Thursday, February 2, 2017

Goodbye, Big Jack

My daughter and son-in-law, Anne Marie and Chad, introduced a new member to the family approximately five years ago. His name was Jack and he was a mixed-breed rescue dog. They had been on a short trip to Rapid City, made a visit to the mall, and there he was. He was up for adoption, needing a new home after his former family had given him away.

Chad saw him and immediately bonded. They did not need another dog, because they had four already. But they just couldn't leave him there. He was a big older dog, severely overweight, and unlikely to find a forever home.

For the past five years Jack has had a happy home. He has been loved, been seen regularly by a vet, and had proper feeding so that his weight problems were brought under control. When he developed several health problems over the past year or so, Anne Marie and Chad took care that he had all the medical help available. This involved daily medications, as well as his vet visits.

Jack in 2012, not too long after he came to his forever home. He was still
a little overweight, but looking better than when they adopted him. Wish I
had a better photo showing his face.
Jack was a happy dog.

 In the summer Jack loved to spend the day outdoors. Even when he developed arthritis and stairs were a problem, he would laboriously climb all those stairs to my deck to visit when he heard me up there. Of course, he would then stand at the door to my house and wait expectantly for me to let him in, whether I was ready to go in or not. He would head straight for the living room where he knew there was a chew bone (kept for visits from the kids' dogs). He would stretch out on the floor (taking up a lot of space), perhaps nap a little. When it was time for him to go home he once again labored down the stairs. It was hard to watch that, but he was determined.

When I go down to Anne Marie's house, their young dog, Trixie, always runs to give me an enthusiastic greeting. Jack was usually stretched out on the floor resting, but would struggle up and come to me, patiently waiting for me to settle Trixie down, and give him some recognition and pets. He was a quiet dog, but determined.

His family loved him.

Yesterday Jack came to the end of his life, aged almost 13 years. Lots of tears have been shed.

Goodbye, Big Jack.