I was born on December 29, 1995, in a small village in the Jura. My Mother was Swiss (which accounts for my compact, robust stature) and my Father Irish (which explains my happy-go-lucky impishness).
Who I was in my past lives is a mystery to me (the shock of reincarnation is grossly underestimated); but whoever I was, my karma was such that I now find myself at the head of the pack in the enlightenment sweepstakes. (This is not hubris. It is a simple, humble statement of fact.)
In early May of 1996, my companion finally found me, and it was with a certain trepidation that I moved into what he sometimes calls his "fastness".
Not just anyone is suited for life with a Jack Russell Terrier, so it was imperative that I test him thoroughly before making the final commitment.
For the first several months I had pretty severe health problems. Though he cannot be said to have shown bravery or stoicism during this period of our life together, he was invariably kind. He never ever raised his voice - not even the night I vomited all over him and his bed - and spent countless hours rubbing my tummy when things were going really badly for me. (He did waver once, when I had to spend a day at the vet's getting an intravenous drip. In the throes of strong emotion, he told the vet's assistant that he wished he'd never found me. In the end, though, he brought me back home. And rubbed my tummy.)
Since I fancy myself something of a prankster, I chose destruction for his next test. I chewed up books (only good ones like Catcher in the Rye and anything by Vikram Seth), munched on a check he'd got from the Swiss Lotto, and pitched a very costly bottle of Burgundy down the steps. (Great sound effects, lovely colours and smells.) He did not holler. (But he didn't rub my tummy for a week!)
For the past year we have led a rather peaceful life. My health has been good, and he has finally learned to put books, checks, and bottles of fine wine away where they belong. We play ball, go for long walks in the woods, and spend our evenings alerting the villagers to the presence of foxes.
When he's home "working" at his Mac I usually just stare at him - a disconcerting trick I learned from Moose, the star of Frasier . (He seems not to be disconcerted by this, however.) Or, I roll my favourite ball under the secrétaire and bark until he stops ignoring me and gets down on his hands and knees where he belongs.
So the commitment has been made. He's a very lucky man.
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And here's a poem I wrote for a discussion group.
I'm very proud of it.