by Georgia Armstrong
We drove two hours up in the mountains to purchase Pepper from a reputable breeder recommended by a friend. For the past 20 years we've always had Pomeranians, a more laid back breed, and were not aware of what was in store for us. Earlier this year we had been forced to euthanize our two male Poms, Munchkin and Cujo, as the Vet had done all he could for them and although I had prayed for God to take them in their sleep, it hadn't happened. They were the first pets I'd had to do this to and it was quite traumatic. After grieving for many months, I decided I was ready to open my home and heart to another dog. My husband wanted a Rat Terrier as he'd had one as a child. I guess because of this I had done absolutely no research on the breed, something I usually always did. Anyway I fell in love with Pepper, half Jack Russell, half Rat Terrier mix and she with me. We had been home less than 30 minutes with her running around checking out her new home, when she jumped from the dining room into the living room, a drop of less than 7 inches. She didn't let out a sound, but held her leg up. Since she didn't appear to be in any distress, I thought perhaps she had pulled a muscle but had her at the Vet's at 8 a.m. the next morning just to be sure. To my horror, the x-rays showed she had broken her little leg in two places! The Vet wanted to send her to a specialist in another town to have a plate put in at a cost of $8,000 but there was no way we could afford that as we hadn't even had time to put her on the insurance. Our Vet went ahead and put a splint on her leg, warning us to be very careful, because if that didn't work, the leg would have to be amputated. I treated her like a Princess, placing her in my bed, bringing her food and water, toting her out to potty, etc. After six excruciatingly long weeks, the cast finally came off to a diagnosis of all being well. So now she begins to get around. First she chewed four holes in the Oriental rug in my bedroom. Next went three pillows on my bed. I awoke one morning to a virtual snowfall of rubber from my orthopedic pillow. She has destroyed all of her and the cat's toys. Nothing is safe from her chewing. Housebreaking? We can walk her around the yard for an hour or more and she'll come inside and immediately go potty. Nothing that worked for every other dog we've ever had works for Pepper. Trying to get her to come to us turns into a game where she thinks she's supposed to stay away from us. Quite by accident I came across a training program just for Jack Russells. If this doesn't work, I may shave my head and become a Monk. No, really, we love this little dog very much and have tremendous patience and know eventually she'll become the perfect little angel we'd like her to be. In the meantime, I need to run to the store to buy more toys.