Last night Jack’s secret admirer called. Her name is Liz and she found Jack through Old Dog Haven.
Because of Jack mom and Liz started writing to each other. They hit it off right away, like they coulda been best friends before they even talked.
It was a big deal for Jack to have a sponsor. He came to Asherpark from a house where nobody took care of him.
Then he spent a long time in the slammer because his person, who didn’t take care of him at home, never came to bail him out.
Jack didn’t do anything wrong. He wasn’t in the slammer because he bit somebody. Animal control nabbed him because his person let him get skinny and sick and full of fleas.
Jack told me he kept hoping all those long months that his person would come get him, but she never did. He figured he was old and worthless. That’s why his person wouldn’t take him home and why nobody wanted to adopt him.
After we lost Darcy mom wanted to take another mutt for Old Dog Haven. The director sent her pictures of a couple of dogs. One of them was Jack. Mom called me over and showed me Jack. It was his mug shot from the slammer. His ribs showed and his eyes were gooey with infection.
Mom said, “That’s the mutt we want, Ash.”
I looked at her like she was crazy. “He’s the ugliest mutt I’ve ever seen.” I said.
“Yup, he’s not too pretty. That’s why we want him. Who else would take him, Ash?”
Well, I had to agree with her on that. Nobody in their right mind would take him looking like he did in his mug shot.
Jack came to us right after Christmas two years ago. He had a chip on his shoulder and acted like mister tough guy. He gave me the creeps. Pissed all over the house and and growled real low at me whenever we made eye contact.
But slowly things began to change. First off we gave Jack a new name. He was called Cyrus before we met him, but mom said that had to go. Since he’s deaf, we could have called him anything, but mom likes the name Jack.
Mom told me that Jack acted tough because he was scared. He probably never had the best house manners and didn’t know how to behave. Jack gradually dropped the dominant stuff and became real withdrawn.
That’s when Jack’s guardian angel appeared. Liz saw Jack on the Old Dog Haven website. She saw something special in Jack’s eyes and decided to sponsor him. Her name appeared under Jack’s picture. She was his first sponsor and Jack was thrilled.
But imagine how important Jack felt when he started getting treats and cards from Liz. Jack got the yummiest stuff in the mail with instructions he had to share some with his pack.
Jack began to feel better about himself. He took to laughing once in a while. He even played a little bump and run with me.
Soon Jack had the confidence to go to Old Dog Haven fund raising events. He is always so calm, everybody loves him. Little kids can take his leash and lead him around. He doesn’t jump up on people or grab treats. He’s just a fine gentleman and a great ambassador for Old Dog Haven.
I know I’m going on and on about Jack. But here’s the point. Sometimes all it takes is one person to turn a mutt’s life around. Jack had a safe home at Asherpark, but Liz made him feel important. Because she believed in him, Jack began to believe in himself.
Now Jack knows he is loved. He has friends all over the country. His picture has been around the world. Jack is one lucky mutt, and he knows it.
The other day I heard Jack tell Nellie, “You gotta believe in yourself Nellie. You’re a good mutt. You deserve a good life.”
It’s all come full circle. Somebody believes in you and you start believing in yourself. Next thing you know you’re helping the new mutt. How sweet is that?