We got you from a farm just outside Stokesley (North Yorks), I say we, you was my brother's dog (& responsibility). My brother had proved that he could look after a couple of pigeons, so a dog wouldn't be much more work. And the main intention would be thatyou would be a farm-dog, living in the pigeon sheds (the ones without pigeons living in them) and keeping guard.
For the first few months you lived in the house, getting used to people and eventually moved to the garden to stand guard and look after the pigeons.
You were never a yappy dog.
Everyone said that of Jack Russell's - they're right yappy dogs. But you never were.
I remember when you came in the house, pre-walk you'd have a daft moment when you'd run round the living room jump on the sofa, run to the end and jump off to finish your lap - it was hilarious to watch.
You did the same when we bumped into that old lady on the fields, she brought her 2 Jack Russells, one was old and stayed on a lead in her hand, every time you went close to it it would growl at you, but the other dog would tease you, and you'd both go off for a mad-run around the field.
Another time I took you for a walk there, in the field behind the old people's home, you went off on a run. Each time you'd come back, but then you didn't. I called your name out loads, and loads and loads. I went home without you, worried sick. Mum asked if I'd lost you, she said she heard me shouting.
We rang one of the nearby farms, and you were there. My brother was friends with one of the lads at the farm, and often took you ratting at the farm, so you knew your way there - you worried me sick! You left me in that field, running across another 3 fields to get to that farm.
You were a good rat catcher, "shek it Cracks" we'd say, and you'd roll and flip your head to shake (shek) the rat and break its neck dead. If we annoyed you with a soft toy you'd do the same to the toy.
You liked people.
You never growled at people.
You weren't a licky or jumpy dog either, you'd just sniff for any scraps you could scrounge.
You were a master of cunning and escapology.
You went through a spurt of escaping from the garden, and turn up at the pub around the corner or my sisters house. My mum and dad stuck a video camera up in the greenhouse and filmed one night, it didn't take long for you to go to the bottom of the garden, shimmy up the brick wall and drop down a good 10ft into the local primary school playground. You must have done it a good half a dozen times before dad put a stop to it.
You ended up on a lead with an aerial wire running from the pigeon loft to the greenhouse, there was a huge space in the middle for you to run around. And when I came to see you I'd let you run loose. But your escaping days were over.
That didn't stop you doing things like wrapping yourself around a tree, you didn't realise that you could untangle yourself if we went around it in the opposite direction. Daft dog.
When you stretched out, you sounded like you were saying "hello"
One of your first tricks was to bark, as if to say "please" generally when there was food around.
We'd say, "what do you say?"
And you'd say "woof"
And we'd say "good boy" and give you the food.
You were called Cracker, but you often responded to anything beginning with "Cr" at the start, like Cricket, Crapper, and Cracky.
You were a great footballer, when you had a full sized football to play with you'd nose it around the garden, barking & wagging your tail at it as if to say, come and get it then. And when you stopped with the ball you'd get your long filmy tongue and try and lick the entire side of the ball. You had a long tongue for a little dog.
You liked tennis balls too, and do a version of 'fetch' which involved getting the ball (usually a tennis ball) and stopping about a metre away, you'd sit with it, and as soon as we approached to get it off you, you'd leggit to a safe distance, stop and wait again.
You didn't really like water, bath time (used to happen in the house) but we found that we spent that much time picking you up and putting you back IN the bath it was easier doing it outside in a baby bath in the yard.
You were a big softy really, I once took you for a walk and we walked past Boris a local cat who lived nearby. Boris curved his back up, hissed at you and then went for you, you just fell onto your back in to submission, it was very embarrassing, I had to pick you up and walk aoof with you tucked under my arm, until we were a safe distance away.
My brother once had a couple of ferrets, they were good fun. If you let them loose on the lawn you'd have to watch that they didn't run off. Normally they'd catch you and annoy you, when they got too boisterous and you'd put them in their place.
You were a lovely calm, quiet dog. Not jumpy, not yappy.
Just a lovely, stinky, friendly dog.
You loved a good belly rub and whatever goodies we could pinch from the fridge for you.
You were old, you weren't well, it was better going to a vets than anything else.
We loved you Cracks xx