sea4th Posted February 15, 2009 Report Share Posted February 15, 2009 Jack died this past Thursday in the early hours of the morning. A windstorm raged through the area, causing damage and power outages. Soon after midnight, lying next to his owner on the bed, as the storm raged, Jack died. My friend, his owner, had her arm over his chest and at the same time the power went out, Jack's great heart stopped beating. Jack was a border collie. Even though he wasn't mine, I loved him as though he were mine. I can't picture a world without Jack, but then I couldn't picture a world without his father, Pete, or his sister Flick. The children who grew up around him, now grieve, as they would the death of a sibling. In the wake of his death, Jack's left a lot of broken hearts. His owner held him years ago, in the same house, as he took his first breath. She held him a couple of days ago as he took his last. Jack was larger than life. He was handsome, personable and drew attention wherever he went. Between his looks and personality, he had quite a fan club, and once he met someone, he never forgot them. Jack was the benevolent ruler in the household, even to the end, and dogs coming in knew it. The only one Jack ever conceded to was Pete, his father. My friend and I would watch in amazement each time Jack would lick Pete's muzzle. No other male dog did he ever do that with. Jack, who was a split-faced boy, went to work early. Once, when he was 9 weeks old, he got loose from where he was tied up in a pasture when he saw a yearling bull a ways off. He made his way toward the bull and when he got close his 9 week old puppy body hunkered down as stylish as any border collie and backed that bull down, this pup, who looked like a cartoon character, a fraction of the size of the bull. And that was Jack for the rest of his life. My friend's granddaughter lived with her for a while. Jack was her friend, her nursemaid. My friend found them one time together in Jack's crate, sharing a hot dog. Jack thumped his tail when my friend asked them what they were doing. This kid, who now lives in another state with her family, is taking the loss of her childhood companion pretty hard. Jack was the most like his father Pete. Shortly after Petey's death 4 years ago, I went to visit my friend. I was still numb from the loss of Pete. When I walked into her home, Jackie boy ran up to greet me. I stopped, just for a moment, sort of had a lapse of reality. When Jack ran up to me, I almost thought that it was Pete, that his death was a cruel joke of some sort. I knelt down an hugged an ecstatic Jack. I guess Pete did live on in him, in a way. It was around that time that my friend had some pretty serious surgery after which she was sent to a nursing facility for a couple of months. When asked what she wanted, the only thing she asked for was to see her Jackie boy. They got the clearance to bring him. A relative brought Jack in. Jack was the image of dignity and manners, but when he saw his owner, it momentarily gave way to ecstatic joy when he realized who was in the room. But Jack knew the difference between the times for acceptable behavior and for wild and joyous abandon. They had a wonderful reunion that day. My friend, who has had heart problems in the past relied on Jack in the management of a small flock of sheep. One ram tended to get particularly nasty. He cornered her one day. She was frail and didn't have a lot of strength, but she had Jack. She called Jack just once and he was there, backed the ram away and back into the barn. In rereading this, I realize that words just don't do it, or at least it's not in my capacity to bring to life, with words, this remarkable dog. There is so much more to Jack. My friend could flesh out a description, but even so --- you'd would have had to have known Jack --- and Flick and Pete. I know too well the grief my friend is working through right now. It's beyond pet. It's beyond even dog. It's two souls intertwined. I know because I had the same with Pete and Flick. We've both lost our "go to" dogs. She told me today, she feels like she lost an arm, when she lost Jack. I'm not surprised. I felt the same when Flick died. And as much as I'd like to think that maybe someday ..... but for me, I feel that I lucked out not just once, but twice with two heart dogs. And my friend, well, she'll never have another Jack. Thing is, what my friend and I shared with these dogs of ours, death can never take away. They'll live on forever in our hearts, our memories, and the hearts and memories of those whose lives they've touched. That's more than you can say for a lot of people. Rest in Peace, Jackie boy. You were my best boy too. 8 wk old Jack: with daddy Pete: Jack relaxing on a summer afternoon: There is also a book that came out a few years ago -- The Working Border Collie by Marjorie Quarton. Jack is on page 165 of that book, as an adorable 9 week old pup. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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