I will never forget that night in November 2000 when Jack entered our lives. My husband and I were knee-deep in all the trappings of relocating — cardboard boxes and newspaper — prepping to move from our first home, a condo, to our first “home” home in a nearby subdivision. We had fallen in love with the older, established neighborhood with its shade trees and community park. It was the perfect spot for our family of three at the time, which was myself, my husband, and our Corgi/German Shepherd mix Bailey, a neurotic rescue girl we adopted just after we were married in May 1997.
I was home packing when my husband called to say two things – “I’m headed to the vet’s. And Bailey is OK.”
While he was out driving he spotted an injured dog abandoned in a ditch just off Charlotte Pike here in West Nashville. The area was more rural than suburban and as he stopped to inquire at neighboring homes he quickly realized that our Jack, as he would soon be known, was unclaimed and unwanted.
Jack was the perfect dog to raise kids with. God must have hand-picked him just for us, because there is no way we could have researched and found such an ideal family pet.
He was there to sniff the girls’ downy newborn heads when we brought them home from the hospital. He agreeably and stoically resolved to their dress-up parties and loading him down with trinkets like a princess and to riding him like a pony. He was big and lumbering, but gentle and calm. He was handsome, too, with a gorgeous red coat that challenged many a vacuum and my nerves with his fur tumbleweeds that were everywhere.
Jack was no pushover, though. He was a strong, sturdy, robust watchdog who startled many a delivery person on our front steps. He was a notable presence at our front door. He never left the girls’ sides when they played in their bouncy seats as babies.
Jack was just downright sweet. He was never obnoxious or needy. He was there for you. Quiet and unassuming he was a faithful companion. He deferred to Bailey and her alpha girl ways and if he could speak I’m certain he would have never complained. It was as if he knew we’d rescued him and that we were his and he was ours forever.
He was perfect.
He was much loved.
He is profoundly missed.