notes from maggie's farm
Jack has been a member of this family since the early days; when it was just a household of two--me and Jack. He was adopted from a shelter where he was one day away from doggie heaven. I'm not sure who saved whom, but Jack has been my faithful sidekick from the day I heard the thump thump thump of his tail against the kennel wall. He ran up the stairs of our first home together, a small apartment, found his end of the couch, and curled up in what would be his permanent resting spot, next to Mom. Jack weathered his first March Madness, when he first thought his name was 'Come On, Tim!' in those early days. He became a Spurs' fan. And a Saints' fan. And a Tigers' fan. And a Mom's, fan most of all.
He was not the dog I had planned. I was looking for a girlie dog...a little lap dog that was apartment-ready, if you will. But Jack planned differently. He charmed me. From the moment I read that he was turned in to the kennel by a family who thought he didn't 'play enough', (dumb family. Jack plays if you play with Jack!) I was a sucker for everything Jack. He's a Labrador-dachschund mix (and we don't even talk about how that might have happened) so the name I planned for that lapdog was just too nerdy for Jack. Jack needed a substantial name. Nothing the other dogs could sniff as a sign of weakness (since he already had those short legs, and all). Jack was a name no one would tease. Jack was a guy's name. Jack it was.
He became, when I wasn't home, Jack-in-the-Box. I loved to introduce him to others-- "I don't believe you know Jack." The name was taken from a song by The Band, called The Weight--"...if you'll take Jack, my dog....". His first collar had the Grateful Dead's dancing bears motif. Jack was, and is, a cool dog. Short legs and all.
Jack is originally a city dog, but he has made the transition to farm dog fairly well, although he seems to have developed a wandering paw, or four. Jack is now primarily a house dog, which usually suits him fine, as long as he can curl up beside his Mom. And snore. Except upon the most beautiful of days, when he gets cabin fever. He'd really like to go for a hike, and he's great on the trails, but it's not always hiking day (though Jack doesn't get that, at all). Sometimes we have to work, or go to school, or something besides hike. It's on those occasions that he gets out on the dog run that we reluctantly installed in response to his wandering ways.
Last night, we returned home to find that Jack had gotten himself into a bit of a tussle. He's been sparing with the details, but he's a little scratched up, a little stiff, and a little bit I-don't-think-I-need-to-wander feeling. His fellow dogs aren't talking, either. But they've been around to check on Jack. With the reverence of those that have come after him, they know Jack is really the boss, even though he's got the shortest legs, and all. They come around to pay their respects. They sniff in sympathy. Sit down next to him as he bathes in the sun on the porch. Let him know they're thinking of him. Kind of like a get-well-soon card between dogs.
So, you see, when one of us is hurt, we all hurt a little. The dogs are a little bummed out. And Jack's mom and dad are a little bummed out, too. We are pretty sure that Jack will be running around soon. We know that these things sometimes happen in the 'semi-wild'. But, all the same, we'd like to ask you to keep Jack in your get-well thoughts. Jack thanks you. And so do we.