We have a Jack Russell. In his way, a loveable dog if you hate peace and quiet. As fast as a bagful of fast things with a ball and I don't doubt that if he was a working dog, he'd catch more rats than enough. But I'm not into catching rats. I've no idea what I'd do with them and the potential vets' bills frighten me. As dogs go, he's as loyal as any other and if you need alerting to when the postman has the temerity to put mail through the door, he's your boy, but he's got a mind of his own that no amount of training or willpower can defeat. My parents had a Jack Russell when I was a kid upon which I learned a useful trick. You see, when they've picked up something you wish they hadn't, there ain't a hope in hell of getting them to drop it, no matter how well you train them to fetch and drop balls. Instinct takes over. When the cat snatches a bird and brings it doors, then goes off to find another, you can be sure the JRT is onto it like a shot and won't be giving it up for love nor money unless you can catch the little sod before he runs behind the settee with it. If you grab a JRT's paw, they are obliged by law to drop whatever they have in their mouths and they don't like it one bit. I've found they give you two goes at this, before they work out what's going on and do everything in their power to prevent you grabbing a paw. They ain't silly. I don't for the life of me understand why people love them more than they would another intelligent dog such a boxer, who will be just as playful when the time is right, but knows when enough is enough. A dog you can take to the pub to be a crumpet magnet, but will settle down and won't be trying to trip everyone up, like Jack Russells do. What's it all about? How come these bleedin' dogs are so popular with people who don't need to catch rats?