Text and illustrations: Trina
They say some of the best scientific discoveries happen accidentally, when a scientist is looking for one thing and in the process stumbles upon some other thing. Scientists at heart, we've inadvertently made a very important discovery about the Jack Russell Terrier. The JRT, we have determined, has a previously unknown genetic link to the St. Bernard.
Not only did our discovery happen entirely by accident; it actually, amazingly, happened while we were sleeping... or, rather, while we were looking for nothing more than a little sleep.
Weighing in at around 15 pounds, the Jack Russell is visually identifiable by its characteristic coloring: a predominately white coat, either smooth, broken or wiry, with red/tan markings and spots. A Jack Russell stands a mere 12 to 14 inches high at the withers.
At the other end of the size-weight-height spectrum, the St. Bernard is also typically white with brownish red ears and body spots -- sort of an exploded version of a Jack Russell -- and stands as high as 30 inches, or 2 feet, 6 inches and can weigh up to 200 pounds. That's two-hundred. With a two and two zeros. Two hundred.
Despite the obvious similarities in coloring, their size difference is so great as to seemingly preclude any genetic links whatsoever. How, one might ask, could a tiny, agile 15 pound, foot tall dog have any genetic relationship with a 200 pound, 2 1/2 foot tall, lumbering, drooling beast?
We are here to tell you how. As our studies are not yet entirely complete, we have more questions than answers at this point in the research, but we do know that the tiny Jack Russell, in a process that seems to have similar properties to that of the typical werewolf transformation, morphs into a 200 pound St. Bernard during the night when no one is looking.
Everything starts out normally: *Yawn!* "Bedtime!" The happy little fambly goes to bed. Two humans in the middle of the bed, spooning to allow room for the two small and beloved canines, neatly curled into sweet little compact canine cinnamon buns that occupy a reasonable-for-their-size portion of the bed.
Aaaw, sweet! But as the nighttime hours pass, something dark and mysterious happens. Cinnamon buns begin to uncurl and grow long, rigid, bed-hogging torsos.
The Assyrian Moth Hound may take on various long, stretched-out renditions, but he always reverts to his original, compact cinnamon bun configuration at some point in the night, neatly and courteously tucking himself into a convenient location near a human's feet. The Jack Russell, on the other hand, finds his way to the middle, exploiting the slightest gap between the human bodies.
Once firmly entrenched in the middle, the Jack Russell begins the mysterious morphing process. First, he oh-so-subtly pushes the humans further toward the edges of the bed, securing additional territory for his future self.
Then, somehow, the Jack Russell torso begins to expand and balloon. We think the process involves a highly primitive yet elaborate process of transmogrification molecule exchange, but further research in that specific area is yet to be conducted.
Whatever the process, around the time that the Jack Russell nears St. Bernard proportions, he somehow sprouts a second set of prodding, poking appendages tipped with an inordinate number of stabbing claws so that at once he is poking his claws into both of the humans' backs.
By morning, the humans have had no choice but to retreat to the floor and assume the submissive cinnamon bun position just like the Assyrian Moth Hound, and the bed is entirely engulfed by a 200 pound snoring, slobbering, stabbing-legged behemoth that looks, acts and smells more like a St. Bernard than the Jack Russell the humans knew and loved -- past tense -- when they first took him into their bed.
Fortunately, the spell seems to be broken by the effects of sunrise and coffee, so that by breakfast time the Jack Russell has returned to his proper proportions and only requires half a cup of food, not the half gallon required by his evil St. Bernard twin.