Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Introducing: Jax


A couple of weeks ago, I promised to introduce you all to my menagerie of pets. Y'know, the better to hang on to my progressive/feminist bonafides. (Every feminist and/or progressive site I visit takes a kitty/puppy break from time to time.) You met Bad Juju, the baddest, most alpha cat in the Midwest. Now, meet his "brother."

Name: Jax (a.k.a. Jaximillian, Jaxie, Jaxinator, Puppeh)

Age: 4

Profile: What is the opposite of an alpha dog? Whatever you call it, that's what Jax is. He is the most neurotic dog you'll ever meet. For those of you who watch "South Park," my husband and I liken Jax to the character "Butters." We're certain that the monologue that plays in his head goes something like: "Oh no...aw jeez...what's going on?...aw jeez...something bad is about to happen...jinkeys..." Jax is scared of people with white hair, people with hats, people with hoods and, we recently learned, my nieces' puppy.

We rescued Jax at the Humane Society. He was eight weeks old and moping in his pen, the rest of his litter having already been adopted. He was so adorable with his sad, brown eyes. I knew we had to have him. Jax is a border collie mix, though the folks at the Humane Society were inexplicably trying to pass him off as some sort of lab. (Almost every puppy in the room was labeled "labrador mix," perhaps to convince folks shopping for mutts that they were getting a bit of America's favorite breed.)

About a month after bringing Jax home, we noticed he had developed a limp. A trip to the vets revealed that both his hips were out of the socket. (Hip dysplasia is common in border collies.) Surgery to fix Jax and give him a decent, pain-free life was going to cost a pretty penny. But, of course, I had to do it. By then, he was a beloved member of the family. I couldn't let him suffer or return him to the pound where folks were likely to pass him by because of his physical problem. So, Jax got his surgery and I stayed up all night with him while he whimpered and shook from pain. That's why Jax loves me best. And I know it's not right to have favorite furry "children." But Jaxie is my favorite. He's so sweet and loving and cu-ute. He recovered beautifully from surgery. Yeah, his hind end is a little crooked and his back legs are a little too close together, but you should see him take off after rabbits and squirrels.

My husband says I fall for the underdog every time. This is true.

Hobbies: Looking woeful; playing with his Kong chew toy; going for walks; barking at leaves; demanding to go out in the backyard, only to demand to be let in moments later; getting belly rubs; being harrassed by Bad Juju. (Jax hasn't had much use for The Juj since we brought the new kitten home. He was particularly put out when Juju kept trying to nurse from him. Since then, whenever Juju attempts to lie down beside him, Jax takes off. Our alpha cat makes a habit of ambushing Jax--waiting until he isn't paying attention and then leaping from behind a chair or wall. Jax will, of course, only take so much of this before reminding Juju which of them is bigger. This always prompts Juju to roll over on his back and look up all innocent-like [What? I was just playing? You know how I do. Don't be so serious, man!].

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