I had to make the decision to euthanize Jack today. He was 14 years old, and he spent those years loving me unconditionally. The least I can do is write a blog about LBJ.
We adopted Jack at the age of 6 months from a neighbor when we lived in our first house. Jack didn’t have a good first 6 months, and he was a neurotic dog from the start. Ironically he would wake us up in the middle of the night to go outside yet he would mark areas in our house. Jack would only sleep under our bed. When I had Noah, he started marking the bassinet, my breast pump, and the diaper bag. He wasn’t too thrilled about sharing me.
Lily fell in love with Jack as an infant. Her first word was “Jackie” but sounded like “Yacky.” For the longest time we didn’t know what she was saying. It wasn’t Mama or Papa…was it Yucky? Oh wait…she was yelling for Jack. I have video of her crawling and walking just to get to her dog Jackie.
Jack spent his life following me from room to room, watching me take baths (I take a lot of baths), and generally being underfoot. Once Lily could walk, she joined Jack. Jack and Lily were my entourage. When I put away laundry, I would go into a room and if I turn around too fast I would run into both of them. Although sometimes annoying, I will miss my four-legged shadow.
Over the past few years Jack lost most of his hearing, and he couldn’t see very well. This last year he had moments of dementia (we think). It’s hard to know with a dog, but he would walk into rooms and seem to forget why he was there. He spent a lot of time staring off at nothing in particular.
He mellowed a lot in his later years. He stopped nipping (or biting) at the kids. I think he really grew to love Noah and Lily. He would let Lily put him in his kennel, and he enjoyed treats and walks with the kids.
When we returned from Wisconsin this weekend, Jack would not eat or drink, and he appeared to be in pain. So this morning I made the decision to put the old dog out of his misery. Jack had a very peaceful death. He fell asleep in my arms and didn’t even mind the injection (Jack normally hated the vet office).
Some fun facts about Jack:
He reminds me of a fox which is why I am so obsessed with foxes. He was always more like a wild animal than a domesticated dog. He had the cutest foxy face.
His mother was a black dog, and he was always paired with an alpha black bitch (Sam and then Lola). That was Jack’s lot in life.
We spoke for Jack—his voice was a high-pitched and insecure. He laughed awkwardly a lot.
Jack’s original name was Bandit.
Jack’s favorite color was pink. He loved squeaky bones. He was also a huge NASCAR fan.
We love nicknames. Some of Jack’s include Little Bastard Jack (LBJ), Jack Son (with emphasis on the Son), and Jackie.
Jack died just 3 months before his golden birthday. He would have been 15 on August 15th. I was already in the planning process for a grand Golden Birthday party which would be (of course) urine themed. I have a friend who was going to make a cake with a dog figurine lifting his leg and yellow frosting dripping down the cake. We were going to drink lemonade in urine specimen cups. I am sad that Jack didn’t make it to his birthday bash, but I think he would take comfort knowing that he left his mark. For he nearly marked every square foot of our carpet with urine.
So Little Bastard Jack, we’ll miss you. And we won’t soon forget you (or your smell).
And now here are 22 of my favorite photos of Jack: