Jansim Just Gizmo

April 05, 1993 - April 09, 2010

For so many years, Beth and I were convinced we wanted a Cairn Terrier, and once we bought a house and got settled, we were sure there'd be a CT beside us . . . well, on a trip to Vermont we spied a breed book on sale, and on a whim we bought it. And when Beth saw the Border Terrier, that was it, we knew we had to track down a BT. As luck would have it, we had purchased the Dogs Annual, and in the Breeders list was Jansim Registered Border Terriers, and they were in Montreal! Beth put pen to paper and wrote Pam a letter inquiring about a puppy. Pam being the very protective 'mom' returned with a list of questions a mile long. Not to be daunted, Beth answered them all, and Pam then told us that she was having a litter that spring, and if we weren't fussy, we might, emphasis might, get a puppy, but we would have to go there personally. No way were we to have a puppy without a meet 'n greet.

In June of 1993 we travelled to Montreal where we met Pam and Chris, and a house full of Borders, a whippet, and even a miniature Dachshund. Gizmo (Jansim Just Gizmo) was no more than a little brown ball, and full of spunk . . . so much so she jumped off of Beth's lap and let out a terrible yip. Scared us to death, but we learned quickly not to trust these little terriers, as they get into so much mischief.

One winter day we were both out shovelling the driveway, and there in the picture window was Gizmo, watching our every move. Then we looked up and she wasn't there . . . curious, we went to the window, only to see our little rascal with her front paws on the coffee table, picking out the Ganong's Chicken Bones from the candy dish! She also destroyed Beth's earbuds for her walkman (I don't think she ever lived that down) and even managed to gorge on a tin mostly full of bacon fat, which quickly returned, and all over the house. Never trust these little beggars!

When Beth had to move out to BC for work, and I had to stay behind, Gizmo was my constant companion, keeping me from going crazy while waiting to sell the house.

When we finally reunited in BC, we then were faced with something we'd never had before . . . vacation time! And Gizmo was in for some exercise! She climbed Pope Mountain near Fort St. James (6.5 kilometre trail with a 790 metre elevation gain), and she climbed up Kings Throne in Kluane National Park, Yukon (5 kilometre trail with a 548 metre elevation gain, noted as 'difficult'). She never shied from the toughest climb, and made sure we both kept active.

She even crossed the country three times all told, never fussing about the drive or getting impatient with us when the stops weren't as frequent as she'd like, as evenings were once again for walks and time spent around the campfire.

Gizmo was far too easy to tease, as our neighbours in Fort St. John quickly discovered. His Toyota pickup was outfitted with electric locks that emitted a high pitched chirp every time it was activated. Whenever we were heading out for a walk or returning, he would spy us through the window and hit the button, and Giz was determined to find the 'squirrel' that was under that truck. Drove her insane, and we just howled with laughter.

And one day when we tried to outfit her with her winter suit and booties to tackle the cold, everyone in the household (of course it was Christmas so the whole family was there) was laughing their heads off as she managed to fling off each boot, one by one, on her way down the driveway. She was a crafty one!

We did occasionally need a brown paper bag too. Our back yard in Fort St. John had 20 full grown aspen, and we made quick use of them, stringing up three bird feeders. Not wanting our feathered friends to fall victim to any of the rotten felines in the neighbourhood, we would routinely sic our ferocious Giz on them and she would run out there barking and force them up and over the wood pile at the back corner. Well, the previous owner had strung a beam between two of the largest trees and hung a tire swing, and not that we ever used it, but as we found out, one of our neighbour's kitten used it . . . he'd hide under it to watch the birds in the feeder and then pounce. As it happens, one fine day we spied this little kitten sitting under the swing, so we quietly opened the door to our back deck, and then when we had Gizmo's attention gave the command "get the cat!" Well she took off across the deck and down the stairs, barking hysterically and flying light lightning. And as we watched the whole story unfold, the kitten froze on the spot, and our brave and valiant Gizmo zoomed right on past, straight to the wood pile, the whole time barking and yipping. Let's just say that Gizmo kept working that wood pile, certain that the interloper was up there somewhere, and meanwhile, the kitten that had not flinched for fear of being seen soon realized that Gizmo was oblivious of him, and he sauntered away to the other corner of the yard, merrily jumping over the fence. Of course what really was hilarious was when Giz returned to us she looked so happy, as though she'd just chased a cougar out of the yard! Oh the shame.

Gremlin arrived on the scene early 2003, and when Beth arrived at the airport, Gizmo wouldn't even look at her, let alone this little upstart coming into her house. She warmed up to him (and eventually forgave Beth after three days) and the two grew to be good friends, tearing off after one another, barking and yipping. Walks involved marking over each other's dribbles, and endless sniffing for 'pee-mail'.

Gizmo truly scared us once more in 2006 when as we were preparing for our annual camping trip, she came up lame. Thinking she must have pulled a muscle, we started the usual treatment of arnica and traumeel, but the next day both back legs were floundering. The look on the faces of our vets struck us cold . . . either a rapidly growing tumour or a ruptured disc. The alternatives were Vancouver, Regina, or Calgary, and thankfully a friend had just moved to Calgary, so we threw the camping gear aside and hit the road. They quickly confirmed that it was a ruptured disc, and that she'd previously ruptured two others, which we had no idea about (she was a tough girl). They operated on a Monday and we had her at our friends place Thursday evening, and after a summer of recuperating (no camping for us) she was once again her old self.

As the years have passed after the surgery, she tired more easily on walks, so we bought a little buggy much like Jocelyne had for Gizmo's sister Rosie, and she still enjoyed the fresh air and green grass to her fill. Even though she wasn't as active she was still our "baby"; as a puppy she was very independent, not wanting to be fussed over at all, but as she grew older she allowed us the odd snuggle and kiss.

Even though she isn't here to tear around the living room after Gremlin, we know that she's enjoying her new found energy and health at the Rainbow Bridge with all of her siblings. She had 17 wonderful years with us, and we were grateful for every day, even with the mischief and frights.

In loving memory of a very special dog
Tony & Beth

Gizmo's passing marked the end of an era...she was the last of our 1993 litter. A litter that was planned when their grandmother was little more than a pup herself. A litter that fulfilled my hopes in regards to the pups and exceeded my expectations in regards to the special friends it brought into our lives, either directly or indirectly.
The legacy of this litter lives on through today's youngsters and the wonderful people whose lives have been touched by Jansim dogs and who, in turn, have touched our lives in so many meaningful ways.
Pam Dyer

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