The Jack Russell Terrier is an iconic breed. And those fortunate to have one in their lives know that the JRT is larger than life. There have been Jacks in the movies, on TV, in books, and in media of all sorts. Heroic Jacks have saved their owners and taken on predators much larger than themselves.
So why don't they have their own museum?
Well, they soon will.
The Jack Russell Terrier Museum
The Jack Russell Terrier Museum, located in Monkton, Maryland (USA) isn't yet open to the public. But when it does open, museum organizers intend for it to be a place for research, historical preservation, and appreciation of the working Jack Russell Terrier breed.
The Breed Controversy
Looking through the museum's literature, one notices an emphasis on distinguishing the working JRT from the show breed. In 2003, the split became formal. The Jack Russell Terrier Association of America became the Parson Russell Terrier Association, which supports the registration of the show lines with kennel clubs. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, on the other hand, continues to support the JRT as a working dog exclusively.
It is the history of this working JRT that the Museum aims to preserve.
Currently, the museum houses writings, publications, and photographs from the early days of the Jack Russell Terrier. There are trophies and registration books from the very first Jack Russell trials in the 19th century, as well as first editions of Parson Russell's memoirs. Visitors will also be able to watch videos summarizing the highlights of the breed's development.
The collection at present represents around one century of JRT history. They are still collecting modern memorabilia, and are actively searching for items dating from the 1990s to the present. They also intend to have displays featuring the work of the Russell Rescue and the JRT Research Foundation, an organization devoted to the improvement of the Jack Russell Terrier breed through genetics.
How You Can Get Involved
If you live or will be traveling in the Fredricksburg, Virginia area on June 22-23, 2019, please consider attending or volunteering at the museum benefit trials. The profits from ticket sales will go to benefit the museum. If you're not going to be in the area, you can sponsor a class at the trials for between $20 and $50, with proceeds going to the museum.
Additionally, the Jack Russell Terrier Museum is looking for a permanent home for its collection. If you'd like to donate toward that effort, you can read more about it at the museum's website.
The JRT is a special breed with a rich and fascinating history. We're glad someone is stepping up to recognize and preserve it. And we're looking forward to the day when we can plan our own visit.
Featured Image: CC BY 2.0 by Alfred Schierholz, via Flickr