Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. Isaiah 1:17

Tuesday, February 11, 2014



April 6, 2003 – January 14, 2014

There are no words I could write that would do Jack’s life justice. There are no words to convey what he was to me. I want to try anyway, because he was extraordinary in every way.

I was immediately drawn to Jack’s eyes. Jack was a stunning blue merle aussie with one blue eye and one parti eye. The coloring wasn’t what drew me to his eyes though—it was the sparkle, the joie de vivre that was there until the very end.

My husband and I always called him our “furry son” for a reason—he felt like a son. Loyal and precious are words that cannot even begin to describe him, but he also had a funny sense of humor, and seemed to always know what was on my mind. We communicated constantly without words, and he was excellent at anticipating my every need. He never ceased to surprise me that way. One example is from only a few months ago, when he was more mobile. The kids were going in and out of the house, and it was driving me nuts. I looked at Jack, and I muttered, “They’re driving me crazy!” Jack never hesitated, he looked right in my eyes, glanced outside at the kids, and jumped up and turned the deadbolt on the door! Then he sat down and looked me right in the eyes again, clearly pleased with himself.

The kids. Boy, did he adore my kids. Each of my kids joined our family when older—they were each between 6 and 8, and each of them came from traumatic pasts. Jack was there for them in every way imaginable –whether he was trying to cheer them up by being a clown, getting them to play with them, giving them hugs (yes, Jack would daily come up to us, when we were sitting and put his paws around our necks, effectively hugging us) or providing a shoulder to cry on. I don’t know how my kids would have made it through the transitions and grief without him. As for Jack, he always seemed his very happiest when he was being smothered by all 3 of them at once.

Jack also left me with a gift—his dog. No, Jack never had puppies, but I found one once in the Rio Grande—a bedraggled little border collie/spaniel mutt. I said, “No way. No more dogs.” But Jack took an instant liking to the pup, and claimed him as his own. In the past couple weeks, Jack’s dog, Spencer, has been an immense source of comfort as I’ve struggled to let go of my dearest companion. Like I said, Jack was always anticipating my needs before I knew what I needed.

My heart is still shattered into so many pieces. We’ve lost dogs before, but this was the hardest—I didn’t think it possible, but this loss may even be slightly more difficult than the loss of Molly. Possibly because losing Molly was like losing my closest female friend, and Molly was ready to go. Jack was more like a son, and his eyes still sparkled with that joie de vivre. We made so many memories together—and there were so many things I wanted to experience with him yet.

Jack was one of the sweetest blessings I’ve ever received from God. I don’t know why it was for only 10 ½ short years.  I wish it didn’t hurt so much. But as my husband reminded me the other day, it hurts so much because he provided us with such immeasurable joy for more than a decade.

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