Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Our Jack Man ~

We had Jack for 12 years. He was a huge part of our family. He was with us for half of my marriage to Charlie and more than half of our daughter's life. He was with us through cancer in the family, losing family members, marriages, grand-children, nieces and nephews added to the family, graduations, good times and not so good times. He was intelligent and powerful, playful and clownish, loyal and consistent, and a self-confident protector. Rotties are often misunderstood and many do not see the softer side to them. Despite being huge, Jack loved to sit in my lap, romp around like the girls did when he would come in the house. He couldn't understand why we got onto him and not the girls over that. In the morning I would come home from work sit on the swing in the back yard and eat a yogurt with a banana. This was one of Jacks favorite times of the day because I would share my meal with him. Jack loved when Charlie made homemade popcorn; he'd wait to get a piece. Charlie would throw it up in the air and he'd catch it every time.

He gave us unconditional love. I thank God for creating dogs!

Jack as a pup.

Jack would see my camera and run to the corner of the pool where the ivy grew. That corner was a perfect backdrop for "first day of school" pictures or an event like prom. He learned very quickly when he saw my camera that it was picture time. I can't help but laugh when I see this pic. You can see him on the edge of the right side of the picture running to the corner.

He knew how to pose too.

When the kids went swimming, Jack wanted to swim too. Occasionally, Jack would jump in when no one was in the pool and take a swim to cool off.

Mike and Rob running to catch a wave. Jack following.

Jack made me laugh.

Jack loved the ocean as much as I do.

Jack trying to get Rob. We had some great times together.

Jack went everywhere with us. He loved the water. We had to be careful when we went to the Sierra mountains though; there are a lot of broken fish hook lines in the river and along the bank. At night we would play hide-and-go seek. Charlie would hold Jack and the kids would hide, Charlie would then let Jack go, and he would find them.

Jack loved to take pictures. Here he ran to the picture spot and struck a pose.

I was a nervous wreck here. This is my family standing next to a cliff at the Grand Canyon as our back drop to this photo.

A first day of school picture. Jack insisted that he be in the picture and made the kids crack up.

I had this collage hanging up at work for years until I had to update it with our growing family.

Jack with his bone.

Jack watching Charlie outside. Yes, as you can see, we did have to chain him up at times.

On any regular night, after settling down, you could always find Sophie curled up on my lap or at the end of the couch watching the door. Sophie could sense there was something wrong with Jack because at times I would wonder where she was and find her curled up next to Jack.

When our vet suspected Jack had cancer, I loaded him up in the back of my car and took him to some area's around town to take his picture. My favorite pic's are right in front of our house. He loved getting out.

We noticed around Christmas time, when Charlie would pet Jack's head, he would whimper like it hurt. We then noticed a rise in his forehead over his left eye. During the past years while we had Jack before his getting cancer, at different time's, he had two knee operations on both of his back legs. We gave Jack some pain medication trying to make him comfortable to relieve the pain in his head and also from arthritis pain in his legs. In doing so, he felt better, but then didn't move as carefully. Two days after giving him the medication, we heard a pop and he re injured one of his legs. I will never forget Charlie checking him out and Jack then seeing me and hobbling over to me quickly, like a child does when they see their mommy; my heart broke into pieces. It was then he took a turn for the worst. The rise on his forehead grew over time and then three weeks after he re injured his leg, the rise in his forehead slowly went over to the right side. On March 26Th the right side of his face was swollen and his right eye was smaller. Charlie couldn't take it any longer and decided to put Jack to sleep. I prayed and prayed that God would just take Jack naturally while he was sleeping. That didn't happen. Images of that final day haunts me. Charlie held Jack as he talked to him and I kissed Jack's face as he licked mine... and then he left us. It was horrible! The two Veterinarian's that were in the room assisting, could be heard crying with us. When those last moments creep across my mind, I try to wipe them away with moments like these photos.

In the rest of these pictures, I can tell a difference in his posture and facial expressions. At the time, I didn't want to see it.

Our vet told us Rottweiler's life span are generally 8-11 years. We were blessed to have him longer than expected.

Sophie can not keep a stuffed toy around for very long. She will rip them open and pull the stuffing out. Although she doesn't do that to her teddy bear. I can find her or Simone cuddled up with it as if it were their security blanket. While Jack wasn't feeling well, I would find the teddy bear next to Jack. As I sat on the couch, I would see Sophie bring her teddy to Jack and lay it on his blanket to try to comfort him. It would melt my heart.

We miss you Jack Man ~


  1. Yours is a moving testiment to a family member missed. No words can ease your pain. Nor should they be able to. True love is not something easily put aside.

    My dog, Shorty, followed me from junior high to college graduation. Her loss was like an open wound.

    Your wound will heal, leaving behind loving memories. Until then my prayers are with you and your family. Roland

  2. What a wonderful tribute to your man Jack! I felt such deep emotions as I looked at each picture with it's detail, and your love shinning through..... Love you Angela.

  3. Angela I know how strong that band of love was between Jack and your family.You always got an esstatic welcome,happy to see you always no matter what.He loved you and the family unconditionally.You will always have that love you shared.I can see his smile as I write.Love you

  4. Thank you for appreciating my post THIS IS THE MOMENT. It means a lot for you to leave a comment, especially one so kind. Have a healing tomorrow, Roland

  5. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story about a magnificent part of your life. It is most difficult losing a close friend like that.

    I know the feel of the tears when leaving the vets office under such circumstances.

    Your photo essay says so much about the relationships that can, and should, be developed between humans and animals. And, humans and humans.

    We should all learn and PRACTICE such compassion.

    Once again, thanks for sharing.

    Just remember, Jack will be awaiting your arrival at Rainbow Bridge.

  6. I am so sorry about jack
    he was a great family member to all of you