Jon Jon

In the early 1960's, when the Kennedy's and Camelot were in the White House, my parents got a male Chihuahua puppy.  What to name him?  Well, my father's name was John, I was John Jr., the First Family had a son called John John by his father, the President.  Our new puppy's name on his kennel papers was "'something' (to this day, I can only remember) Little Bad John".  The coinicidence was too much to pass up. However, out of a little respect, we changed the spelling to Jon Jon.

Having never had a large dog, I have to ask, are they as horny as little dogs?  I already told you about Snowball.  Jon Jon not only attacked your legs, or arms if you were sitting down, but any stuffed toy that was available.  To make matters worse, he seemed to get more excited when we had company.  Very embarrassing.  When you tried to separate him from an object of his desires, he had a set of teeth like a machine gun, which he would fire away at your hand or arm.  To save our fingers, we purchased a broom to sweep Jon Jon into a spare room which wasn't being used at the time.

With what you know so far, you may be asking, why keep this dog?  He really was very cute, and very smart when his Mexican blood cooled.  And fearless.

We had a small bungalow at the New Jersey shore during that time, and our neighbor purchased a Doberman Pinscher puppy.  I said to myself, this has potential bad-ending all over it.  Sure enough, one day a few months after, the now adolescent Pinscher strolled over to our property, seemingly wanting to play with Jon Jon, who instead, felt threatened.  As we all held our breath, Jon Jon raced and growled toward the much larger Pinscher, who decided to wait until he grew up before confronting this little dynamo.  Well, he wasn't able to get enough speed before Jon Jon leapt up and bit the poor dog's hind quarter, and held on!!

You have to picture Jon Jon hanging on and growling, the Pinscher running in a circle on three legs howling in pain, and shaking his fourth leg for 30 seconds before Jon Jon released his jaws.  As far as Jon Jon was concerned, good fences did make good neighbors, and lucky for him, the Pinscher never got loose when he matured.

When I became engaged to my wife, Genna, I found out how jealous and possessive Jon Jon could be.  I was talking to her on the phone (no cell phones in those days), when I had to get some information for her from the other room.  I dropped the phone, went to the other room, and when I came back, I see Jon Jon hunched over the receiver and growling.  Genna is saying "John?...John? (meaning me)."  I started yelling into the phone, over his growls, " Gen, I'll call you back."  Remembering the Pinscher, and not wanting to experience his shark- like grip, I swept him out of the room and shut the door before returning the call.

I still have a photo of Genna, with Jon Jon on her lap, both looking into to the camera at the same angle, with the same smirk on their faces, like "I don't like you, and you don't like me."

Jon Jon was probably one of the first to greet Snowball when he got to heaven, and I can just imagine what there idea of a good time is.

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