fiat the dog

My dog Fiat is now 4 years old. He is a Jack Russell mix. When we adopted him from the animal shelter as an 8 week old, he looked very nearly purebred, but now he looks like a Jack Russell who was once a steroid abusing linebacker but has gone all soft and thick in his middle age. He's oversized and barrell shaped while still having the general Jack Russell shape. He has no discernible neck. Frankly, he's a bit odd looking.

I love Fiat, and the kids like him a lot. He and Henry are especially close. But basically, no one else can really deal with him or stand him. He's got pretty much all the classic Jack Russell behaviors and neuroses. He chases bugs only he can see. He is frightened of balls. He is incredibly hyper and never stays still for more than 2 seconds. He steals and eats underwear on a regular basis. Despite completing dog training classes and being crate trained, he still won't come when called reliably and likes to sneak onto the dining room table and lick plates when he thinks no one is looking. He pulls on his leash until he is hoarse when we go for walks. And occasionally he randomly decides to pee in the house, mostly on piles of clothing or pillows. He's a totally useless watchdog because you never know if he's barking at a real person outside or a leaf that fell of a tree upthe street. ANd sometimes he just sleeps right through knocks at the door.

He sounds awful, doesn't he? He reminds me of THIS DOG

So why do I love him? Well, he's funny and sweet. He's great with kids and very, very smart. He kept me excellent company during the sad nights of the first year after my marriage ended when my kids would go spend the weekend away with their father and I thought my heart would fall out of my chest with loneliness. He makes Henry, who is now a supercool teenager, act like a little boy again. I just love him. I just do.

I am sure there are all kinds of things I could do differently or better in training him. God knows I've tried. But I think this is about as good as he's ever gonna get. He's the classic Bad Dog with a heart of gold.


dedanaan said...

You should read John Grogan's Marley & Me for the quintessential bad dog with a good heart story.

Dancediva said...

I did a LOT of homework on different breeds before I decided one one to concentrate on. I ended up with a dog who's perfect for my lifestyle and personality, but the most important thing is that I love her. No one else has to. Same with Fiat. As long as you're happy and you love him, that's what matters.

I do wish that you could fix the bathroom/housebreaking issue. That's one thing that's REALLY hard to deal with.

Tammy Molnar said...

Hi Kaite, stumbled across your site and read about Fiat. I love reading about dogs and their behaviors. My name is Tammy Molnar. My husband Jim and I own Cumberland Canine. We prevent and fix dog behavior isssues. We have been training all around Nashville for the last 11 years. We are located in Castalian Springs, TN, just North of Lebanon. I would like to invite you out to our place and take a tour and sit down and talk about Fiat. He is trainable but he just hasn't found the right trainer. Yes, we do train dogs but our specialty is training owners. Please give us a call when you would have a chance to come by. Our number is 615-374-4486 and my email address is Or if you are tied up next week, ask any questions you would like about Fiat and I will help you address some of that behavior you might want to get rid of. Have a great day. Tammy Molnar, Cumberland Canine.