JACK & JAKE
Jake and Jack relax at home.
Jake and Jack were my big dogs. I believe they were born about March 1, 1999. My brother and his wife found them in Cass County. On the Friday before Memorial Day, 1999, they were biking with a friend and these guys (medium sized puppies then) emerged from a culvert by the highway.
They took them home with them, but really could not keep them as they already had six dogs. Instead, my brother called me to see if I would take them, leaving a message on my answering machine. Well, I had earlier decided that I had had enough dogs for a while, and did not return his call and did not go look at them. Both Blondie and Tootsie were beginning to show end-of-life signs and I did not want the additional responsibility. In fact, Tootsie got worse and died on July 17, 1999, and then Blondie died on April 4, 2000.
My brother made a second call to me and threatened to take them to an animal shelter. After much convincing and after he agreed to cover their initial medical fees, I agreed to take them. I did love them very much; and, at this point, I do not regret taking them in and am very happy to have been able to care for them for fairly lengthy lives. The idea that they might have ended up smashed on the highway makes it worth the trouble. I WOULD like to get my hands on the person that would leave these sweet guys beside a highway, though!!!!
Here are Jake and Jack as puppies shortly after they were rescued from the highway. Jake is the one crawling over a tarp or whatever. Doesn't he look like a little bear cub crawling over a rock!!!!
Jack got his name from his blue eye and was named by my brother and his wife. That is right, his left eye is blue. So, instead of being One-Eyed Jack, he is Blue-Eyed Jack. I guess the name Jake just came along from there. Jack and Jake just goes together. I am not sure that they really knew their individual names and it really does not matter as they were always together. Actually, they minded fairly well if I just called them "Boys".
As with all puppies, they chewed, so I got out my old sheets, ones that had been chewed by another generation of puppies and did not worried much about the sheets. They chewed a few other things though that were more serious and I really do not want to think about it, so I will not write about it.
I think the whole thing has been hardest on Zeppelin. He had moved up to king of the hill pretty much. Jack and Jake got so big, however, that he is not much competition. At first, they got along, but after a couple of very serious fights, I had to keep them completely separated. Since the girls died, I had to leave Zeppelin alone a lot, though, and I could really tell a lot of sadness and anger in him.
On the flip side, however, these two guys were just about the sweetest, most playful dogs I have seen. Jack had always appeared healthier and smarter than Jake who I considered to be kind of a bubba type dog that I loved very much. They were so big and seemed so clumsy at times. When they got to about 100 pounds, I stopped free feeding and fed them exact amounts twice a day. Eventually, they got down to closer to 80 pounds. I just loved to see them chase after and tackle each other. In the summer, I had a small stock tank filled with water and they just loved to jump in and out of that.
They never got so competitive with each other that they got into a serious fight, just friendly tussles. Several of Brownie's puppies were half brothers and the ones from different litters would fight. Junior and Boog-A-Loo were from the same litter and I could always leave them together. The same remained true with Jake and Jack, but as noted above they did not get along with Zeppelin.
Jack developed kidney failure when he was almost 15 years old. At the end of his life, he had stopped eating and refused my efforts to get any food down him in any way. He died on Nov. 23, 2013, the Saturday before Thanksgiving in the very early hours.
Several years before his death, Jake had developed Cushing's disease and I had been getting his blood checked regularly and giving him pills for it. Jake died on May 27, 2014, at 5:42 a.m. as I was stroking his head - I knew he was dying. FYI, Cushings disease causes the body to produce too much cortisol which weakens the immune system.
Jack was about 3 months shy of being 15 years when he died and Jake was about 15 years and 3 months when he died. Given the fact that Jake had lived with Cushing's disease for so long, I was surprised that Jake outlived Jack, but that is what happened. They lived their entire lives with large areas in which to run and play without the fear of cars and unaccepting humans. They lived fairly long and, I hope, happy life lives - certainly better than lives on the run or in a culvert. I loved them both!