Turkey Tracks: Slaty is MOSTLY Jack Russel Terrier

Turkey Tracks:  December 3, 2017

Slaty is MOSTLY Jack Russel Terrier

My family has a long history with rat terriers, like my No No Penny and my Miss Reynolds Georgia, the latter has been waiting for me at the rainbow bridge for two years now.  I didn’t know anything about Jack Russel terriers, except that they have TONS of energy and, as a result, need an owner with a strong hand and a fair amount of dog experience.  And then I saw one on a walk one day…

As you might know from earlier posts, I fell in love with AC Slater’s picture online, and in due course, brought him home.  He was billed as a terrier/hound mixture.  I started reseaching Jack Russel terriers.  Mom was the “hound” mix, and Dad was the “terrier” mix.

Here’s a picture of a JR from an online JR image website.

Look at the dark-ringed eyes and the markings on the face.

Here’s AC.  The eyes!  His ears may be bigger, but it’s hard to tell with them in alert mode.  I had mentioned the “treat” word.

Here are pictures of JR body types from online.


Here’s AC, with his tail down as he’s not quite sure about what I’m doing on a rainy day with the camera in my hand.  You’ve seen other videos that show his fabulous tail, from which you can tell EXACTLY how he’s feeling at the moment.

AC is making a lot of sense to me now.  JRs were bred to chase foxes through the woods.  You should see this dog in the woods.  Nothing stops him—underbrush, water, rock walls, fallen trees—he’s under or over or through in a flash as he runs full speed.  And nothing makes him happier.

He tries so hard to work with me.  He comes, with joy, every time I call him, which allows me to walk him off leash through our woods paths.  He carries prey with a “soft” mouth.  He’s fast and smart and so much fun!

AND, he has webbed feet.  I’ll have to research that with JRs.  I suspect this summer he’ll learn he can swim.  He’s already fascinated with water.

He gulps his food—a JR trait.  He is relentlessly “drivey” in our yard.  He hears every leaf that falls outside and wants to investigate.  With his “pretty collar” on, he can go out on his own.  None of the small animals in the yard are allowed.  I hope he has good sense about skunks.  No No Penny and Reynolds did.  They could each trigger a skunk, but did not get sprayed.  Best I have the washing ingredients on hand in months to come.

He’s great with both other dogs and people.

BUT, he’s not fully housetrained yet.  He goes long stretches with no poop accidents, then…  And at 8 months he’s not fully reliable about chewing the straw basket that holds his toys downstairs.  I’ll have to replace it with a metal one, which I can get at Renys for $10.  I have spent a small fortune on treats that he can chew without demolishing them in 2 minutes.  Did you know dog stores now sell pieces of antlers as chew solutions?   They work.

I can’t wait for my grandchildren to meet him.  And some of them are coming for Christmas!!



Turkey Tracks: Hitting the Jackpot!

Turkey Tracks:  September 30, 2017

Hitting the Jackpot!


I now have two co-pilots in the car.  I can’t believe how far AC Slater has come in just a month.  He may be the smartest dog I’ve ever had, and No No Penny (Penelope), seen here on the left, is super smart.

He comes EVERY TIME he’s called now—running to me with joy and delight.  He’s learning the boundaries of the radio fence.  (See his pink collar in the picture—it has been through 2 dogs now and used to be red.)  He is learning to walk beside me without a leash to the command “Stay by me.”  He’s learning language really fast.  We had about a week of no potty accidents, then a poo accident yesterday, but at the door to go out—and I caught him in the act—so he knew it was bad, bad.  He was embarrassed and immediately regretful.  He is just 6 months now.  

With the radio collar, I can let him outside as often as he wants.  He is “on the job” with the squirrels and chipmunks.  I had an infestation of these this year, so that’s great.  Hoping no skunk episode.  Or porcupine.  

AC wants to help with anything and everything outside.  If I’m removing a spent plant from a pot, he helps with the pruning by pulling at plant pieces with his mouth.  If I’m digging, he helps.  He follows me everywhere, looking for work connections with me.  I think that spending the night with him in an inn near where I met Casey bonded us.  That was a good move.

I would also note that I train with Peter Loeb’s method, from the book SMARTER THAN YOU THINK.  This method is not punative in any way, but relies on getting a dog to hear your voice no matter what, making you the dog’s “safe place,” and does not use treats to reinforce behavior.  The dog works with you because s/he wants to bond with you and be with you, not because of any punishments for bad behavior.

I love his tremendous energy and his happiness and his sweetness.  I have access to woods/fields walks where he can go unleashed.  We ran across a really sweet man and his dog the other day on one of these trails, and I called out to him that “he doesn’t bite; he’s a new rescue” as AC had run ahead of me.  (When this happens, he always runs back to me as I am his safety place.). The man said:  “well, you hit the Jackpot, didn’t you?”  Hmmmm.   Jackpot may be the new nickname as both of us hit the Jackpot.

On this same walk, we met two women with four small dogs, one a female Jack Russel terrier.  She was the miniature of AC, who was taller than she was.  So, yes, there is a LOT of Jack Russel in him.  They ran in circles around us in sheer joy.

AC runs ahead of us, but waits for the two old ladies (me and No No Penny) to catch up when the path curves and he cannot see us.  He takes circular side trips out into the woods, running full bore, but never loses knowing where we are.  Thus, he gets in the running he needs.  And NNPenny and I are moving faster each day and increasing our distance.  Thus, I have not needed to use the dog park so much—and there are some problems with the other dog park dogs, where there is a lot of humping going on.  That’s a whole other topic.

I love this boy to pieces!  Thank you Casey Carter of Rock City Rescue in Arkansas and foster mother Ashlyn for doing the necessary work to get such a fine dog to me.  I am forever grateful.

Turkey Tracks: A C Slater is In The House

Turkey Tracks:  September 12, 2018

A C Slater is in The House

My beloved rat terrier Miss Reynolds Georgia died two years ago.

I had been thinking of adopting again as Penny (No No Penny) is now 15 years old.  She’s doing great for the most part, but…

My kids thought it was time.  And, Penny could help train a new dog.

I was looking for another rescue rat terrier female, between 2 and 6 years of age.  NO PUPPIES!

Then I saw this online picture from Rock City Rescue, Arkansas, and fell in love.

AC Slater was a 5 1/2 months old male.  Mommy was a 40-pound “hound,” and daddy was a 30-pound terrier mix, with some Jack and some rat involved.  I needed a dog big enough to be safe on my property, and most rat terriers today have been bred to be smaller–unlike my No No Penny, who is a standard size and weighs about 25 pounds.  I am wondering if Slater actually has fox hound genes.  He doesn’t really act like a Beagle mix.  But who knows…  And I don’t care really.  The upper middle picture reminded me strongly of Miss Reynolds Georgia–and friend Gina Caceci saw that too the other day when I sent her the picture.

AC Slater came from an unintended litter which was turned over to Casey Carter.  All AC’s siblings have been adopted now.  They were all named after characters on the old tv show, “Saved By The Bell.”  AC Slater is a real musician who was also a character on the show.  I like the name and will keep it.

Casey Carter of Rock City Rescue down in Arkansas worked with me to make the adoption happen.  These people are so amazing.  Their dedication to this cause is awesome.  When Casey decided I could have AC Slater, she put me in touch with his foster mother, who has had Slater since he was about 4 weeks old.  Ashlyn was and is an amazing foster mother.  Slater clearly has been loved and nurtured.  He is so sweet and gentle, and he’s good with people and other dogs.  Ashlyn shared with me all the information I needed to make the decision to adopt AC Slater.  And she sent him “fully loaded”:  collar, retractable leash, food he was on, bed, blanket, favorite toys.  I was moved to tears when I saw her generosity.  It was already clear she loved him from our conversations, but now I saw how much she wanted him to be happy in a good home with another person who also loved him.

Casey, pictured on the left below, rented a van and with a friend, left Arkansas on a Friday morning and dropped off dogs and cats all along the way to people who were adopting them.  That’s Casey’s friend in the white shirt on the right.  The couple in between were adopting a cat–they live in Portland, Maine.  I drove to Kittery, Maine, down on our southern border, and met Casey about 7:30 Saturday night.  AC Slater and the cat were the last two animals in the van.

Here’s my first look at this adorable creature.

And Casey took this picture of us when he let me pick him up.

I had rented a “pet friendly” room nearby, so I took him there, and we began to bond.  You can see his bed and his blanket and toy, sent by Ashlyn.



The next morning, AC Slater was my co-pilot for the 3-hour journey home.  You can’t see it well, but he does have a safety chain attached to the seat belt.  By putting him near me, I could talk to him and pet him all along the way.  And we did stop often in case he needed to go potty or just stretch his legs a bit.

He LOVED the basket of dog toys:

And Penny let him into her bed at some point in the next few days:

And so it goes.

My life has been incredibly busy as I walk this high-energy puppy, which Penny loves, and take him to our local dog park where he can really run with other dogs.  Then there is the potty training, the leash training, and, lately, the gentle introduction of the radio fence collar so he can have full run of my property.

He’s doing well.  I’m doing well.  Friends are helping.  It’s all been really good.

Here’s a picture taken this morning of Slater outside of my house–with his radio collar on:

My thanks to my family for encouraging me to take this risk, to Casey Carter for the work she does, to Ashlyn who gave AC such a good start, to friends who are also helping me when I need help.