Just Jesse: The Amazing Jack Russell Terrier
By Heather Brook
Incredible Video of Jesse Helping around the House.
My name is Heather Brook, and my best friend Jesse is currently 5 years old. He is a tri-color, broken-coat, Jack Russell Terrier who loves adventure. Ever since I brought him home on my 16th birthday when he was 8 weeks old, we have been inseparable. Jesse and I practically do everything together, and when on outings you can bet that my little buddy is right there by my side, ready to join in on the fun. Having a best buddy wanting to participate in activities makes even the simple things in life that much more fun.
I fell in love with the Jack Russell Terrier breed because of their zest for life, wonderful personalities, and charm. Their playful attitude and eagerness to live life to the fullest is one of the many qualities that had me hooked on these feisty little terriers. Whether we are playing fetch with a tennis ball, lure coursing at a JRT Fun Day, or just hanging out and learning tricks together, there is never a dull moment when you share your life with a Jack Russell Terrier. Jesse has changed my life in so many ways for the better. I am forever grateful for his loyalty and the lessons that he has taught me over the years. Our relationship in every interaction is based on trust, mutual understanding, respect, and love.
Jesse and I started learning from each other from the moment he came home. When he was 9 weeks old he taught himself how to sit up; realizing that it got him a lot of attention. He would walk up to me when I would be doing something, and ask me to pick him up for a cuddle by sitting up with his legs out in front of him. His muscle strength for just a puppy astounded me as he could sit in that position for what seemed like eternity. Jesse picked up new behaviors very quickly, and had soon mastered the basic tricks. We had so much fun spending time together, and in the process Jesse’s vocabulary grew. From that day on, we have been learning tricks and having a wonderful time doing so. Jesse was always up for learning something challenging, and he soon mastered more advanced tricks such as skateboarding, jump roping, blowing bubbles underwater, and even doing a walking hand stand. Jesse just kept on amazing me with his willingness to learn and the speed with which he picked up words. His happy smile while doing his tricks was just heartwarming. Since Jack Russell Terriers are a high energy breed, tricks have become a wonderful way to channel that energy into something productive. Jesse loves thinking through a challenge, and the mental stimulation from learning new things leaves Jesse with a fulfilled look on his face, and a wagging tail. Jesse always likes to add his own unique twist to the mix in whatever he does.
Our main influence for doing tricks together was the enhanced communication and bond that came from spending time together. It is one of the best feelings in the world to see Jesse’s eyes light up, and seeing the huge smile on his face when he is doing the things he loves makes it all the more worthwhile. Jesse and I train all behaviors through the use of Positive Reinforcement and Clicker Training. This means that we use rewards to teach and maintain behaviors, and in the face of an unwanted behavior, I teach Jesse an appropriate behavior instead. Some of the rewards we use include food treats, and a nice fun game of tug or fetch. We rely heavily on shaping when learning a new behavior. This means that Jesse gets rewarded for approximations towards a specific goal, all the way up until we get the desired behavior. Jesse offers behaviors on his own, and I love it when Jesse has that spark in his eye when he is figuring out ways to think through the task at hand. Jesse’s creativity is one of the many things that I love about him.
These past 5 years with my best friend have been anything but ordinary. Through our dedication, bond, and hard work together as a team, we have achieved many things that I would never have even dreamed possible. Jesse passed the American Kennel Club test, and earned himself the Canine Good Citizen Award. He also passed the Therapy Dogs International test to become a Therapy Dog. Jesse has such a sweet temperament, and enjoys attention from adults, kids, and even babies. Jesse gives the sweetest little kisses to our nephews, and can play endless games of fetch with them.
I wanted to share Jesse’s wonderful personality with the world, so I started his own YouTube account under the username: JustJesse197. Here, people could see his adorable antics and see the wonderful charisma of the Jack Russell Terrier breed. A year later, we made a 1 minute video of Jesse’s tricks, and entered it into Bissell’s Pet Games Video Contest. Jesse was unanimously crowned the Grand Prize Winner by the judges, and appeared on the Bissell Vacuum box packaging along with a donation of $10,000 to the charity of his choice. Jesse chose to donate the $10,000 to Arizona Jack Russell Rescue Inc., our favorite local rescue. Owned and run by Sandy and Gary Mittendorf, they host many JRT Fun Days a year where Jack Russell lovers can bring their best friends to race, lure course, and hang out with other Jacks. It is always a treat to see Jack Russells excel at the activities that they were bred to do, and clearly enjoy.
YouTube became a platform for Jesse and me, and through our dedication, and relationship, Jesse and I appeared in different media outlets including the David Letterman Show. See Jesse’s resume below.
Tricks are only one of the many activities we enjoy doing together. Jesse and I love to rollerblade, hike, run together in agility, play Frisbee, bicycle, and swim. Jesse will gladly participate in any activity; with a smile on his face and a “ready for fun” attitude. Jesse is my little shadow, and likes to poke me with his nose to let me know that he is there. He also likes to poke me with his cuz ball to initiate a game of fetch. I love how Jesse intently listens to what I am saying, and will stare soulfully into my eyes trying to understand the message being sent. The quizzical look he gives when he hears a word he knows is just the cutest. If I get up from the couch, Jesse is up on his feet, ready for adventure. He doesn’t like to miss anything, and even if he is tired he will stay awake as to not let a fun game pass him by. One of Jesse’s favorite things, is to play with any toy that squeaks; the louder the squeak the better. He always amazes me with the speed in which he can de-squeak a toy; proudly earning himself the nickname Squeaker. Balloons are in peril when Jesse is around, as he will seek out and destroy them; shaking their lifeless bodies to make sure they are dead.
Jesse is a Jack Russell through-and-through, and absolutely adores chasing squeaker tennis balls, digging to his heart’s content, de-fluffing stuffed toys, and playing chase games. Jesse is always on his toes, and up for whatever adventure life throws his way. You can bet when Jesse is around that each and every day is lived to its fullest.
Even if Jesse couldn’t do a single trick, it wouldn’t matter. I love him for his unique personality, sweet antics, and overall devotion. The unconditional love and joy that he has brought into my life throughout the years is something that I am forever grateful for. Since Jesse makes the decision to do tricks, we would stop, no questions asked, if he decided he no longer wanted to do them.
Jesse has inspired me to pursue the path of becoming a dog trainer, and to teach others that they can teach their dogs with the use of Positive training methods. I want to teach others that through time, patience, and a bond anything is possible. By incorporating their dogs into their family, teaching them how to properly interact with their world, and fulfilling their physical, mental, and emotional needs, they can have the perfect best friend that they always dreamed of. It just takes commitment, a positive attitude, and a willing partner to follow your dreams.
The time spent together when at home or on vacation is something I will always treasure. There is no better feeling in the world than to love, and be loved by, a Jack Russell Terrier.
~Heather Brook and Jesse~
You can see more of Jesse on YouTube at http://youtube.com/justjesse197, visit his Official Website at http://justjessethejack.com and follow him on his very own Blog: http://justjesse197.blogspot.com
Jesse’s TV/Movie Resume
We were requested to appear on The Rachael Ray Show to jump rope together. Later we were contacted through our YouTube page by Ryan Williams from CBS, and were flown out to New York City to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman’s Pet Tricks Segment showcasing our Suitcase Trick. Jesse has also modeled in print ads for Petsmart, Bissell, Mighty Dog and Circle K. With Jesse’s large repertoire of tricks, he broke his way into commercials. Jesse has starred in the Circle K Thirst Buster commercial featured as “Buster”, appeared in a commercial for The Mighty Dog Nation, and starred in a commercial for the WOW! Cable Company as “Spencer”. Just recently, Jesse finished filming a second Circle K commercial and a Christmas commercial for the Virginia Lottery. From Jesse’s videos, we were cast in a small role for the Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 Movie Talent Show scene, and went to LA for the filming. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we made it into the final movie.
WARNING: Jack Russell Terriers are NOT a breed for everyone
If after watching Jesse’s videos you decide you would like to get a Jack Russell Terrier, this warning is for you. Deciding to bring a new family member into your home is a huge commitment that you will undertake for the rest of your dog’s life. Jack Russell Terriers live to be 16+ years old, and are active their whole lives.
Jack Russell Terriers are a very intelligent and wonderful breed. They have lots of energy, and are up for any adventure. They require a person who is dedicated to fulfilling their physical, mental, and emotional needs on a DAILY basis. If not given proper mental and physical care, don’t be surprised if they make up their own ways to try and fulfill their needs in the forms of digging, chewing, barking, and chasing things.
Through time, patience, a bond, and positive training methods, these little dogs thrive. JRTs bond strongly to their humans, and thrive on being a member of the family. They are little comedians, and love to make people laugh. JRTs make wonderful family members, and the time you spend together will be well worth it with the unconditional love they give you in return. I absolutely love their personality, charm, and zest for life.
JRTs are NOT a breed for everyone, and you should definitely do your research before deciding to bring a new family member into your home.