Jack the Dog

It was Spring of 2007 when my husband and I felt ready to make the commitment to expand our family and bring into our lives a long awaited four legged friend.  Before getting married to DH, I had made it very clear that I could not live a life that did not involve a dog.  He had never lived with pets but wanted to be with me so if that meant a dog in our future then so be it.  At the time there were only 2 things we knew 1) we wanted to get a Lab 2) we would only rescue/adopt.  Before delving into the adoption process, we read several books, explored many websites and religiously watched Dog Whisperer episodes to broaden our knowledge of dogs, the breed, training and care.    We found a great Lab Rescue aptly named Labs4rescue through Petfinder.com but our exciting journey into dog ownership slowly became discouraging.  We had filled out what seemed to be as lengthy as a college application and requested several dogs, but none of them were deemed suitable for us.  The DH and I both work full time and as if that wasn’t bad enough, we live in a townhouse that does not have a fenced in yard – 2 huge marks against us.  Not willing to give up and wanting a dog now, more than ever, we continued on with the search.

 One Saturday morning, we saw a new posting of a goofy looking yellow lab, crossed our fingers and sent in the request. Later that afternoon, I received a call from a volunteer who put me in touch with the woman in Louisiana who had taken this dog out of the local euthanizing shelter.  I was on the phone with this sweet southern woman for quite a while and felt as if I had known her for years.  I was told that this handsome fellow was found wandering the side of a highway in LA with a case of heartworms and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  The following day, the volunteer called and said that we could adopt this pooch and he was to arrive in 1 week!  Like any proud soon to be parents would do, we immediately went to the pet store to prep our home with food, bed, toys, treats and agreed on his new name “JACK”.  I’ll never forget the day we picked him up from the drop off location.  We saw him with the amazing volunteers who had been driving for 2 days to give these dogs a second chance at a permanent home and it was instant love. 

Our first order of business was to take Jack on a good long walk to get accustomed to his new surroundings and scents.  It wasn't a second after closing the door that Jack spotted a neighborhood squirrel and darted after it almost dislocating my shoulder with it.  The first walk and several other walks thereafter were quite a challenge.  It was difficult at first adjusting to this animal that we did not know, who did not know us and apparently did not know much else either.  With patience, persistence, consistency (and a few trips to physical therapy) it wasn’t long before Jack learned all of his commands, began to exercise (some) self control around the squirrels and bunnies and has become a dog that has broken the mold for us.  It’s hard to say who got rescued in our situation.  Because of my daily walks with Jack I was able lose weight.  We met so many people in our neighborhood that we otherwise wouldn’t have had it not been for Jack.  We discovered how much we like the outdoors and learned that a wag of a tail can make all the day’s stress disappear. 

Jack is certainly no Marley; he is quite well behaved which throws the million dollar dog antic book deal out of the window.   Luckily we’ve never walked into a pee surprise, our furniture has remained in tact and none of my shoes have become POW’s but Jack still keeps us laughing each day with his digging in the snow and frat boy belches.  There isn’t a single thing about him we don’t adore.   I take that back, I could do without the shedding and constant vacuuming but if that what we have to endure to have this love in our life then it’s a small price to pay to be around his warm and fuzzy ears, that funny smell of his paws and the little jig he does when we come home.  I am sure I am not the first dog owner to be smitten with their pet nor will I be the last but the love and companionship of an animal has no comparison to that of a human and it opened our hearts to a whole different level of caring.  Despite what my non-animal loving family might think, Jack is not our whole life but he sure does make our life whole! 

3 comments:

Cougar Tales said...

I could never live a life without a dog either! They have so much love to give. And, I have so much to give back.

Thanks for sharing the story of Jackaboo and his pictures. It's been a while since I have seen him. :-)

- Cougs @ www.cougar-tales.blogspot.com

Muse said...

He misses you too!!

Rene W. said...

I love rescue stories, and I know what you mean about loving a dog. I think I love my dog more than anyone or anything in this world. She is so supportive and loving - I don't have kids, but I think she is the closest thing to having one. Thanks for sharing your story & I'm so glad Jack found such a loving home!

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