This is Jack. We think he is some type of spaniel mix.
He has boundless energy.
My sister dubbed him a love-sponge. As much loving as you’re willing to dish out, he’s happy to soak up. And look at that picture — he’s clearly not ashamed to beg for more.
I like to describe him as half spaniel and half crazy. Truth is, it took me awhile to warm up to him because he can be such a pain. He doesn’t look like he would be a PITA (Pain in the ass), does he? Don’t let his hypnotic love-gaze fool you. He is.
The first round of evidence against him is that Jack is an escape artist…of an extreme variety. We think that might be how he ended up in the dog shelter in the first place. We can’t let him in the backyard without a leash because he can jump our 4-foot fence…like a gazelle. We’ve lost count of the number of times he’s found ways to dash through doors, gates, or whatever. And once he’s out, there’s no catching him, although we run frantically after him. He’s trained us quite well and as a result, we haven’t had an escape in over a year.
He’s also got a death wish. He once ate an entire plate full of my best vegan chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. That particular death-wish was two-fold because he had to deal with my fury (do you know how much work it is to make peanut butter balls?) and chocolate can be a fatal food for dogs. Not to worry. I might have been miffed, but I would never hurt him (do you think he knew that?). And it was a miserable night for us all but Jack got all of that chocolate out of his system in one form or another (if you catch the smelly drift).
He is a hassle, that Jack. But there is something charming about him. He is for sure the first dog that I felt would protect me. That’s because most of the time he’s fearless. He’s brave. He’s even regal!
Except when it comes to thunderstorms. I’ve actually seen him quivering with fear at the sound of a storm in the distance. Oftentimes we won’t even know what he’s upset about because the storm is so far off that we can’t hear it. But his dog-ears can.
And we’re in the midst of thunderstorm season right now. In fact, one crawled through last night. I’ve usually been the one who had to get up early in the morning to head into a highly stressful job. As a result I wasn’t always the most patient person when Jack would come to my side of the bed wimpering in the night. So when Jack came to my bedside last night, I did my usual ignoring him bit.
I’ve heard that’s what you’re supposed to do. Don’t coddle them because you’ll only intensify their reaction. But then it dawned on me – hey, I quit that ridiculously stressful job and I don’t have a day full of meetings tomorrow. I can take the time to help Jack through this tonight. And I did. I stroked the back of his head; scratched his ears. And it helped. He actually ended up forgoing his cushy bed so he could sleep right next to me. Ahh, that felt so good! From time to time he would sit up so I could reassure him some more. And then that was it. The storm was over and he eventually felt secure enough to go back to bed.
He still goes spazzo and barks like a madman at the mailman…or the rabbits…or UPS truck. What is with that UPS truck? The sound of it drives him bonkers! But even with all that craziness, he has nuzzled his way into my heart and now Jack and I are best buds.