The Tale of Amberjack

As most of you have realized from the pictures popping up on my Facebook page, I have recently adopted a Jack Russel Terrier named Amberjack.  I didn’t just go to the pound and pick out a dog.  Oh no.  This story actually goes all the way back to June 19th while I was still in Phoenix.  I was up late at night in my dorm going through picture after picture on the Petfinder app, just looking at dogs in case I decided to adopt one.  I wasn’t REALLY thinking about adopting a dog, but I indulged myself in this search process to get the urge out of my system.  Well, this was a bad idea.

Before long I came across this:

Jack Russell Terrier Amberjack

This is a picture of Amberjack from June.  I was convinced she was a Chinese Crested (those dogs that win the ugliest dog contests) because of how…interesting…she looked, but then I read her story.  She and her sister, Flapjack (my sister loved this because it reminded her of Pancakes on The O.C.), were surrendered to the Animal Rescue Foundation.  Amberjack had demodex mange, which is the lowest form of mange caused by a high amount of fleas.  She was expected to make a full recovery, but at the moment had no hair : (  She was only three years old and was already suffering from something that wasn’t her fault.  So, of course, I immediately felt like I needed to adopt this dog.  I think I have a Corduroy complex from that children’s books (must buy the broken toy!!!).

I put this adoption idea in the back of my mind because I wasn’t even coming back to Tulsa for another month.  I figured by then she would be in a nice home.  But, I did save her to my favorites on a whim.  When I got back to Tulsa in late July, I casually opened the app again to check on Amberjack’s adoption story.  This unfortunately did not exist, but there were new photos of her with a huge improvement in hair growth.

Amberjack Jack Russell Terrier

I told my mom about the dog (she was here to help me move in), and my mom urged me to go see her at the vet’s office where she was being held.  My mom had doubts that a Jack Russell would be calm enough for an apartment, but we called the vet and they said we could come in at any time to see her.

This was mistake number 2 for someone who was not going to adopt a dog.  Not only was she super tiny, cute, and still a little pathetic looking (which made her more cute to me), we got more information from the volunteer that showed her to us.  She said the dog had just finished recovering from Kennel Cough, and had not been very popular at all (it sounded like no one else was interested in adopting her).  Amberjack likes being held, but was very nervous and shaky when I picked her up at the vet.  I got her health records when I left, and as soon as we got in the car, my mom told me “You have to get her.  She’s much calmer than I expected.”

Sooooo I filled out the application even though I was really nervous about adding a dog adoption to my already stressful move to Tulsa.  I couldn’t bear the thought of this dog being at the vet’s office any longer (she had already been there over 2 months).  I figured there was a chance I might not even pass the adoption screening process since I lived an apartment, would be gone for long periods, and hadn’t actually owned a dog by myself.  But sure enough, while on a break from panels at Comic Con, I got the call that I was clear to adopt her as soon as I returned to Tulsa.

Now just a small FYI, dogs are not cheap.  Between the adoption fee, apartment pet deposit, and Petco supplies, my bank account took quite a hit.  Luckily, though, most of these costs are upfront.  I won’t need to buy leashes, collars, cages, beds, etc. too often.  I won’t even need to buy food that often because she eats so little at 11 lbs.

Since I picked her up on Monday, we’ve had our ups and downs:


-The volunteer told me she wasn’t completely housebroken, but she has been almost perfect about just going outside and has quickly gotten used to her outings schedule.
-She doesn’t bark, bite people, or chew on my belongings.
-She seems to have bonded with me within minutes of being in my apartment : )


-She started SHRIEKING when I left the second time after putting her in the cage.  Maybe she did the first time, but she might have waited until I was gone for a few minutes.  I worried about how loud she was and was paranoid that my neighbors would call and complain and I would have to give her up.  She has gotten better the past few days since I put old t-shirts of mine in the cage (they smell like me), gave her trick toys with treats stuffed inside, and put her in the closet (door is open) so she is more in the center of the apartment to bother less neighbors.
-She is very clingy and wants to be in my lap a lot.  I’ve had to work on saying NO a lot and also working out compromises like her being on the couch only if she is laying on her bed that is *placed* on the couch.
-She loves squeaky toys, but she is able to take the squeaker out of the thin ones in 30 minutes flat -_-  I don’t think she gets it that once the squeaker is out it won’t squeak anymore…

To deal with some of the downs, I think I’m going to sign up for obedience classes at a local dog club.  I think it would be good for both of us and would help her socialize with other dogs (she gets super scared when another dog is nearby).  My friend recommended getting her into agility training after obedience training because of her breed.  Maybe she’ll be ready to zig zag through poles and jump over hurdles by Christmas : D

Amberjack the Jack Russell Terrier

But for now, it’s me and Amberjay (my pet name for her) against the world out here in Tulsa.


4 Comments to “The Tale of Amberjack”

  1. So glad you got the doggy. She is adorable! One thing you can try is wrap a clock in a blanket and put it in the crate with her. The ticking is like a heartbeat. It worked for my mom when she first got her puppy. As for the crate training that is one of the best things you can do for her. Our little doggy still freaks out around adults but has grown to love children. She is still skittish of other dogs but most of the time just walks right past them. We trained Anna Molly by taking her outside constantly. It takes a lot of time and patience with rescues.

    • I’m looking forward to the obedience classes. She seems to do well in her crate now, so I probably won’t let her roam free in the apartment for awhile. She seems to feel safer if she’s enclosed.

  2. Hahaha, I like the idea of having a pet name for your pet.

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