What a week for my Jack Russell.
With the drought and the winter devastating the grass out in the yard - it's really quite fragile at the moment - just the tiniest amount of Jack Russell-like over-enthusiasm in pawing the ground after a wee results in a bare patch. Then poor li'l Jack thinks that I will think he's dug a hole, and he goes straight off to self-imposed exile under the bed for a few hours.
One evening this week, Jack was happily playing with a large rubber chew toy when Chookie, the cockatiel, decided to start flapping his wings and screeching loudly. (Chookie loves the exterior scenes in TV's "Home and Away", as they feature genuine cockatiel chirps in the audio track. I suppose.)
Typically, when the cockatiel starts carrying on just so, Jack runs to Chookie's cage, with the toy still firmly wedged in his mouth, and barks through the hole in the chew toy, while shaking his head rapidly from side to side, thus ragging the toy and telling off Chookie at the same time. We laughed at Jack the first time he did this, about a year ago, and the action has passed into ritual and legend, and is thus oft repeated.
Unfortunately, this time, Jack managed to give his head an almighty thump against the furniture, and he came staggering around from behind the lounge suite, literally seeing stars (and, I guess, little chirping cartoon birds). That's all you need after wacking your head barking at a noisy bird, you know: more *&#!@#% birds! Jack was abnormally subdued... oh, for all of about ten minutes. But that's a long time for a Jack Russell to stay quiet.
We usually say to him, "That's enough, Jack. Don't be mean to your brother." What's really funny, though, is that when Jack wants to hide one of his doggy treats for later, he most often places it carefully under Chookie's cage stand! (And proceeds to bury the precious treat with invisible dirt for at least fifteen minutes.)
Later, Jack took another self-imposed exile under the bed when I pulled out my nail clippers to trim my own fingernails. All it took was one click, and Jack - with a memory better than any elephant - had recalled the one time, five long years ago, when I tried to clip his needle-sharp puppy claws with that same nail clipper.
Then last night, at about 11.30 pm, Jack managed to choke on a faux bacon-flavoured Munchie Treat stick thing. Gobbling it appreciatively, in typical Jack Russell fashion, he managed to get some of it lodged in his throat and, for quite some time, he was unable to breathe properly or settle on his blanket. I started to imagine a late night mercy dash in a taxi to a 24-hour vet. Or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. (Or would that be my mouth to wet-doggie-nose resuscitation?)
Any time I bent down to massage his throat externally, or to attempt to calm him, I got licked all over the face as he tried to plead with me to help him. Thankfully, the stick thing finally dissolved enough for him to swallow it (or he regurgitated it and I just haven't found it yet) and another traumatic moment had passed.
He's so innocent when he's asleep. (Under my doona.)