August 25, 2004 to October 23, 2015

The oldest photo I could find He tolerated a lot Those big cow bones were his favorite Water boy for a hiking trip He'd go wherever I'd go Sometimes he was just weird Good swimmer, hated the water This is how he went on kayaking trips with me He loved treks into the woods These two got along pretty well Anything would suffice as a pillow He put up with a lot in Kira's early days Handsome even in his old age We all got to say our goodbyes on his last day

It’s hard for me to imagine a better dog than Jack. When I got him from the Capital Area Humane society, he was thin and quite the wallflower. He loved food, though, so he filled out quickly and opened right up after I got him home. I had always wanted a dog named Jack.

If you met Jack, you know he was very well-behaved. I attribute that to his pit bull loyalty combined with crate training and spending every moment outside of work for two weeks straight working with him. He was a quick learner, and by the end of those two weeks he could sit, shake, lay down, stay, sit pretty, and shut doors for me! It took a little longer to teach him to speak because he only liked to bark when the family was in mortal danger from the mail man and joggers.

Jack was a happy dog and would do anything with me. (And when he wasn’t with me he would whine and cry and howl till I got back.) He would go down slides, wade into water even though he hated it, and he even climbed up a ladder onto the garage when I was roofing it. Getting him down was an interesting challenge. I took him hiking and camping, he would sit in a raft that I pulled behind my on hiking trips, and he loved long car rides. I made sure to take him to the ocean so I could share that special place in my heart with him. He was great with cats, dogs, and kids, and when Kira started sleeping in her own bed he started sleeping at the foot of it. I think he felt it was his duty to protect us.

He started slowing down over the course of the last year. He was eleven so we didn’t think much of it. A few weeks ago, though, he developed a cough that we thought was an infection of some kind. Unfortunately, it turned out to be lung cancer and it was very advanced. The vet couldn’t believe how mild his symptoms were and didn’t expect him to last long. The vet was right. Jack ended up passing away quietly in the car only an hour before he was to be put to sleep.

Jack was strong to the very end and chose to go on his own terms. I like it that way. The vet was going to cremate him, but this way we could lay him to rest in the backyard where he can continue to be close to us. I still thank him for the years of unerring protection and companionship every time I think of him.

I miss you, pup.