Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Shame of Jack Russell

Let us talk about the elephant in the room.  


The great shame of the Jack Russell Terrier community is that the Reverend John Russell, the patron saint of all working and hunting terrier owners, named his first dog... Trump.

Russell said he bought Trump from a milkman whom he happened to be passing by while he was still a young man at Exeter College, Oxford. If so, it’s clear that the dog was not bought because it was a keen worker, but on the basis of looks alone.

Right. The dog was acquired for the sizzle, not the steak, same as the politician.

In fact, this rather cavalier acquisition of dogs seems to have been a habit with John Russell throughout his life. Though it is often said he bred a “pure” line of dogs, there is no evidence to support this assertion. Instead, there is considerable evidence that Russell bought and sold a good number of dogs as his fortunes rose and fell. He acquired and turned over numerous fox hound packs, and it is likely his terriers were acquired and passed on in a similar fashion, for Russell was more of a houndsman than a terrierman. In any case, white foxing terriers were not all that rare. Russell certainly seemed to have no trouble finding another white devon hunt terrier to use as a sire.

And is this not true for the Republican Party as well? They say they have pure convictions, but what are these convictions? The party of fiscal responsibility?  It is too laugh as they add another 1.5 trillion dollars to the U.S. debt. The party of meritocracy? Surely this is a joke -- the punch line that follows Hope Hicks' introduction as White House Communications Director. The party of sound business capitalism is fronted by a multi-bankrupt money-launderer who is being financially propped up by communist kleptocrats? The party of traditional values is fronted by a self-confessed pussy-grabber and alleged rapist who does not pay his bills? Right.  Not too many bedrock principles in evidence there, thought it should be said that there is a rather long list of Republican "never Trumpers".

One of the more common bits of bunk about Trump, the dog, was that she was “14 inches tall and weighed 14 pounds.” In fact, this assertion is a wild conjecture first penned by someone who had never met Russell, had never seen any of his dogs, and had only seen a drawing of Trump. This picture of Trump, it should be said, was created more than 40 years after the dog had died, and it was drawn by someone that had never seen the original animal at all. Russell said the drawing was “a good likeness” but in fact he may have been trying to be polite, as the picture was commissioned by Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) who befriended Russell in his old age, and had the drawing done as an homage to the old man. The dog shown, it should be said, is a not-too-attractive thing with an odd stance, a snipey head, and a squirrel tail.

But of course, size matters.
 Ask Trump the politician who, many years ago was described by Graydon Carter as a "short-fingered Vulgarian" and who seems to have never recovered from the slight. Trump wants you to think everything about him is YUGE, but in fact it's all bark and no bite. He is small in every way that matters; small of brain, small of heart, and certainly small of courage.

There is another matter of course; the temperament of the Jack Russell terrier. This is a dog full of energy, but not always full of discretion or direction.... a small dog in a world of big dogs, a dog defined by coat color rather something more substantive.

All of this is very Trumpian, in the modern sense of that world. But to name your first dog TRUMP? Oh John Russell, you have added insult to injury, and for that we hang our head in shame.  Surely we can do better.


LRM said...

That clip with the eagle should figure prominently in the ads of future Trump challengers. Such a waste.

Jennifer said...

A little off topic, but some interesting Trump history that calls for sharing