Continuing with my “getting to know the dogs” series, next up is Jack. My brother got him as a puppy but when he started having children, he found that he didn’t have time for Jack. I remember we were sitting on his porch and I told my brother I was thinking of ending my relationship. A few minutes later, my brother told me he was thinking of finding a new home for Jack. Without any hesitation, I said I would take him. He had a discussion with his girlfriend and a few days later, I was driving Jack home. Even though he and Piper had played together, I was a little worried about how they would get along. We went for a walk and then Jack fell asleep on the dog bed. So no problem at all.
Jack was actually part of the reason I was drawn to boxers; he’s got a few of their superficial traits. But what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in attitude. He’s not mean but he has no problem letting other dogs know what he thinks of them and has faced down great danes and mastiffs. He truly is a big dog trapped in a small dog’s body. He also thinks himself to be the mans man of dogs. He’ll present toys to them with a little growl, inviting them to a challenge of wits and strength I suppose.
Health wise he has had considerably fewer issues than Piper. He did get quilled by a porcupine once. It wasn’t the worst quilling I’ve ever seen but it did require a trip to the vet. Fortunately he didn’t make the connection between getting hurt and the happy juice at the vet. He’s had a couple of issues with his eyes but given the protruding puggy-ness, that’s to be expected.
While he may not look it, he is surprisingly agile and can boot around the forests with ease. He is a bit of a tank through the underbrush but he’ll push through everything. When he walks, he often paces (both legs on the same side move at the same time) so it makes him look like he’s waddling.
When I first brought Jack home he avoided water like the plague. He would stand at the edge of the river and try to drink while keeping his body as far back as he could. I waited until it was really hot one day and held him in the river in water that was just deep enough that his feet couldn’t touch. I let him flail around until he settled into a rhythm and let him go to swim to the nearest bank. Since then, it has been impossible to keep him out of water. And it doesn’t matter what kind of water it is: mountain streams, oceans, ponds, lakes. He jumps in it all. In fact, when we were hiking through the Catskills he found water I didn’t even know about. If we are ever stranded in the wilderness, he’s better than a divining rod.
He loves to find the hot spots in the yard and sun himself. On the hottest days of the year, he will go onto my brick patio and lay down, panting in the sun and ignoring the bowl of water and all the cool shady spots around him. Then when we go for our walk, he’ll actually lay down in the water because he’s so hot.
If it were up to Jack, he would happily stay in bed all day long. When it is time to get out of bed, he rolls over onto his back and goes limp. If it lift him up so he’s sitting, he’ll flop right back over. Now I usually just scoop him up and lift him down to the floor. On of my neighbours was getting rid of a mini trampoline and I jumped at the chance to bring it home. I had wanted to teach the dogs to jump because there are few things as hilarious as dogs jumping on trampolines. They have no fear of getting on the trampoline, so much so that Jack treats it as his own bed. It must feel like a hammock, especially with the blanket that he dragged onto it.
He is more possessive of his toys and if he sees someone, human or canine, with one of his toys, he is in for a game of tug. In fact, it was because of this trait that you can see just how smart he is. Piper would be chewing on a toy and he would walk over and just take it. She’d watch him walk away and then get another toy. He’d take that too. Eventually Jack would have all the toys around him and Piper would finally go lay down on a blanket. Jack would try and take that too. There is the odd time that Piper will not give up her toys. So Jack figured out that if he barked and looked out a window any other dogs around him would run to the window, leaving the toys ripe for the picking. The first time I saw this, I thought it was my imagination but I have had other people confirm it. If only he used his powers for good.
Breed: Boston Terrier/Pug
Born: December 14, 2007
Quirks: he has something of a blanket obsession: he has a few blankets that he will mound up, sometimes hump into shape, and lay onto top of them as he holds a piece in his mouth and kneads with his front feet like a cat. Sometimes when the dogs are running around, he’ll wait for them to get close and ambush them. He has a very specific crouched posture and stands out in the open so it’s no surprise for the other dogs. They must like that game too because it would be easy to get away from him. He likes to pose for photos as you can see below.