Saturday, February 2, 2013

Master of the Hunt

My feet are cold.
Ok then, says Jager. I've got everything packed, think. Can you give me a ride to the airport?

I'm lost in a good book on my Kindle Fire, so it takes me a moment. Looking at Jager, our little All American Breed, I say, Say what? Holy cow, what are you on about this time?

I...think...I...have...everything...packed, he says slowly so I can understand him clearly this time. Got a chew toy and the squeaky tennis ball, but I might need some help carrying the dog bed. A couple of days worth of kibble too, but they should have more for me up there. 

Up WHERE?! I want to know. Are you going to Mars or something? There's nobody on Mars with dog food, Fur Brain.

Not Mars, you cookie tosser, Jager says. He actually rolls his eyes at me. Alaska! Well, actually Anchorage to be on the spot with it. I'm going to run the Iditarod this year and need to finish my training before March.  These rockin' abs aren't going to stay in shape on their own, you know. Some stiff competition this year.

Oh my, I say. Ok, first of all, you were wanting to take your little self and go to Florida for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. And we had to have that awkward discussion about the necessities of being intact for such an event. As in "not neutered". My head is still reeling from that fun talk. Never mind that your family lineage is so questionable that I wonder if there's something other than canine in your DNA.

You know, my nose is a little kinda
cold too.
And now the Iditarod, Jager? They'll be using a spatula to pry your frozen pampered terrier-ness off the landscape by the first checkpoint. You are not equipped for that kind of adventure and you know it. You, my love, are a house dog.

Oops, too far. Now I've hurt his feelings. I'm getting that Shrek Puss-in-Boots watery eye look. Behind that tough exterior is a delicate flower. I forget sometimes.

Jager is one of those who-rescued-who stories. We brought him into our home in our pre-puppy raising era. Back when I was still heartbroken over the tough loss of my beloved Dog of all Dogs, The Kaiser. I wasn't ready to love again, but Jager showed up to show me how terribly wrong I was about that. He was a dog of the streets, rescued once then abandoned, and finally brought to a pet rescue group. He was moved around in no less than seven foster homes in a year's time. One of those hard to adopt dogs with a nervousness about him that had folk wondering about his intentions. Even worse, a chronic medical condition that was the final deal breaker for potential adopters.

Then we met.  [Cue the theme from Love Story or that nice little tune from Dr. Zhivago. Whichever one makes you tear up a little.]

My kid saw him first. We weren't at Petsmart for the adoption event, but still we stopped to look at the dogs anyway.  The hole in my heart left by Kaiser was not going to be filled by any of these dogs, I knew that. We can pet these dogs, give 'em some human loving and move on, I said. Then the kid wanted to see the freaky little terrier shaking in the crate. Seriously? Ok, not a prob, we're big dog people after all. This thirty pound dog with the skinny noggin isn't a fit for our family.  Fine, let him walk the dog for a few minutes and get it out of his system.

One scared little spotted dog
Right. I signed the foster application before we left the store and a week later we brought the quivering spotted dog home for my first and only rescue fostering experience. Oh yeah, you guessed right. We adopted Jager after the two week trial period. We have someone interested in Jager, said the rescue group. Oh, no you don't, I said. We'll be keeping him. I totally suck at dog fostering.

Ok, so now let's fast forward to seven years later. Or we could measure the time in CCI increments instead. That would be four CCI puppies later, Jager is standing before me ready to defect from the Sword House.

I understand where he's coming from. I do, I get it.  He went from Top Dog to Will you stop making those growly noises, Jager!  In all the hubbub about CCI puppy raising and Micron's therapy work, well, it seems the spotted dog was moved into the background.

And with his seventh Gotcha Day coming up next month, this conversation about the Iditarod is making me feel pretty darn bad. The little spotted dog deserves better.

Ok, how 'bout this, kiddo? I say. Let's put your skills to the test, shall we? You're a hunter as your name suggests, right?

Snowflakes taste like . . . ok, they
taste like water. That's pretty much it.

The flappy ears perk up. Yeah? He says. Yeah! I'm the Jagermeister. I am the Hunt Master, ja!  Oh! Oh! Can I catch another mole for you? I know where they live. It's just a quick dig down to their evil lair and I can have get that hole dug up for you in a flash!

Indeed. I say. I've seen you in action on that one. That was remarkable, watching the turf fly. Let's stay above terra firma today, ok? I have a different idea.

Squirrels? The tail is wagging now. Ooh, that nasty 'possum with the jagged teeth living in the wood pile?

All good ideas, I say.  But too easy for a pro like you. A hunt master like yourself needs a real challenge. Go grab your squeaky tennis ball and let's go outside to see how many times you can catch the thing.

Yes!! cries Jager and he runs to find his favorite ball.

Best day EVER! he says, making funny little growly noises.

I am Jagermeister, Master of the Hunt. There's a 'possum
back there in the wood pile and the nasty little bugger is mine.



Ok, what d'ya think? Want to try to guess the different breeds that make up this freaky little spotted dog? We've been around the fellow for a few years now and have our own semi-educated guesses, but we love to hear other folks' thoughts, too.

What's your thoughts about this All American blend? Leave your guess in the comments and let's see how we all match up.

3 comments:

  1. First I must say that Jager is a very handsome dog. These pictures of him are awesome. I thought I'd try my hand at guessing some of his breeds. My thoughts are Australian Cattle dog, Shetland Sheepdog and Labrador Retriever. Please let us know at some point what your guesses are. And for the record, Jager is one LUCKY dog!!

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  2. My guess is Brittany + Smooth Fox Terrier + Greyhound + German Short Hair Pointer ~ whew!! Curious to see your post that has "the answer".

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  3. Jager is a BEAUTY. I love those ears. I wouldn't begin to guess his lineage, though. Nothing points to a specific breed that I can tell.

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