This past week has been a difficult one for me and my wife. Our dog Jack is having some issues and we have been back and forth to the vet to see if there is something that can be done to get him back to normal. Jack and our other dog Zoe are a valuable part of our lives, and it would be hard to imagine life without them. Both are rescues and they are as different as night and day. Jack is about 13 years old, and Zoe is just about a year old. Jack came into our lives via a neighbor who found him running on a busy street with a piece of rope tied around his neck. Our neighbor explained that he couldn’t keep Jack because he had two other dogs, and the house was just not big enough for another dog. I went home and told my wife the story of how Jack was found and that our neighbor was planning on taking him to the Humane Society in a couple Days.
After a couple of visits to our neighbor’s backyard, we fell in love with Jack and decided to rescue him. He was a Border Collie mix, with black and white markings and made himself at home with our little terrier, Taz. They would play with each other and run around the house until Taz decided it was time to quit. Jack loved to come to my office, and I got a little cushioned bed for him to lay down in, while I worked. Although I would put him on a leash, I noticed after a while that he stayed close and eventually, he would just jump into my car, and he knew just where to go. When we would go through the drive-thru at McDonald’s, the crew got to know him and would have a treat for him. This created a problem when I went to the bank or some other drive-thru, since Jack was sure there would be a treat when we got to the window.
In 2012, I had a pulmonary embolism and spent a couple weeks in the ICU and had a lengthy recovery at home. By that time, Taz had passed away and it was just Jack and I in the house while my wife was at work. For anyone who has been stuck at home during a medical recovery, the days get long, and the mental stress is quite depressing. The one constant, that I had was that Jack needed to go out regularly and expected me to play with him in the yard. It was the most enjoyable thing I did, and Jack seemed to sense that it was good for me. I eventually started going back to the office and Jack was there with me each day.
In the following years, three of my four granddaughters were born and one of the first things they did, was meet Jack. Ali, my oldest granddaughter was already here when Jack came into our lives and was happy to play with him when she would visit. Avery, Emery, and Sadie, all got to feel the Jack’s wet tongue as they tried to crawl around the living room. They would sleep together and share Cheerio’s. Jack seemed to know that they needed protection, and he was sure to guide them around the house and yard. When we would talk to the grandkids, they loved to hear about Jack’s adventures and couldn’t wait for their next visit to see him. We know that dogs are not with us forever and we have experienced that loss several times in our lives, but it never gets easy. Jack is a fighter, and he seems to be overcoming some of his issues.
He is on several medicines, and we are hopeful that they work. Zoe realizes that something is happening, and she is on her best behavior and not tugging on Jack’s ear when she plays. Animals play an important role in our lives and their emotional attachment is often far greater for the owner than that of the pet. They love us when we are lonely and hurting. They sense our feelings and provide a lift. There is little they ask than to be cared for and loved.