We got Heidi in January of 1999.
She was a bit of a rebellion on my part. My then Husband had desperately wanted a big dog, but after a failed rescue attempt involving a Great Dane named Zakha, I arrived home one day with a palm sized Jack Russell Terrier pup who I promptly named Heidi.
All of my pets always get literature names. Heidi, the sweet little helpful girl from a beloved childhood book seemed the perfect name for this cute little puppy. I knew nothing about the breed, and perhaps that was a good thing, because it never occurred to me that Heidi Russell would be anything but sweet when she grew up.
We raised her into a sweet little dog, teaching her to go into her crate with the command, “Lock & Load”. She played self fetch on the stairs, and constantly amazed us with her genius. Now, if only she would have used that genius for Good instead of for Evil.
Thousands of dollars in vet bills taught us that it can be “too quiet”. For that matter, maybe Heidi was instrumental in the success of our parenting as she taught us to be super vigilant with our toddlers.
She was dubbed the Jack Russell Terrorist, and yet, we loved her.
She talked back when scolded, and absolutely didn't protect the house from intruders. She stood mute while a man tried to break down the back door... But would bark herself hoarse protecting us from squirrels, rabbits, and UPS men - all clearly up to no good in her doggy opinion.
There were so many silly and amusing things about the dog, that it’s almost possible to forget the many (MANY) times she got into things or caused physical destruction to our home.
She became a pet of the neighborhood, the beach, the extended family, and took immense joy in sharing her cuteness with anyone willing to throw a ball.
And throw a ball again.
And ... again.
Still, she was more sibling to my children than pet, and when she presented with signs of a stroke on Wednesday morning it broke my heart, knowing that a chance of a recovery was unlikely. By Thursday we knew it was hopeless.
Heidi went to heaven on Friday morning. It was bitterly cold. She will be missed.
Heidi Hussenfuffer Russell – November 29, 1998 – December 13, 2013