Monday, July 26, 2010

A New Little Man Coming to the House

This happy little fellow stands 11" tall and was made in America.

The day I started looking for a new dog, just two weeks ago, an 11" tall, smooth male out of working stock seemed a tall order to fill.

The good news is that this blog seems to be read by the right people, and so I got emails from seven people in four countries who thought they might have the right dog for me. The first email was from Wales and the dog looked a cracker, but things did not quite come together.

Two of the emails were about this dog, however, and neither one was from the breeder.

The first email was from Cson Johnson, who I have periodically queried over the years seeing if she knew of any small, smooth males out there. She has "good radar," is active in the JRTCA, and seems to know most everyone. She also knows how much I value small working dogs and why.

The second email came from Sherri Rossmiller who happens to own an 11" female with identical breeding to this little male dog. She too knew what I wanted, and why I wanted it.

I shot an email to Dawn Weiss at Briar Run in Illinois. Dawn breeds working terriers, and yes this dog was available to the right working home, and she thought I might do!

We went over the fundamentals, and we were both on the same page: testicles stay on, breeding rights forever, and work the dog like God and John Russell intended.

Check, check, check.

Possum (the name of the dog) is BAER-tested and CERF-clear, and his sire is a bronze medallion dog, as are several others in his pedigree, which includes a long litany of working dog kennels. This little man has already worked an opossum, but due to the ups and downs of the economy in the last 18 months (mostly downs), he has not seen the field-time he deserves, hence his availability to me. Perfect!

Possum comes to Washington, D.C. one week from today (knock on wood), and he will spend August working the go-to-ground tunnels in my backyard, and spending quality time with me, the missus, and the other dogs. A month of assimilation at Casa Terrierman should do him well, and I expect we will both teach each other a little. In September, of course, we hunt!

Much thanks to Dawn for making this dog available to me. I assure her no one could ever give a working dog a better life or appreciate it more.



an American in Copenhagen said...

I'm curious why you wanted a male specifically.

HurricaneDeck said...

Nice! Rarely do you see actual angulation on the rear of a JRT - wow!

I hope he turns out to be everything you've hoped for - congrats on your new addition!

Anton said...

Congrats! He looks like a proper lil fella. Hope he brings all you expect.

Jessika said...

Sometimes the stars will align for you, Congrats!

PBurns said...

Thanks all.

I think the dog will do great and I look forward to his arrival.

Why a small male? Several reason, the first of which is that I already have two (spayed) bitches, and the more bitch terriers you have running loose, the more potential for unneeded drama as the pecking order is Alpha-Beta-to-Omega and terriers are terriers. With a male addition there is no pecking order like that -- the sole male gets the "alpha male" stick, earned or not ;)

A second reason why I wanted a male is that I think the "weak link" in the world of working terriers is too few small male workers. The show people typically breed a larger male to a smaller female, but I think Eddie Chapman is right that the right idea is to "breed uphill" using a smaller male on a larger female to avoid caesarians. There are very few really small smooth-coated working males, but that's clearly what is needed. So my idea is "let's acquire that and protect and preserve that."

Finally, I have come to terms that I will have dogs foever, and while I have had several great dogs, I have no continuation from them. If this dog works out, I want to see if a small line of workers with decent bone and small chests can be stabilized at around 11" mark with 13"-14" chests. That's what an American working terrier needs to be, but not many are being bred strictly for that.


Seahorse said...

What a spiffy looking little guy! I'm so happy all of this came together so brilliantly for you, Patrick. Sometimes you just gotta be ready, because what you wish for is suddenly upon you. I applaud your plans for the future! The more careful breeders out there the better!!!

Seahorse :)))

smartdogs said...

All that and a great smile too - congratulations!

Carolyn Horowitz said...

Congratulations. I'm glad you found what you were looking for. I hope he has a long, healthy, enjoyable life with you.

Viatecio said...

He couldn't have come at a better time for you. Congrats on the acquisition and safe travels to him as he makes his way home! I especially love the fundamentals between you and the breeder.

Marie said...

Congratulations Patrick. He's a handsome boy and Briar Run is a great working kennel, I am sure you will be very happy with him. Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures with Possum. Happy hunting!

FrogDogz said...

I'm sure he's a very serious, well bred working dog, but I still have the overwhelming urge to scratch his tummy and coo "whoozawiddlehansumfella?" at him.

PBurns said...

I will allow it!

I'll be doing the same, I promise :)


seeker said...

I'll echo the congratulations. He looks like a real pistol. Being a horse person I too like his rear end and believe he'll be able to go the distance for you. While I don't think everyone should be a breeder (I help w/ Russell Rescue), I applaud your motivation to continue a viable working strain. I agree that bigger is NOT better in dogs or horses and a lot of ability is often lost. Best of luck with your new boy and rub his tummy for me.

Debi in Texas