"Fred the Fierce," Story by Dorothy Brogan

Fred the Fierce

Story & photo by Dorothy Brogan

I fell in love with the first Jack Russell I saw. There was something about them that I couldn’t forget. We always had German Shepherds…I know …that’s a big jump from a dog that weighs 75-100 lbs. to one that weighs, at the most, 15 lbs. (Photo: Fred “the fierce”.)

When I was ready to get a J.R., I spoke to 10- 12 breeders and read all I could about them. The one thing the books agreed on was: Let a Jack Russell be a Jack Russell.

Usually they’re not Lap dogs…they are very affectionate in their own way. The big thing about most JR’s is that they have type A personalities. They have Jobs to do…even while playing ball.

For example, my JR called “Fred” chases the ball or his toy every day…same thing for his “Jobs.” Always has to sweep the yard for gophers or any other interesting smell. Even if he goes outside 50 times a day… he follows the same routine every time.

Fred was about 6 years old when he got Glaucoma in both eyes. I rushed him to the eye specialist. They saved his eyes by removing the lens. His eyesight was saved but his vision was compromised. It’s like when we take off our glasses…everything looks kind of smeary.

When I took Fred home from the doc, he wanted to play ball. But he couldn’t see the toy clearly. He was confused and frustrated at first, but as I watched him over a period of a couple of weeks…he worked out a new system to follow the ball. He used all of his senses and what little eyesight he had left. Soon he could chase the ball with the best of them, even beating a couple of Golden Retrievers.

Fred is almost 18 years old now…his eyesight is gone as is his hearing. The wonderful thing is that he’s still determined to be as he always was: he’s not about to slow down. Fred, my precious Jack Terrier, shows the kind of courage that is rare among humans.

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Dorothy Brogan lives in Montara

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About June Morrall

1947 - 2010
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