True Terriers!

Energetic, intelligent, athletic, fearless…a Jack Russell Terrier never tires easily…these little bundles of energy are suited to different dog sports such as flyball or agility.

Popular Jack Russell Terriers…

Born hunter: Jack Russell Terriers were bred to hunt down foxes which escaped and hid underground during hunt.

True Terriers!Pooch in the iconic HMV logo: You all must have seen the logo of HMV (His Master’s Voice), wherein a dog is looking and listening to a phonograph. Well, that dog is Nipper, a Jack Russell Terrier.

First pooch to travel to both North and South Poles: In 1982, Bothy, a Jack Russell, owned by explorers Ranulph and Ginny Fiennes, became the first dog to travel to both the north and south poles.

The saviour pooch: George, a Jack Russell, saved five children from pit bulls attack at a carnival in New Zealand. He was posthumously awarded the PDSA Gold Medal in 2009. People in Manaia, New Zealand pay tribute to him at his statue built in his memory.

Paw stars: Whether it is Bear, Gene Hackman’s pet in the 1995 movie Crimson Tide or Max, who played the role of Milo, Jim Carrey’s (Stanley Ipkiss) only friend in the 1994 movie The Mask, Jack Russell Terriers know how to rule our hearts. Other famous movies featuring Jack Russells include Mr Accident (2000), Hotel for Dogs (2009), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) and Beginners (2010).

More recently, Uggie, another Jack Russell Terrier, featured in two blockbusters – Water for Elephants and The Artist. The campaign ‘Consider Uggie’ was launched in December 2011 on Facebook for Uggie to receive a real or an honorary Oscar nomination. However, Uggie received a special mention at the Prix Lumière Awards in France and the Palm Dog Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

The pooch in the book: Published by Scholastic, Jack Russell: Dog Detective is a series of adventures of a Jack Russell dog and his friends. This book is authored by Darrell and Sally Odgers.

Strange facts about Jack Russell

Some unusual things revolve around Jack Russell which we have not paid much attention! Let’s find them out.

  • Jack Russell boasts of amazing agility as this small breed can jump five feet high fences easily.
  • Having bred with hunting instinct, Jack Russell chases his prey even beneath the ground by digging. His thick waterproof coat helps him in this task.
  • A female Jack Russell named Tillie paints with her paws and claw strokes. She conducted 17 solo painting exhibitions at Milan, Amsterdam, Brussels and Bermuda and sold more than 100 paintings.
  • The National Geographic Channel documented a Jack Russell called Tokkolas who nurtured a lion cub and a cheetah cub as mother.

Some quick facts…

Size: 10-15 inches
Colour: White with black and/or tan markings
Coat: Smooth, rough or combination of both (broken coat)
Bred for: Fox hunting
Demanaour: Friendly and outgoing behaviour
Life with Jack Russell: True companions
Exercise: Regular exercise a must
Grooming: Very little and easy to groom
Apartment life: Fine, if exercised properly

Incredible but true!

Together, a man and a dog can use helicopters to save lives at sea! The dog can even swim with the survivor holding onto his life-jacket! Here’s more on this incredible act of human-canine relationship.Picture this! Pleasant climate and a beautiful sunny spring morning at the banks of Lake Iseo (north Italy indog Training the Central Alps). The Mediterranean vegetation, olive groves and vineyards offer a pleasant and relaxing environment. The surrounding mountains are reflected in the lake whose water is rippled by a gentle breeze. From the small port of Pisogne village a lone surfer leaves the shore with his surfboard and making his way toward the middle of the lake. It seems like a scene prepared for a landscape painter, when suddenly the solitary surfer loses his balance, perhaps shaken by the waves created by a passing ferry, knocks the head against the surfboard and ends up in the cold water.

The scene is observed from the shore of the lake and the alarm is given. Funny to say but for the man in water is in any case a lucky day because not far from there the men and women of the ‘S.I.C.S. – Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs’ are engaged in heli-rescue training session.

The helicopter, an Ecureuil B3 by Eliwork Society, starts the rotors, a S.I.C.S. instructor and his Newfoundland dog are accompanied on board by a technician. The flight is short and from the ground you can see the shapes of canine unit, man and dog, jump from the helicopter that was positioned in hovering at few meters from the water, at some safety distance from the drowning surfer.

That odd couple, man and dog, swim side by side until they reach the victim; the rescuer performs manoeuvres in order to support the surfer who is groping with violence and creates some difficulties to the helper, even if he is an experienced water-rescuer. The dog swims around the two men and they grasp the bodice of the dog. The Newfoundland is swimming, slow but steady, and almost seems unreal that a dog could pull so well two men in the water. Once ashore, appropriate assistance is provided to the survivor. The dog receives proper attention, a delicious recompense, and rewards for rescue.

But who are the actors of this incredible rescue?

They are the team from S.I.C.S., the school for rescue-at-sea and air-rescue in the marine environment in Italy, founded by Ferruccio Pilenga in 1989, an owner of a Newfoundland and volunteer in Italian Civil Protection, who decided to bring to front the innate qualities of the aforementioned dog breeds developing the ability to save. The activity with helicopters began in 1992 and a close collaboration with the Coast Guard and Air Force SAR brought to the official approval in 1996 by the authorities responsible for emergency, and also by the Ministry of Transport and Navigation. Today, the school has a headquarter and nine branches throughout the country. Qualified Trainers are operative at each one of them, and more than 200 water rescue dog K9 Units are active and patented.

According to Ferruccio, “Some races have an innate propensity for water and for saving, especially Newfoundland, Labrador and Golden Retriever. The challenge is to transform this instinct in a real capacity to rescue. Crucial is the unique and unrepeatable relationship between the dog and his handler. He must be able to train his dog, must also have the necessary passion for the rescue activities, and a lot of dedication because the training and the maintenance of the qualification require great efforts. Starting from these assumptions we at S.I.C.S. can transform the couple in an efficient and effective water rescue K-9 Unit, transferring them our knowledge, experience, skills and equipments.”

The training…

The training is long and includes several steps. It teaches the dog to swim faster. More difficult is to teach to swim in pairs with his handler without hindering or scratching him. So, the dog has to learn how to stand in water, how to position himself with respect to people in water, offering them his special life-jacket which people can grasp. He must learn to tow them to shore, and if necessary also drag a small boat.

The handler also receives adequate preparation: in addition to working with dog he learns to drive boat, handle equipments as transceivers and safety equipments, providing first aid and resuscitation actions.

The school, at the end of the training, issues a ‘S.I.C.S. Operative Water Rescue Certificate’, after successfully completing the most demanding test: demonstrate the ability to operate from a helicopter, jumping from it when it is hovering at 2-5 meters from the water, and of course carry out the rescue. The couple – man and dog – confirm to be synonymous of friendship, love and fidelity, both in water and air.

Make your dreams come true…

When people say they love dogs, They really don’t mean it.
They say it generally, For others to believe it!
They never make the statements true, Of loving their dogs.
Then what do they really love, Some kind of frogs?
Some think the stray dogs are harmful and dirty,
And really don’t dare to touch,
But some have feelings for them,
And that is why they care so much!
Don’t you know, Dogs are stress busters,
And I love the way, They play with dusters!
They make us smile, They make us laugh,
Even when the Time is tough!
Just keep smiling, Because we are having fun.
Don’t you enjoy it, When together we run?
Never forget your companion, he’s the only one for you.
They love you so much
And will make your dreams come true!!

Vrinda and Feedo

A bond so true

Pet parents are looking at new ways to pamper whether it be grooming, products, food, Editorialtreats, toys et al to pamper their canine baby. It is really awesome to hear people say/write…‘My baby’ to their canine family.

But what happens when the real human baby arrives? Does the canine baby get neglected? Is the canine baby unhygienic then? Does the canine baby shed a lot of hair? Does the canine baby get jealous? Is the canine baby aggressive? Will the canine baby hurt my baby? So many questions arise and in some sad and worst cases…the poor canine is given up either to a shelter or relative or simply abandoned.

Why the canine who was loved, pampered and cherished – ignored now? The crux of the problem is not with the dog but with us the PARENTS. Once you get a canine puppy home he is yours for life and I would say vice versa too. When this remains your focus, questions as to re-homing/abandonment simply do not arise. We work our way around the situation and look for practical solutions.

Simple steps to keep your family together will be:

YOU – Your focus and intention (love for your dog) – do not ever waiver from the same.
Keep your canine baby clean, groomed and brushed daily if the need be.
Very important for the parents to divide responsibilities.
Rest of the family also pitch in taking care of your furry angel.
Do understand it is a big change for your four-legged too.
Be patient – if required speak to a professional dog trainer.
Don’t let him feel ignored- this would lead to jealousy and a not feel good factor for the baby.
Always have both of them under supervision.
Once your baby starts growing- crawling/walking – teach him to be gentle.
Give your dog the space he wants and deserves.
If something is disturbing him take him out of the room to another place and with a person he can be calm with.
All this while do pamper your furry buddy with loads of love, treats, pats, praises because he is being very brave.
Once you see both your babies playing together you will surely realise – THIS IS A BOND SO TRUE.

– Shweta

“Paw-Tales” l July-Aug 2006

Ginger – a Friend, Partner, a defender…
Pets are wonderful companions and dogs are the best. He is friendly, confident and a faithful comrade. My pet, Ginger, a golden Labrador is a loving, playful dog, true to
his Lab characteristics; he is affectionate and hates to stay alone.
When I come back from school, he greets me with total exuberance. He jumps up and if I am not careful – I can be floored!! His eyes are very expressive and if we don’t give him the desired biscuit, he simply sulks.
The most comical antic of his is when he chases lizards and birds. I only have to say “Lizzi Bizzi” and he goes berserk. He barks and jumps and tries to catch the
lizard, and when he cannot reach it, he reacts comically. His antics always leave us in splits of laughter. He is  a great companion and we all love Ginger.
– Vrinda

Life’s true joy!!

To run in free abandon, to sniff to one’s heart’s delight at all the new smells, to explore endlessly, to splash in water and try to manage the breaking waves, to catch a driftwood from a river bank, to chase butterflies and birds, to look at utter amazement at monkeys and wonder where they come from, to bark with a purpose and show how important one is, to sit at the beach and enjoy the cool sand, to always want to run out and play, for one’s canine these above and more would be life’s true joy. But come to think of it, how many of them actually get a chance to experience such living, specially if they are city dogs. Where can we go for holidays with our pets to give them a break and to make them experience the joy of living. Our lil’ bundles of joy are always contented but at the end of the day they should get more. One often wonders which park is dog friendly so he can have his daily romp. Or even other destination in the city where one can go and enjoy with one’s canine are completely NIL.

On one such occasion – thinking that this is the least we could do we decided to go against the norms and started looking for pet friendly places and to my amazement managed to find one. A beautiful place called Naukuchiatal (Uttranchal) where during the monsoons it feels heaven has come to earth. Guess Sparkle thought that way too. Sparkle was in utter amazement of the place and must be thinking, “God!!! Why didn’t I know before such a place existed.” From running, playing, sniffing, chasing birds, warning monkeys, splashing to catching driftwood, he did it all. Not a moment during the day did he rest – he was all over the place – I guess completely intoxicated.

Hope you all can take your darlings to hideaways where they too can experience the joy of living. Do share your getaways with us, so together we can compile places. Do watch out for our Nov-Dec issue for a write up on Sparkle’s escapades in Naukuchiatal.

Till then Sparkle woofs ‘Bon Voyage’ to all.


A true love story…

Life is a mystery with its own twists and turns. Either you cry and get tensed about the adverse situation or you laugh on your worries. The philosophy of life at times becomes more philosophical when you have your dog travelling with you. I faced a difficult time when I happened to travel with my mother-in-law (MIL) and my loving dog TinTin by train from Mumbai to Baroda.
One is supposed to keep one’s pet in a case with a wooden shutter in the guard’s compartment. I did exactly that. As soon as TinTin went inside the cage, he started showing his power. Even before the train moved, he broke open the wooden shutter and came out with a winning smile and his tail swaying with full force like a flag of triumphant king!! Everyone around was stunned! The guard was terrified and got in touch with the parcel office. A desperate call was made to railway carpenter. They came rushing and decided to fix another shutter of a similar cage. I was happy to see the shutter, as it looked strong. But there was a twist in the story as the shutter was of a different size and it could not be fixed.
The guard panicked since one of the top most railway officials was travelling in the same train for inspection. He was not in a mood to compromise with the departure time but he could very well see love and desperation in my eyes for my darling dog. He asked me to board another train but I explained that my old mother was travelling with me and she had a blood pressure problem and she is diabetic. Also, she was in the coach almost 400m away and the train was signalling to move.
The guard finally came with a solution. He invited TinTin and me to his cabin. Although the actual ticket of Mr TinTin was Rs. 30, I had to pay Rs. 450. I was hesitant as I have never liked paying bribe to anybody, but my love for TinTin forced me to do so. I was given a piece of wood to sit, which my brave dog had broken. I was strictly instructed not to move.
There was no question of sleeping. TinTin was getting up at every station to find out whether it was Baroda or not. And after realising that it was not his destination he again used to put his head in my lap and literally start dozing. I was dozing too but of course my eyes were stuck to the gentleman who was staring at me and thinking whether he has done the right thing or not. He was wondering that how could I waste my confirmed ticket and sit on the plywood for the journey, besides paying Rs. 450 extra just for a dog. And probably he got his answer when he saw TinTin licking my face and sleeping in my lap. TinTin was my child, my love! I started believing that God always makes a way where there is true and unconditional love. I also learnt a very practical lesson that whenever you plan to take your dog in a train, you should always check whether the wooden shutter in the guard cabin is strong enough or not, or better still come prepared with a crate to carry your beloved in it!
– Hirath Pandya