Posted tagged ‘Jack Russell Terriers’

I’m Only a Dog

March 28, 2014

I haven’t written anything here since last fall, almost six months ago. It was about that time that we learned our beloved Jack Russell Terrier, for whom The Zeke Chronicles was named, had congestive heart failure. Zeke was only 11 years old, which for a small dog isn’t all that old, but he’d had a heart murmur for a few years. It never seemed to cause him any problem….until one day it did. Like with ourselves, we often take our pet’s health for granted and we expect everything to be fine…until one day it isn’t. After that one day, things are never the same and you begin a new routine of pet care. There were tests done, medicines prescribed, and diet changes made (much like you have to do with anybody with heart disease), and you hope it will make a difference. It did, for a little while, but then the inevitable began to happen. I will admit I was totally in denial that my dog wasn’t going to live much longer. I was certain that if I made his food, gave him his meds regularly, and monitored him like a hawk, he would be fine for a long time. Even when my vet said that I needed to prepare myself, I still believed Zeke would be with us yet for some time.

That was not to be, and one month ago today, Zeke left us for the Rainbow Bridge, the place where pets go to await their masters’ arrival. It is still hard to believe he’s gone, because the house was always so alive when he was here. Zeke was a happy little dog who lived life to the fullest right up to the end. I have to admire that he didn’t let his illness get him down and was ready to chase the wildlife from our yard even on the days when he shouldn’t have been dashing around like a maniac. He taught me what it means to enjoy the journey as well as the destination and to always be ready for life’s next adventure. And he gave me many stories to tell for my column, The Pet Corner, and for the Zeke Chronicles.

Because I was not the only one who loved Zeke and misses him every day, I offer the following written by his walking companion of many years.

Only A Dog

Who would have thought! That September evening in 2002 at “Farmer Joe’s” homestead in Nappanee, IN that a roly poly filthy dirty little Jack Russell puppy living in a dairy barn would mold and shape our lives to meet his needs. This was the day that Ezekiel Kubash was adopted into our family. He was only a dog. Yes he was a dog,Image but he was also so much more. He was a greeter. We were always greeted whenever we entered the house with a joyful dog his tail wagging and him jumping up and down like a pogo stick.  Then he became a hunter when he wanted to go out to chase away the squirrels, birds, gophers etc and maybe even go potty. After dinner he became the physical trainer, as he would jump around my chair until I would get up and take him for a walk either around the neighborhood or for a special treat we would walk in town along the bluff.  Next it was dinner time for us and he became a panhandler looking for a handout. If he’d collected money instead of food scraps we probably would have had more than enough to retire years ago. He also visited Grandma when she was in two different nursing homes and even visited her in the hospital after a stroke. Occasionally the word “go” would slip out and he was ready. Be it a car ride to town to walk or a trip up north, he definitely had to be included. But most of all he was our “Best Friend Forever”.  He took a piece of our hearts with him but we will remember him always.  Rest In Peace “Little Buddy”, Ezekiel “Zeke” Kubash, June 12, 2002 – February 28, 2014.


Those Darn Cats

August 21, 2013



By Zeke Kubash

 August is half over already, and it’s been a busy summer for this Jack Russell. As usual, I’ve done my best to keep the squirrels and bunnies on the run, especially when they visit the bird feeders. After all, I am saving Mom some dollars when I don’t let those critters hog all that expensive bird seed. My favorite thing to do when chasing those troublesome squirrels is to run along when they’re doing their high wire act, waiting and hoping one of them will fall. It hasn’t happened yet. The bunny likes to visit under cover of darkness, and he’s pretty good at finding that spot where he wiggles under the fence to escape. But I’ve given him a good run for his money a few times. My sister Foo Foo is a faithful companion who often helps me in the chase but sometimes just stands on the porch and cheers me on. She’s a good little cheerleader, that Foo Foo.

I guess the thing that keeps me the most on my toes is the cats are back. Yes, Zombie and Sandwich, those two irascible rascals, have come to stay at our house for a while (perhaps a long while) and it’s given Foo and I a new responsibility—keeping them in line. You see, Foo and I both grew up knowing only one other cat in our lives, Spider, and to put it mildly, he doesn’t and never did get around much. He’s one of those cats that just like to hang out and visit his food dish and lay on Dad’s shoes when he’s not wearing them. He’s caught a few mice in his time, but that’s been some time ago. At his age, I’m not sure he could move fast enough to catch one anymore. These other two guys are something else. They want to be in on everything that is going on, be it Mom cleaning house or working at her computer or Dad reading the newspaper or watching TV. They want to watch the water go down the drain, for Pete’s sake! They want to “help” with whatever is happening, run up and down the stairs, back and forth through the house, sneak out into the garage, and then crash with whoever is sitting at the moment. Foo and I have found it necessary to become snitches, if you will, and let Mom know when something inappropriate is going on.  It’s a tough job but we’re up to it, and the guys do provide some amusement when we are otherwise stuck in the house.

You might remember that Sandwich is a bit disabled with only three legs, but you’d never know it by the way he races around the place. He does move rather like an inchworm, though, and can curl up in some small spots. I guess Sandwich was a good name for him, because he can “sandwich” himself in just about anywhere. Zombie wants attention, now, this minute, and all the time. He has become Mom’s new little buddy, or should I say pest? Both cats like to sit in the window sill and watch what’s happening outside. I’m sure if they could help us chase those pesky squirrels they’d be glad to do it, but Mom says the guys are safer staying in the house. She knows she’d have a hard time catching them if they did get out.

So summer is racing by and the days are getting shorter, but for Zeke the Jack Russell life is never boring and it’s always on to the next adventure.

Dogs Being Dogs

September 17, 2012

      There comes a time in every pet owner’s life when they seriously wonder why they ever thought it was a good idea to live with an animal. I recently had such a moment with Zeke. (Well, I have to confess, I’ve had many such moments in the last ten years with Zeke.) This one followed a night where I knew some critter had found its way over the six foot fence and into the backyard. I saw it moving around underneath the birdfeeders and so had to take Zeke out on his leash so there wouldn’t be any late night fights with creatures unknown. That worked okay (we’ve done it before). The mistake came the next morning when I ignored the little voice that said “don’t let him out into the yard alone.” After all, it was daylight, the critter was gone and I didn’t see a reason for concern. A word of advice, don’t ever ignore the little voice that tells you something is a bad idea. When I let Zeke in a short time later, he was as excited as a little boy who’d been playing in the mud. But in this case, I don’t think it was mud. Obviously, our nighttime visitor had left behind a nice surprise, and Zeke, in his doggy mind, figured it would be nice to roll in it. Bad idea on his part. I marched him right back out the door and made him wait on the porch till I had the bathtub, a gazillion towels, and plastic gloves for myself ready for the odious task of giving him a bath. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. When Zeke discovered what was in store for him so early in the morning, he wasn’t a happy camper either. I took the fun right out of his delight in rolling in something, and it sure wasn’t an enjoyable way to start out my Monday morning, especially when I needed to get ready for work. It was truly one of those moments when you wonder if being a pet-owner is all it’s cracked up to be.

            But all is well that ends well. Zeke was nice and clean and fluffy and smelled good again, and I went to work. As I said, it isn’t the first time this has happened and Zeke certainly isn’t my first dog that has needed a sudden bath. It’s just one of those things that dogs do that annoys the heck out of us humans and the dogs don’t have a clue why. Hey mom, what’s the big deal? I smell good! I know that’s what they’d say if they could talk, because they are after all dogs and what we find unpleasant (or should I just say rank) is perfume to their noses! Even the littlest dog will fall prey to this habit and the best way to avoid it is….well, I’m not sure there is a way. If you own a dog, sooner or later you will find yourself dealing with this sort of nonsense, and the only thing you can do is be prepared with plenty of dog shampoo and old towels and patience. Mix in with that a lot of forgiveness for a dog being a dog.

            For sure, though, the backyard light will stay on at night to perhaps discourage those wild critters from climbing over the fence.

Birthday Dogs!

June 20, 2012

Do you celebrate your pets’ birthdays? We always do; well, not with a party or anything but they usually get some special treats and maybe a walk someplace new or just a little longer walk. Even for the pets whose birthdays we weren’t certain of we picked a day around the time we thought they were born. When we adopted Zeke nearly 10 years ago, I’m glad I thought to ask the farmer when the puppies were born and glad he remembered. Zeke turned 10 on June 12, and Foofoo, the crazy Pomeranian, is 3 today. So while Zeke is entering his “golden years,” Foo is just becoming legal (if you count each year as equal to 7 in human years). In Zeke’s case, you’d never know it. While his hair is a little lighter on top, (distinguished gray!) he’s active as ever and can still pursue critters around the backyard like it’s a racetrack. I thought for sure he had a squirrel the other day when the crazy thing changed course in its flight and made for a tree instead of the fence. Another second or two and Zeke would have caught him. I’m glad he didn’t, as well as I hope he doesn’t try to catch the the raccoon that likes to visit the birdfeeders at night.  I wouldn’t care to intervene in that encounter, so I’m keeping the motion-sensor light on in the backyard at night to avoid that scenario. Like most other Jack Russells, Zeke thinks he’s a mighty hunter, but that’s what they were bred to do, so it’s pretty useless to try and change him.

Foofoo, on the other hand, is a little clown. Or as my husband says, a little ditz. I guess with a name like that, what can you expect? She’s feisty and funny and likes to twirl and whirl and bark and bark and bark…… You get the picture. She thinks she should take on every big dog in the neighborhood, but she loves little kids and if she sees them playing with a ball or frisbee, she so wants to join in the fun. She loves to give kisses.  Sometimes she is the typical bratty little sister and there are spats I have to break up (usually over a stolen rawhide chewie) but for the most part Zeke and Foo get along well. The two of them keep life interesting and won’t let us turn into couch potatoes; and since today is Foo’s birthday, I need to visit the local pet bakery and get some of those special doggie treats.  Not sure about the long walk tonight, as it’s heading for the 90s again today, but there is always the backyard and squirrels to chase. They make everday special for Zeke and Foofoo.


Zeke at 10

Welcome to the Zeke Chronicles!

May 18, 2012

Hi and thanks for stopping by. This is my new blog and this is my dog Zeke. He’s an almost 10 year old Jack Russell Terrier (some people call them Parson Russell but I think Jack fits much better). We’ve had Zeke since he was just a little fella (about 10 weeks old) and even though I’ve owned dogs all my life, I have to confess that being owned by a Jack Russell was a whole new experience for my family and me. They are truly unique little dogs. I could go on and on about that, but the reason I started this blog was to tie it in with a little column I write called the Pet Corner. It’s appears once a month in Mailmax, a small weekly paper that’s published in my area. The Pet Corner is dedicated to helping pet owners live better lives with their furry kids; but most of all The Pet Corner tries to help whenever possible to draw attention to the many pets living in shelters who would like nothing better than to find forever homes. I try to make readers aware of activities in the area that help support our local humane society and several rescue groups, but sometimes it’s just fun stuff about everyday life with pets. And sometimes Zeke himself takes over and writes a column! (I did mention what a unique little dog he is, didn’t I?) So I hope you’ll stop by often and see what’s happening. I plan to post more pictures of our pets who also include Foofoo, the crazy Pomeranian, and Spidercat, who was once upon a time a skinny shelter cat. I’ll also post some of my older, most favorite Pet Corner columns here. If you love pets, this is the place for you. Hope to “see” you again here soon.