When I reflect on Jack's life, my daughter summed it up best. When we look back, think of memories, Jack will always be there. He is the pet your children grow up with.
Kendra and Laura were 8 and 5 when we got Jack. He was only 6 weeks old, and it was love at first sight. He was clever enough to fall asleep in my arms and there was no turning back at that point. He had all our love and devotion.
Jack was an interesting puppy to say the least. He would not sleep under any circumstances until beyond exhausted I put him on the bed one night. From that day forward, it was his bed and we slept and moved around him. For many years he slept wrapped around my head or between Geoff and me so that he could touch both of us. He would never really do anything we asked, but did as he wanted. He trained us; we did not train him.
Jack was not only our dog, but the circle dog as well. Ten homes, 25 kids and one dog. He was Mr. Popular, very gentle and loving to all the kids. As the kids went from elementary to high school to university, really he was the constant in our lives when you look back.
He also was a true Westie. Jack would sit for hours at the end of the patio and survey his kingdom for any enemy squirrel, rabbit or bird. He never did catch the squirrel but rabbits and birds were delivered to my feet, if I was outside, or to the French doors. Yet, when we built the pond and toads were there right beside him on the rocks - he would sniff them and walk away. They weren't afraid of him and he never wanted to kill them.
Jack also loved when Geoff gardened. He never would dig, but as Geoff planted Jack's head was right besides Geoff's watching every move. Through our very large gardens he made paths and never once destroyed a plant or dug one up. If we had trained him he would never have done it but on his own, it was an entirely different story.
One very interesting fetish Jack had was for clothes. He loved to wear them. He would see his little shirts and shake with excitement. When you took his clothes off to change him, he would growl and then be happy as a lark the minute a new shirt was on. This did not sit well with Geoff at first, but over the years, he got used to it. This tendency was just who Jack was.
Jack was especially dear to me. He was the family dog, but he was always my baby boy. He was never far from me. If I sat down I knew to look before getting up because he would be there. If I had a bath, he sat on the Jacuzzi ledge right beside my head. He never failed to sleep with me. If someone new came over or someone he didn't like, he would sit on my lap and just stare at them. He was my protector.
A year ago, we lost our other Westie suddenly to cancer. Shortly after that Jack started to act differently in subtle ways and we attributed it to his loss. At time progressed and he just seemed to do more odd acts, a friend suggested he may have dementia. The vet confirmed this and I kept a small journal of all the changes, and what I noticed. The downfall was when he started to attack and want to bite. He could be happy, turn on you, and then turn back. We all knew then and there that he was gone to a point of no return and although we could live with all the changes because we loved him, biting could not be one that would could tolerate.
With the vets advice, many family talks and lots of tears and heart ache, Jack died May 4TH, 53 weeks exactly after his brother. Having been around to watch the kids grow up, adults start to age, changes through divorces, illnesses and deaths Jack's demise was truly the end of an era for us and those close to us.
He will forever and always be Mommy's baby boy. Geoff, the girls and I loved and miss him immensely.
Dec 7, 1999 to May 4, 2011