pets, they're guides to a certain kind of fulfilling attitude to life.
I now own three JRTs, Bella and her sons Runty and Bruiser. Runty was the runt of a litter of ten (hence the name). I hand-fed him and his nine other brothers and sisters through the first week of their lives. The fourth night after he was born, he became very limp and weak. He showed very little movement. I feared the worst. I sat up with him, laid out on a microwaveable heat bag on my lap, stroking and talking to him. I was almost in tears. I promised him runs on the beach and frisbee games and chicken dinners if he pulled through. I told him I just wanted him to live long enough to open his eyes and see this world.
Runty is now a happy and healthy young pup.
Louis was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. By the time I unwrapped it and opened the sac, I feared the worst. He was very limp and not making any noise, but after a good rub down with a towel and the first air into the lungs, he started to perk up. His name came from his large size and his tendency to crawl all over the other pups in the first few weeks. Bruiser has grown into a bit of a gentle giant now - obviously I'm talking in relative terms here!
My study of Jack Russells and experiences living with them have all come together in a guide to help others: The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide To Training, a complete training manual full of tehcniques and advice specific to training JRTs. If you have any questions or comments, I welcome all input and would to hear from you. Click on the
Contact Me page.