Submitted by: Sherri M. Chatterton
Compiled and put together by: Jay Green and Sherri Chatterton
Q. Jay, when did you start your love of caving or has it
just always "been there"?
J.G. Tennessee has the most caves of any state in the United States with over 8,000 caves surveyed and many more not yet surveyed. I first caved in 1985, when I was 17 years old and wanted something exciting to do. With so many caves to choose from it was a natural choice to supply adventure to a bored 17 year old. I was immediately impressed with everything I experienced inside a cave. The sound of the dripping water, the otherwise total silence, the magnificent formations, the solitude, and most importantly the challenge. When caving you depend on your caving team to keep you alive. Teamwork and survival are the name of the game.
Q. You mentioned that your dad is a vet. Is that
how you saw your first rat terrier?
J.G. No. I first became aware of Rat Terriers through a friend of mine, Kristen Bobo, who owns Zip, a Rat Terrier/Mountain Feist. He was so rugged for a 20 pound dog and so smart. Zip is willing to go anywhere and do anything, anytime. I knew I wanted a dog like him as soon as I met him. Three Rat Terriers later...
Q. Do many folks take canines caving with them?
J.G. No. Caves are a very sensitive and fragile environment. Most dogs are not intelligent enough, rugged enough, small enough, or interested in caving. Larger dogs tend to walk in places that they shouldn't sometimes breaking fragile formations. Most cavers frown upon taking dogs caving. But I have not met a caver yet that did not enjoy caving with Zip, Noodle Dog, Little Dog, or Bitsy.
Q. What made you decide that the rat terrier was the type
of dog companion you preferred to take caving with you?
J.G. Rat Terriers are such companion animals that the concept of NOT taking them caving seems strange. Zip and Little Dog (my first Rattie) just loved bouldering, rock-hopping through creeks, swimming, hiking, etc during hiking adventures Zip and Little Dog would explore every crack and crevice on the hillside. We could barely keep them out of caves. THEY let US know that they are good dogs for caving.
Q. Who was your first rattie? Your second one?
I know your sister got one that used to be your caving buddy ... how's
she (the rattie) handling being a stay-at-home rattie now?
J.G. My fist Rat Terrier was Little Dog. He was my special buddy and he will always have a special place in my heart. In November, 2003 Little Dog found a stray cat hiding under my storage shed and chased the cat out and into the street. A driver was unable to stop in time. Little Dog was only 3 years old but he was the best dog I have ever known. My second dog, Bitsy, was Little Dog's best friend and companion. She is a type B rattie with short legs. The loss of Little Dog shook her up as bad as it did me. I took her to my sister's home in Arkansas while I was traveling to Texas in December, 2003, and her family fell in love with her. My sister has three children and a Bijon Friese in the house. I though that Bitsy would be better able to move past her loss of Little Dog in a new environment. She is settled in now and they really love her. Bitsy was always a bit dainty and preferred clean paws to muddy ones. She is quite happy in her new environment.
3 other cavers on an ATV with Noodle
Dog in my lap and Zip on the ground.
It was a year ago this past November when Eddie
was involved in a
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