I face the new year.
With new squirrels and cats and such.
Please let me catch one.
Last night was quite loud.
I was scared to go outside.
What’s up with fireworks?
It’s foggy today.
Or do I need a haircut?
I can’t really tell.
It is new year’s day.
My breakfast was late again.
I hope work starts soon.
I love all of you.
You are the nicest people.
But you could send treats.
Jack still has some of his 2013 calendars left (Jack’s Tips for Healthy Living – 2013). If you’d like a signed copy, send Beth an email and we’ll get one to you. (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
A Christmas Poem
Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
There was barking and snuffling because of a mouse.
All I Want for Christmas
All I want for Christmas is a treat to eat,
a treat to eat, just a treat to eat.
If I could only have just a treat to eat,
then I could wish you Merry Christmas.
The Friendly Beasts
Jesus our brother, kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus our brother, kind and good.
“I,” said the Scottie, black and warm,
I snuggled their feet on Christmas morn;
They won’t hurt my baby who’s just born.”
“I,” said the Scottie, black and warm.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
With Love from Jack and Spec
Jack has published his 2013 Jack’s Tips Calendar. It’s available from Lulu.com. The calendar is listed at 20% off. Plus — there’s a sale that ends on the 14th — 20% off your entire order if you enter the code FELICITAS on the check out page.
Jack’s Tips for Healthy Living. This 2013 calendar offers the wisdom of Jack the Scottie. Jack shares his insights on living. Each month, full color photos of Jack and his friend, Spec, will inspire you and keep you on track.
It’s a wall calendar with a different tip for each month. Jack and his friends will wisely guide you through the year. Here’s January’s Tip:
The pictures are quite good, but there should be more of me.
– Sweetie Thompson Brown
You’ll see pictures of me, but you might not know it. If the dog looks particularly wise and distinguished, it’s probably me.
– Spec McLeroy
It’s an excellent calendar. And it comes in a very tasty box. I’m not sure how wise my tips are, but now that I’m three years old, I feel a lot wiser than I was as a puppy. For instance, did you know that squirrels are different than cats? And that when you see a school bus, you can get a treat? Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
– Jack Richardson
Jack loves the experience — so many sights and sounds and smells, so many new things. He’s a bit crazed by all the distractions. And I’m a bit crazed by being new at this dog-handling task.
Here’s the deal. The class is to teach me. I’m supposed to get and keep Jack’s attention and teach him to do things. I have Jack’s treats — baked hot dog slices — in a nail apron from Home Depot.
Jack is learning to walk loosely on the leash. To stop. Sit. Stay. Lie down. Walk slow. Walk fast. Watch me.
And … Come. The “come” command is, according to Tom the instructor, one of the most important things to teach a dog. It can save his life. Say, for instance, he gets out of the back yard and is running straight towards the interstate. Or a rabid dog. Or a herd of elephants. I would yell, “Jack! Come!!” And he would stop in his tracks and run to me (thus, saving his life).
They call this exercise “Release.” I give Jack to the teacher. Taking Jack’s leash with me, I walk to the other side of the exercise ring. I yell, “Jack! Come!!” and the teacher releases Jack. Then Jack races to me.
THE EVIL SQUEAKY TOY CHALLENGE
Last week, the teacher introduced a thing called “a distraction” to this exercise. The assistant teacher stood off to the side with a squeaky toy and squeaked it while the owners were calling the dogs. Jack and I were about 7th in line for the challenge, so he got to hear the squeaking for about five minutes before it was our turn. All that time, waiting in line, I couldn’t get him to look at me, eat a treat, acknowledge my existence. Jack was focused like “Laser Lassie” on the person with the toy.
Then it was our turn. I got in position and yelled, “Jack! Come!!”
And … he ran straight to the person holding the squeaky toy. When I went to get him, I couldn’t catch him. He stayed on the other side of the person with the toy.
The teacher said, “Next time, let’s put him on the long leash …”
I was mortified. But then I realized that there are several ways to look at this challenge:
1. Jack and I failed our “Release” exercise. OR
2. Jack was totally successful in finding the squeaky toy. OR
3. I’m still trying to learn how to get and keep Jack’s attention.
Nonetheless, I can be assured that Jack is truly a Scottish Terrier, a pedigreed, vermin-hunting wonder.
P.S. We’ve had another week to practice. Snd this time at class, Jack and I did a bit better with the squeaky toy challenge. I put him on the long leash, and he mostly ran to me when he was released.
Good dog, Jack. Good girl, Beth.
- Charlie the Ranch Dog
- Walter the Farting Dog
- Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog
- Because of Winn Dixie
- The Clifford Series
- Where the Red Fern Grows
Jack tried to get Spec interested in reading, but it didn’t turn out so well. Spec just ended up chewing up a Common English Bible. He didn’t really understand the concept of consuming the content of a book.
Next up, more serious stuff:
- Civility: How to Get Along with Cats (and Squirrels)
- God Is Dog Spelled Backwards: The True Story of the Holy
- Interspecies Spirituality
Jack welcomes your feedback about books to read and would like to know what books you are consuming these days.
Sometimes I have the urge to do something, but I don’t know why. Jack, my favorite Scottie, has those irresistible urges, too. There’s a rawhide bone that causes this instinctual behavior in him. When he gets one of these bones, he wanders around with it hanging out of his mouth. He paces, he whines. He searches for a place to hide it. It’s just like those TV commercials that feature the dog trying to bury the bone.
It’s the most amazing thing to see these instincts coming out in Jack from his survival brain, the voices of his wolf ancestors reminding him that he might need sustenance later on, that he should carefully plan for the future.
When the Irresistible Instinct comes over Jack, he’s liable to “bury” that bone under his dog bed, behind a chair, in the pillows of the couch. One day he “buried” it under my elbow as I was lounging on the couch watching TV.
I love you buddy. I’m sorry I laugh at you. And then “dig up” the bone and give it back to you to watch you do it all over again. This irresistible instinct of yours makes me love you even more.