Jigsaw shows almost every sign of Orrang in his behavior.

I have had Airedale Terriers for many years. This fellow Jigsaw is character. I felt I had to create a record of his activities. I hope I can do justice to his activities.

Friday, June 4, 2010

An Exciting Memorial Day Weekend for All

It was a exciting Memorial Day weekend for all. Jigsaw killed his first adult raccoon. This was not planned or something I desired to happen. His natural instincts took over and I couldn't stop it no matter what I did or how much I yelled. It was all over for the unfortunate raccoon. The incident happened on a small beach by Open Bay on the San Juan Islands. We were just coming down to the beach from the isthmus which separates Open Bay from Nelson Bay and the raccoon was down near the water. Jigsaw saw him even though he was a good 100 feet away. The raccoon saw us and tried to make a dash for the logs above the high tide mark. He almost made it but not quite. Jigsaw has fought with raccoons before when he wasn't so sure of himself and probably wasn't as brave as he is now with more experience. He has had a couple of earlier encounters with porcupines and raccoons. This time he grabbed the animal by the back shoulders and picked it up and shook and crushed for what seemed like a few minutes. The distance covered was considerable. The whole time I tried everything from yelling and hitting him with the leash to no avail. It was an event I hope doesn't get repeated. We do have a problem with too many raccoons and foxes on the island but we don't practice population control. My philosophy is live and let live. Jigsaw's background has to be from the Orrang strain of the breed. I know this is natural for him. I have no problem if he chases a deer or fox because they are too fast for him and the chase is quickly over. At home we have a few coyotes that he finds their scent in the woods and he follows their scent for some time. You can hear the coyotes crying to draw him in but there is never a fight because they are too willy for him. Back to the island incident Jigsaw was very proud of himself and finally listened when I made him leave the raccoon for the Eagles and Turkey Vultures. Licorice our Standard Schnauzer who is 11 years old was not helpful while all this was going on he tried to help Jigsaw and added to the excitement. An interesting thing about Jigsaw is he wants to do it all by himself. The only time he fights with Licorice is over the "hunt" or once in a great while food. We have Otters that hang out on the dock for our cabin and Jigsaw will fight any other dogs that want to join him in pursuit of the otters. Jigsaw loves people and other dogs big & small. He will play and act silly like most Airedales but, if the hunt is on take Jigsaw out of the pack because he wants to be in the lead and have no competition.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A 2d Porcupine Experience

This photo of Jigsaw taken in February 2010 on Blanchard Mountain in Skagit County. Jigsaw was off trail following a scent. It took him halfway through a clear cut about 600 feet off the trail and downhill. He went wild over a large pile of brush. When I say wild I mean he forgot he had a human master. After much noisy barking from him and shouting from me, I had to go to him. When I got closer I began to understand the seriousness of the situation. This dog had shifted into a state of obsession. I had to pull him off the porcupine. This photo is after I was able to get most of the quills out of his head, chest and legs. This was Jigsaw's second porcupine experience. I would have to say Mother Nature had been good to the porcupines by giving them a good defense against predators. This Airedale only had one thing in mind and his adrenaline was really flowing. I had a hard time getting him to get his mind and physical desire off the porcupine. Once I go him up to the trail and road we could work on his condition. I removed as many quills as I could without any tools. This is how he looked after I got out around 75 quills. Later when we got home about 20 miles from where the truck was parked I got 25 more quills out. The really bad news was Jigsaw still had lots more quills that were getting increasingly difficult as the easy ones always seem to go first. After getting him heavily sedated with tranquilizers we still couldn't get this 90 lb mini horse to hold still. The end result was a afternoon trip to the emergency veterinary care. It was a Sunday so our option were very limited. I am grateful they were there for Jigsaw and the cost was huge. We bite the bullet and the result was the vet go several dozen more quills.

Jigsaw lives to go to the woods and follow any fresh scent. I just don't have the heart to put him on a leash. We pick and chose our trails carefully in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. We try to go early in the day when less people are out. Most of all I watch very closely and stay away from the Chuckanut Range which seems to have a very healthy population of porcupines. His first experience with porcupines should of taught him a lesson but I do attribute his obsession with Nature's other critters as the Oorang in him. I've had Airedales before and this guy is really great in an unusual way. He is much bigger than any Airedale I've had and much more obsessed with hunting. I've developed a love hate feeling about some of his habits.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jigsaw's early days as a Puppy

Early on as a young puppy there was a lot to learn and I had help from my big brother Licorice and another young kitty Captain Wiggles.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our Big Discovery- A Still Born Baby Orca

The winter of 2009 we were beachcomber on Open Bay in the San Juans and discovered a still born baby Orca washed up on the beach. The Eagles were hanging around just waiting for us to move on so they could continue their feast. The dogs were greatly interested in their find but listened well not to tear into it. The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor was very interest and said this was only the 7th still born ever found. It is amazing what washes up on Open Bay.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Life in the Northwest

This is Jigsaw at 4 years old, charged and ready to go. He carries his own water and treats. He lives to be on the trail looking for fresh scent. He is like an ever ready battery charged and ready to go. He has yet to meet a human that can wear him out. His life has been active and it seems like he'll never grown up as is the case with most Airedales. He is going on 6 years old now and has only slowed down a little.
Jigsaw was born in Battleground Washington, just outside Vancouver WA. He moved to Bellingham as a puppy and lives with a Standard Schnauzer 5 years his senior. They are very close although the Schnauzer is really slowing down. Jigsaw gets around and is on the trail 3 miles or more everyday. He is equally comfortable in the Mountains or Salt Water.