Articles Index/In Memoriam, Pets
Posted 02/24/03

1995 - 2002

Requiem for a Heavyweight

At a mere fourteen pounds he didn't look like a heavyweight, but it didn't take very long for all who met Jeep to realize that he made up in heart, personality and courage what he lacked in stature.

Jeep's career in the show ring was hit and miss and he graciously contributed points to nearly every dog that was out at the time. One judge awarded him four Reserves in succession. Still, he had his wins, a memorable one being at the ANTA Spring Fling where he won the stakes class.

One of our best days came when jeep earned a leg on his Senior Earthdog title in the morning and finished his championship with a major that same afternoon. A milestone in versatility perhaps, but it would be two years before he finished his Senior title and he never returned to the show ring. He won his Master Earthdog title at the "nationals" after Montgomery.

We qualified for and tried our hand at being a Therapy Dog, but lap sitting wasn't his forte. The look on his face pleading for rescue was too much and we soon moved on to other things.

Jeep found his calling in hunting. Living in the city he started with rats and became expert at finding and dispatching them. He was top dog in the rat patrol that policed a nearby state park.

Jeep's favorite quarry was woodchuck, even if they were bigger than he was. He never marked an empty hole and only barked when he was up to the quarry. The inhabitant of the hole was not important and more than once I found myself digging to a skunk or opossum, but I was never prouder than when the old pros finally called him a "Hole Dog."

He hated coming out of holes and seemed to enjoy waiting while someone dug down to him. Sometimes he would be completely buried or closed off in a tunnel. At others the shovels and digging bar mush have come awfully close. There was no way to get him out of a hole until he was ready, even after the original inhabitant had been dispatched.

His hunting instinct served him well and after several tries he became the first Norfolk to earn the coveted Working Certificate awarded by the American Working Terrier Association.

On that last Thursday I could tell he didn't feel well. Still he marked and hunted two woodchucks with his usual zeal. We couldn't have asked for a better day.

I guess that car company had something when they coined the phrase, "There's Only One Jeep." He took me places I couldn't have gone otherwise. Thank you, my friend, for a great ride.

Richard Reynolds
ANTIC December, 2002

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