He lived for chasing tennis balls. David timed him once at 45 minutes before he finally refused to return it. I guess he figured Dave had had enough. We could throw it down the block and knew he would never run away or hurt anyone, he would just run after the ball and return it to us, watering some trees along the way back, as any self-respecting dog would do.
He was a gentle soul, until someone would want to try to sneak into our backyard. Or try to deliver mail. He hated that too.
The chickens would quite literally just walk all over him. And lay eggs, as a tribute, in his dog house. Yes, he kept that secret from us as long as he could. No wonder his coat was so glossy. I finally noticed a bit of shell outside the little house and, leaning in, saw the hen in the dark shadows.
At one point a little hen ‘uglet’ actually was living in the house with him.Somewhere I have a picture of two of them sharing the house. But I know I have shared these stories before.
He was a pound puppy and lived to be 16 years old. 15 years ago my daughter and baby paul and I went looking for a dog to help us feel more protected. Dad and Phil were at a boy scout camp. We saw Jack, who had been abandoned and was the same age as Paul, 1 year old, and we played with him a bit. Jess was convinced he was the one for us. I saw the long line at the pound and thought we might come back another day. In fact we were half way to the car when her begging convinced me to go back and wait … and wait…in that long line to bring home our precious Jack. Good call.
As he was still a young pup there were holes he dug and a pet pillow he shredded to smithereens while we were gone one weekend. But it left a nice pile of fluff all over the patio that I am sure he thought was an improvement.
Phil trained him to retrieve the ball when he would throw it from the roof and then drop it into a bucket. Phil would then pull the bucket up and throw again. And again. And again.
He loved the dog beach and would swim after the ball even leaping into the cold Pacific waves. And of course, what dog doesn’t love the bark-park?
His heart wanted to keep going, to keep protecting us and guarding the back yard. But his eyes had cataracts, and his hearing was gone. His bones ached and he could hardly walk. But he would never lay his responsibilities down. We finally had to force his ‘retirement’ out of mercy.
What could we attribute to his good long life? Maybe all those darn eggs. Or the homemade food he was getting for years. Most likely though it was his strong heart that just knew we needed him. He was right. He was love and loyalty wrapped up in brindle brown fur, floppy ears and warm brown eyes.
Bear has big paws to fill.
We will always love you Jack.
Rest now good doggie.