The Question of Ears Once and for All...
by Nathalie Benoit
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Yoichi and Me In Bouctouche, New-Brunswick
First of all, I'd like to say I am glad to have stumbled on such a rich site about JRT's!
I'm sorry for the length of this text, in advance.
My JRT is named Yoichi (pronounced YOY-CHEE) and he is 5 years old. I got him from a classified ad in 2003, (he was then 6 months old); found out the day I adopted him from the person who was giving him away (more like selling him away) that she bought him from a flea market breeder...probably a backyard breeder.
Yoichi's ears are pointed, instead of being folded, and that's the most obvious flaw to the breed. Otherwise, his conformation seems OK. I'll send a picture and let everyone else judge for themselves.
Yoichi is the first and best dog I will ever have and he conquered many hearts. Yoichi chose my life partner before I ever did: he pranced his way into his love. Now he's got 2 proud parents and an extended loving family (not only mine, who loved him at first site, but my in-laws and all the uncles and aunts). He conquers (almost) everyone he touches and he is the best gift of life I could ever have offered myself.
In Quebec, the situation with pets and their treatment and mass production has not yet evolved like we'd like to, but minds are being opened to adoption (as opposed to buying in pet shops) and education is beginning, it's a slow but steady process. Had I known what I know now, I might have found my dog another way. At least, he is with me and has been for the last 5 five years and will be 'till his last years and beyond that! My fiancé is so infatuated with Yoichi, that he took a gazillion pictures of the dog and told many anecdotes Yoichi related before we were even together as a couple. Getting to the point...
I had a negative experience yesterday, when I was in a pet fair in Montreal. I was hoping to share with and ask questions to a certain JRT breeder. I told a little bit about my dog's history and his response sounded like my dog was not worthy of being called a Jack Russell, because the so called breeder had no respect for neither "the craft" (breeding professionally I suppose), nor the standards. Actually he meant, without saying it literally but the tone and his manners were clear, that my dog wasn't worth squat. It shook me to the core. It hurt me. I argued that Yoichi showed most of the psychological profile of the breed and he said it didn't mean anything as long as the pup didn't meet the physical standards.
I fully understand the breeder's disagreement or even spite against ruthless people who improvise themselves as breeders and I would know better than to deal with these people now. But I saw many JRT's on the net with pointed ears and would think twice before disqualifying them from being Jack Russells.
My question is this: pointed ears: Jack Russell or not? Could he be mixed, or just this one pup in the litter who was flawed? Usually, when people meet my dog, it's 50/50: half of them recognize Yoichi as a JRT. The other half argue with me that it's a giant chihuahua or a mixed. Honestly, I am sick and tired of endlessly justifying my dog. My friend's mother has a white Boxer; she's not any less a Boxer, it's just a breed defect. Do people who have a pointed eared JRT suffered the same problem?
Thereupon, I salute you, fellow JRT lovers and owners and a special tip of the hat to owners/parents of a Jack Russell with pointed ears.
Nathalie, from Montreal
Jack Russell Lover 4 Ever!