Here is Milo, the incorrigable Jack Russell..

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I give you ‘Milo’, the incorrigible Jack Russell.

Our pet dog is named Milo and someone asked me to give him his turn in my next piece. Milo celebrated his 8th birthday on the 1st of August. We have recently been thinking of a trip to somewhere, preferably France or back again to Bali. Even though we have nice neighbours willing to care for Milo we thought of upgrading his credentials with the necessary injections at the vet in case of a stay in a kennel.

However, it brings a cold sweat to my armpits thinking of bringing Milo to a kennel. His beseeching eyes after dropping him off will haunt me forever. On the other hand he is skilled in manipulating things to his advantage, knowing full well my guilt gets into automatic very easily. He generally now runs the family and it is him who decides the events of the day and in what order.

Most evenings he now wonders in and out at his will. He either stands in front of the back-yard door or in front of the entrance door. Often he does both within a few minutes. His reason is the possums. He can smell them each evening. In early spring even possums’ thoughts turn to love and are busy plucking flowers from our garden which they garnish with Italian parsley, rosemary and cos lettuce before having an all out orgy with lots of grunting and leaping about. All this enrages Milo, who has decided now to sleep outside.

Before going to bed, usually around mid-night, I check on Milo who just sits under our Manchurian pear tree in which a couple of the possums have managed to climb into. I can see their beady eyes glinting with love/ lust and sex, in that order. So does Milo and he just quickly casts a look at me as if to say; don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on them, just go inside boss. The problem is that there are so many of them that despite Milo running about, they slip by and climb from tree to tree. They know Milo can’t climb.

Milo is unperturbed by his lack of being able to climb trees or flying and does practice as much as he can. He leaps up surprisingly high for his size but inevitably returns to earth. At best, he seems to levitate for just a split second and that gives him hope which I am loath to take away. I usually look away when he leaps up so bravely and determinedly, not wishing to be witness when he lands back . I told him we are sure one day he will fly. He quickly looked away as if he somehow knew we were bullshitting. Milo is clever.

Even so, a stay at the kennel might teach him he can’t always have it his way. He will have to behave. I wonder if we will phone him from Paris to find out his welfare. My sister and husband looked after a house whose owners went to the US for 5 weeks. They had two French Bull dogs and the owners phoned up daily to find out about their dogs.

There is hope for Milo.

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17 Responses to “Here is Milo, the incorrigable Jack Russell..”

  1. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Milo may think that the kennels is some sort of remand centre. He’d never forgive you Gerard, you do know that don’t you? I’d look after him like a shot if I was several 1,000 miles closer.

    Already Pete and I are thinking about what sort of dog(s) we might have in Spain. Which reminds me, it’s high time I wrote another blog post about what’s going on! Whatever you decide, I’m sure that your delightful and incorrigible Jack Russell will be in the very best of hands even if it is a stint with Miss Trunchbull at the local boarding kennels🙂

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  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    I think it will do him a lot of good. Miss Trunchbull will teach him a lesson, I’m sure.
    You and Pete going to Spain?
    Look forward to your next post.

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  3. Andrew Says:

    Perhaps Gerard you might construct some sort of boardwalk amongst the trees for Milo to patrol. Or a ramp so he can run up it and then launch himself with added elevation to carry him further. Could he swing Tarzan style on a rope? Or perhaps a dog-trampoline under the pear trees? He is clearly a dog of some distinction and courage.

    I agree with Lottie that putting him into kennels would be tantamount to putting him into custody, with or without hot and cold running possums.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I am sure Milo would be a good Tarzan. He is right now getting ready for his night-watch. The possum is nocturnal but so is Milo when it come from guarding our house.. He needs a couple of special treats and he is off, keeping us safe from possum terrorism.
      Are there possums in HK?

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  4. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I’m sure if Milo and Charlie got together they could figure out a way to get up into those trees. There is nothing like a determined Jack Russell Terrorist. Charlie has had it with the crows this year, and in another few weeks the squirrels will be enjoying the oranges and figs, which will drive him nuts too. It’s great to have him on patrol, but his method of attack is pretty vocal, which drives Dr. Advice nuts. I yell “Come!” at these times, which brings him in like a bat out of hell, and pop a treat into his smiling face, so now he thinks he is being rewarded for making a big racket. They will beat you every time. Charlie sends Milo cheers and his best wishes.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I hope Charley is not in cahoots with the crows and squirrels if he gets rewarded with a treat each time he barks. Are you sure that is good psychology? JRT are very smart and even Milo is not beyond trying to rort the system of rewards for good behavior. It is known here as ‘coming the raw prawn’.
      Have a good word with Charley.

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  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    The good thing about Milo is that he does his possum chasing work silently. He does not bark near our compound. He knows we would disapprove and so would the neighbors.
    Amazing constraint on his part because he can bark. When in the middle of our shopping street and if he spot crows along roof edges he lets loose with a very loud and high pitched bark till the birds move along traumatized by the barking. People often wonder what the commotion is about and I just point out the crows along the roofs. They smile forgivingly and some even sympathise and pat Milo.

    Good boy Milo, good boy Charley.

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  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    JRT are clearly more intelligent than their human owners. 🙂 Lots of JRT are surrendered to “dog pounds” since many people are not motivated to deal with the challenges of a JRT. Gerard it seems that yours has been lovingly treated and trained for essential manners, etc. They are great pets for sure.

    I really liked this post. Milo is a cutie. He should be okay when he is boarded at the kennel. PS: Possums make great entertainment for
    dogs.🙂😉

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Our Milo is wise beyond his years and somehow knows not to be a nuisance by not barking in our town-house complex. But, and I am hoping not to infringe on Milo’s ‘privacy matters’ here , he has another gold plated attribute. He never does his ‘brown business’ where people tread. He seeks out a place not only away from walkways or foot-paths but out of sight as well. He hides underneath bushes and if the spot is not far away enough he will just go even deeper in the bush, going the extra mile!
      Amazing. Good boy Milo.

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  7. solidgoldcreativity Says:

    Brilliant post, Gerard. Loved this bit esp, “He quickly looked away as if he somehow knew we were bullshitting. Milo is clever.” hehe

    I’m going to have a good old knitting session of possum wool later today. Milo would be dreadfully confused … or maybe not.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Possum fibre is very soft and getting popular. Helvi bought me a jumper a few weeks ago which has 10%possum wool and 90% fine merino from New Zealand. It feels soft and lovely. (I’ll tell the possums they’ll end up in jumpers if they don’t tone down their libido.)

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  8. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, you are right. Milo has deep philosophical insight into people and generally gets it right. Just look at the picture and you can see he is in deep thought.He is especially drawn to people who like him which is ,I suppose, pretty logical. Children especially he has lots of time for. Have you noticed that toddlers in prams always see dogs much earlier and quicker than other people?
    No toddler would look at me but with Milo around it is different.

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  9. solidgoldcreativity Says:

    I have noticed that. Good observation. Milo can also make great posts.

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  10. Rosie Says:

    Thank you Gerard for this wonderful post. Enjoyed every word and the photo is great. You have described Jack Russells perfectly – they are brilliant dogs. I agree that they enjoy trying to organise their humans. My much loved Jack Russell (no longer alive) used to love going to Kennels – she saw it as another area to patrol and more humans to show how well she was patrolling. She also loved any new experience and would be off without a backwards glance. Good boy Milo – you keep everything under control for your humans.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Rosie.

      Milo is sleeping right now after his chicken neck meal. Soon he’ll get ready for his possum watch. He knows when they are coming and generally goes to the door and just looks at me knowing we will let him out. He does his works silently and efficiently, minimizing the damage to our garden which possums want to graze down.
      They are vegetarians and eat anything green, including our geraniums, pelargoniums and all herbs.
      Milo is comfortable during the night with a dog- house lined with alpaca fleece filled cushions. Even so, in the morning he bangs on the door to be let in for a nice warm-up near the gas heater.
      Good boy Milo.

      Like

  11. Christine Says:

    I love hearing what people have to say about their dogs.
    Yours is a good read.
    We stopped travelling years ago, when our dogs arrived. The memoir “I Have Heard You Calling in the Night” influenced me when it came to leaving a dog behind. Wee Martin, the doberman, had only ever known life with his master and it was this reasoning that made it impossible for the tough Glaswegian to go away and leave his dog for even a few weeks; he couldn’t risk the possibility of Martin’s distress.

    All the same, it surely would be good to travel again.
    Woof!

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  12. Office Diva Says:

    Mr. G.O. In my absence you have finally posted about Milo, hoooray! I am catching up on all the O’Treats that I missed.

    The way you said that Milo nearly levitates, which gives him hope, is hilarious! He sounds like quite a character. I am so glad that I have finally gotten to see him. He is beautiful, and sounds very beloved.

    Here is an idea for you if you do leave Milo in a kennel. I don’t know if you have such places near you, but we made a short trip to the beach one weekend and put both dogs in a kennel with cameras in each area, so that you could log onto the internet and check how the dogs are doing.

    Every once in awhile I would check the computer (as if I had children, which I don’t) to see the dogs. Shadow the Golden Retriever was busy making friends, being such a Needy Nellie, while Chaya the Yellow Lab was off to herself looking pathetic. She isn’t as sociable (a bit like Office Diva on weekends). They were both fine, but I would see them and then start bawling, thinking that they must be lonely and miserable. (Which they weren’t, perhaps I was lonely without out them?!)

    Vacations are wonderful, as I just experienced, but I certainly missed my dogs a lot, and the folks too. Wherever you decide to go, I hope you have a wonderful vacation! Milo will miss you, but perhaps upon your return he will be the most wonderfully contrite creature that obeys your every whim.

    Nah. But have a great vacation anyway! :O)~~~

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