Bennie the Jack Russell Terrier Story
by Natalie Maceachern
(Lochgilphead, Argyll, Scotland)
Ben came to us via a friend in desperate need. Her dog was intolerable after a recent split in her family. We agreed to take Ben blindly, although I and my husband both have a lot of handling experience with both working dogs, pets and show dogs. But we were not prepared for Ben.
It immediatly became apparent that Ben had been abused as he showed great fear towards us and other strange people, to the point of aggression.
He would not allow us near him, so we confronted our friend and got the horrible truth.
Ben had been subject to being a football, pinned against walls and battered about the head. My friend was, and I trust in her, unable to prevent this intolerable behavior towards Ben.
You could not even point at the poor wee soul! He would show his teeth.
Now that we had a bit of background we could begin our work. We let Ben find his own comfort zone and approach us when he felt safe. We re-trained him and gained his trust.
It soon became apparent to us that Ben was not going to let go of certain anxieties and these showed and released themselves with Ben obsessively chewing at his feet and scratching at his ears until they bled.
We had extensive investigations done by our vet,who could find no medical reason why he had started this.
I spoke to my mother who is a behavioral therapist. It was she who agreed and confirmed this to be an anxiety related behavior, which, and I agreed, we could only ease, but could not stop.
Nowadays Bennie is going to work with my husband everyday, has been fully re-trained, fully trusting of us and seems to be a happy little dog with the most loyal and caring personality.
Bennie has prompted me in to becoming qualified as a behavioral therapist and trainer, and we have since been blessed with two more beautiful jrt's, Brochan and Chance who are brothers. We have a peaceful pack,with rank falling to Ben.
Although Ben has had a bad start he has reawakened my passion for rescue dogs. As a girl I would work with my mother to help rehabilitate unruly dogs and owners and we would take in rescues.
My love for the jrt will never cease. These are small dogs with huge personalities, but under the correct handling you couldnt ask for a better companion.
Bennie's OCD is slowly relaxing, but it is taking its time. A lot of the time he does have weeping ulcers and bad black wax, but I am confident that it will improve further as we manage it correctly.
Benny loves the outdoors and his favorite place will always be down a rabbit hole, even if he can never seem to catch one!!!!