Daisy Gets a Rap Sheet

Jack Russell Terriers get a bad rap for being hyper, alpha, and prey driven. Sometimes, however, the title is earned.

The last two weeks have been anything but easy. Two friends and a neighbor died. I hosted a party, lost a crown, had a $1300 dentist bill, took one dog to the vet for chewing up a redwood fence, which caused her eye to swell closed because maybe a piece of splintered wood had poked her soft palate. Vet visit, antibiotics and pain pills equals $100. But she wasn’t even the problem dog.

Daisy, who’s afraid of everything (usually), food driven, prey driven (she’s killed 4 rats and a squirrel), and as cute as a bug’s ear, attacked a tiny dog while both were off leash in the park next door.

The irate owner told me to put down my f-bomb dog. He told me this while in the park, then came over that evening and told me again, liberally sprinkling f-bombs throughout his speech.

I called the vet the next morning, and she said the idea of putting down my dog was drastic.

“How about some Prozac and better dog management?”

Daisy will never be off-leash in the park again. People Prozac is pricey, since Daisy has no insurance. But what the heck?  She deserves a second chance, I think.

The vet said no mere mortal could train Daisy. My son took that as a challenge. Daisy can now spin in a circle for a treat and waits at all outside doors until he passes through them first.

Daisy will not wait at doors for me. The house is locked down like Fort Knox, me using side gates and the garage door to come and go instead of the highly-prized front door.

I thought the worst was behind me when I came home to make myself lunch on Friday afternoon.  Then the doorbell rang, and I saw a police officer standing on my porch. The irate neighbor had filed a police report of a dangerous dog. She was here, following up eleven days later.

I explained the situation, taking full blame for what Daisy had done, how she went berserk on a tiny dog when she saw it in her ball-playing area. Fortunately, the dog wasn’t badly hurt. Daisy was at fault, for sure.

Then the police officer asked to see Daisy so that she could take a photo of her for the report. I went inside, put her in her harness, attached a leash and led Daisy to the porch.

“Aw!” the woman said. “What a cutie!”

And that, folks, is exactly why Daisy dog has been surrendered twice and continues to exist, now in my household. For all of her problems, she is a sweetie in many ways.  Yes, she’s a damaged girl, and maybe giving her four more years of life should have been good enough. I was ready to put her down, because of her newly-earned liability.

Daisy, you are now on borrowed time. Another offense in the next 36 months will earn you a sad trip to the vet.

Don’t go there, Daisy. Life is hard enough without more heartache.

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